Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing, 7th Edition ©2004

Edgar V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs

Correlated to: National Advanced Placement® (AP®) English Literature and Composition Standards (Grades 9–12)

I. The Literature

Abundance Roberts and Jacobs include 62 short stories—one in an introductory chapter on "Reading, Responding to, and Writing About Literature" (1–46); 50 in a ten-chapter section on the various facets of fiction (47–561); 4 in a chapter entitled "A Career in Fiction: A Collection of Stories by Edith Wharton"; and 7 in a chapter of "Stories for Additional Study" (49562–608).
Quality of Selections: "Recognized Literary Merit" (CB 40) The College Board provides a list of fiction authors (43–44) to "indicate the possible range and quality of reading" (43) in an AP® course. Of the 63 authors on this list, 19 appear among Roberts and Jacobs' practitioners of fiction:
Margaret Atwood (356), Raymond Carver (58), Willa Cather (164), Kate Chopin (362), Sandra Cisneros (279), Stephen Crane (112), William Faulkner (130, 177), Nathaniel Hawthorne (403), Ernest Hemingway (319), James Joyce (294), Margaret Laurence (376), D. H. Lawrence (478), Cynthia Ozick (299), Katherine Anne Porter (413), Mark Twain (336), John Updike (339), Alice Walker (86), and Eudora Welty (138), Edith Wharton (503, 512, 524, 542).
The College Board's list is neither prescriptive nor exhaustive. This textbook includes numerous other fiction writers of "comparable literary merit" (a College Board term which encourages teachers and students to read not only widely but well). Among them: Ambrose Bierce (234), Ray Bradbury (562), Shirley Jackson (244), Joyce Carol Oates (201), and Tillie Olsen (600)—as well as each of the authors cited under the remaining fiction topics below.
Emphasis on works written in English, with representative British and American authors (CB 41) Although Roberts and Jacobs include a predominance of American authors, their text includes classic British short story writers such as James Joyce (294), D. H. Lawrence (478) and Frank O'Connor (331). Americans include Stephen Crane (112), Ernest Hemingway (319), William Faulkner (130, 177), and Eudora Welty (138). For Chapter 11, "A Career in Fiction" (522–88), the editors include four stories by Edith Wharton.
Inclusion of representative periods and literary movements—16th–20th century (CB 40–41) The editors concentrate on 19th- and 20th-century stories, as befits the genre. From the high style of Hawthorne ("Young Goodman Brown," 403) to Crane's pioneering Naturalism ("The Blue Hotel," 112); from the simple, clean style pioneered by Hemingway ("Soldier's Home," 319) to the introspective convolutions of Faulkner ("Barn Burning," 177); from the unassuming realism of Steinbeck ("The Chrysanthemums," 419) to more recent experiments in fiction by Ellen Gilchrist ("The Song of Songs," 240), Cynthia Ozick ("The Shawl," 299), and Tim O'Brien ("The Things They Carried," 72)—the anthology offers a wide variety of choices for the AP® teacher and student.
In the preface to the seventh edition, Roberts' comments that of the 304 authors published in the volume as a whole, 184 were born after 1900, and that of the 80 authors born after 1935, 42 are women (lxxi).
Authorial diversity: geographic, cultural, ethnic, stylistic, gender (CB 40–41) Among the fiction offerings, Roberts and Jacobs include "The Myth of Atlanta" (399), from the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome. To sample the diversity of the fictional offerings, consider the following authors: Margaret Atwood (356), Toni Cade Bambara (445), Sandra Cisneros (279), Ernest J. Gaines (460), Charlotte Perkins Gilman (590), Jamaica Kincaid (136), Americo Paredes (382), Amy Tan (211), Alice Walker (86), and Tom Whitecloud (144).
Abundance Of the textbook's almost 2000 pages, Roberts and Jacobs devote nearly 1900 to literature, 553 of which the editors allot to Poetry (609–1162). The poetry section comprises 13 chapters; a typical chapter 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 chapter focus. Chapter 18, for example (758–793): entitled "Tone: The Creation of Attitude in Poetry," the chapter opens with five poems that illustrate the editors' comments about tone, followed by 20 "Poems for Study." The poetry section closes with Chapter 25, "Poems for Additional Study" (1065–1220); this chapter offers 129 poems by 114 poets.
Quality of Selections: "Recognized Literary Merit" (CB 40) The College Board provides a list of poets (43) to "indicate the possible range and quality of reading" (43) in an AP® course. Of the 45 poets on this list, 36 appear among Roberts and Jacobs' poets:
W. H. Auden (938, 1073), Elizabeth Bishop (700, 858), William Blake (644, 672, 703), Anne Bradstreet (1075), Gwendolyn Brooks (84, 1076), Robert Browning (673, 811, 1078), George Gordon, Lord Byron (1080), Samuel Taylor Coleridge (705), Emily Dickinson (620, 813, 1020, 1021, 1023, 1024, 1026, 1027, 1028, 1055), John Donne (648, 735, 813, 897, 1090, 1091), T. S. Eliot (707, 815, 1092), Robert Frost (621, 861, 1054, 1055, 1056, 1057, 1058, 1059, 1060, 1061, 1062, 1063), Joy Harjo (623, 739), Seamus Heaney (772), George Herbert (711, 856, 865, 902, 1104), Gerard Manley Hopkins (712, 818, 1107), Langston Hughes (740, 773, 818, 969, 1109, 1608), Ben Jonson (6668, 669, 970), John Keats (728, 730, 740, 868, 906, 971), Philip Larkin (973), Andrew Marvell (909), John Milton (871), Sylvia Plath (744, 1126, 1127), Edgar Allan Poe (825, 826), Alexander Pope (766, 780, 829), Adrienne Rich (1130), William Shakespeare (627, 718, 746, 852, 873, 1137, 1138), Percy Bysshe Shelley (832, 874), Leslie Marmon Silko (1139), Kathy Song (1142), Alfred Lord Tennyson (845, 847, 933), Walt Whitman (748, 854, 1155, 1156, 1157), Richard Wilbur (912, 1158), William Carlos Williams (879, 941, 1159), William Wordsworth (749, 988, 993, 1000, 1001, 1007, 1008, 1009, 1010, 1011), and William Butler Yeats (787, 913, 926, 1159).
