"Women Writers and Dissent in 20th and 21st Century American Literature" is a unit that introduces students to the works of a wide variety of American women writers from various times, races and cultures. The unit analyzes three major ways in which these writers have expressed their dissent: 1) the theme of feeling trapped by society's expectations and/or stifled by traditional female roles; 2) the theme of anger and/or alienation; and 3) the theme of searching for identity, power and a voice. In addition to having a strong literary component, this unit also includes significant information about the history of American women over the past century, as they fought for equality with men, and for political and social rights. The unit will connect major events and ideas in women's history with the themes that occur in the literature on the syllabus.
(Recommended for English, grades 9-12.)