Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer Day

Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer Day

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• The Use of Conventional Metaphors for Death in John Donne’s “Death Be Not Proud” (draft, outline, and fi nal paper) Ch. 30, p. 958

• A Reading of Emily Dickinson’s “There’s a certain Slant of light” Ch. 30, p. 962


• Explication: The Use of Conventional Metaphors for Death in John Donne’s “Death Be Not Proud” (draft, outline, and fi nal paper) Ch. 30, p. 958

Research Paper

• How William Faulkner’s Narrator Cultivates a Rose for Emily Ch. 32, p. 987

Check out our free and open visual tutorials, reference materials, and support for working with sources.

• VirtuaLit Tutorials for close reading

• AuthorLinks for research

• LitGloss for literary terms

• LitQuizzes for self-testing

• Sample Papers for MLA-style models

• Research and Documentation Online for research

• The Bedford Bibliographer for research

Explore our growing collection of video interviews with today’s writers — on what they read, where they get their ideas, and how they refi ne their craft. Featured authors include T. C. Boyle, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Ha Jin, and Anne Rice.



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Literature to Go



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Literature to Go

MICHAEL MEYER University of Connecticut




For Bedford/St. Martin’s

Executive Editor: Ellen Thibault Developmental Editor: Christina Gerogiannis Production Editor: Lindsay DiGianvittorio Production Supervisor: Jennifer Peterson Senior Marketing Manager: Adrienne Petsick Editorial Assistants: Sophia Snyder, Mallory Moore Production Assistant: Alexis Biasell Copyeditor: Hilly van Loon Senior Art Director: Anna Palchik Text Design: Claire Seng-Niemoeller Cover Design: Donna Lee Dennison Cover Art: Wisconsin and N Street, by Joseph Craig English. Used with permission. Original

illustration altered with permission of the artist. Composition: Glyph International Printing and Binding: Quad/Graphics Taunton

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Copyright © 2011 by Bedford/St. Martin’s

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, except as may be expressly permitted by the applicable copyright statutes or in writing by the Publisher.

Manufactured in the United States of America.

4 3 2 1 0 e d c b a

For information, write: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116 (617-399-4000)

ISBN 10: 0–312–62412–3 ISBN 13: 978–0–312–62412–5


fiction T. Coraghessan Boyle. “Carnal Knowledge” from Without a Hero by T. Coraghessan Boyle.

Copyright © 1994 by T. Coraghessan Boyle. Used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

A. S. Byatt. “Baglady” from Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice by Antonia Byatt. Reprinted by permission of SLL/Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. Copyright by Peters Fraser & Dunlop A/A/F Antonia Byatt.

Raymond Carver. “Popular Mechanics” from What We Talk about When We Talk about Love by Raymond Carver. Copyright © 1974, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981 by Raymond Carver. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Acknowledgments and copyrights are continued at the back of the book on pages 1013–18, which constitute an extension of the copyright page. It is a violation of the law to reproduce these selections by any means whatsoever without the written permission of the copyright holder.



For My Wife Regina Barreca



About Michael Meyer

Michael Meyer has taught writing and literature courses for more than thirty years — since 1981 at the University of Connecticut and before that at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the College of Wil- liam and Mary. In addition to being an experienced teacher, Meyer is a highly regarded literary scholar. His scholarly articles have appeared in distinguished journals such as American Literature, Studies in the American Renaissance, and Virginia Quarterly Review. An internationally recognized authority on Henry David Thoreau, Meyer is a former president of the Thoreau Society and coauthor (with Walter Harding) of The New Thoreau Handbook, a standard reference source. His fi rst book, Several More Lives to Live: Thoreau’s Political Reputation in America, was awarded the Ralph Henry Gabriel Prize by the American Studies Association. He is also the editor of Frederick Douglass: The Narrative and Selected Writings. He has lectured on a variety of American literary topics from Cambridge University to Peking University. His other books for Bedford/St. Martin’s include The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Ninth Edition; The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature, Eighth Edition; Poetry: An Introduction, Sixth Edition; and Think- ing and Writing about Literature, Second Edition.