Percy Bysshe Shelley (832, 874), Leslie Marmon Silko (1139), Kathy Song (1142), Alfred Lord Tennyson (845, 847, 933), Walt Whitman (748, 854, 1155, 1156, 1157), Richard Wilbur (912, 1158), William Carlos Williams (879, 941, 1159), William Wordsworth (749, 988, 993, 1000, 1001, 1007, 1008, 1009, 1010, 1011), and William Butler Yeats (787, 913, 926, 1159).
As a further service to both students and teachers, the editors include an appendix of "Brief Biographies of the Poets in Part II" (1957–1987)—brief sketches attesting to the literary merit of all the poets in this volume.
Emphasis on works written in English, with representative British and American authors (CB 41)
Inclusion of representative periods and literary movements—16th–20th century (CB 40–41) Roberts and Jacobs offer a rich mixture of poets, primarily British and American. In addition, Chapter 24, "Three Poetic Careers" (985–1064), focuses on three 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; and Robert Frost, whose New England colloquialism transcends regional and national boundaries 4 decades after his death. This chapter features 17 poems by Wordsworth (985–1011), including seven sonnets— affording an AP® class the opportunity to examine the relationship between the sonnet form and the Romantic sensibility. The 25 Dickinson poems (1011–1028)—terse, intense, acerbic—offer a stark contrast to Wordsworth. Frost's classic understatement, his simple, unobtrusive form, are on display in 19 poems (1054–1064). In addition, Chapter 24 includes six "Edited Selections from Criticism of Dickinson's Poems, with an Emphasis on Poems Included in This Chapter" (1028–1047), allowing the AP® teacher and student to further explore a voice, a period, a style.
With a chapter on "Form: The Shape of the Poem" (845–884), the editors present poems in a wide range of forms, both open and closed. Finally—with chapters such as "Words: The Building Blocks of Poetry" (635–663), "Prosody: Sound, Rhythm, and Rhyme in Poetry" (794–844), and "Myth: Systems of Symbolic Allusion in Poetry" (921–954)—this textbook allows AP® courses to examine poetry in its many facets.
Authorial diversity: geographic, cultural, ethnic, stylistic, gender (CB 40–41) In addition to the great names in poetry, Roberts and Jacobs include a rich variety of poets who have made a more recent contribution to the genre. Consider the following:
Maya Angelou (1068), Margaret Atwood (929, 1022), Lucille Clifton (768, 1081, 1082), Mari Evans (771), Nikki Giovanni (863, 1098), Louise Gluck (675, 930), Maxine Kumin (653, 1110), Li-Young Lee (1112), Audre Lorde (1115), W. S. Merwin (1133), Liesel Mueller (611), Sharon Olds (776, 976), Michael Ondaatje (777), Marge Piercy (683, 843, 1125, 1126), Robert Pinsky (779), Luis Omar Salinas (1133), Sonia Sanchez (1133), Gertrude Schnackenberg (1135), Gary Soto (1143, 1144), Mark Strand (658), Jean Toomer (877), Tino Villanueva (1150), Alice Walker (1152), and Paul Zimmer (1160).
Abundance Roberts and Jacobs include 18 complete plays in 6 chapters (1163–1186)—7 one-act plays and 11 full-length dramas, as well as one excerpt from a screenplay.
Quality of Selections: "Recognized Literary Merit" (CB 40) The College Board provides a list of dramatists (43) to "indicate the possible range and quality of reading" (43) in an AP® course. Of the 28 authors on this list, 8 appear among Roberts and Jacobs' offerings here:
Anton Chekov, "The Bear" (1570)
Henrik Ibsen, A Dollhouse (1760) and An Enemy of the People (1809)
Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman (1409)
Molière, Love is the Doctor (1550)
Eugene O'Neill, "Before Breakfast" (1208)
William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1306) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (1492)
Sophocles, Oedipus the King (1263)
Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie (1674)
All eight of these playwrights appear regularly on the AP® Exam in English Literature and Composition—on the Open Question. 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."
Emphasis on works written in English, with representative British and American authors (CB 41)
Inclusion of representative periods and literary movements—16th–20th century (CB 40–41) Since drama originates with the ancient Greeks and since AP® courses pay homage to the roots of drama, it is fitting that Roberts and Jacobs include Oedipus the King as the first play in Chapter 27, "The Tragic Vision: Affirmation Through Loss" (1286–1534)—and that they illustrate 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 neo-classicism of O'Neill; from the Restoration comedy of Molière to the 20th-century lyricism of Williams—this textbook admirably represents the richness of the genre. (Page numbers for individual playwrights listed under preceding topic.)
Authorial diversity: geographic, cultural, ethnic, stylistic, gender (CB 40–41) With the 9 full-length works, Roberts and Jacobs do an admirable job of addressing the diversity inherent in this genre—including Ancient Greece, Renaissance England, Restoration France, late 19th-century Norway, and 20th-century America. With Susan Glaspell (1181), Beth Henley (1579), Langston Hughes (1608), Stanley Kaufman (1193), Betty Keller (1203), and Thornton Wilder (1633), the editors further exemplify the diverse expressions of the genre.
Essay/Nonfiction Since AP® literature courses—much like introductory literature courses at the college level—focus on fiction, poetry, and drama, Roberts and Jacobs do the same. Their textbook does not include a separate section devoted to the study of nonfiction/the essay. Three times, the editors present nonfiction excerpts from literary criticism. Chapter 11, "A Career in Fiction: A Collection of Stories by Edith Wharton" (499–561) reprints 5 "Edited Selections from Criticism of Edith Wharton's Fiction" (550–561). Chapter 24, focusing on Wordsworth, Dickinson, and Frost, reprints 6 excerpts from criticism on Dickinson (1028–1047). Finally, Chapter 31, "A Career in Drama: Two Major Plays by Henrik Ibsen" (1754–1886), includes 5 excerpts from the available criticism on Ibsen (1865–1886).

