My students need 40 copies of Aphra Behn's "Oroonoko".
We need books for our 12th grade English and Honors English classes. I teach 3 sections of senior English at my school--two regular levels and one honors. For us, 12th grade is British Literature and we are in need of more titles to add to the list of novels we read with the classes. Many of our students are college bound and I believe greatly benefit from taking a course that uses challenging material and fosters critical thinking. There are few women authors on the list of novels we use for 12th grade and this is an area in which our school could use improvement. As the first professional woman writer in the English language, Aphra Behn would be a great addition to our list and "Oroonoko" is her most treasured work.
I teach in a public school in Florida and this year our state is considered 50th in education spending. That being said, due to the struggles of the economy, our school district has imposed a budget freeze for the remainder of the year, so acquiring additional books is not an option. Things look just as bleak for next year. Since 12th grade English in our district is British Literature I find it strange that Aphra Behn is left off the list. During the 16th century, she was the first woman writer to make a living at her craft--a remarkable thing since women were barely permitted an education. "Oroonoko" is a wonderful and engaging story that I am certain will capture the students' imagination.
Our school is quite diverse. Unfortunately, many of the selections available to us for this course are not. Most contain a white male protagonist and those that don't often show those of marginalized groups in subordinate roles. "Oroonoko"'s protagonist is an African man that is able to rise to power and although we see his demise in the end, this would help to demonstrate to the students that a non-white character can, indeed, be the protagonist and not just a secondary character in a major work important enough to read in English class. At the same time, reading a female author accomplishes somewhat of the same thing. It shows students that men do not hold the monopoly on writing that is worthy of a close reading and literary analysis. For so long the same list of male writers has been the canon of British Literature. It is time to be more inclusive so our reading lists truly reflect our audience.
You will make it possible for my students to really connect with a work of literature. My students are willing to read if a story engages them. Acquiring these books would provide them with the opportunity to read something they would truly enjoy while promoting literary and cultural analysis.
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|Oroonoko, and Other Writings Aphra Behn, Paul Salzman (Editor) • Barnes and Noble||$8.95||40||$358.00|
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