Literature for Composition: Essays, Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, 5th edition

  • Sylvan Barnet
  • Morton Berman
  • William Burto
  • William E. Cain
  • Marcia Stubbs

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  • NEW - <F75BS>NEW! New sections on research and the Internet along with student research papers have been added throughout to create more comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of research writing. Pg.___
  • NEW - <F75BS>NEW! Argument is now incorporated into the casebooks as well as in a new chapter on argument (2) for a total of five chapters altogether, giving students excellent models for argumentative writing and enhancing this coverage. Pg.___
  • NEW - <F75BS>NEW! Updated casebooks on Ralph Ellison (10), Hamlet (12), Alice Munro (19), and American Indian Identity (21) give a variety of perspectives and opportunities for writing and research. Pg.___
  • NEW - <F75BS>NEW! Two new themes, “Identity in Pluralistic America” and “Gender Roles: Making Men and Women,” give students opportunities to study literature as framed by these contemporary topics. Pg.___
  • NEW - <F75BS>NEW! Over 40% of the selections are new, including selections from Jimmy Santiago Baca, Li-Young Lee, Julia Alvarez, Sallie Bingham, David Mamet, Sherman Alexie, Nikki Giovanni, and Louise Erdrich. Pg.___
  • Casebooks on Ralph Ellison's "Battle Royal" (10), Hamlet (12), Alice Munro (19), and American Indian Identity (21) give a variety of perspectives and opportunities for writing and research. A mini-casebook on The Titanic (3), which includes historical documents, newspaper accounts, song lyrics, a film review, and poetry, emphasizes critical thinking and visual literacy. Pg.___

Table of contents


1. The Writer as Reader: Reading and Responding.

Ripe Figs, Kate Chopin.

Reading as Re-Creation.

Making Reasonable Inferences.

Reading with Pen in Hand.

Recording Your First Responses.

Audience and Purpose.

A Writing Assignment on “Ripe Figs”.

The Assignment.

A Sample Student Essay: “Ripening”.

Other Possibilities for Writing.

2. The Reader as Writer: Developing a Thesis, Drafting, and Writing an Argument.

Pre-Writing: Getting Ideas.

Annotating a Text.

More about Getting Ideas: A Second Story by Kate Chopin.

Kate Chopin, The Story of an Hour.

Brainstorming for Ideas for Writing.

Focused Free Writing.


Asking Questions.

Keeping a Journal.

Critical Thinking: Arguing with Yourself.

Arriving at a Thesis, and Arguing It.

Writing a Draft.

A Sample Draft: “Ironies in an Hour”.

Revising a Draft.

Outlining a Draft.

Peer Review.

The Final Version (Sample Student Essay): “Ironies of Life in Kate Chopin's `The Story of an Hour'”.

A Brief Overview of the Final Version.

Writing with a Word Processor.

A Checklist for Writing with a Word Processor.

A Third Story by Kate Chopin, The Storm.

Writing about “The Storm”.

A Note about Literary Evaluations.

3. What Is Literature?

Literature and Form.

Literature and Meaning.

Arguing about Meaning.

Form and Meaning.

Robert Frost, The Span of Life,.

The Literary Canon.

Literature, Texts, Discourses, and Cultural Studies.

In Brief: A Contemporary Author Speaks about Literature.

Suggestions for Further Reading.

A Casebook on The Titanic: Songs, Poems, and an Essay on a Film.

Columbia Encyclopedia, Titanic.

The Convergence of the Twain, Thomas Hardy.

The Titanic and Folk Songs.

The Titanic (with music), Anonymous.

The Titanic, Anonymous.

The Titanic (with music), Huddie Leadbetter.

Three Poems for Study.

The Arrival of the Titanic, William Dickey.

Reliquary, Michael Donaghy.

Titanic, David R. Salvitt.

Film and Literature.

An Essay on James Cameron's Film, Titanic.

Women and Children First, Katha Pollitt.

4. Reading Literature Closely: (1) Explication.

Reading in Slow Motion.

A Sample Explication: Langston Hughes's “Harlem”.

Harlem, Langston Hughes.

Working Toward an Explication of “Harlem”.

Some Journal Entries.

A Sample Student Essay (The Final Draft): “Langston Hughes's `Harlem'”.

Why Write? Purpose and Audience.

Five Poems for Explication.

Sonnet 73 (“That time of year thou mayst in me behold”), William Shakespeare.

London, William Blake.

Spellbound, Emily Bronté.

I Ask My Mother to Sing, Li-Young Lee.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Gwendolyn Brooks.

5. Reading Literature Closely: (2) Analysis.

The Judgment of Solomon.

