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"Quoth the Raven... Nevermore."
The works of Edgar Allan Poe, written over 150 years ago, continue to amaze, thrill, and haunt readers the world over. Few writers have ever written with more skill or passion. Few have been able to create a mood as Poe did. Few used words with more power and creativity. And few writers had the impact on literature that Poe did. The father of the horror story, the inventor of the detective story, and one of the first ever to write stories that could be considered science fiction, Edgar Allan Poe may be the most influential writer in the history of American literature!
Here's a complete guide that will help your student, ages 9-adult, understand five of Poe's works, as few readers ever do. Included are:
- The Tell-Tale Heart
- The Cask of Amontillado
- The Masque of the Red Death
- The Fall of the House of Usher
- The Raven
The history of the period of time is explained, so that the student understands why Poe wrote as he did, and what he was trying to say to his readers about their time (and ours). Poe's history is also explored, and the student relates what he's learned about Poe's life to the story, and how Poe's own experience helped to create his great works. The history of his books, their publishing success or failure, is considered.
Important tools of writing are explored and explained, such as the message of a piece (the idea the author wishes to communicate), plotting, characterization, conflict, language, irony, and the use of surrogates. The student then uses his knowledge of the tools of good story-telling to analyze and understand the story.
No additional materials are needed. The entire text for every story is contained in the course. Before reading each tale, the student looks though the simple, single definition that applies, for every key or difficult word used in that chapter. This will allow the student to understand what he reads the first time he reads it. (WARNING — This course does require some serious literacy. The student’s vocabulary is bound to grow, given the number of terms defined. The Poe course is particularly difficult in terms of vocabulary, and hundreds of words are defined.) Locations mentioned in each chapter are also listed before the reading starts, and they are located by the student on maps or globes. In this way, the student will know where those places are in the world when encountering them in the story.
After each story or chapter, the student is provided numerous exercises which demand cognitive and critical thinking on the student's part. The exercises help make the story more relevant to the student, and increase his understanding of the story and its unique values.
We even provide some links to film and/or other presentations of the pieces being studied!
This is a complete study guide, one that will bring these works to life, and which should help interest the student in literature, and in the great works of Edgar Allan Poe.
(Please note – Links and sites on the Internet come and go. All links provided in this course were active when the course was published, but some of them may not be when you use the course. These are generally easy pieces to locate other active links for.)
There are a lot of literature guides out there. Most of them offer a few definitions of difficult or archaic terms found in the literary work being studied. Some offer ideas as to study, and even a few tips as to the ideas and tools the writer used. Some offer a synopsis of the work, occasionally making the reading of the work in question irrelevant. That's not really a good thing, by the way.
Connect The Thoughts Literature Guides are far more comprehensive and involving. We provide guides to works that are in the "public domain", meaning works that no one owns rights for. This allows us to publish the complete work by the author directly in the course itself, broken into parts that make the reading simpler. We also stick to shorter works, as a way of introducing the student to great writers that is not quite so "endless".
We then define every difficult or key word in each part of the work to be studied - before the student reads that part of the work! This allows the student to understand the story the first time it's read with a minimum of confusion based on words and their meaning. (It also enormously builds vocabulary and reading skills!) We also provide a list of locations mentioned in each story, which the student locates on maps and/or a globe before reading. Again, this makes the piece more easily understood the first time the student reads it.
Our guides go so much farther! Each guide starts with an explanation of literature. It explains important elements of writing such as what fiction is, plotting, the development of characters and conflict, the use of irony and surrogates in the writing, and other elements. The student will apply his new understanding of the elements of writing to each story he reads, providing a more profound understanding.
We also provide a history of the author of the piece, a separate history of the period of time the work was written in and how that history contributed to that particular work, and a history of the piece itself, from how and when it was authored and published, to its "track record' since that time, to a list of film and other media adaptations of that piece.
We follow each work read (and each part of the work) with questions and exercises which help develop the students understanding of the piece, and his understanding of the relevancy of the piece to the student's life today.
If you are looking for a thorough literature appreciation course, one that will bring classic literature alive and make it thoroughly understandable and relevant, as well as more enjoyable, you'll find our literature guides are winners!