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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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English classics require analysis

Many read books simply for the pleasure of imagination, while others fly through the pages to find topics applicable to their everyday life. Even students may find connections to a character’s family situation or even their personality. Classic literature is believed to allow students to become more analytical and prepare them for life after graduation.

Although many are taught to read and write in elementary and junior high, high school English classes consist primarily of literature.

“The main reason we read classics is because the system is college preparatory,” Molly Sargent, English teacher, said, “so students are in the literary canon that colleges expect incoming freshmen to have read.”

“When we choose books, we have a different set of standards than public schools do,” Sargent said. “In public schools, they have a diverse audience. Some have large populations that aren’t from this country, so they read books that apply to their situations.”

The senior English class on campus is currently reading two books: Travels with Charley, by John Steinbeck and Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton.

“We’re reading Travels with Charley as a source for inspiration for our senior road trip project,” Sarah Bonnar, ’07, said. “The book illustrates Steinbeck’s insight on every issue under the sun and gives new perspective on human nature.”

The sophomore English class recently finished the Epic of Gilgamesh and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.

“I think we read classics because we need to know about the past,” Amberly Roy, ’09, said. “Sometimes I like reading them; it just depends on what they’re about.”

Sophomore English teacher Mick Fuller believes most classics taught in high schools across the nation hold value, which can be transferred to real life.

“Classics teach that some things are timeless,” Fuller said. “Human nature and attitudes are the same now as they were five thousand years ago. These books reveal that people have more in common with each other then they realize.”

The junior English honors class just finished F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, while the freshmen are in the middle of ancient Greek mythology text. Students on campus, such as Abbey Bauer, ’09, find daily life compares to the stories and plots of main characters in most novels.

“Freshman year we got a view on different texts, like Greek mythology, because they’re about belief in different gods,” Bauer said. “Subjects such as these catch our eye.”

Though most high schools read the same books, some ignore analytical interpretation.

“The books that we read in class are very relatable,” Brock Bradley, ’10, said. “When I read something with somebody my age, I can think about how I’ve gone through the same things they do.”

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  • D

    Daniel WendelSep 11, 2009 at 6:44 am


    Mr. Stobbe would!

    Yeah, I love helping verbs too : DDD

  • D

    Dana KingSep 11, 2009 at 6:44 am

    I was there in English when she put that sign on. It was really funny because she was using her ‘sneaky’ voice when she was pointing it out to me.

  • M

    Mary HierholzerSep 11, 2009 at 6:44 am

    In my third period English Honors class, I, single-handedly, made this special sign for Mr. Stobbe, since I know how he ‘LOVES’ helping verbs. I put it on his back, and he caught me, but left in on anyways.

    And it actually wasn’t for Friday the 13th- I just did it for vengence. The night before, I felt something in my hood, and discovered the ripped up bits of a tardy slip from Mr. Stobbe’s 5th period class that he sneaked into my hood- it was there all day, and I didn’t notice. So the sign was my act of vengence against Mr. Stobbe.

    Thank goodness he hasn’t attempted to get back at me again! I need to keep a look out just incase….