Analyzing the Story.

Other Possible Topics for Analysis.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son.

Comparison: An Analytic Tool.

A Sample Student Essay Making a Comparison: “Two New Women”.

Evaluation in Explication and Analysis.

Choosing a Topic and Developing a Thesis in an Analytic Paper.

An Analysis of a Story.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, James Thurber.

Some Journal Entries.

List Notes.

Sample Draft by a student: “Walter Mitty Is No Joke”.

Introductions, Middles, Endings.

Introductory Paragraphs.

Middle Paragraphs.

Concluding Paragraphs.

A Checklist for Revising Paragraphs.

Review: Writing an Analysis.

A Word about Technical Terminology.

Example: A Lyric and a Student's Essay.

Aphra Behn, Song: Love Armed.

Journal Entries.

A Sample Student Essay: The Double Nature of Love.

Editing Checklist: Questions to Ask Yourself.

Three Short Stories for Analysis.

Roger Malvin's Burial, Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Everyday Use, Alice Walker.

El Tonto del Barrio, José Armas.

Three Poems by Elizabeth Bishop.

Filling Station.

The Fish.

Brazil, January 1, 1502.

6. Other Kinds of Writing about Literature.



What is Paraphrase?

The Value of Paraphrase.

Literary Response.

Writing a Literary Response.

A Sample Student Story Based on a Story: “The Ticket” (A Different View of “The Story of an Hour”).

A Poem Based on a Poem: William Blake, The Tyger, X. J. Kennedy For Allen Ginsberg Parody.

Reviewing a Dramatic Production.

A Sample Student Review: An Effective Macbeth.

The Review Reviewed.


7. Critical Thinking: Asking Questions and Making Comparisons.

What Is Critical Thinking?

Asking and Answering Questions.

Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill, William Notman.

Comparing and Contrasting.

Analyzing and Evaluating Evidence.

Thinking Critically about a Work of Literature, and Asking Questions and by Comparing: e.e. cummings's “Buffalo Bill's”.

Two Encyclopedia Accounts of Sitting Bull: An Exercise in Close Reading and Critical Thinking.

8. Reading (and Writing about) Essays.

Some Kinds of Essays.

The Essayist's Persona.



Black Men and Public Space, Brent Staples.


Some Writing Assignments.

Five Essays.

A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift.

The Death of the Moth, Virginia Woolf.

Salvation, Langston Hughes.

A Woman's Land, Sallie Bingham.

The American Indian Wilderness, Louis Owens.

9. Reading (and Writing about) Fiction.

Stories True and False.

Samuel, Grace Paley.

Plot and Character.


Setting and Atmosphere.


Narrative Point of View.

Determining and Discussing the Theme.

Six Short Stories.

The Cask of Amontillado, Edgar Allan Poe.

Grief, Anton Chekhov.

A Worn Path, Eudora Welty.

The Lesson, Toni Cade Bambara.

Powder, Tobias Wolff.

In the Gloaming, Alice Elliot Dark.

10. Thinking Critically about a Short Story.

A Casebook on Ralph Ellison's “Battle Royal”.

Battle Royal, Ralph Ellison.

Atlanta Exposition Address, Booker T. Washington.

On Our Spiritual Strivings, W.E.B. Du Bois.

On Social Equality, Gunnar Myrdal.

On Negro Folklore Ralph Ellison.

Life in Oklahoma City, Ralph Ellison.

11. Reading (and Writing about) Drama.

Types of Plays.



Elements of Drama.





Characterization and Motivation.

Organizing an Analysis of a character.

First Draft.

Three Plays.

A Note on Greek Tragedy.

Oedipus Rex, Sophocles.

Trifles, Susan Glaspell.

Harvey Fierstein,On Tidy Endings.

12. Thinking Critically about Drama.

A Sample Essay by a Student.

The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams.

Production Notes, Tennessee Williams.

13. Reading (and Writing about) Poetry.

The Speaker and the Poet.

I'm Nobody! Who are you?, Emily Dickinson.

Wild Nights—Wild Nights, Emily Dickinson.

The Language of Poetry: Diction and Tone.

Writing about the Speaker: Robert Frost's “The Telephone”.

Journal Entries.

Figurative Language.

Imagery and Symbolism.

The Sick Rose, William Blake.

Verbal Irony and Paradox.


Upon Julia's Clothes, Robert Herrick.

Student Essay: “Herrick's Julia, Julia's Herrick”.

In an Artist's Studio, Christina Rossetti.


An Example.

The Balloon of the Mind, William Butler Yeats.

Annotations and Journal Entries.

A Sample Essay by a Student: Explication of W. B. Yeats's “The Balloon of the Mind”.

