After taking my own Labor Day break from Book Pairing of the Week (never fear…I’ll do one later this week), I’m back with a brand new English course! This week, I’m looking at Communism, both as a setting for literature around the world and as a philosophical debate in America. The first unit is all about shorter works that focus on many different characters and many different stories, all of which have different relationships to Communism. The second unit takes a deeper look at families who undergo a revolution. The third unit looks at the debate over Communism from an American perspective (of course), and the course ends with 1984 (because it would simply be a sin not to) and a lovely discussion about the likelihood of an Orwellian future. This is not a philosophy or economics course, so I did not include any Marx or other philosophers. Mostly, it’s about how Communism as social change and social structure affects people.
Also, I’d like to say that I use The House of the Spirits a lot for these, but it encompasses so much that I want to talk about! I am aware of it. I just don’t care.
A Touch of Communism
Unit I: Glimpses of Life (2 weeks)
Unit II: Changing Times (4 weeks)
Unit III: The Debate in America (10 weeks)
Unit IV: The Future is Now?
Questions: What are the characters’ relationships to Communism? How does it change their way of life? What does it not affect? How do the authors represent Communism? From what social position do the characters make their judgment?