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Literature S H O R T E R T H I R T E E N T H E D I T I O N

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Kelly J. Mays

B W . W . N O R T O N & C O M P A N Y

N e w Yo r k , L o n d o n

U N I V E R S I T Y O F N E VA D A , L A S V E G A S

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Editor: Sarah Touborg Proj ect Editor: Christine D’Antonio Assistant Editor: Madeline Rombes Manuscript Editor: Rebecca Caine Managing Editor, College: Marian Johnson Managing Editor, College Digital Media: Kim Yi Production Man ag ers: Ashley Horna, Stephen Sajdak Media Editor: Carly Fraser Doria Media Editorial Assistants: Alexander Lee, Joshua Bianchi Ebook Production Manager: Danielle Lehmann Marketing Man ag er, Lit er a ture: Kimberly Bowers Media Project Editor: Cooper Wilhelm Design Director: Lissi Sigillo Book Designer: Pamela Schnitter Photo Editor: Ted Szczepanski Photo Research: Julie Tesser Director of College Permissions: Megan Schindel Permissions Clearer: Margaret Gorenstein Composition: Westchester Publishing Services Manufacturing: LSC Communications

Copyright © 2019, 2017, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2006, 2002, 1998, 1995, 1991, 1986, 1981, 1977, 1973 by W. W. Norton & Com pany, Inc.

All rights reserved Printed in the United States of Amer i ca

Permission to use copyrighted material is included in the permissions acknowl edgments section of this book, which begins on page A27.

Library of Congress Cataloging- in- Publication Data Names: Mays, Kelly J., editor. Title: The Norton introduction to lit er a ture / [edited by] Kelly J. Mays, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Description: Shorter thirteenth edition. | New York : W. W. Norton & Com pany, 2018. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2018004891 | ISBN 9780393664928 (pbk.) Subjects: LCSH: Lit er a ture— Collections. Classification: LCC PN6014 .N67 2018 | DDC 808.8— dc23

LC rec ord available at https:// lccn . loc . gov / 2018004891

W. W. Norton & Com pany, Inc., 500 Fifth Ave nue, New York, N.Y. 10110

www . wwnorton . com

W. W. Norton & Com pany Ltd., Castle House, 15 Carlisle Street, London W1D 3BS

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W. W. Norton & Com pany has been in de pen dent since its founding in 1923, when William Warder Norton and Mary D. Herter Norton first published lectures delivered at the People’s Institute, the adult education division of New York City’s Cooper Union. The firm soon expanded its program beyond the Institute, publishing books by celebrated academics from Amer i ca and abroad. By mid- century, the two major pillars of Norton’s publishing program— trade books and college texts— were firmly established. In the 1950s, the Norton family transferred control of the com pany to its employees, and today— with a staff of four hundred and a comparable number of trade, college, and professional titles published each year— W. W. Norton & Com pany stands as the largest and oldest publishing house owned wholly by its employees.

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Cover design: Pete Garceau


Brief Table of Contents

Preface for Instructors xxviii Introduction 1

PART ONE Fiction 1 Fiction: Reading, Responding, Writing 16


2 Plot 75

3 Narration and Point of View 169

4 Character 210

5 Setting 282

6 Symbol and Figurative Language 380

7 Theme 429


8 The Author’s Work as Context: Flannery O’Connor 512

9 Cultural and Historical Contexts: Women in Turn- of- the- Century Amer i ca 564

10 Critical Contexts: Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” 607


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PART TWO Poetry 11 Poetry: Reading, Responding, Writing 730


12 Speaker: Whose Voice Do We Hear? 769

13 Situation and Setting: What Happens? Where? When? 795

14 Theme and Tone 830

15 Language: Word Choice and Order 854

16 Visual Imagery and Figures of Speech 866

17 Symbol 884

18 The Sounds of Poetry 899

19 Internal Structure 930

20 External Form 951


21 The Author’s Work as Context: Adrienne Rich 986

22 The Author’s Work as Context: William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience 1055

23 Cultural and Historical Contexts: The Harlem Re nais sance 1065

24 Critical Contexts: Sylvia Plath’s “ Daddy” 1102


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PART THREE Drama 25 Drama: Reading, Responding, Writing 1194


26 Ele ments of Drama 1221


27 The Author’s Work as Context: William Shakespeare 1332

28 Cultural and Historical Contexts: Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun 1496

29 Critical Contexts: Sophocles’s Antigone 1600


PART FOUR Writing about Lit er a ture 30 Basic Moves: Paraphrase, Summary, Description 1914

31 The Lit er a ture Essay 1918

32 The Writing Pro cess 1938

33 The Lit er a ture Research Essay 1951

34 Quotation, Citation, and Documentation 1962

35 Sample Research Essay 1992

Critical Approaches A1

Permissions Acknowl edgments A27

Index of Authors A45

Index of Titles and First Lines A52

Glossary/Index of Literary Terms A61

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Preface for Instructors xxviii Introduction 1

What Is Lit er a ture? 1

What Does Lit er a ture Do? 3

John Keats, On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer 4 What Are the Genres of Lit er a ture? 4

Why Read Lit er a ture? 6

Why Study Lit er a ture? 9

Hai- Dang Phan, My Father’s “Norton Introduction to Lit er a ture,” Third Edition (1981) 10


John Crowe Ransom, Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter 13

PART ONE Fiction 1 Fiction: Reading, Responding, Writing 16

anonymous, The Elephant in the Village of the Blind 17 Reading and Responding to Fiction 20 linda brewer, 20/20 20

SAMPLE WRITING: Annotation and Notes on “20/20” 21

Reading and Responding to Graphic Fiction 23 jules feiffer, Superman 23 Writing about Fiction 27 raymond carver, Cathedral 28

SAMPLE WRITING: Reading Notes on “Cathedral” 39

SAMPLE WRITING: Response Paper on “Cathedral” 42

SAMPLE WRITING: Essay on “Cathedral” 45

Telling Stories: An Album 49 grace paley, A Conversation with My Father 50


anton chekhov, Gooseberries 55 tim o’brien, The Lives of the Dead 63

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2 Plot 75 Plot versus Action, Sequence, and Subplot 75 Pace 76 Conflicts 76 gary trudeau, Doonesbury 77 jacob and wilhelm grimm, The Shroud 77 The Five Parts of Plot 78 Common Plot Types 82 ralph ellison, King of the Bingo Game 83 james baldwin, Sonny’s Blues 91 joyce carol oates, Where Are You Going, Where Have You

Been? 114 AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Joyce Carol Oates 126

viet thanh Nguyen, I’d Love You to Want Me 127 SAMPLE WRITING: Essay on “King of the Bingo Game” 141

Initiation Stories: An Album 144 toni cade bambara, The Lesson 146

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Toni Cade Bambara 152

alice munro, Boys and Girls 152 john updike, A & P 163


3 Narration and Point of View 169 Types of Narration 170 Tense 171 Narrator versus Implied Author 171 edgar allan poe, The Cask of Amontillado 173 george saunders, Puppy 179

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: George Saunders 186

virginia woolf, The Mark on the Wall 186 adam johnson, In ter est ing Facts 192

4 Character 210 Heroes and Villains versus Protagonists and Antagonists 211 Major versus Minor Characters 212 Flat versus Round and Static versus Dynamic Characters 212 Stock Characters and Archetypes 213 Reading Character in Fiction and Life 213 william faulkner, Barn Burning 217 toni morrison, Recitatif 230

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AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Toni Morrison 244

david foster wallace, Good People 245 alissa nutting, Model’s Assistant 250

Monsters: An Album 259 margaret atwood, Lusus Naturae 260 karen russell, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves 265 jorge luis borges, The House of Asterion 277

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Jorge Luis Borges 280

5 Setting 282 Temporal and Physical, General and Par tic u lar Setting 282 Functions of Setting 282 Vague and Vivid Settings 283 italo calvino, from Invisible Cities 284 margaret mitchell, from Gone with the Wind 284 Traditional Expectations of Time and Place 285 alice randall, from The Wind Done Gone 286 james joyce, Araby 288 amy tan, A Pair of Tickets 293 judith ortiz cofer, Volar 306 annie proulx, Job History 308

