This unit consists of approximately four class sections of block period ninety-minute seminars in which students will enjoy exposure to and discussion of various model samplings of versions of the lone anti-hero, a figure who exemplifies the deepest “American” yearnings for a free, yet ordered existence within the parameters of the hierarchies of his own criminal design. This figure also serves as a dramatic counterpoint to the traditional heroic code exemplar of the Arthurian “knight in shining armor” or to the ancient Homeric model of a moderately flawed, though highly idealistic vision of the “wanderer” who remains ever faithful (though not necessarily sexually so) to familial, spousal, and communal/ethnic commitments and codes of appropriate conduct while off on twenty-year adventures (i.e., Odysseus).
Our primary texts include F. Scott Fitzgerald’s
The Great Gatsby
, Mario Puzo’s and Francis Coppola’s
(and its filmic representations), Brian DePalma’s
(a retread of
), Ridley Scott’s
, and David Chase’s
. The culminating activity or assessment for learners of this unit will be to synthesize, create, and present to other classmates an original, unique version of the heroic or anti-heroic pattern represented in mythology.
(Recommended for English, grades 10-12)