Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing, 4th Edition AP® Edition ©2008

Edgar V. Roberts

Correlated to: AP® English Literature and Composition Exam

I. The Literature

Abundance Roberts includes 41 short stories—one in an introductory part on "The Process of Reading, Responding to, and Writing About Literature" (1–47); 36 in a nine-chapter section on the various facets of fiction (54–398); and four in "Four Stories for Additional Enjoyment and Study" (399–454).
Quality of Selections: "Recognized Literary Merit" (CB 45) The College Board provides a list of fiction authors (48) to indicate the possible "range and quality of reading" (47–48) expected in an AP® course. A similar list is provided in Part Eight of this AP® help text. Of the 46 authors on this list, 22 are featured in this anthology.

Emily Bronte (699)
Raymond Carver (116)
Kate Chopin (287)
Joseph Conrad (202)
Stephen Crane (802)
Ralph Ellison (247)
William Faulkner (75)
Thomas Hardy (256)
Nathaniel Hawthorne (331)
Ernest Hemingway (289)
James Joyce (226)
D. H. Lawrence (378)
Katherine Mansfield (176)
Herman Melville (674)
Flannery O'Connor (418)
Cynthia Ozick (230)
Katherine Anne Porter (341)
Jonathan Swift (630)
Mark Twain (187)
John Updike (309)
Alice Walker (848)
Eudora Welty (95)

The College Board's list is neither prescriptive nor exhaustive. This anthology includes numerous other fiction writers of "comparable literary merit" (a College Board term that encourages teachers and students to read not only widely but well). Among these other fiction writers:

Ambrose Bierce (69)
Anton Chekhov (1156)
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (408)
Shirley Jackson (120)
John Steinbeck (347)

Note also the large number of authors cited under the remaining fiction topics below.
Emphasis on works written in English, with representative British and American authors (CB 46) Roberts' text includes short stories by these classic American authors.

Kate Chopin (287)
Stephen Crane (802)
William Faulkner (75)
Nathaniel Hawthorne (331)
Ernest Hemingway (289)
Flannery O'Connor (418)
Katherine Anne Porter (341)
Mark Twain (187)
John Updike (309)
Alice Walker (848)
Eudora Welty (95)

The text also includes short stories by several classic British authors.

Joseph Conrad (202)
James Joyce (226)
D. H. Lawrence (378)
Frank O'Connor (300)
Jonathan Swift (630)
Inclusion of representative periods and literary movements: 16th–20th century (CB 45) Because of the genre's historical development, the editors concentrate on short stories from the 19th and 20th centuries. Roberts' anthology offers a wide variety of choices for the AP® teacher and student—
  • The high style of Hawthorne ("Young Goodman Brown," 331)
  • The simple, clean style pioneered by Hemingway ("Hills Like White Elephants," 289)
  • The introspective convolutions of Faulkner ("A Rose for Emily," 75)
  • The unassuming realism of Steinbeck ("The Chrysanthemums," 347)
  • Recent experiments in fiction by Cynthia Ozick ("The Shawl," 230), and Tim O'Brien ("The Things They Carried," 81)
In total, 242 authors are represented here in the anthology, including four anonymous authors. Slightly more than 58 percent of the authors—142—were born after 1900. Of the 63 writers born since 1935, 32 are women.
Authorial diversity: geographic, cultural, ethnic, stylistic, gender (CB 46) Among the fiction offerings, Roberts includes "The Myth of Atalanta" (327), from the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome. To sample the diversity of the fictional offerings, consider the following authors:

Aesop (326)
Toni Cade Bambara (373)
Kate Chopin (287)
Anita Scott Coleman (328)
Ralph Ellison (247)
Ernest J. Gaines (158)
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (408)
Katherine Mansfield (176)
Lorrie Moore (126)
Alice Munro (293)
Daniel Orozco (305)
Cynthia Ozick (230)
Americo Parédes (388)
Leslie Marmon Silko (842)
Amy Tan (180)
Alice Walker (848)
Eudora Welty (95)
Tom Whitecloud (269)
Abundance Of the textbook's 1,600_ pages, Roberts devotes most of it to literature, 405 of which the editors allot to poetry (456–860). The poetry section comprises nine chapters; a typical part includes several poems in the early pages of instruction and commentary on a particular aspect of poetry, followed by a group of "Poems for Study," each of which is followed by questions that guide the student to examine it in the light of the part focus.