SAMPLE WRITING: Annotation and Close Reading on “Araby” 314

The Future: An Album 317 william gibson, The Gernsback Continuum 318

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: William Gibson 327

ray bradbury, The Veldt 328 AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Ray Bradbury 339

octavia E. butler, Bloodchild 340 AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Octavia E. Butler 354

jennifer egan, Black Box 355 AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Jennifer Egan 378

6 Symbol and Figurative Language 380 Literary Symbolism 381 Figures of Speech 382 Interpreting Symbolism and Figurative Language 383 nathaniel hawthorne, The Birth- Mark 385 a. s. byatt, The Thing in the Forest 397 edwidge danticat, A Wall of Fire Rising 412

SAMPLE WRITING: Comparative Essay on “The Birth- Mark” and

“The Thing in the Forest” 425

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x ii CoNTeNTS

7 Theme 429 aesop, The Two Crabs 429 Theme(s): Singular or Plural? 430 Be Specific: Theme as Idea versus Topic or Subject 430 Don’t Be Too Specific: Theme as General Idea 431 Theme versus Moral 431 stephen crane, The Open Boat 433 gabriel garcÍa mÁrquez, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings:

A Tale for Children 451 yasunari kawabata, The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket 456 junot dÍaz, Wildwood 459

Cross- Cultural Encounters: An Album 477 bharati mukherjee, The Management of Grief 478

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Bharati Mukherjee 491

jhumpa lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies 491 AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Jhumpa Lahiri 507

david sedaris, Jesus Shaves 508


8 The Author’s Work as Context: Flannery O’Connor 512 Biographical Approaches to Lit er a ture 513 Implied Author or Narrator 514 Style and Tone 515 Three Stories by Flannery O’Connor 516 A Good Man Is Hard to Find 516 Good Country People 527 Every thing That Rises Must Converge 540 Passages from Flannery O’Connor’s Essays and Letters 550 Critical Excerpts 554 mary gordon, from Flannery’s Kiss 554 ann e. reuman, from Revolting Fictions: Flannery O’Connor’s

Letter to Her Mother 557 eileen pollack, from Flannery O’Connor and the

New Criticism 560

9 Cultural and Historical Contexts: Women in Turn- of- the- Century Amer i ca 564 Women at the Turn of the Century: An Overview 565 Women Writers in a Changing World 567 kate chopin, The Story of an Hour 568 charlotte perkins gilman, The Yellow Wall paper 571

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CoNTeNTS xiii

susan glaspell, A Jury of Her Peers 582 Contextual Excerpts 599 charlotte perkins gilman, from Similar Cases 599 from Women and Economics 600 barbara boyd, from Heart and Home Talks: Politics and Milk 601 mrs. arthur lyttelton, from Women and Their Work 601 rheta childe dorr, from What Eight Million Women Want 602 The New York Times, from Mrs. Delong Acquitted 603 The Washington Post, from The Chances of Divorce 603 charlotte perkins gilman, from Why I Wrote “The Yellow

Wall - paper” 604 The Washington Post, The Rest Cure 604 The Washington Post, from Egotism of the Rest Cure 604

10 Critical Contexts: Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” 607 tim o’brien, The Things They Carried 609 Critical Excerpts 622 steven kaplan, from The Undying Uncertainty of the Narrator in

Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried 622 lorrie n. smith, from “The Things Men Do”: The Gendered Subtext

in Tim O’Brien’s Esquire Stories 627 susan farrell, from Tim O’Brien and Gender: A Defense of

The Things They Carried 637

READING MORE FICTION 643 louise erdrich, Love Medicine 643 william faulkner, A Rose for Emily 658 ernest hemingway, Hills Like White Elephants 665 franz kafka, A Hunger Artist 669 jamaica kincaid, Girl 675 bobbie ann mason, Shiloh 677 guy de maupassant, The Jewelry 687 herman melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street 693 eudora welty, Why I Live at the P.O. 719

PART TWO Poetry 11 Poetry: Reading, Responding, Writing 730

Defining Poetry 731 lydia davis, Head, Heart 732

AUTHORS ON THEIR CR AF T: Billy Collins 733

Poetic Subgenres and Kinds 734

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x iv CoNTeNTS

edwin arlington robinson, Richard Cory 735 robert frost, “Out, Out—” 736 thomas hardy, The Ruined Maid 737 william words worth, I wandered lonely as a cloud 738 frank o’hara, Poem [Lana Turner has collapsed!] 739 phillis wheatley, On Being Brought from Africa to Amer i ca 741 emily dickinson, The Sky is low— the Clouds are mean 742 billy collins, Divorce 742 bruce springsteen, Nebraska 743 robert hayden, A Letter from Phillis Wheatley 744 Responding to Poetry 746 aphra behn, On Her Loving Two Equally 746 Writing about Poetry 753

SAMPLE WRITING: Response Paper on “On Her Loving Two Equally” 755

SAMPLE WRITING: Essay on “On Her Loving Two Equally” 757

The Art of (Reading) Poetry: An Album 761 howard nemerov, Because You Asked about the Line between Prose

and Poetry 761 archibald macleish, Ars Poetica 762 czeslaw milosz, Ars Poetica? 763

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Czeslaw Milosz 764

elizabeth alexander, Ars Poetica #100: I Believe 764 marianne moore, Poetry 765 julia alvarez, “Poetry Makes Nothing Happen”? 766 billy collins, Introduction to Poetry 767


12 Speaker: Whose Voice Do We Hear? 769 Narrative Poems and Their Speakers 769 etheridge knight, Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital

for the Criminal Insane 769 Speakers in the Dramatic Monologue 771 a. e. stallings, Hades Welcomes His Bride 771 The Lyric and Its Speaker 773 margaret atwood, Death of a Young Son by Drowning 773

AUTHORS ON THEIR CR AF T: Billy Collins and Sharon Olds 775

william words worth, She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways 776 dorothy parker, A Certain Lady 776 Poems for Further Study 777 walt whitman, I celebrate myself, and sing myself 777

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langston hughes, Ballad of the Landlord 778 e. e. cummings, next to of course god amer i ca i 779 gwendolyn brooks, We Real Cool 779

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Gwendolyn Brooks 780

lucille clifton, cream of wheat 781 Exploring Gender: An Album 783 richard lovelace, Song: To Lucasta, Going to the Wars 784 mary, lady chudleigh, To the Ladies 784 wilfred owen, Disabled 785 elizabeth bishop, Exchanging Hats 786 david wagoner, My Father’s Garden 787 judith ortiz cofer, The Changeling 788 marie howe, Practicing 789


bob hicok, O my pa- pa 791 terrance hayes, Mr. T— 792 stacey waite, The Kind of Man I Am at the DMV 793

13 Situation and Setting: What Happens? Where? When? 795 Situation 796 rita dove, Daystar 796 denise duhamel, Humanity 101 797 tracy k. smith, Sci- Fi 798 Setting 799 matthew arnold, Dover Beach 799 One Poem, Multiple Situations and Settings 801 li- young lee, Persimmons 801 One Situation and Setting, Multiple Poems 803 christopher marlowe, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love 803 sir walter raleigh, The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd 804 The Occasional Poem 805 martÍn espada, Litany at the Tomb of Frederick Douglass 806

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Martín Espada 807

The Carpe Diem Poem 807 john donne, The Flea 807 andrew marvell, To His Coy Mistress 808 The Aubade 809 john donne, The Sun Rising 810 james richardson, Late Aubade 811 Poems for Further Study 811 terrance hayes, Carp Poem 811 natasha trethewey, Pilgrimage 812

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xv i CoNTeNTS

mahmoud darwish, Identity Card 814 yehuda amichai, On Yom Kippur in 1967 . . . 816 yusef komunyakaa, Tu Do Street 817

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Yusef Komunyakaa 818

Homelands: An Album 821 maya angelou, Africa 821


derek walcott, A Far Cry from Africa 822 AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Derek Walcott 824

judith ortiz cofer, The Latin Deli: An Ars Poetica 825 cathy song, Heaven 826 agha shahid ali, Postcard from Kashmir 827 adrienne su, Escape from the Old Country 828