Rhythm and Versification: A Glossary for Reference.


Patterns of Sound.

Stanzaic Patterns.

Blank Verse and Free Verse.

Fifteen Poems about People, Places, and Things.


Sir Patrick Spence, Anonymous.

On My First Son, Ben Jonson.

My Last Duchess, Robert Browning.

anyone lived in a pretty new town, e.e. cummings.

The Mother, Gwendolyn Brooks.

Daddy, Sylvia Plath.

Indian Boarding School: The Runaways, Louise Erdrich.


An Old Pond, Basho.

A Supermarket in California, Allen Ginsberg.

Lying in a Hammock at William Dufy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota, James Wright.

Nothing in Heaven Functions as It Ought, X. J. Kennedy.


The World Is Too Much with Us, William Wordsworth.

I like to see it lap the Miles—, Emily Dickinson.

A noiseless patient spider, Walt Whitman.

Hawk, Mary Oliver.

14. Thinking Critically about Poetry.

A Casebook on Emily Dickinson.

I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—.

The Soul selects her own Society.

These are the days when Birds come back.

Papa above.

There's a certain Slant of light.

This World is not Conclusion.

I got so I could hear his name—.

Because I could not stop for Death.

Those—dying, then.

A Sample Essay by a Student: “Religion and Religious Imagery in Emily Dickenson.”


15. Arguing an Interpretation.

Interpretation and Meaning.

Is the Author's Intention a Guide to Meaning?

Is the Work the Author's or the Reader's?

What Characterizes a Good Interpretation?

An Example: Interpreting Pat Mora's “Immigrants”.

Thinking Critically about Responses to Literature.

Two Sample Interpretations.

Robert Frost's “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”.

Sample Essay by a Student: “Stopping by Woods—and Going On.”

Sample Essay by a Student: “'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' as a Short Story.”

Additional Poems for Interpretation.

Mending Wall, Robert Frost.

Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost.

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal, William Wordsworth.

16. Arguing an Evaluation.

Criticism and Evaluation.

Evaluative Language and the Canon.

Are there Critical Standards?

Morality and Truth as Standards.

Other Ways of Thinking about Truth and Realism.

Is Sentimentality a Weakness—And If So, Why?

Little Boy Blue, Eugene Field.

Little Elegy, X. J. Kennedy.

We Real Cool, Gwendolyn Brooks.

Additional Works for Evaluation.

Dover Beach, Matthew Arnold.

The Dover Bitch, Anthony Hecht.

From the Wash the laundress sends, A. E. Housman.

The Man That Got Away, Ira Gershwin.

Women, Louise Bogan.

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Ambrose Bierce.

17. Writing about Literature: An Overview.

Criticism as Argument: Assumptions and Evidence.

Some Critical Stances.

Formalist Criticism (New Criticism).


Reader-Response Criticism.

Archetypal Criticism (Myth Criticism).

Historical Scholarship.

Marxist Criticism.

New Historicism.

Biographical Criticism.

Psychological or Psychoanalytic Criticism.

Gender Criticism (Feminist, and Lesbian and Gay Criticism).

Suggestions for Further Reading.


18. Love and Hate.


A Lover's Departure, Sei Shonagon.

I Fell in Love, or My Hormones Awakened, Judith Ortiz Cofer.

Like Mexicans, Gary Soto.

Love Stories, Louis Menand.


Cat in the Rain, Ernest Hemingway.

Student's Annotations and Journal Entries on “Cat in the Rain”.

Asking Questions about a Story.

A Sample Student Essay: Hemingway's American Wife

A Second Example: An Essay Drawing on Related Material in the Chapter.

The Happy Prince, Oscar Wilde.

A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner.

Sweat, Zora Neale Hurston.

Popular Mechanics, Raymond Carver.

Second-Hand Man, Rita Dove.


Western Wind, Anonymous.

Come Live with Me and Be My Love, Christopher Marlowe.

The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd, Sir Walter Raleigh.

The Bait, John Donne.

Sonnet 29 (When, in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes), William Shakespeare.

Sonnet 116 (Let me not to the marriage of true minds), William Shakespeare.

A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning, John Donne.

To His Coy Mistress, Andrew Marvell.

The Garden of Love, William Blake.

A Poison Tree, William Blake.

Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister, Robert Browning.

When I Heard at the Close of the Day, Walt Whitman.

I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing, Walt Whitman.

A Birthday, Christina Rossetti.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T. S. Eliot.

The Spring and the Fall, Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Love Is Not All: It Is Not Meat nor Drink, Edna St. Vincent Millay.

The Silken Tent, Robert Frost.

