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Although I think there are limits to what is acceptable literature, I believe we need to include the great books that pass the test of time and enhance learning, curiosity, and human growth at appropriate ages. This post struck me as important to our conversation about these big topics.

Cooperative Catalyst

I don’t know why I had to read Scarlet Letter, but I know that the themes of hypocrisy, sin, redemption and religion imposing on individual will should have resonated with me. My guess is that I hated it, because it was assigned. It’s why I loved Brave New World, The Great Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye and The Color Purple. None of them were assigned. None of them required a book report.

So, a former student bitches about Beowulf. Pardon the language, but that phrase just sounded fun, so I kept it. Anyway, he’s all upset about how irrelevant it is to his life. He mentions slaying dragons and dying a hero’s death and says that none of it makes sense to his world.

My first response is this:

Thoughts on Beowulf: Because if you haven’t do so yet, you will someday have the chance to slay dragons and in…

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About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and spent the last 14 years teaching in an incrediable hybrid school setting. My dissertation topic and research were how teachers experience becoming who teachers, as human subjects. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me. We have begun a small consulting and leadership firm called Rocky River Leadership & Consulting Ltd.

4 responses »

  1. I agree! Although I wish that I had to read Brave New World, 1984, Beowulf my English classes so that I could at least get exposed to these books, report or no report. I’m sure there are hundreds of great books that I haven’t heard of because I never touched them in school, but discussing them in class might have given me a better understanding.

  2. I suspect that if it was banned and a big deal was made out of it being banned, its readership would soar. People would want to know what the hubbub was all about! ;-D!

    I’ll bet if it was included on a list of other classics and a teacher said the students could pick one, but was emphatic that Beowulf might be too strong or too much for them or that their parents might not approve, kids would be downloading it in droves…



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