14 Theme and Tone 830 Tone 830 w. d. snodgrass, Leaving the Motel 831 Theme 832 maxine kumin, Woodchucks 832 adrienne rich, Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers 833

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Adrienne Rich 834

Theme and Conflict 834 adrienne su, On Writing 835


Poems for Further Study 836 paul laurence dunbar, Sympathy 836 w. h. auden, Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone 837 kay ryan, Repulsive Theory 838 maya angelou, Still I Rise 838

SAMPLE WRITING: Response Paper on Auden’s “Stop all the clocks,

cut off the telephone” 841

Family: An Album 845 simon j. ortiz, My Father’s Song 845 robert hayden, Those Winter Sundays 846 ellen bryant voigt, My Mother 846 martín espada, Of the Threads That Connect the Stars 848 emily grosholz, Eden 848 philip larkin, This Be the Verse 849

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Philip Larkin 850

jimmy santiago baca, Green Chile 850

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CoNTeNTS xv ii

paul martínez pompa, The Abuelita Poem 851 charlie smith, The Business 852 andrew hudgins, Begotten 853

15 Language: Word Choice and Order 854 Precision and Ambiguity 854 sarah cleghorn, The golf links lie so near the mill 854 martha collins, Lies 855 Denotation and Connotation 855 walter de la mare, Slim Cunning Hands 856 theodore roethke, My Papa’s Waltz 857 Word Order and Placement 857 sharon olds, Sex without Love 859


Poems for Further Study 860 william blake, London 860 gerard manley hopkins, Pied Beauty 861 william carlos williams, The Red Wheelbarrow 861 This Is Just to Say 862

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: William Carlos Williams 862

kay ryan, Blandeur 863 martha collins, white paper #24 864 a. e. stallings, Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda 865

16 Visual Imagery and Figures of Speech 866 david bottoms, Hubert Blankenship 867 claude mckay, The Harlem Dancer 868 lynn powell, Kind of Blue 868 Simile and Analogy 869 todd boss, My Love for You Is So Embarrassingly 869 Meta phor 870 william shakespeare, That time of year thou mayst in me

behold 870 linda pastan, Marks 871 Personification 871 emily dickinson, Because I could not stop for Death— 872 Metonymy and Synecdoche 872 william words worth, London, 1802 873 tracy k. smith, Ash 874 emma bolden, House Is an Enigma 874 Allusion 875 amit majmudar, Dothead 875 patricia lockwood, What Is the Zoo for What 876

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xv iii CoNTeNTS

Poems for Further Study 878 william shakespeare, Shall I compare thee to

a summer’s day? 878 anonymous, The Twenty- Third Psalm 878 john donne, Batter my heart, three- personed God 879 randall jarrell, The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner 879 joy harjo, The Woman Hanging from the Thirteenth Floor

Window 880 john brehm, Sea of Faith 882

17 Symbol 884 The In ven ted Symbol 884 james dickey, The Leap 885 The Traditional Symbol 887 edmund waller, Song 887 dorothy parker, One Perfect Rose 888 The Symbolic Poem 889 william blake, The Sick Rose 889 Poems for Further Study 890 john keats, Ode to a Nightingale 890 robert frost, The Road Not Taken 892 howard nemerov, The Vacuum 893 adrienne rich, Diving into the Wreck 894 roo borson, After a Death 896 brian turner, Jundee Ameriki 896


sharon olds, Bruise Ghazal 898

18 The Sounds of Poetry 899 Rhyme 899 Other Sound Devices 901 alexander pope, from The Rape of the Lock 902 Sound Poems 903 helen chasin, The Word Plum 903 alexander pope, Sound and Sense 903 Poetic Meter 905 samuel taylor coleridge, Metrical Feet 907 anonymous, There was a young girl from St. Paul 910 alfred, lord tennyson, from The Charge of the Light Brigade 910 jane taylor, The Star 911 anne bradstreet, To My Dear and Loving Husband 911 jessie pope, The Call 912

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CoNTeNTS xix

wilfred owen, Dulce et Decorum Est 913 Poems for Further Study 914 william shakespeare, Like as the waves make towards

the pebbled shore 914 gerard manley hopkins, The Windhover 914 amit majmudar, Ode to a Drone 915 walt whitman, A Noiseless Patient Spider 915 kevin young, Ode to Pork 916

Word and Music: An Album 919 thomas campion, When to Her Lute Corinna Sings 920 anonymous, Sir Patrick Spens 920 dudley randall, Ballad of Birmingham 922 augustus montague toplady, A Prayer, Living and Dying 923 robert hayden, Homage to the Empress of the Blues 924 bob dylan, The Times They Are A- Changin’ 924 linda pastan, Listening to Bob Dylan, 2005 925 mos def, Hip Hop 926 jose b. gonzalez, Elvis in the Inner City 928

19 Internal Structure 930 Dividing Poems into “Parts” 930 pat mora, Sonrisas 930 Internal versus External or Formal “Parts” 932 galway kinnell, Blackberry Eating 932 Lyr ics as Internal Dramas 932 seamus heaney, Punishment 933 samuel taylor coleridge, Frost at Midnight 935 sharon olds, The Victims 937 Making Arguments about Structure 938 Poems without “Parts” 938 walt whitman, I Hear Amer i ca Singing 938 Poems for Further Study 939 william shakespeare, Th’ expense of spirit in a

waste of shame 939 percy bysshe shelley, Ode to the West Wind 940 philip larkin, Church Going 942

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Philip Larkin 944

katie ford, Still- Life 945 kevin young, Greening 945

SAMPLE WRITING: Essay in Pro gress on “Church Going” 947

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20 External Form 951 Stanzas 951 Traditional Stanza Forms 951 robert frost, Acquainted with the Night 952 richard wilbur, Terza Rima 952 Traditional Verse Forms 953 Fixed Forms or Form- Based Subgenres 954 Traditional Forms: Poems for Further Study 955 dylan thomas, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night 955 natasha trethewey, Myth 956 elizabeth bishop, Sestina 957 a. e. stallings, Sestina: Like 958 The Way a Poem Looks 959 e. e. cummings, l(a 959 Buffalo Bill’s 960 Concrete Poetry 960 george herbert, Easter Wings 961 may swenson, Women 962

The Sonnet: An Album 965 francesco petrarch, Upon the breeze she spread her

golden hair 966 henry constable, My lady’s presence makes the roses red 966 william shakespeare, My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun 967 Not marble, nor the gilded monuments 967 Let me not to the marriage of true minds 968 john milton, When I consider how my light is spent 968 william words worth, Nuns Fret Not 969 The world is too much with us 969 elizabeth barrett browning, How Do I Love Thee? 970 christina rossetti, In an Artist’s Studio 970 edna st. vincent millay, What lips my lips have kissed,

and where, and why 971 Women have loved before as I love now 971 I, being born a woman and distressed 972 I will put Chaos into fourteen lines 972 gwendolyn brooks, First Fight. Then Fiddle. 973 gwen harwood, In the Park 973 june jordan, Something Like a Sonnet for Phillis Miracle Wheatley 974 billy collins, Sonnet 974 harryette mullen, Dim Lady 975

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CoNTeNTS xxi

Haiku: An Album 977 Traditional Japa nese Haiku 977 chiyojo, Whether astringent 977 bashō, A village without bells— 978 This road— 978 buson, Coolness— 978 Listening to the moon 978 One Haiku, Four Translations 978 lafcadio hearn, Old pond— 978 clara a. walsh, An old- time pond 978 earl miner, The still old pond 979 allen ginsberg, The old pond 979 Con temporary English- Language Haiku 979 ezra pound, In a Station of the Metro 979 allen ginsberg, Looking over my shoulder 979 richard wright, In the falling snow 979 etheridge knight, Eastern guard tower 980 The falling snow flakes 980 Making jazz swing in 980

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Etheridge Knight 980

mark jarman, Haiku 981 sonia sanchez, from 9 Haiku (for Freedom’s Sisters) 981 sue standing, Diamond Haiku 981 linda pastan, In the Har- Poen Tea Garden 982 Twaiku 983