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 40) Roberts and Jacobs begin with an "Introduction: Reading, Responding to, and Writing About Literature" (1–46). 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, 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" (4–11)—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 chapter continues, with explicit instructions and examples of student entries in "Reading and Responding in a Notebook or Computer File" (12–14), followed by detailed instructions on the how-to of writing a first essay about literature (15–43).
With the introductory cornerstone in place, the editors begin each major section—fiction, poetry, and drama—with an overview of the genre that guides students through a conscious experience of their reading, moving toward a piece of writing that articulates the essence of the reading experience. Following chapters offer guidance in the analysis of discrete elements of the genre in question. The textbook is explicit and thorough on the subject of analysis, though 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" (47–106), including direct instruction in responding to literature: likes and dislikes (98–104). Following chapters guide students through recognition and analysis of the elements of short fiction with representative stories to serve as examples: plot (107–156), character (157–224), point of view (225–274), setting (275–311), style (312–349), tone (350–392), symbolism (393–438), and theme (439–498).
The poetry section begins with "Meeting Poetry: An Overview" (609–85), including direct instruction in how to read a poem (615–616) paraphrasing a poem (628–629) and writing an explication (629–633). The next 10 chapters guide students through analysis of such elements as diction (635–663), imagery (695–724), figures of speech (725–757), symbolism and allusion (885–920), and meaning (955–984).
The drama section begins with "The Dramatic Vision: An Overview" (1163–85), with direct instruction in writing (1240–1246). Following chapters address analysis of tragedy (1247–1483), comedy (1484–1601), dramatic reality and non-reality (1602–1730), and the drama of screenwriting (1731–1753). To provide students with further practice in "the experience of literature, the interpretation of literature, and the evaluation of literature," Roberts and Jacobs culminate each genre section with chapters designed to build on the skills covered thus far. The fiction section culminates with a collection of Wharton stories and criticism (499–561), followed by "Stories for Additional Study" (562–608). Similarly, the poetry section closes with "Three Poetic Careers: William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, and Robert Frost" (985–1064) and "Poems for Additional Study" (1065–1161). The drama section concludes with two plays by Ibsen, with a sampling of the relevant criticism (1754–1886).
Direct instruction in writing in these three modes Roberts and Jacobs begin with direct instruction in the basics of writing about literature. (See the first paragraph above, under "Organizing and sequencing of contents.") In addition, each chapter offers concise instruction in writing about the literary element in question. Finally, Chapter 35 offers guided instruction in a literary essay of comparison-contrast (1939–1952).
Writing assignments that direct students in the practice of these three modes Chapters 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 editor's comments on the essay.
  3. A list of writing topics that ask the student to practice examining literature from the perspective of the chapter in question. Chapter 10, for example, examines "Idea or Theme: The Meaning and the Message in Fiction" (439–498). As the chapter closes, the editors offer instruction in "Writing about a Major Idea in Fiction" (494–495), followed by a student essay examining meaning in a D. H. Lawrence story (496–497), with the authors' commentary on the student essay (497–498)—and, finally, five "Special Topics for Writing and Argument About Ideas" (498).
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 the structure described above, under "Writing assignments." The introductory chapter offers two student essays. Chapters 2–10, on fiction—as well as Chapters 13–23, on poetry, and Chapters 26–30, on drama—offer student essays. Chapter 32 on research and Chapter 35 on comparison-contrast do the same.
A discrete writing handbook section suitable for the AP® student The introductory chapter (1–46)—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" (1923–92)—offers four chapters of useful information for the student writer in an AP® literature course. Chapter 32 (1887–1913) provides guidance in "Writing and Documenting the Research Essay." In Chapter 33 (1914–1927), Roberts and Jacobs offer thumbnail sketches of ten "Critical Approaches Important in the Study of Literature"—a genuine service to the AP® teacher and student. Chapter 34 (1928–1238) offers brief but useful advice on "Taking Examinations on Literature." Finally—as referenced above—Chapter 35 (1939–1952) offers explicit instruction in the comparison-contrast essay.
A glossary and/or index of literary terms Roberts and Jacobs offer a "Glossary of Literary Terms" (1988–2008)—handy and accessible definitions suitable for the AP® student. The terms themselves are discussed in context and page numbers for reference are provided —as befits instruction in an AP® course.
Instruction and support materials for the teaching of research Chapter 32 (1887–1913)—previously referenced—offers brief guidance in research. Appendix I (1953–1956) offers concise but useful information in documenting electronic sources.