Preface for Instructors

Literature to Go is the long-trusted anthology, The Bedford Introduction to Literature, sized and priced to go. Created in response to instructors’ re- quests for an essential version of the full-length book — with a selection of literature that refl ects the classic canon and the new — Literature to Go is a brief and inexpensive collection of stories, poems, and plays, supported by class-tested, reliable pedagogy and unique features that bring literature to life for students. The hope is that the engaging selections and accessible instruction in Literature to Go will inspire students to become lifelong read- ers of imaginative literature, as well as more thoughtful and skillful writers. The text is designed to accommodate many different teaching styles and is fl exibly organized into four parts focusing on fi ction, poetry, drama, and critical thinking and writing. Creative chapters on the elements of litera- ture appear at the beginning of each genre section and cover such concepts as character, setting, confl ict, and tone, along with plenty of examples. Addi- tionally, case studies on major authors, including Flannery O’Connor and William Shakespeare, reveal writers as real people and literature as a living art form. And a unique, in-depth chapter on poet Billy Collins, created in collaboration with the poet himself, gives students an intimate look into the creative process of one of America’s most popular contemporary poets. In addition to offering literature from many periods, cultures, and diverse voices, including today’s wittiest writers, the book is also a surpris- ingly complete guide to close reading, critical thinking, and thoughtful writ- ing. Following the genre sections, the fourth part of Literature to Go provides detailed instruction on these crucial skills. Sample student papers and hun- dreds of assignments appear in the text, giving students the support they need. And two new online resources — Re:Writing for Literature, with lots of help for reading and writing about literature; and VideoCentral: Literature, a growing collection of exclusive interviews with today’s authors — offer even more options for teaching, learning, and enjoying literature.

FEATURES OF L ITER ATURE TO GO A wide and well-balanced selection of literature — sized and priced to go

34 stories, 202 poems, and 12 plays represent a variety of periods, nation- alities, cultures, styles, and voices — from the serious to the humorous, and from the traditional to the contemporary. Each selection has been




viii preface for instructors

chosen for its appeal to students and for its effectiveness in demonstrat- ing the elements, signifi cance, and pleasures of literature. Canonical works by Ernest Hemingway, John Keats, Susan Glas pell, and many others are generously represented. In addition, there are many contemporary selections from writers such as Nilaja Sun, Ian McEwan, and Tim O’Brien, as well as a rich sampling of works by writers from other cultures. These selections ap pear throughout the anthology.

Many options for teaching and learning about literature

In an effort to make literature come to life for students, and the course a plea- sure to teach for instructors, Literature to Go offers these innovative features:

Perspectives on literature Intriguing documents — including critical essays, interviews, and contextual images — appear throughout the book to stimulate class discussion and writing.

Connections between “popular” and “literary” culture The poetry and drama introductions incorporate examples from popular culture, effectively introducing students to the literary elements of a given genre through what

they already know. For example, students are introduced to the elements of poetry through greeting card verse and song lyrics by Bruce Springsteen and to elements of drama through a television script from Seinfeld. Lively visuals throughout the anthology present images that demonstrate how literature is woven into the fabric of popular culture and art. These images help students recognize the imprint of literature on their everyday lives.

Case studies that treat authors in depth Each genre section includes a chapter that focuses closely on a major literary fi gure. Chapters on Flannery O’Connor, Billy Collins, and William Shakespeare are complemented by biographi- cal introductions (with author photographs),

critical perspectives, cultural documents (such as letters and draft manuscript pages), and images that serve to con- textualize the works. A vari- ety of critical thinking and writing questions follow the selections to stim ulate stu- dent responses. All these sup- plementary materials engage

From Chapter 9: “A Study of Flannery O’Connor.”



preface for instructors ix

students more fully with the writers and their works.