21 The Author’s Work as Context: Adrienne Rich 986 The Poetry of Adrienne Rich 987 Poems by Adrienne Rich 990 At a Bach Concert 990 Storm Warnings 990 Living in Sin 991 Snapshots of a Daughter- in- Law 991

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Adrienne Rich 995

Planetarium 996 For the Rec ord 997 My mouth hovers across your breasts 998 History 998 Transparencies 999

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xx ii CoNTeNTS

To night No Poetry Will Serve 1000 Passages from Rich’s Essays 1001 From When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re- Vision 1001 From A Communal Poetry 1002 From Why I Refused the National Medal for the Arts 1003 From Poetry and the Forgotten Future 1006 A Poem for Adrienne Rich Joy HARJO, By the Way 1010

SAMPLE WRITING: Comparative Essay on Sonnets by Shakespeare

and Millay 1015

Emily Dickinson: An Album 1021 Poems by Emily Dickinson 1022 Wild Nights— Wild Nights! 1022 “Hope” is the thing with feathers— 1023 After great pain, a formal feeling comes— 1023 I heard a Fly buzz— when I died 1024 My Life had stood— a Loaded Gun— 1024 I stepped from Plank to Plank 1025 Tell all the truth but tell it slant— 1025 Poems about Emily Dickinson 1026 wendy cope, Emily Dickinson 1026 hart crane, To Emily Dickinson 1026 billy collins, Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes 1027

W. B. Yeats: An Album 1031 Poems by W. B. Yeats 1033 The Lake Isle of Innisfree 1033


All Things Can Tempt Me 1034 Easter 1916 1035 The Second Coming 1037 Leda and the Swan 1038 Sailing to Byzantium 1038 A Poem about W. B. Yeats 1040 w. h. auden, In Memory of W. B. Yeats 1040


Pat Mora: An Album 1047 Elena 1048 Gentle Communion 1049

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CoNTeNTS xxiii

Mothers and Daughters 1049 La Migra 1050 Ode to Adobe 1051

22 The Author’s Work as Context: William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience 1055 Color Insert: Facsimile Pages from Songs of Innocence and of Experience William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience Songs of Innocence 1057 Introduction 1057 The Ecchoing Green 1057 Holy Thursday 1058 The Lamb 1058 The Chimney Sweeper 1059 Songs of Experience 1059 Introduction 1059 The Tyger 1060 The Garden of Love 1061 The Chimney Sweeper 1061 Holy Thursday 1061

23 Cultural and Historical Contexts: The Harlem Renaissance 1065 Poems of the Harlem Re nais sance 1070 arna bontemps, A Black Man Talks of Reaping 1070 countee cullen, Yet Do I Marvel 1071 Saturday’s Child 1071 From the Dark Tower 1072 angelina grimkÉ, The Black Fin ger 1072 Tenebris 1073 langston hughes, Harlem 1073 The Weary Blues 1073 The Negro Speaks of Rivers 1074 I, Too 1075 helene johnson, Sonnet to a Negro in Harlem 1076 claude mckay, Harlem Shadows 1076 If We Must Die 1077 The Tropics in New York 1077 Amer i ca 1077 The White House 1078 Contextual Excerpts 1078 james weldon johnson, from the preface to The Book of American

Negro Poetry 1078

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xx iv CoNTeNTS

alain locke, from The New Negro 1080 rudolph fisher, from The Caucasian Storms Harlem 1084 w. e. b. du bois, from Two Novels 1088 zora neale hurston, How It Feels to Be Colored Me 1089 langston hughes, from The Big Sea 1092

SAMPLE WRITING: Research Essay on “I, Too” 1097

24 Critical Contexts: Sylvia Plath’s “ Daddy” 1102 sylvia plath, Daddy 1103 Critical Excerpts 1107 george steiner, from Dying Is an Art 1107 a. alvarez, from Sylvia Plath 1110 irving howe, from The Plath Cele bration: A Partial Dissent 1111 judith kroll, from Rituals of Exorcism: “Daddy” 1113 mary lynn broe, from Protean Poetic: The Poetry of Sylvia Plath 1114 margaret homans, from A Feminine Tradition 1116 pamela j. annas, from A Disturbance in Mirrors: The Poetry of

Sylvia Plath 1117 steven gould axelrod, from Sylvia Plath: The Wound and the

Cure of Words 1119 lisa narbeshuber, from The Poetics of Torture: The Spectacle of

Sylvia Plath’s Poetry 1125

READING MORE POETRY 1131 w. h. auden, Musée des Beaux Arts 1131 robert browning, My Last Duchess 1132 kelly cherry, Alzheimer’s 1133 samuel taylor coleridge, Kubla Khan 1134 e. e. cummings, in Just- 1135 john donne, Death, be not proud 1136 The Good- Morrow 1137 Song 1137 A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 1138 paul laurence dunbar, We Wear the Mask 1139 t. s. eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock 1139 robert frost, Fire and Ice 1143 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Eve ning 1143 seamus heaney, Digging 1144 gerard manley hopkins, God’s Grandeur 1145 Spring and Fall 1145 ben jonson, On My First Son 1146

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CoNTeNTS xxv

john keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn 1146 To Autumn 1148 yusef komunyakaa, Facing It 1149

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Yusef Komunyakaa 1150

linda pastan, To a Daughter Leaving Home 1151 marge piercy, Barbie Doll 1151 sylvia plath, Lady Lazarus 1152 Morning Song 1154 edgar allan poe, The Raven 1155 ezra pound, The River- Merchant’s Wife: A Letter 1157 christina rossetti, Goblin Market 1158 wallace stevens, Anecdote of the Jar 1171 The Emperor of Ice- Cream 1172 alfred, lord tennyson, Ulysses 1172 walt whitman, Facing West from California’s Shores 1174 richard wilbur, Love Calls Us to the Things of This World 1174 Biographical Sketches: Poets 1176

PART THREE Drama 25 Drama: Reading, Responding, Writing 1194

Reading Drama 1194 Thinking Theatrically 1196 susan glaspell, Trifles 1197 Responding to Drama 1208

SAMPLE WRITING: Annotation of Trifles 1208

SAMPLE WRITING: Reading Notes on Trifles 1211

Writing about Drama 1214 SAMPLE WRITING: Response Paper on Trifles 1216

SAMPLE WRITING: Essay on Trifles 1218


26 Ele ments of Drama 1221 Character 1221 Plot and Structure 1223 Stages, Sets, and Setting 1225 Tone, Language, and Symbol 1228 Theme 1229 august wilson, Fences 1230

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: August Wilson 1282

quiara alegría hudes, Water by the Spoonful 1283

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xxv i Contents


27 The Author’s Work as Context: William Shakespeare 1332 The Life of Shakespeare: A Biographical Mystery 1332 Exploring Shakespeare’s Work: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

and Hamlet 1334 A Midsummer Night’s Dream 1338 Hamlet 1396

28 Cultural and Historical Contexts: Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun 1496 The Historical Significance of A Raisin in the Sun 1497 The Great Migration 1498 Life in the “Black Metropolis” 1499 The Civil Rights Movement 1503 African Americans and Africa 1504 The “Americanness” of A Raisin in the Sun 1505 lorraine hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun 1506

AUTHORS ON THEIR WORK: Lorraine Hansberry 1570

Contextual Excerpts 1573 richard wright, from Twelve Million Black Voices . . . 1573 robert gruenberg, from Chicago Fiddles While Trumbull

Park Burns 1577 gertrude samuels, from Even More Crucial Than in the

South 1579 wilma dykeman and james stokely, from New Southerner:

The Middle- Class Negro 1582 martin luther king, jr., from Letter from Birmingham Jail 1584 robert c. weaver, from “The Negro as an American”: The Yearning

for Human Dignity 1586 earl e. thorpe, from Africa in the Thought of Negro

Americans 1590 phaon goldman, from The Significance of African Freedom for the

Negro American 1592 bruce norris, from Clybourne Park 1594

29 Critical Contexts: Sophocles’s Antigone 1600 Sophocles, Antigone 1602 Critical Excerpts 1635 richard c. jebb, from the introduction to The Antigone of

Sophocles 1635 maurice bowra, from Sophoclean Tragedy 1636 bernard knox, from the introduction to Antigone (1982) 1638

selection is not included for permissions reasons.

selection is not included for permissions reasons.