III. Miscellaneous features

Table of contents Roberts and Jacobs offer two variations on the table of contents:
  1. The standard table of contents (ix–lvi) 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.
  2. A thematic table of contents (lvii–lxx) 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" (2019–2033).
Instructor's Manual Like the textbook itself, the instructor's manual is comprised of three major sections and a fourth shorter section: "Fiction" (8–132), "Poetry" (131–435), "Drama" (436–552), and "Special Writing Topics About Literature" (553–559). 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 "Resources for Poetry" (422–435), an extensive listing of Web site listings and audio resources for 76 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 chapters of the writing section.
The companion Web site, an online study guide to accompany the sixth edition, offers AP® students invaluable supplementary information and activities directly related to the contents of the text book per se—as well as a gateway to electronic literary research and a chance to communicate with other students of literature.
Prentice Hall School Division will provide access to the passcode-protected premium Web site to high school customers who have purchased the high school edition of Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing, Seventh Edition. Access to the most current edition of the Web site will be renewable annually.
After logging on, students will arrive at a homepage offering a quick, accessible overview of the site, with two options available for instruction and enrichment:
The companion Web site, an online study guide to
  1. Selecting an author for further study.
  2. Selecting a chapter from the textbook—for guided commentary and further study.
Selecting an author will take students to a page that offers:
  1. A thumbnail biography.
  2. Links to a "Comprehension Quiz" and "Essay Questions" for the relevant story, poem, or play published by Roberts.
  3. Links to reliable Web sites offering further biographical/bibliographical information and/or pertinent literary criticism. These Web sites, of course, offer further links to the research-minded student.
Selecting a chapter will take students to a page that offers:
  1. Timeline
    This option takes students to a colorful, dynamic timeline covering the last 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.
  2. Chapter Authors
    This option has been covered above.
  3. Writing About…
    This option offers students guided instruction linked to one of four introductory chapters in the Roberts text: Chapter 1, with its introduction to literature; Chapter 2, with its overview of fiction; Chapter 13, poetry; and Chapter 26, drama. Each chapter Web page offers several textboxes—so that students can compose as they follow guided advice on writing. Students can print these textboxes or—with participating classes—send them to their teachers for feedback.
  4. 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.
  5. Message Board
    This option allows students to post messages and/or questions to a national audience.
  6. I-Chat
    This option allows students to participate in impromptu dialogues. Better yet, students and/or teachers can use I-Chat to schedule class discussions.
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.