For example, Chapter 15 "Tone: The Creation of Attitude in Poetry" (599–640), opens with five poems that illustrate the editors' comments about tone, followed by 24 "Poems for Study." The poetry section closes with Chapter 19, "Eighty-Four Poems for Additional Enjoyment and Study" (791–860), offering 84 poems by 79 poets.
Quality of Selections: "Recognized Literary Merit" (CB 45) The College Board provides a list of poets (48) to indicate the possible "range and quality of reading" (47–48) expected in an AP® course. Of the 47 poets on this list, 27 appear in Roberts' anthology:

W. H. Auden (794)
Elizabeth Bishop (533)
William Blake (608)
Robert Browning (609)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (536)
Emily Dickinson (733)
John Donne (807)
T. S. Eliot (539)
Robert Frost (752)
Joy Harjo (472)
Seamus Heaney (618)
George Herbert (654)
Gerard Manley Hopkins (669)
Langston Hughes (764)
John Keats (818)
John Milton (674)
Sylvia Plath (788)
Edgar Allan Poe (233)
Alexander Pope (607)
William Shakespeare (649)
Percy Bysshe Shelley (681)
Leslie Marmon Silko (842)
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (644)
Walt Whitman (723)
Richard Wilbur (723)
William Wordsworth (588)
William Butler Yeats (725)

As a further service to both students and teachers, the editors include a brief biographical sketch of each poet in the anthology. The information is found in Appendix II "Brief Biographies of the Poets in Part III" (1450–1480).
Inclusion of representative periods and literary movements: 16th–20th centuries (CB 45) Roberts' anthology offers a rich mixture of poets, primarily British and American. In addition, Chapter 18, "Four Major American Poets" (733–790), focuses on four distinct and significant voices in the poetry of the English language: William Wordsworth, a giant of the early Romantic period in British poetry; Emily Dickinson, a 19th-century Transcendentalist with a voice so spare and modern as to enjoy international stature at the beginning of the 21st century; Robert Frost, whose New England colloquialism transcends regional and national boundaries four decades after his death; and Sylvia Plath, a confessional poet whose works, which earned her a posthumous Pulitzer Prize, were inextricably tied to her personal experiences.

This chapter features 15 poems by Hughes (764–773) who is known for the variety in his works and his employment of various voices. The 19 Dickinson poems (738–747) can best be described as terse, intense, and acerbic. Frost's classic understatement and his simple, unobtrusive form are on display in 16 poems (752–760). In addition, the 13 Plath poems contribute lyric poems that represent a combination of the personal self and an imagined self composed by the poet.

With a part on "Form: The Shape of the Poem" (641–689), the editors present poems in a wide range of forms, both open and closed.

Finally—with parts such as "Words: The Building Blocks of Poetry" (494–527), "Symbolism and Allusion: Windows to Wide Expanses of Meaning" (691–731)—this textbook allows AP® courses to examine poetry in its many facets.
Authorial diversity: geographic, cultural, ethnic, stylistic, gender (CB 46) In addition to the great names in poetry, the anthology includes a rich variety of poets who have made a more recent contribution to the genre. Consider the following:

Lucille Clifton (612)
Mari Evans (575)
Nikki Giovanni (667)
Louise Gluck (708)
Audre Lorde (824)
W. S. Merwin (828)
Liesel Mueller (458)
Sharon Olds (622)
Marge Piercy (833)
Robert Pinsky (623)
Luis Omar Salinas (836)
Sonia Sanchez (836)
Gertrude Schnackenberg (838)
Mark Strand (519)
Jean Toomer (682)
Alice Walker (848)
Paul Zimmer (854)
Abundance Roberts' textbook includes 14 complete plays over four chapters (875–1375).
Quality of Selections: "Recognized Literary Merit" (CB 45) The College Board provides a list of dramatists (48) to "indicate the possible range and quality of reading" (47–48) in an AP® course. Of the 29 authors on this list, 10 appear among the offerings in Roberts' anthology.