CoNTeNTS xxv ii

martha C. nussbaum, from Sophocles’ Antigone: Conflict, Vision, and Simplification 1645

philip holt, from Polis and Tragedy in the Antigone 1650 SAMPLE WRITING: Research Essay on Antigone 1660

READING MORE DRAMA 1665 anton chekhov, The Cherry Orchard 1665 henrik ibsen, A Doll House 1703 Jane martin, from Talking With . . . 1753 sophocles, Oedipus the King 1758 oscar wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest 1798 tennessee williams, A Streetcar Named Desire 1843

PART FOUR Writing about Lit er a ture 30 Basic Moves: Paraphrase, Summary, and Description 1914

31 The Lit er a ture Essay 1918

32 The Writing Process 1938

33 The Lit er a ture Research Essay 1951

34 Quotation, Citation, and Documentation 1962

35 Sample Research Essay 1992 sarah roberts, “ ‘Only a Girl’? Gendered Initiation in Alice Munro’s

‘Boys and Girls’ ” 1992

Critical Approaches A1

Permissions Acknowl edgments A27

Index of Authors A45

Index of Titles and First Lines A52

Glossary/Index of Literary Terms A61

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Preface for Instructors

L ike its pre de ces sors, this Thirteenth edition of The Norton Introduction to Literature offers in a single volume a complete course in reading literature and writing about it. A teaching anthology focused on the actual tasks, challenges, and questions typically faced by students and instructors, The Norton Introduction to Literature offers practical advice to help students transform their first impressions of literary works into fruitful discussions and meaningful critical essays, and it helps students and instructors together tackle the complex questions at the heart of literary study.

The Norton Introduction to Literature has been revised with an eye to providing a book that is as flexible and as useful as possible—adaptable to many different teaching styles and individual preferences—and that also conveys the excitement at the heart of literature itself.


Thirty- three new se lections

This lucky Thirteenth edition of The Norton Introduction to Lit er a ture features nine new stories, over twenty new poems, and one new play. These include new se lections from popu lar and canonical writers including Ray Bradbury, octavia Butler, Annie Proulx, oscar Wilde, and Virginia Woolf (in Fiction and Drama), Maya Angelou, emily Dickinson, Joy Harjo, and Claude McKay (in Poetry). We invite you to feast on Christina Rossetti’s delicious Goblin Market and a refreshed collection of Robert Frost poems complete with the oft- taught “out, out—” and “Fire and Ice.” But you will also find here work by exciting new authors such as Alissa Nutting, A. e. Stallings, and Pulitzer Prize winners Adam Johnson, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Tracy K. Smith. Prompting the re introduction of John Crowe Ransom’s “Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter,” which it appears alongside, Hai- Dang Phan’s moving “My Father’s ‘Norton Introduction to Lit er a ture,’ Third edition (1981)” reminds us just how much new works and new voices renew and reanimate, rather than replace, classic ones.

A new science- fiction album

one of the more popu lar features of recent editions of The Norton Introduction to Lit er a ture are the albums that invite students to consider and compare works linked by author, subgenre, subject matter, or setting, and so on. You will find fifteen such albums in the Thirteenth edition, including an entirely new one featuring science fiction by octavia Butler, Ray Bradbury, William Gibson, and Jennifer egan.

Improved writing pedagogy

Recent editions of The Norton Introduction to Lit er a ture greatly expanded and improved the resources for student writers, including thorough introductions to each


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genre, broadened online materials, and new student writing. The Thirteenth edition offers an enlarged and revamped chapter on “Quotation, Citation, and Documenta- tion.” In keeping with the latest (8th edition) MLA guidelines, it explains the ele ments that comprise the works- cited entry and the princi ples by which any entry is assem- bled rather than presenting a dizzying menu of entry types for student writers to pore through and copy. Here, as throughout “Writing about Lit er a ture,” we demonstrate with brief examples, often drawn from the work of student or professional writers. A new student essay on Ralph ellison’s “King of the Bingo Game” brings the total of complete writing samples to nineteen, including notes, response papers, essays ana- lyzing one work or comparing several, and research essays exploring critical and/or historical contexts. As always, by including more and more lengthy extracts from pub- lished literary criticism than any other textbook of its kind, The Norton Introduction to Lit er a ture offers student writers both a trove of sources to draw on in articulating their own responses to par tic u lar works and models of the sorts of questions, strate- gies, and “moves” that power effective reading and writing about lit er a ture.

A new design and expanded photo program

A con temporary new design invites greater enjoyment and even greater use of the book’s many special features. The photo program has been enriched and expanded with new author photos throughout as well as contextual illustrations, such as the frontispiece for the first edition of Goblin Market by the poet’s brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti, an advertising poster for Buffalo Bill alongside the poem by e. e. Cum- mings, a movie still from The Black Panther to accompany the new Futures album, and many more.

Enhanced and updated Shakespeare

To make Shakespeare more accessible and enjoyable, every page of Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream features new in-line glossing of challenging words or allusions. The versions of both plays are adopted from the acclaimed new third edi- tion of The Norton Shakespeare, edited by Stephen Greenblatt. In addition, students encountering Shakespeare for the first time will appreciate the rich links, videos, and recordings available within the ebook.

New combined glossary and index

A new combined Glossary and Index makes it easier for students to review key liter- ary terms and find examples within the book.

Unmatched support for students, with new close reading workshops

New to our popu lar LitWeb site are twenty- five Close Reading Workshops. Providing step- by- step guidance in literary analy sis and interpretation drawing on works in the anthology, many of which are enhanced with audio, these interactive workshops help students learn how to observe, contextualize, analyze, and create an argument based on a close reading of text. The workshops are easily assignable with class reports that allow you to see how students’ close reading skills improve over the course of the semester.

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Unmatched support for instructors

The new Interactive Instructor’s Guide by Jason Snart features hundreds of teach- ing resources in one searchable, sortable site to help you enrich your classes and save course- prep time, including:

- Teaching notes, discussion questions, suggestions for writing, and in- class activities for every work in the anthology

- Hundreds of downloadable images for in- class pre sen ta tion - The Writing about Lit er a ture video series - Lecture Power Points for the most- taught works in the anthology


Although this Thirteenth edition contains much that is new or refashioned, the essential features of the text have remained consistent over many editions:

Diverse selections with broad appeal

Because readings are the central component of any literature class, my most important task has been to select a rich array of appealing and challenging literary works. Among the 61 stories, 300 poems, and 12 plays in The Norton Introduction to Literature, readers will find selections by well- established and emerging voices alike, representing a broad range of times, places, cultural perspectives, and styles. The readings are excitingly diverse in terms of subject and style as well as author- ship and national origin. In selecting and presenting literary texts, my top priorities continue to be quality as well as pedagogical relevance and usefulness. I have inte- grated the new with the old and the experimental with the canonical, believing that contrast and variety help students recognize and respond to the unique fea- tures of any literary work. In this way, I aim to help students and instructors alike approach the unfamiliar by way of the familiar (and vice versa).

Helpful and unobtrusive editorial matter

As always, the instructional material before and after each selection avoids dictat- ing any par tic u lar interpretation or response, instead highlighting essential terms and concepts in order to make the literature that follows more accessible to student readers. Questions and writing suggestions help readers apply general concepts to specific readings in order to develop, articulate, refine, and defend their own responses. As in all Norton anthologies, I have annotated the works with a light hand, seeking to be informative but not interpretive.

An introduction to the study of literature

To introduce students to fiction, poetry, and drama is to open up a complex field of study with a long history. The Introduction addresses many of the questions that students may have about the nature of literature as well as the practice of literary criticism. By exploring some of the most compelling reasons for reading and writ- ing about literature, much of the mystery about matters of method is cleared away,

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and I provide motivated students with a sense of the issues and opportunities that lie ahead as they study literature. As in earlier editions, I encourage student engage- ment with individual authors and their perspectives in “Authors on Their Work” features as well as single- author chapters and albums.