An in-depth chapter on Billy Collins — created with Billy Collins

Collins presents fi ve of his own poems in Chapter 20 alongside his own insights — written specifi cally for Michael Meyer’s anthologies — into each work, and shares photographs and pages from his notebooks. This case study reinforces Meyer’s empha- sis on poetry as a living, changing art form. Students will enjoy the oppor- tunity to have a major poet speak directly to them, in Collins’s one-of-a- kind style, about how he writes, why he writes, and the kinds of surprises that occur along the way.

Plenty of help with reading, writing, and research

Critical reading* Advice on how to read literature ap pears at the begin- ning of each genre section. Sample Close Readings of selections, in cluding Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” (Fiction), William Hathaway’s “Oh, Oh” (Poetry), and Susan Glas pell’s Trifl es (Drama), provide analyses of the language, images, and other literary elements at work in these selections. Interpretive an notations clearly show students the pro cess of close reading and provide examples of the kind of critical thinking that leads to strong academic writing. Later in the book, Chapter 28, “Reading and the Writing Process,” provides more instruction on how to read a work closely, annotate a text, take notes, keep a reading journal, and develop a topic into a the- sis, with a section on arguing persuasively about literature. An Index of Terms appears at the back of the book, and a glossary provides thorough explanations of more than two hundred terms central to the study of literature.

Kate Chopin (1851–1904)

The Story of an Hour 1894

Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.

It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sen- tences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing. Her hus- band’s friend Richards was there, too, near her. It was he who had been in the newspaper office when intelligence of the rail- road disaster was received, with Brently Mallard’s name lead- ing the list of “killed.” He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram, and had hastened to forestall any less careful, less tender friend in bearing the sad message.

Sh did h h h h d h

The title could point to the brevity of the story — only 23 short paragraphs — or to the decisive nature of what happens in a very short period of time. Or both.

Mrs. Mallard’s first name, (Louise) is not given until paragraph 17, yet her sister Josephine is named immediately. This em- phasizes Mrs. Mal- lard’s married identity.

Given the nature of the cause of Mrs. Mallard death at the story’s end, it’s worth noting the ambiguous description that she “was afflicted with a heart trouble.” Is this one of Chopin’s

A Sample Close Reading

From Chapter 20, “A Study of Billy Collins: The Author Refl ects on Five Poems.”

*A reference chart on the book’s inside front cover outlines all of the book’s help for reading and writing about literature.



x preface for instructors

The writing and research process Five chapters (28–32) cover every step of the writing pro cess — from generating topics to documenting sources — while sample student papers model the results. Of these chapters, three — “Writing about Fiction” (29), “Writing about Poetry” (30), and “Writing about Drama” (31) — focus on genre-specifi c writing assignments. Six sample student papers — all with MLA-style documentation — model how to analyze and argue about literature and how to support ideas by citing examples. The papers are integrated throughout the book, as are “Questions for Writing” units that guide students through par- ticular writing tasks: reading and writing responsively, developing a topic into a revised thesis, and writing about multiple works by an author. Chapter 32, “The Literary Research Paper,” offers detailed advice for fi nding, evaluating, and incorporating sources in a paper and includes current, detailed MLA documentation guidelines.

Questions for critical reading and writing Hundreds of questions and assignments — “Considerations for Critical Thinking and Writing,” “Connections to Other Selections,” “First Response” prompts, and “Cre- ative Re sponse” assignments — spark students’ interest, sharpen their thinking, and improve their reading, discussion, and writing skills.

Literature to Go e-Book: The fi rst electronic anthology for literature

Bedford/St. Martin’s is pleased to introduce the Literature to Go e-Book, the fi rst electronic anthology for the literature course. Are you moving away from print books? Or perhaps want to supplement your course with digital material? The e-Book for Literature to Go includes all of the print book’s instruction and nearly all of the literature. It’s easy to use, environmentally sound, and nicely priced.

• To order the e-Book, packaged for fi ve dollars with the student edition of the print book, use package ISBN-10: 0-312-55777-9 or ISBN-13: 978-0-312-55777-5.