Edward Albee
The Sandbox (884)

Anton Chekhov
The Bear (1156)

Henrik Ibsen
A Dollhouse (1191)

Arthur Miller
Death of a Salesman (1263)

Eugene O'Neill
Before Breakfast (909)

William Shakespeare
Hamlet (981)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1099)

Oedipus the King (939)

August Wilson
Fences (1330)

All eight of these playwrights appear regularly on the open question section of the AP® English Literature and Composition Exam. One of three essays featured yearly on the exam, the open question presents a phenomenon characteristic of numerous great works of literature, with a prompt directing the examinee to write an essay using a single work to illuminate the phenomenon in question. The question usually includes a list of appropriate works, along with the proviso that examinees may choose another work of comparable literary merit. That the eight dramatists listed above appear frequently on this list attests to the issue here of "recognized literary merit."
Inclusion of representative periods and literary movements: 16th–20th centuries (CB 45) Because drama originates with the ancient Greeks and because AP® courses pay homage to the roots of drama, it is fitting that Roberts' anthology includes Oedipus the King as the first play in Chapter 21, "The Tragic Vision: Affirmation Through Loss" (923–1090)—and that the text illustrates the evolution of the tragedy by anthologizing Hamlet to represent Renaissance tragedy and Death of a Salesman to represent tragedy for the 20th century. From the realism of Ibsen to the neoclassicism of O'Neill and the 20th-century lyricism of Miller—this textbook admirably represents the richness of the genre. (Page numbers for individual playwrights are listed under preceding topic.)
Authorial diversity: geographic, cultural, ethnic, stylistic, gender (CB 46) With the 14 full-length works, Roberts' text does an admirable job of addressing the diversity inherent in this genre—including Ancient Greece, Renaissance England, late 19th-century Norway, and 20th-century America. With Edward Albee (883), Susan Glaspell (891), August Wilson (1328), Beth Henley (1165), Langston Hughes (619), and Betty Keller (904), the editors further exemplify the diverse expressions of the genre.
Because AP® literature courses—much like introductory literature courses at the college level—focus on fiction, poetry, and drama, Roberts' anthology does the same. The textbook does not include a separate section devoted to the study of nonfiction/the essay.

II. Support materials for instruction in reading and writing

Organization and sequencing of contents: to support instruction in "the experience of literature, the interpretation of literature, and the evaluation of literature" (CB 45) Roberts' anthology begins with an "Introduction: The Process of Reading, Responding to, and Writing About Literature" (Chapter 1, pages 1–51). Here the editors offer advice and instruction in how students can increase their awareness of what they experience as they read and how they can articulate their experience of literature, expand the ways in which they experience literature, and begin to analyze their experience of literature. To model this kind of experience, the editors reprint Guy de Maupassant's seminal short story, "The Necklace" (4–15)—annotated in the margins with the kind of reader response observations that can increase readers' awareness of their experience of literature and develop the rudiments of analysis and evaluation. The introductory part continues, with explicit instructions and examples of student entries in "Reading and Responding in a Notebook or Computer File" (11–16), followed by detailed instructions on the "how-to" of writing a first essay about literature (16–51).

With the introductory cornerstone in place, the editors begin each major section—fiction, poetry, and drama—with an overview of the genre, guiding students through a conscious experience of their reading and moving toward a piece of writing that articulates the essence of the reading experience. Subsequent parts offer guidance in the analysis of discrete elements of the genre in question. The textbook is explicit and thorough on the subject of analysis, although it does not address evaluation per se. It should be noted, however, that analysis—"the interpretation of literature"—is the cornerstone of an AP® literature course. The fiction section begins with "Fiction: An Overview" (1–51), including student essays that illustrate and provide examples of responding to literature (43–45). Subsequent parts guide students through recognition and analysis of the elements of short fiction with representative stories to serve as examples: point of view (107–150), character (151–197), setting (198–243), structure (244–279), tone
and style (280–320), symbolism and allegory (321–366), and idea or theme (367–398). The poetry section begins with "Meeting Poetry: An Overview" (456–493), including direct instruction in how to read a poem (461–463) paraphrasing a poem (486–487) and writing an explication (487–493). The following nine chapters guide students through analysis of such elements as diction and syntax (494–527), imagery (528–559), figures of speech (560–598), tone (599–640), form (641–690), and symbolism and allusion (691–732).

