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« In which the current state of the English language escapes me | Main | I can see the course evaluations now... »

September 10, 2012



The selection of Great Expectations as "the" Dickens in the high school curriculum makes me want to bang my head against a wall. I remember, vividly, the fierce level of resentment I felt over that ending. "I spent all summer reading this! What does it mean!? What even happened?" It took me until graduate school to recover. (Also with Bleak House. I wonder if that's everyone's Dickens conversion moment?)

Mr Punch

I had to read Ivanhoe, Silas Marner AND Great Exptectations. Also The Ambassadors and Ethan Frome. All of them just awful.

Most Victorian novels and narrative poems are too long for HS classroom use (today - my mother could recite long, long stretches of Hiawatha and Evangeline). I'd assign Stevenson, myself.


You had to read The Ambassadors in high school?!

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