Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Little Brown Book of Miss Emily

19th century poems, with their brief flashes of imagery and emotion, can be quite relevant to our lives and those of our students.

What of stories, though? The characters and situations can seem dated or archaic? Sometimes that sense persists, and sometimes it dissipates when we probe further.

LM Montgomery's "The Little Brown Book of Miss Emily" tells a story that can at first seem unbelievable. Why would a young girl give up an engagement that was equated (in that day and age) with having a future... because of some idle words spoken by her then fiancee?

It's not a situation today's young women can relate to, at least not in the United States -- and that is in itself a discussion topic. Yet the story also reminds me of a personal experience not so many years back, involving a young woman who came of age in a very different culture than the one where she was born.

You can find my audio read of the Little Brown Book of Miss Emily, as well as lesson plans and resources, on Squidoo.

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