The drama section begins with "The Dramatic Vision: An Overview" (862–922), with direct instruction in writing (862–873). Subsequent parts address analysis of tragedy (873–883), comedy (873–883), dramatic reality and non-reality (873–883). To provide students with further practice in "the experience of literature, the interpretation of literature, and the evaluation of literature," Roberts' text culminates each genre section with parts designed to build on the skills covered thus far. The fiction section ends with "Four Stories for Additional Enjoyment and Study" (399–427). Similarly, the poetry section closes with "Four Major American Poets: Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, and Sylvia Plath" (733–790) and "Eighty Poems for Additional Enjoyment and Study" (791–860). The drama section concludes with "Four Plays for Additional Enjoyment and Study" (1187–1375).
Direct instruction in writing in these three modes Roberts' anthology begins with direct instruction in the basics of writing about literature. (See the first paragraph above, under "Organization and sequencing of contents.") In addition, each chapter offers concise instruction in writing about the literary element in question. Finally, Chapter 25 offers guided instruction in a literary essay of comparison-contrast (1412–1427).
Writing assignments that direct students in the practice of these three modes Parts typically close by focusing on a particular writing activity, arranged by the editors in three logical steps:
  1. Brief instruction on the activity in question.
  2. A sample student essay to model the focal activity, including the editors' comments on the essay.
  3. A list of writing topics that ask the student to practice examining literature from the perspective of the part in question.
Chapter 9, for example, examines "Idea or Theme: The Meaning and the Message in Fiction" (367–398). As the chapter closes, the editors offer instruction in "Writing about a Major Idea in Fiction" (392–398), followed by a student essay examining meaning in a D.H. Lawrence short story (394–397), with the editors' commentary on the student essay (397–398)—and, finally, five "Special Topics for Writing and Argument About Ideas" (398).
Student-written essays that model these three modes Chapters that focus on a particular facet of the genre in question include one or two student-written essays that examine a piece of literature from the perspective under examination. Each student essay takes its place in this structure, and is provided under the heading of "Writing About …" assignments. The introductory chapter offers two student essays. Chapters 2–9 and 10A, on fiction—as well as Chapters 11–17 and 19A, on poetry, and Chapters 20–22 and 23A, on drama—offer additional student essays. Chapter 25, on comparison-contrast, also provides a student essay.
A discrete writing handbook section suitable for the AP® student The introductory chapter (1–51)—discussed in detail above—offers the kind of structure and instruction worthy of a good writing handbook. The closing section of the textbook—"Special Writing Topics About Literature" (1390–1438)—offers three parts of useful information for the student writer in an AP® literature course.
  • In Chapter 24 (1389–1411), Roberts offers thumbnail sketches of ten "Critical Approaches Important in the Study of Literature"—providing a genuine service to the AP® teacher and student.
  • Chapter 25 (1412–1427) offers explicit instruction in the comparison-contrast essay.
  • Chapter 26 (1428–1438) offers brief and useful advice on "Writing Examinations on Literature."
A glossary and/or index of literary terms Roberts' text offers a "Glossary of Literary Terms" (1481–1503)—handy and accessible definitions suitable for the AP® student. The terms themselves are discussed in context; in addition, page numbers are provided for reference—making them all the more useful for instruction in an AP® course.
Instruction and support materials for the teaching of research Three parts offer guidance in research:
  • Chapter 10A (428–454) about fiction
  • Chapter 19A (855–860) about poetry
  • Chapter 23A (1376–1387) about drama
Appendix I (1439–1449) offers concise and useful information in documenting sources.

