The purpose of this unit is to point out parallels and similarities between selected writings of Black and White Americans during the last half of the Nineteenth Century and the first half of the Twentieth Century. The narrative is divided into three sections: The Plantation Tradition (Page, Cable, Harris vs. Dunbar and Chesnutt); Structure and Vision of the Region (Sherwood Anderson vs. Jean Toomer); Naturalism in the Urban Scene (James T. Farrell vs. Richard Wright). Each section explores common traditions, aspirations and dilemmas; each can be taught as a separate unit, or taught in tandem with one or both of the companion sections. The narrative is primarily an analysis of three distinct literary movements as revealed in the writings produced in each period. There are long lesson plans that accompany each section; the bibliography is divided as well. A student reading list offers specific suggestions for material illustrative of points covered in each of the three sections. Several of the readings are available through the Institute office.
(Recommended for advanced level Junior and Senior English classes).
Afro-American General Comparative Literature