Bonnie Katz

Professor Quiello

English 109–2

October 26, 2010

A Reading of Emily Dickinson’s

“There’s a certain Slant of light”

Because Emily Dickinson did not provide titles for her poetry, editors

follow the customary practice of using the first line of a poem as its title.

However, a more appropriate title for “There’s a certain Slant of light,” one

that suggests what the speaker in the poem is most concerned about, can be

drawn from the poem’s last line, which ends with “the look of Death” (Dickin-

son, line 16). Although the first line begins with an image of light, nothing

bright, carefree, or cheerful appears in the poem. Instead, the predominant

mood and images are darkened by a sense of despair resulting from the

speaker’s awareness of death.

In the first stanza, the “certain Slant of light” is associated with “Win-

ter Afternoons” (2), a phrase that connotes the end of a day, a season, and

even life itself. Such light is hardly warm or comforting. Not a ray or beam,

this slanting light suggests something unusual or distorted and creates in the

speaker a certain slant on life that is consistent with the cold, dark mood that

winter afternoons can produce. Like the speaker, most of us have seen and felt

this sort of light: it “oppresses” (3) and pervades our sense of things when we

encounter it. Dickinson uses the senses of hearing and touch as well as sight

to describe the overwhelming oppressiveness that the speaker experiences.

The light is transformed into sound by a simile that tells us it is “like the Heft

/ Of Cathedral Tunes” (3–4). Moreover, the “Heft” of that sound — the slow,

solemn measures of tolling church bells and organ music–weighs heavily on

our spirits. Through the use of shifting imagery, Dickinson evokes a kind of

spiritual numbness that we keenly feel and perceive through our senses.

By associating the winter light with “Cathedral Tunes,” Dickinson lets

us know that the speaker is concerned about more than the weather. What-

ever it is that “oppresses” is related by connotation to faith, mortality, and

Katz 1

Thesis providing overview of explication

Line-by-line explication of first stanza, focusing on connotations of words and imagery, in relation to mood and meaning of poem as a whole; supported with refer- ences to the text

A sample student explication on Emily Dickinson’s “There’s a certain Slant of light” includes parenthetical citations and a Works Cited page.



preface for instructors xi

• To purchase the e-Book as a standalone item (without the print book), use ISBN-10: 0-312-55242-4 or ISBN-13: 978-0-312-55242-8.

• To order the e-Book in CourseSmart format (as a PDF), use ISBN- 10: 0-312-55240-8 or ISBN-13: 978-0-312-55240-4.

YOU GET MORE DIGITAL CHOICES FOR LITER ATURE TO GO Literature to Go doesn’t stop with a book. Online, you’ll fi nd plenty of free and open resources to help students get even more out of the book and your course. You’ll also fi nd convenient instructor resources, and even a nationwide community of teachers. To learn more about or order any of the products below, contact your Bedford/St. Martin’s sales representative, e-mail sales support (sales_support@bfwpub .com), or visit the Web site at catalog.



xii preface for instructors

New! Re:Writing for Literature: Free and open resources

Send students to our best free and open resources (no codes required), or upgrade to an expanding collection of premium digital resources at

Students will fi nd easy-to-access visual tutorials, reference materials, and support for working with sources.

• VirtuaLit Tutorials for Close Reading (Fiction, Poetry, and Drama) • AuthorLinks and Biographies • Quizzes on Literary Works • A Glossary of Literary Terms • MLA-style sample student papers • Help for fi nding and citing sources, including Diana Hacker’s

Research and Documentation Online

New! VideoCentral: Literature: Interviews with today’s writers

VideoCentral: Literature — a Bedford/St. Martin’s production created with writer and teacher Peter Berkow — is a growing collection of more than fi fty video interviews with today’s writers, talking about their craft. Your students can hear from Ha Jin on how he uses humor and tension in his writing, Anne Rice on how she advances plot through dialogue, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni on how she writes from experience, and T. C. Boyle on how he creates memorable voices. Related assignments and activities



preface for instructors xiii

help students get the most out of these instructive videos and apply what they learn to their own thinking and writing.