III. Miscellaneous features

Table of contents Roberts' text offers two variations on the table of contents:
  • The standard table of contents (iii–xxxviii) showcases the editors' genre approach. By using variations in typeface (boldface, italics, all-caps, varying font sizes) and by using white space judiciously, the editors make the various contents accessible at a rapid glance.
  • A thematic table of contents (xl–l) assists teachers and students who prefer a thematic approach to literature. Each theme is subdivided by genre—stories, poems, plays and art.
Index The textbook includes an "Index of Authors, Titles, and First Lines" (1512–1530) as well as a subject index (2).
Instructor's Manual Like the textbook itself, the instructor's manual is composed of three major sections and a fourth shorter section: "Fiction" (1–455), "Poetry" (456–860), "Drama" (861–1389), and "Special Writing Topics About Literature" (1390–1438). The manual itself is paginated on the bottom outer page corners; top outer page corners are annotated with the correlating page numbers of the textbook itself.

The fiction section follows the order of the textbook, with the editors offering comments on the stories, answers to the study questions, and comments on the writing topics. Showing considerable thought for the literature teacher, the editors close their handling of each story with a list of works for comparison by author, title, and page number.

The poetry section also follows the order of the textbook, with similar offerings for the anthologized poems. AP® teachers will discover a real boon to their teaching with "Using Extra Resources for Understanding" (855–860), an extensive listing of Web site listings and audio resources for many of the textbook's anthologized poets.

The drama section offers commentary on each author and each play, as well as discussion of questions and writing topics.

The editors offer brief comments on the parts of the writing section.

The companion Web site, an online study guide to accompany Roberts' series, offers AP® students valuable supplemental information and activities directly related to the contents of the text book, and serves as a gateway to electronic literary research and a chance to communicate with other students of literature. This resource may be found at and is available at no additional cost.

After logging on, students will arrive at a home page offering a quick, accessible overview of the site, with two options available for instruction and enrichment:
Selecting a chapter takes students to a page that offers:
  • Selecting an author for further study
  • Selecting a chapter from the textbook—for guided commentary and further study.
Selecting an author takes students to a page that offers:
  • A brief biography.
  • Links to a "Comprehension Quiz" and "Essay Questions" for the relevant story, poem, or play included in Roberts' text.
  • Links to reliable Web sites offering further biographical and bibliographical information as well as pertinent literary criticism. These Web sites, of course, offer further links to the research-minded student.
Selecting a chapter takes students to a page that offers:
  • Timeline
This option takes students to a colorful, dynamic timeline covering the most recent 500 years of British and U.S. history. Students may view the timeline from three perspectives: Politics, International Affairs, or Society and Culture. With each choice, the timeline is marked by a number of significant events. Clicking on a particular event typically links students to a page offering a thumbnail sketch, relevant images, and numerous links for further research. This timeline offers invaluable enrichment for the AP® student.
  • Part Authors
  • This option is discussed above.
  • Writing About …
This option offers students guided instruction linked to one of four introductory parts in Roberts' text: Chapter 1, with its introduction to literature; Chapter 2, with its overview of fiction; Chapter 11, poetry; and Chapter 20, drama. Each part web page offers several textboxes allowing students to compose as they follow guided advice on writing. Students can print these textboxes or—with participating classes—send them to their teachers for feedback.
  • Writing Workshops
This option offers three student essays: one on fiction, one on poetry, one on drama. A photograph and thumbnail biography of the student author accompany each essay. In addition, the student can see each essay in three versions: a first draft, a second draft, and the final paper. Each draft is presented in a facsimile, with instructor's comments marked in red. Further, the first and second drafts are linked to a detailed commentary by the instructor. Finally, students with sophisticated computers can hear the student writer's thoughts on the original writing assignment.
Companion Web site For students struggling to adjust to the demands of an AP® environment, the Web site offers the kind of basic guidance, support, and practice in analytical thinking and writing skills that can lead to genuine academic success. Further, the Web site serves as a vehicle that can take students to a broader, deeper understanding of literature and its vital role in our world.

AP® is a trademark registered and/or owned by the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this site.