The Modern World


English 3P Honors Unit Goal: 

After reading and analyzing  Modernist literature & F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, students will write an essay that analyzes the author’s use of symbolism and archetypes to convey Modernist theme(s) and aesthetic features.


Unit Essential Questions:

1.  What is the American Dream?  What are the defining characteristics of the American Dream?

2.  How did American Modernists view the American Dream? Why?

3. How did American Modernist views about the American Dream as expressed in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby define the “American” as an idea and the United States of America as a political and cultural entity?

4.  How did the disillusion with the American Dream expressed by Modernist literature in U.S. history inspire and shape artistic, cultural, and political movements?

Unit Terms:

American Dream, disillusion, Modernism, subversion, alienation, antihero, archetype, symbolism, tone, mood, protagonist, antagonist, setting, subordinate characters.

Objective 1: Philosophical and Historical Contexts

To learn about Modernism and the “Lost Generation” click here.

Students can define American Modernism as a cultural movement and identify its philosophical and aesthetic features in literature and art.

I. Pre-Reading: Introduction to the American Dream, A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes

II. Reading: Introduction to Modernism: “The Moderns: : 1914-1949” by John Leggett and John Malcolm Brinnin pp. 562-569, Cornell Notes, Modernism Interactive Cause and Effect Map

III. PostReading: Define the Features of Modernism

Objective 2: Explore Disillusion & the American Dream in American Modernist Literature

36746By reading and annotating F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, students will be able to 1.) evaluate philosophical attitudes and views of the American Dream and 2.) identify Modernist features of subversion, alienation, and antiheroes 3.) analyze the use of symbolism and archetype to convey theme.

I. Pre-reading: Background Video, Exploring The Dark Side

II. Reading:

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot

“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulker

“The Feather Pillow” by Horacio Quiroga

The Great Gatsby Prezi, Analysis Map

III. Post-Reading: Fitzgerald’s “Letter to Daughter,” Gatsby Socratic Seminar

Objective 3: Analyzing symbols and Modernist features in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

9345259I.  Pre-Writing: Essay Presentation, Modernism Progress Self- Assessment

II. Writing: Prompts

WEB RESOURCES: NY Times Archives