1. Got late work to finish up? Check the 1st Quarter Homework Archive (see above).
2. Mr. Eugene goes on leave starting on Monday, November 2. Attached below is the lesson schedule the substitute will be working from. You may use this document to follow along, but be aware that both the substitute and Ms. White (the English Department Head) may change the schedule as they see fit and that such changes will not be reflected in this version of the document.


1. Reading Journal #3 and Social Criticism Essay

Due: Monday, November 16 (rough draft of essay due for peer editing on Weds. Nov. 11)
All directions for this reading journal can be found in the handout attached below.

You may work with any of the readings in the list below. To craft an effective journal, you are encouraged to incorporate at least 8 sources over the course of your five entries. The readings highlighted in yellow are either highly recommended or will be part of a required classwork assignment.


19th Century Gothics

2. Timed Essay #4

Due: To be completed in class on Wednesday, November 18 The substitute omitted this essay during Mr. Eugene's paternity leave. Oh well.
This essay will be a comparative rhetorical analysis. Because the texts for comparison are rather dense, an edited version of the prompt is attached below so that you may prepare. This version contains the two passages for analysis, but does not contain the prompt to which you will respond.

3. Scarlet Letter Journal, Group Project, and Essay

Due: See attached handout for various deadlines

Remember that you need to -- at the very least -- select your close reading passage and start planning your essay over the winter holiday break. For an example of a close reading essay, you can download the document below. Take note of not only the argument itself, but the choices the writer had to make in terms of organization and style.

Attached below is the document with sample titles from my college papers. Remember that you are not being graded on the quality of your title, but you are required to have one.

4. Mid-Term Exam Review Materials


1. Rip Van Winkle

Due: Friday, October 30
Read the story attached to the title above and answer the following:
1. Consider the frame (the background involving Diedrich Knickerbocker) that Irving creates for this tale. What is the purpose of creating a fictional "historian" to whom the story can be attributed? (You may want to consider the ethical effect that such a device might have on an audience.)
2. What mood does Irving evoke as he introduces the setting of the story and how does he do so? What purpose might this mood serve in the larger picture of the American literature of the era?
3. Rip Van Winkle and Dame Van Winkle are early examples of two American archetypes: the Ne'er-Do-Well Husband and the Termagant Wife. What details does Irving use to cast his characters in these archetypal roles and what purpose do these archetypes ultimately serve in the story as a whole?
4. Most readers will likely realize that Rip's nap was not an ordinary nap before Rip realizes it himself. What specific details enable the reader to reach this understanding more quickly than Rip himself? What is the effect of this contrast between reader and character?
5. What has changed in the village since Rip fell asleep? Make as complete a list as possible.
6. What has not changed since Rip fell asleep? Make as complete a list as possible.
7. Compare and contrast the results of your answers to 6 and 7. What concluding message or commentary might Irving by attempting to communicate to the reader?

2. The Devil and Tom Walker

Due: Monday, November 2 (at the end of class)
1. Get in the Halloween spirit by reading The Devil and Tom Walker on p. 106 of the Adventures in American Literature text. You may work in pairs to write an overview of the story in which you discuss a) the basic situation of the story, b) the major plot shifts and resolution, c) the meaning of three symbolic items in the story, and d) the story’s moral message (or lack of one).

2. Then read the “Commentary” on pp. 113-4 and write a brief critical response in which you do one of the following:
  • Critique and correct an interpretation of the story that is flawed, limited, or simply inaccurate
  • Comment on an omitted topic within the story that would make the interpretation presented in the commentary more complete
  • Extend the commentary’s discussion of a topic that is underdeveloped

3. For extra credit, you may use the essay on “Mythological and Archetypal Approaches to Literature” from the first reading journal assignment to write a brief discussion of Irving’s use of archetype in both “Rip” and “Walker.”

3. Scarlet Letter Reading

Due: Wednesday, December 2
Begin reading The Scarlet Letter and working on the reading journal assignment. You need to have read at least up through chapter 4 in order to be ready for Wednesday's presentation and chapter 8 for Friday's presentation.