To package VideoCentral: Litera- ture, free with student copies of Literature to Go, use pack- age ISBN-10: 0-312-54620-3 or ISBN-13: 978-0-312-54620-5.

Instructor Resources: meyertogo/catalog

You have a lot to do in your course. Bedford/St. Martin’s wants to make it easy for you to fi nd the support you need — and to get it quickly.

Resources for Teaching Literature to Go is available as a print manual or as a PDF that can be downloaded from the Bedford/St. Martin’s online catalog. This manual supports every selection in the book and has something to offer new and experienced instructors. Resources include commentary, biographical information, additional writing assign- ments, further connections among the selections, and tips from instruc- tors who have taught with Michael Meyer’s anthologies. For the PDF, go to To order the print edition, use ISBN-10: 0-312-66697-7 or ISBN-13: 978-0-312-66697-2.

Teaching Central offers the entire list of Bedford/St. Martin’s print and online professional resources in one place. You’ll fi nd landmark refer- ence works, sourcebooks on pedagogical issues, award-winning collec- tions, and practical advice for the classroom — all free for instructors and available through the Student Center or at meyertogo/catalog.

Literature Aloud is a two-CD set of audio recordings featuring celebrated writers and actors reading stories, poems, and selected scenes included in Michael Meyer’s anthologies. This resource is free to instructors who adopt Literature to Go. To order the CD set, use ISBN-10: 0-312-43011-6 or ISBN-13: 978-0-312-43011-5.

The Bedford/St. Martin’s Video & DVD Library offers selected videos and DVDs of plays and stories included in Literature to Go, and is avail- able to qualifi ed adopters of the anthology. To learn more, contact your Bedford/St. Martin’s sales representative or e-mail sales support (sales_



xiv preface for instructors

Literary Reprints Titles in the Case Studies in Contemporary Criti- cism series, Bedford Cultural Edition series, and the Bedford Shake- speare series can be shrink-wrapped with Literature to Go for instructors who want to teach longer works in conjunction with the anthology. (For a complete list of available titles, visit meyertogo/catalog.)


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This book has benefi ted from the ideas, suggestions, and corrections of scores of careful readers who helped transform various stages of an evolv- ing manuscript into a fi nished book and into subsequent editions. I remain grateful to those I have thanked in previous prefaces, particularly the late Robert Wallace of Case Western Reserve University. In addition, many instructors who used the eighth edition of The Bedford Introduction to Literature responded to a questionnaire for the book. For their valuable comments and advice I am grateful to Sandra Allen-Kearney, Lincoln Park Academy; Jon W. Brooks, Okaloosa-Walton College; David Brumbley, Salisbury University; Robert Caughey, Torrey Pines High School; S. Elaine Craghead, Massachusetts Maritime Academy; Robert W. Croft, Gaines- ville State College; Allen Culpepper, Manatee Community College; Samir Dayal, Bentley College; Cheryl DeLacretaz, Dripping Springs High School; Janice Forgione, Salisbury University; Bernadette Gambino, University of North Florida; Sinceree Renee Gunn, University of Alabama in Hunts- ville; Cathy Henrichs, Pikes Peak Community College; Susan Hopkirk,

TradeUp Get 50% off all trade titles when packaged with your textbook!

Add more value and choice to your students’ learning experiences by packaging their Bedford / St. Martin’s textbook with one of a thousand titles from our sister publishers such as Farrar, Straus and Giroux and St. Martin’s Press — at a discount of 50% off the regular price.



