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Combining American Literature with American History


If you are going into the 11th grade this fall, it is a good idea to make a summer reading list. High school juniors almost always take an American literature class and an American history class. Why not combine the two? Here are a few titles to consider.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne is a great way to explore the 17th century Puritan culture of New England and the social norms of the times.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald gives us a glimpse into the urban American life of the 1920s. We see how the United States prospered between the two world wars.
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair shows us the life of southern European immigrants and their struggles with living in a new world at the turn of the 20th century. The book is also said to be the catalyst to the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck gives the reader a look at the life of a migrant family as they look for work during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.
There are a lot more to choose from. My point is, reading these great works will give you a jump start in American literature and help give you some perspective on life during various times in our nation’s history.

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