Diving into the Wreck, Adrienne Rich.

Novella, Adrienne Rich.

XI., Adrienne Rich.

The Frog Prince, Robert Pack.

Love Song, Joseph Brodsky.

Quarrel, Ellen Bryant Voight.

Love in Place, Nikki Giovanni.

Chivalry, Carol Muske.


The Man in a Case, Wendy Wasserstein.

19. Gender Roles: Making Men and Women.


Why Boys Don't Play with Dolls, Katha Pollitt.

I Want a Wife, Judy Brady.

The Men We Carry in Our Minds . . . and How They Differ from the Real Lives of Most Men, Scott Russell Sanders.


The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

The Horse Dealer's Daughter, D. H. Lawrence.

The Man Who Was Almost a Man, Richard Wright.

Shiloh, Bobbie Ann Mason.

Bridging, Max Apple.

The Rumor, John Update.

Territory, David Levant.

A Woman on a Roof, Doris Lessing.

The Two, Gloria Naylor.

Casebook on Alice Munro.

Boys and Girls, Alice Munro.

How I Met My Husband, Alice Munro.

The Children Stay, Alice Munro.

What Is Real? (Lecture), Alice Munro.

A Conversation (Interview), Alice Munro.


Three Nursery Rhymes.

What are little boys made of?

Georgie Porgie.

The Milkmaid.

Daystar, Rita Dove.

Those Winter Sundays, Robert Hayden.

Myth, Muriel Rukeyser.

My Papa's Waltz, Theodore Roethke.

Wishes for Sons, Lucille Clifton.

Rites of Passage, Sharon Olds.

Homosexuality, Frank O'Hara.

A Boy Named Sue, Shel Silverstein.

I Stop Writing the Poem, Tess Gallagher.

Woman's Work, Julia Alvarez.

Is There Life After Feminism, Maud Meehan.

Barbie Doll, Marge Piercy.

A Work of Artifice, Marge Piercy.


A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen.

Oleanna, David Mamet.

20. Innocence and Experience.


Graduation, Maya Angelou.


Araby, James Joyce.

One Friday Morning, Langston Hughes.

Yoneko's Earthquake, Hisaye Yamamoto.

A & P, John Updike.

The Stolen Party, Liliana Heker.


Infant Joy, William Blake.

Infant Sorrow, William Blake.

The Echoing Green, William Blake.

Spring and Fall: To a Young Child, Gerard Manley Hopkins.

When I was One-and-Twenty (Shropshire Lad # 13), A. E. Housman.

Into my heart an Air That Kills, (Shropshire Lad #40), A. E. Housman.

in Just-, E.E. Cummings.

The School Children, Louise Glück.

Gretel in Darkness, Louise Glück.


A Casebook on William Shakespeare's Hamlet.

A Note on the Elizabethan Theater.

A Note on the Text of Hamlet.

Hamlet, William Shakespeare.

Hamlet and Oedipus, Ernst Jones.

The Promulgation of Confusion, Anne Barton.

On the First Soliloquy, Stanley Wells.

Representing Ophelia, Elaine Showalter.

Playing Gertrude for the BBC TV, 1980, Claire Bloom.

The BBC Hamlet: A Television Production, Bernice W. Kliman.

At Elsinore, [A Review of Branagh's Film], Stanley Kauffmann.

Branagh's Hamlet [review], Will Saretta.

21. Identity in Pluralistic America.


A Conflict of Interest, Zora Neale Hurston.

It's Hard Enough Being Me, Anna Lisa Raya.

Goodbye, Saigon, Finally, Andrew Lam.


The Son from America, Isaac Bashevis Singer.

The Oriental Contingent, Diana Chang.

The Red Convertible, Louise Erdrich.

Cathedral, Raymond Carver.


The New Colossus, Emma Lazarus.

The Unguarded Gates, Thomas Bailey Aldrich.

Ellis Island, Joseph Bruchac III.

Richard Cory, Edwin Arlington Robinson.

Joe Hill, Alfred Hayes.

Child of the Americas, Aurora Levins Morales.

To Live in the Borderlands Means You, Gloria Anzaldà.

So Mexicans Are Taking Jobs from Americans, Jimmy Santiago Baca.

Theme for English B, Langston Hughes.

For a White person who wants to know how to be my friend, Pat Parker.

To the Lady, Mitsuye Yamada.


Fences, August Wilson.

Casebook on American Indian Identity.

My Children, When at First I Liked the Whites, Anonymous Arapaho.

Father, Have Pity on Me, Anonymous Arapaho.

The Indians' Welcome to the Pilgrim Fathers, Lydia Howard Huntley Sigourney

The Vanishing Red, Robert Frost.