preface for instructors xv

Middle Tennessee State University; Mary Lee Stephenson Huffer, Lake Sumter Community College; Michelle Green Jimmerson, Louisiana Tech University; Sharon Johnston, Spokane Virtual Learning/Spokane Public Schools; Tamara Kuzmenkov, Tacoma Community College; Catherine Shanon Lawson, Pikes Peak Community College; Manuel Martinez, Santa Fe Community College; Sarah McIntosh, Santa Fe Community College; Jim McKeown, McLennan Community College; Julie Moore, Green River Community College; Larry Moss, Young Men’s Academy for Academic and Civic Development at MacArthur South; Angelina Northrip-Rivera, Missouri State University; David Pink, Rock Valley College; Deidre D. Price, Okaloosa-Walton College; Katharine Purcell, Trident Technical Col- lege; Karin Russell, Keiser University; Holly Schoenecker, Milwaukee Area Technical College; Beth Shelton, Paris Junior College; Karen Stewart, Norwich University; John A. Stoler, University of Texas at San Antonio; James D. Suderman, Okaloosa-Walton College; Becky Talk; Gregory J. Underwood, Pearl River Community College — Forrest County Center; and Marva Webb, Clinton High School. I would also like to give special thanks to the following instructors who contributed teaching tips to Resources for Teaching Literature to Go: Sandra Adickes, Winona State University; Helen J. Aling, Northwestern College; Sr. Anne Denise Brenann, College of Mt. St. Vincent; Robin Calitri, Merced College; James H. Clemmer, Austin Peay State University; Robert Croft, Gainesville College; Thomas Edwards, Westbrook College; Elizabeth Kleinfeld, Red Rocks Community College; Olga Lyles, Uni- versity of Nevada; Timothy Peters, Boston University; Catherine Rusco, Muskegon Community College; Robert M. St. John, DePaul University; Richard Stoner, Broome Community College; Nancy Veiga, Modesto Junior College; Karla Walters, University of New Mexico; and Joseph Zeppetello, Ulster Community College. I am also indebted to those who cheerfully answered questions and generously provided miscellaneous bits of information. What might have seemed to them like inconsequential conversations turned out to be important leads. Among these friends and colleagues are Raymond Anselment, Barbara Campbell, Ann Charters, Karen Chow, John Chris- tie, Eleni Coundouriotis, Irving Cummings, William Curtin, Patrick Hogan, Lee Jacobus, Thomas Jambeck, Bonnie Januszewski-Ytuarte, Greta Little, George Monteiro, Brenda Murphy, Joel Myerson, Rose Qui- ello, Thomas Recchio, William Sheidley, Stephanie Smith, Milton Stern, Kenneth Wilson, and the dedicated reference librarians at the Homer Babbidge Library, University of Connecticut. I am particularly happy to acknowledge the tactful help of Roxanne Cody, owner of R. J. Julia Book- sellers in Madison, Connecticut, whose passion for books authorizes her as the consummate matchmaker for writers, readers, and titles. It’s a wonder that somebody doesn’t call the cops. I continue to be grateful for what I have learned from teaching my students and for the many student papers I have received over the years



xvi preface for instructors

that I have used in various forms to serve as good and accessible mod- els of student writing. I am also indebted to Stefanie Wortman for her extensive work on Resources for Teaching literature to go. At Bedford/St. Martin’s, my debts once again require more time to ack- nowledge than the deadline allows. Charles H. Christensen and Joan E. Feinberg initiated The Bedford Introduction to Literature and launched it with their intelligence, energy, and sound advice. This book has also ben- efi ted from the savvy insights of Denise Wydra and Steve Scipione. Ear- lier editions were shaped by editors Karen Henry, Kathy Retan, Alanya Harter, Aron Keesbury, and Ellen Thibault; their work was as fi rst rate as it was essential. As development editor for Literature to Go, Christina Gerogiannis expertly kept the book on track and made the journey a pleasure to the end; her valuable contributions richly remind me of how fortunate I am to be a Bedford/St. Martin’s author. Stephanie Naudin, associate editor, energetically developed the book’s instructor’s manual, and Sophia Snyder, editorial assistant, gracefully handled a variety of editorial tasks. Permissions were deftly arranged by Kalina Hintz, Arthur Johnson, Martha Friedman, and Susan Doheny. The diffi cult tasks of pr


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