Thoughtful guidance for writing about literature

The Thirteenth edition integrates opportunities for student writing at each step of the course, highlighting the mastery of skills for students at every level. “Reading, Responding, Writing” chapters at the beginning of each genre unit offer students concrete advice about how to transform careful reading into productive and insight- ful writing. Sample questions for each work or about each element (e.g., “Questions about Character”) provide exercises for answering these questions or for applying new concepts to par tic u lar works, and examples of student writing demonstrate how a student’s notes on a story or poem may be developed into a response paper or an or ga nized critical argument. New examples of student writing bring the total number to nineteen.

The constructive, step- by- step approach to the writing pro cess is thoroughly demonstrated in the “Writing about Literature” section. As in the chapters intro- ducing concepts and literary selections, the first steps presented in the writing sec- tion are simple and straightforward, outlining the basic formal elements common to essays—thesis, structure, and so on. Following these steps encourages students to approach the essay both as a distinctive genre with its own elements and as an accessible form of writing with a clear purpose. From here, I walk students through the writing pro cess: how to choose a topic, gather evidence, and develop an argu- ment; the methods of writing a research essay; and the mechanics of effective quotation and responsible citation and documentation. Also featured is a sample research essay that has been annotated to call attention to important features of good student writing.

even more resources for student writers are available at the free student web- site, LitWeb, described below.

A comprehensive approach to the contexts of literature

The Thirteenth edition not only offers expanded resources for interpreting and writing about literature but also extends the perspectives from which students can view par tic u lar authors and works. one of the greatest strengths of The Norton Introduction to Literature has been its exploration of the relation between literary texts and a variety of contexts. “Author’s Work as Context,” “Cultural and Historical Contexts,” and “Critical Contexts” chapters serve as mini- casebooks containing a wealth of material for in- depth, context- focused reading and writing assignments.

The “Critical Approaches” section provides an overview of contemporary criti- cal theory and its terminology and is useful as an introduction, a refresher, or a preparation for further exploration.

A sensible and teachable or ga ni za tion

The accessible format of The Norton Introduction to Literature, which has worked so well for teachers and students for many editions, remains the same. each genre is approached in three logical steps. Fiction, for example, is introduced by the chapter

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“Fiction: Reading, Responding, Writing,” which treats the purpose and nature of fic- tion, the reading experience, and the steps one takes to begin writing about fiction. This feature is followed by the six- chapter section called “Understanding the Text,” which concentrates on the genre’s key elements. Appearing throughout are albums that build on the chapters they follow, inviting students to compare stories narrated by protagonists whom others deem monsters, featuring initiation plots or futuristic settings, and so on. The third section, “exploring Contexts” suggests ways to embrace a work of literature by considering various literary, temporal, and cultural contexts. “Reading More Fiction,” the final component in the Fiction section, is a reservoir of additional readings for in de pen dent study or a different approach. The Poetry and Drama sections, in turn, follow exactly the same or gan i za tional format as Fiction.

The book’s arrangement allows movement from narrower to broader frameworks, from simpler to more complex questions and issues, and mirrors the way people read— wanting to learn more as they experience more. At the same time, I have worked hard to ensure that no section, chapter, or album depends on any other, allowing individual teachers to pick and choose which to assign and in what order.

Deep repre sen ta tion of select authors

The Norton Introduction to Lit er a ture offers a range of opportunities for in- depth study of noted authors. “Author’s Work” chapters and albums—on Flannery o’Connor, Adrienne Rich, William Blake, emily Dickinson, Pat Mora, W. B. Yeats, and William Shakespeare— encourage students to make substantive connections among works from dif fer ent phases of a writer’s career, guiding them to ask both what binds such works together into a distinctive oeuvre and how a writer’s approach and outlook evolves in and over time. But throughout the volume, students will encounter, too, at least two works each by a diverse array of other authors including William Faulkner, Tim o’Brien, Joy Harjo, Judith ortiz Cofer, Tracy K. Smith, and the fifty- three other poets whose biographies appear at the end of the Poetry section. “Critical Contexts” chapters on “The Things They Carried” (and The Things They Carried), on “ Daddy,” and on Antigone encourage students to delve deeper into specific works by Tim o’Brien, Sylvia Plath, and Sophocles by considering the rich and varied commentary, even controversy, those authors’ works have inspired. “Cultural and Historical Context” chapters— featuring stories by Susan Glaspell, Charlotte Per- kins Gilman, and Kate Chopin; poetry and prose of the Harlem Re nais sance; and Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun— remind students that authors and their works also both emerge out of and shape the contours and controversies of par tic u lar moments and milieus, even as they speak to ours.


In working on this book, I have been guided by teachers and students in my own and other en glish departments who have used this textbook and responded with comments and suggestions. Thanks to such capable help, I am hopeful that this book will continue to offer a solid and stimulating introduction to the experience of literature.

This project continually reminds me why I follow the vocation of teaching litera- ture, which after all is a communal rather than a solitary calling. Since its incep- tion, The Norton Introduction to Literature has been very much a collaborative effort.

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I am grateful for the opportunity to carry on the work begun by the late Carl Bain and Jerome Beaty, whose student I will always be. And I am equally indebted to my wonderful former co-editors Paul Hunter and Alison Booth. Their wisdom and intel- ligence have had a profound effect on me, and their stamp will endure on this and all future editions of this book. I am thankful to Alison especially for the erudition, savvy, grace, and humor she brought to our partnership. Their intelligence, erudition, grace, and humor have had a profound effect on me, and their stamp will endure on this and all future editions of this book.

So, too, will that of Spencer Richardson- Jones, my Norton editorial partner on the last two (eleventh and twelfth) editions. For the wisdom and wit he brought to that partnership, for the all- new life he breathed into this book, and for his laser- like atten- tion to— and indefatigable championship of—it, I am forever grateful. The book’s new in- house editor, Sarah Touborg, has proved a worthy successor under much less than ideal circumstances. And I am thankful—as I think all users of the Thirteenth edi- tion will be— for the new perspective and insight she has brought to this proj ect. With admirable skill and great energy, assistant editor Madeline Rombes managed myriad manuscript details. I am grateful to proj ect editor Christine D’Antonio and copy- editor Rebecca Caine, photo editor Ted Szczepanski and researcher Julie Tesser, production man ag ers Ashley Horna and Stephen Sajdak, and media editor Carly Frasier Doria who brought together the innovative array of web resources and other pedagogical tools. Huge, heartfelt thanks, too, to Kimberly Bowers, the very best, brightest, and most tireless of marketing man ag ers.

In putting together the Thirteenth edition, I have accrued debts to many friends and colleagues including Frederic Svoboda, of the University of Michigan– Flint; his student, Megan Groeneveld; and other users of the Twelfth edition who generously reached out to point out its errors, as well as successes. Special thanks to the tal- ented Francis Moi Moi, for permission to use his essay on “King of the Bingo Game”; to Darren Lone-Fight, for introducing me to the work of Indigenous Futurist Steven Paul Judd; to Jane Hafen, Molly o’Donnell, emily Setina, and Anne Stevens, for sage advice on literary se lections and much else; to my sister, Nelda Mays, and to my UNLV students, whose open- mindedness, strong- mindedness, perseverance, and pas- sion inspire me every day; and, as always, to Hugh Jackson, my in- house editor in the most literal of senses.

The Norton Introduction to Literature continues to thrive because so many teachers and students generously take the time to provide valuable feedback and sugges- tions. Thank you to all who have done so. This book is equally your making.