Three Thousand Dollar Death song, Wendy Rose.

Moving Camp Too Far, Nila Northsun.

1963, Durango, Colorado.

On the Amtrak from Boston to New York City, Sherman Alexie.

Representations—Visual and Verbal—of Pocahontas.

John Smith Saved by Pocahontas, John Smith.

Last Wish of Pocahontas, Miss Baker.

Pocahontas, George P. Morris.

Pocahontas, Moses Y. Scott.

Pocahontas to Her English Husband, John Rolfe, Paula Gunn Allen.

Playing Indian in the Nineties, Pauline Turner.

Review of Disney's Pocahontas, John d'Entremont.

22. Literary Visions: Poems and Paintings.

Thinking and Writing about Poems and Paintings.


Van Gogh's Bed, Jane Flanders.

The Great Figure, William Carlos Williams.

Mourning Picture, Adrienne Rich.

Beauty and Sadness, Cathy Song.

The Rebirth of Venus, Mary Jo Salter.

The Starry Night, Anne Sexton.

Musée des Beaux Arts, W. H. Auden.

Nude Descending a Staircase, X. J. Kennedy.

American Flamingo, Greg Pape.

Brueghel's Two Monkeys, Wislawa Szymborska.

Luncheon on the Grass, Carl Phillips.

Before the Mirror, John Updike.

23. Religion and Society.


God the Mother Rules—OK?, Jill Tweedie.

Of the Sorrow Songs, W.E.B. Du Bois.

Heaven in the Age of Reason, Jeffrey L. Sheler.


Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne.

If Not Higher, I. L. Peretz.

The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, Katherine Anne Porter.

The Man to Send Rain Clouds, Leslie Marmon Silko.

Casebook on Flannery O'Connor.

A Good Man Is Hard To Find, Flannery O'Connor.

Revelation, Flannery O'Connor.

Remarks from Essays and Letters, Flannery O'Connor.

On Interpreting “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” Flannery O'Connor.


A Note on the Psalms.

Psalm 19.

Psalm 23.

Psalm 121.

“There Is No God But He”..., Qu'ran.

A Note on Spirituals.

Deep River, Anonymous.

Go Down, Moses, Anonymous.

Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel, Anonymous.

Sonnet 146 (Poor soul, the center of my sinful earth), William Shakespeare.

Holy Sonnet XIV (Poor soul, the center of my sinful earth).

Holy Sonnet XIV (Batter my heart, three-personed God), John Donne.

When I Consider How My Light is Spent, John Milton.

Uphill, Christina Rossetti.

God's Grandeur, Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Design, Robert Frost.

Journey of the Magi, T. S. Eliot.

Nocturne, Gabriela Mistral.

Salvator Mundi: Via Crucis, Denise Levertov.

On the Bus to Utica, Carl Dennis.


Antigone, Sophocles.

Appendix A: Remarks about Manuscript Form.

Basic Manuscript Form.

Corrections in the Final Copy.

Quotations and Quotation Marks.

Quotation marks or Underlining?

A Note on the Possessive.

Appendix B: Writing a Research Paper.

What Research is Not, and What Research is.

Primary and Secondary Materials.

From Topic to Thesis.

Locating Materials: First Steps.

Other Bibliographic Aids.

Taking Notes.

Two Mechanical Aids: The Photocopier and the Word Processor.

A Guide to Note-Taking.

Drafting the Paper.

A Sense of Proportion.


What to Document: Avoiding Plagiarism.

How to Document: Footnotes and Internal Parenthetical Citations, and a list of works cited (MLA format).

Appendix C: New Approaches to the Research Paper: Literature, History, and the World Wide Web.

Case Study on Literature and History: The Internment of Japanese Americans.

Literary Texts.

Historical Sources.

Electronic Sources.

Evaluating Sources on the World Wide Web.

Documentation: Citing a WWW Source.

A Checklist: Citing WWW Sources.

Additional Print and Electronic Sources.

Appendix D: Literary Research: Print and Electronic Resources.

Print Reference Sources.

Other Reference Resources.


Electronic Sources.

Other Useful Sites on Authors.

History—Reference and Bibliography Sources.

For General Bibliography in the Humanities.

For Evaluating the Point of View, the Content, and the Intended Audience of Sources.

Other Resources.

What Does Your Own Institution Offer?

Appendix E: Glossary of Literary Terms.


Index of Authors, Titles, and First Lines of Poems.

Index of Terms.

Editing Checklist: Questions to Ask Yourself (inside back cover).

Published by Pearson Higher Education (August 24th 1999) - Copyright © 2000