At the beginning of planning for the Twelfth edition, my editors at Norton solic- ited the guidance of hundreds of instructors via in- depth reviews and a Web- hosted survey. The response was impressive, bordering on overwhelming; it was also im mensely helpful. Thank you to those who provided extensive written commentary: Julianne Altenbernd (Cypress College), Troy Appling (Florida Gateway College), Christina Bisirri (Seminole State College), Jill Channing (Mitchell Community College), Thomas Chester (Ivy Tech), Marcelle Cohen (Valencia College), Patricia Glanville (State College of Florida), Julie Gibson (Greenville Tech), Christina Grant (St. Charles Community College), Lauren Hahn (City Colleges of Chicago), Zachary Hyde (Valencia College), Brenda Jernigan (Methodist University), Mary Anne Keefer (Lord Fairfax Community College), Shari Koopman (Valencia Col- lege), Jessica Rabin (Anne Arundel Community College), Angela Rasmussen (Spokane Community College), Britnee Shandor (Lanier Technical College), Heidi

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Sheridan (ocean County College), Jeff Tix (Wharton Jr. College), Bente Videbaek (Stony Brook University), Patrice Willaims (Northwest Florida State College), and Connie Youngblood (Blinn College).

Thanks also to everyone who responded to the survey online for the Thir- teenth edition:

Beth Anish (Community College of Rhode Island), eric Ash (Wayland Baptist University), Matthew Ayres (County College of Morris), Suzanne Barnett (Francis Marion University), Stuart Bartow (SUNY Adirondack), Jon Brooks (Northwest Flor- ida State College), Akilah Brown (Santa Fe College), Rachel Brunner (Sauk Valley Community College), Lisa Buchanan (Northeast State Community College), David Clark (Suffolk County Community College), Jim Compton (Muscatine Community College), Susan Dauer (Valencia College), Alexandra DeLuise (University of New Haven), Amber Durfield (Citrus College), Michelle Fernandes (Paramus High School), Africa Fine (Palm Beach State College), Christine Fisher (Trinity Valley Community College), Jeffrey Foster (University of New Haven), James Glickman (Community College of Rhode Island), Kathy Harrison (Alief In de pen dent School District, Kerr High School), Joan Hartman (William Paterson University), Spring Hyde (Lincoln College), Tina Iraca (Dutchess Community College), Jack Kelnhofer (ocean County College), ellen Knodt (Pennsylvania State University–Penn State Abington), Liz Langemak (La Salle University), Rachel Luckenbill (Southeastern University), Sarah Maitland (Bryant University), Cassandra Makela (Concordia University), Brtini Mastria (ocean County College), Marion McAvey (Becker Col- lege), Lizzie McCormick (Suffolk County Community College), Deborah Nester (Northwest Florida State College), Amy oneal- Self (Wor- Wic Community College), Keith o’Neill (Dutchess Community College), Natala orobello (Florida South- Western State College), Michele oster (Suffolk County Community College), Matthew Parry (Bishop england High School), Barri Piner (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Joshua Rafael Rodriguez (east Los Angeles College), Kathy Romack (University of West Florida), Shelbey Rosengarten (St. Petersburg College), Jennifer Royal (Santa Rosa Ju nior College), John Sauls (east Arkansas Community College), Richard Sears (oklahoma State University– Stillwater), Bonnie Spears (Chaffey College), Camilla Stastny (SouthLake Christian Acad emy), Jason Stuff (Alfred State College), Donna Jane Terry (St. Johns River State College), Filiz Turhan (Suffolk County Community College), Roger Vaccaro (St. Johns River State College), Tammy Verkamp (Arkansas Tech University–ozark), Bente Videbaek (Stony Brook University), Stephanie Webster (Ivy Tech Community College), and Kelli Wilkes (Columbus Technical College).

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In the opening chapters of Charles Dickens’s novel Hard Times (1854), the aptly named Thomas Gradgrind warns the teachers and pupils at his “model” school to avoid using their imaginations. “Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life,” exclaims Mr. Gradgrind. To press his point, Mr. Gradgrind asks “girl number twenty,” Sissy Jupe, the daughter of a circus performer, to define a horse. When she cannot, Gradgrind turns to Bitzer, a pale, spiritless boy who “looked as though, if he were cut, he would bleed white.” A “model” student of this “model” school, Bitzer gives exactly the kind of definition to satisfy Mr. Gradgrind:

Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth, namely, twenty- four grinders, four eye- teeth, and twelve incisive. Sheds coat in spring; in marshy countries, sheds hoofs.

Anyone who has any sense of what a horse is rebels against Bitzer’s lifeless pic- ture of that animal and against the “Gradgrind” view of reality. As these first scenes of Hard Times lead us to expect, in the course of the novel the fact- grinding Mr. Gradgrind learns that human beings cannot live on facts alone; that it is dangerous to stunt the faculties of imagination and feeling; that, in the words of one of the novel’s more lovable characters, “People must be amused.” Through the downfall of an exaggerated enemy of the imagination, Dickens reminds us why we like and even need to read literature.

What Is Literature?

But what is literature? Before you opened this book, you probably could guess that it would contain the sorts of stories, poems, and plays you have encountered in En glish classes or in the literature section of a library or bookstore. But why are some written works called literature whereas others are not? And who gets to decide? The American Heritage Dictionary of the En glish Language offers a num- ber of definitions for the word literature, one of which is “imaginative or creative writing, especially of recognized artistic value.” In this book, we adopt a version of that definition by focusing on fictional stories, poems, and plays— the three major kinds (or genres)1 of “imaginative or creative writing” that form the heart of litera- ture as it has been taught in schools and universities for over a century. Many of the works we have chosen to include are already ones “of recognized artistic value” and thus belong to what scholars call the canon, a select, if much- debated and ever- evolving, list of the most highly and widely esteemed works. Though quite a few of the literary texts we include are too new to have earned that status, they, too, have already drawn praise, and some have even generated controversy.

Certainly it helps to bear in mind what others have thought of a literary work. Yet one of this book’s primary goals is to get you to think for yourself, as well as

1. Throughout this book, terms included in the glossary appear in bold font.

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2 InTroDuCTIon

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communicate with others, about what “imaginative writing” and “artistic value” are or might be and thus about what counts as literature. What makes a story or poem different from an essay, a newspaper editorial, or a technical manual? For that matter, what makes a published, canonical story like Herman Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener2 both like and unlike the sorts of stories we tell each other every day? What about so- called oral literature, such as the fables and folktales that cir- culated by word of mouth for hundreds of years before they were ever written down? or published works such as comic strips and graphic novels that rely little, if at all, on the written word? or Harlequin romances, tele vi sion shows, and the stories you collaborate in making when you play a video game? Likewise, how is Shakespeare’s poem My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun both like and unlike a verse you might find in a Hallmark card or even a jingle in a mouthwash commercial?

Today, literature departments offer courses in many of these forms of expres- sion, expanding the realm of literature far beyond the limits of the dictionary definition. An essay, a song lyric, a screenplay, a supermarket romance, a novel by Toni Morrison or William Faulkner, and a poem by Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson— each may be read and interpreted in literary ways that yield insight and plea sure. What makes the literary way of reading different from pragmatic reading is, as scholar Louise rosenblatt explains, that it does not focus “on what will remain [. . .] after the reading— the information to be acquired, the logical solution to a problem, the actions to be carried out,” but rather on “what happens

2. Titles of poems, stories, and other literary se lections included in this book are formatted in small caps when those titles first appear in the body of any chapter and whenever they appear in a question or writing suggestion. other wise, all titles are formatted in accordance with MLA guidelines.

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during [. . .] reading.” The difference between pragmatic and literary reading, in other words, resembles the difference between a journey that is only about reaching a destination and one that is just as much about fully experiencing the ride.

In the pages of this book, you will find cartoons, song lyrics, folktales, and sto- ries and plays that have spawned movies. Through this inclusiveness, we do not intend to suggest that there are no distinctions among these various forms of expression or between a good story, poem, or play and a bad one; rather, we want to get you thinking, talking, and writing both about what the key differences and similarities among these forms are and what makes one work a better example of its genre than another. Sharpening your skills at these peculiarly intensive and responsive sorts of reading and interpretation is a primary purpose of this book and of most literature courses.

Another goal of inclusiveness is to remind you that literature doesn’t just belong in a textbook or a classroom, even if textbooks and classrooms are essential means for expanding your knowledge of the literary terrain and of the concepts and tech- niques essential to thoroughly enjoying and analyzing a broad range of literary forms. You may or may not be the kind of person who always takes a novel when you go to the beach or writes a poem about your experience when you get back home. You may or may not have taken literature courses before. Yet you already have a good deal of literary experience and even expertise, as well as much more to dis- cover about literature. A major aim of this book is to make you more conscious of how and to what end you might use the tools you already possess and to add many new ones to your tool belt.

What Does Literature Do?

one quality that may well differentiate stories, poems, and plays from other kinds of writing is that they help us move beyond and probe beneath abstractions by giv- ing us concrete, vivid particulars. rather than talking about things, they bring them to life for us by representing experience, and so they become an experience for us— one that engages our emotions, our imagination, and all of our senses, as well as our intellects. As the British poet Matthew Arnold put it more than a century ago, “The interpretations of science do not give us this intimate sense of objects as the interpretations of poetry give it; they appeal to a limited faculty, and not to the whole man. It is not Linnaeus [. . .] who gives us the true sense of animals, or water, or plants, who seizes their secret for us, who makes us participate in their life; it is Shakespeare [. . .] Wordsworth [. . .] Keats.”

To test Arnold’s theory, compare the American Heritage Dictionary’s rather dry definition of literature with the following poem, in which John Keats describes his first encounter with a specific literary work— George Chapman’s translation of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epics by the ancient Greek poet Homer.

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JOHN KEATS On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer13

Much have I traveled in the realms of gold, And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; Round many western islands have I been Which bards in fealty to Apollo24 hold.

5 Oft of one wide expanse had I been told That deep- browed Homer ruled as his demesne; Yet did I never breathe its pure serene35

Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: Then felt I like some watcher of the skies

10 When a new planet swims into his ken;46

Or like stout Cortez57 when with ea gle eyes He stared at the Pacific— and all his men Looked at each other with a wild surmise— Silent, upon a peak in Darien.


Keats makes us see literature as a “wide expanse” by greatly developing this meta phor and complementing it with similes likening reading to the sighting of a “new planet” and the first glimpse of an undiscovered ocean. More important, he shows us what literature means and why it matters by allowing us to share with him the subjective experience of reading and the complex sensations it inspires— the dizzying exhilaration of discovery; the sense of power, accomplishment, and pride that comes of achieving something difficult; the wonder we feel in those rare moments when a much- anticipated experience turns out to be even greater than we had imagined it would be.

It isn’t the definitions of words alone that bring this experience to life for us as we read Keats’s poem, but also their sensual qualities— the way the words look, sound, and even feel in our mouths because of the par tic u lar way they are put together on the page. The sensation of excitement— of a racing heart and mind— is reproduced in us as we read the poem. For example, notice how the lines in the middle run into each other, but then Keats forces us to slow down at the poem’s end— stopped short by that dash and comma in the poem’s final lines, just as Cortez and his men are when they reach the edge of the known world and peer into the vastness that lies beyond.

What Are the Genres of Literature?

The conversation that is literature, like the conversation about literature, invites all comers, requiring neither a visa nor a special license of any kind. Yet literary

3. George Chapman’s were among the most famous re nais sance translations of Homer; he completed his Iliad in 1611, his Odyssey in 1616. Keats wrote the sonnet after being led to Chapman by a former teacher and reading the Iliad all night long. 4. Greek god of poetry and music. Fealty: literally, the loyalty owed by a vassal to his feudal lord. 5. Atmosphere. 6. range of vision; awareness. 7. Actually, Balboa; he first viewed the Pacific from Darien, in Panama.

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studies, like all disciplines, has developed its own terminology and its own sys- tems of classification. Helping you understand and effectively use both is a major purpose of this book.

Some essential literary terms are common, everyday words used in a special way in the conversation about literature. A case in point, perhaps, is the term literary criticism, as well as the closely related term literary critic. Despite the usual con- notations of the word criticism, literary criticism is called criticism not because it is negative or corrective but rather because those who write criticism ask searching, analytical, “critical” questions about the works they read. Literary criticism is both the pro cess of interpreting and commenting on literature and the result of that pro cess. If you write an essay on the play Hamlet, the poetry of John Keats, or the development of the short story in the 1990s, you engage in literary criti- cism. By writing the essay, you’ve become a literary critic.

Similarly, when we classify works of literature, we use terms that may be familiar to you but have specific meanings in a literary context. All academic disciplines have systems of classification, or taxonomies, as well as jargon. Biologists, for exam- ple, classify all organisms into a series of ever- smaller, more specific categories: kingdom, phylum or division, class, order, family, genus, and species. Classification and comparison are just as essential in the study of literature. We expect a poem to work in a certain way, for example, when we know from the outset that it is a poem and not, say, a factual news report or a short story. And— whether consciously or not— we compare it, as we read, to other poems we’ve read. If we know, further, that the poem was first published in eighteenth- century Japan, we expect it to work differently from one that appeared in the latest New Yorker. Indeed, we often choose what to read, just as we choose what movie to see, based on the “class” or “order” of book or movie we like or what we are in the mood for that day— horror or comedy, action or science fiction.

As these examples suggest, we generally tend to categorize literary works in two ways: (1) on the basis of contextual factors, especially historical and cultural context— that is, when, by whom, and where it was produced (as in nineteenth- century literature, the literature of the Harlem Re nais sance, American literature, or African American literature)— and (2) on the basis of formal textual features. For the latter type of classification, the one we focus on in this book, the key term is genre, which simply means, as the Oxford En glish Dictionary tells us, “A par tic u lar style or category of works of art; esp. a type of literary work characterized by a par- tic u lar form, style, or purpose.”

Applied rigorously, genre refers to the largest categories around which this book is organized—fiction, poetry, and drama (as well as nonfiction prose). The word subgenre applies to smaller divisions within a genre, and the word kind to divisions within a subgenre. Subgenres of fiction include the novel, the novella, and the short story. Kinds of novels, in turn, include the bildungsroman and the epistolary novel. Similarly, important subgenres of nonfiction include the essay, as well as biography and autobiography; a memoir is a par tic u lar kind of autobiogra- phy, and so on.

However, the terms of literary criticism are not so fixed or so consistently, rig- orously used as biologists’ are. You will often see the word genre applied both much more narrowly— referring to the novel, for example, or even to a kind of novel such as the historical novel.

The way we classify a work depends on which aspects of its form or style we concentrate on, and categories may overlap. When we divide fiction, for example,

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into the subgenres novel, novella, and short story, we take the length of the works as the salient aspect. (novels are much longer than short stories.) But other fictional subgenres— detective fiction, gothic fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, and even romance— are based on the types of plots, characters, settings, and so on that are customarily featured in these works. These latter categories may include works from all the other, length- based categories. There are, after all, gothic novels (think Stephenie Meyer), as well as gothic short stories (think Edgar Allan Poe).

A few genres even cut across the boundaries dividing poetry, fiction, drama, and nonfiction. A prime example is satire— any literary work (whether poem, play, fic- tion, or nonfiction) “in which prevailing vices and follies are held up to ridicule” (Oxford En glish Dictionary). Examples of satire include poems such as Alexander Pope’s Dunciad (1728); plays, movies, and tele vi sion shows, from Molière’s Tartuffe (1664) to Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove (1964) to South Park; works of fiction like Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726) and Voltaire’s Candide (1759); and works of nonfiction such as Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” (1729) and Ambrose Bierce’s The Dev il’s Dictionary (1906). Three other major genres that cross the borders between fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction are parody, pastoral, and romance.

Individual works can thus belong simultaneously to multiple generic categories or observe some conventions of a genre without being an example of that genre in any simple or straightforward way. The old En glish poem Beowulf is an epic and, because it’s written in verse, a poem. Yet because (like all epics) it narrates a story, it is also a work of fiction in the more general sense of that term.

Given this complexity, the system of literary genres can be puzzling, especially to the uninitiated. used well, however, classification schemes are among the most essential and effective tools we use to understand and enjoy just about everything, including literature.

Why Read Literature?

Because there has never been and never will be absolute agreement about where exactly the boundaries between one literary genre and another should be drawn or even about what counts as literature at all, it might be more useful from the outset to focus on why we look at par tic u lar forms of expression.

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