Lady or Tiger

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Sat Nov 6 16:15:29 EST 1999


On Fri, 5 Nov 1999 11:02:47 EST, JOdel at aol.com wrote:

>I remember it being in my Literature textbook back in HS. No one made any 
>claim that it was great literature, but it was probably supposed to make us 
>THINK. I seem to recall being expected to write an essay on which was behind 
>the door and to defend my decision.

That's exactly the assignment we had, when I read it in high school.  Sort
of like Zen Buddhism for Americans--"what is the sound of one hand
clapping?"

A lot of the stories one has to read in school are along these lines:
Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," Jack London's "To Build a Fire," Faulkner's
"A Rose for Emily."  (These are all American authors--for some reason that's
all I can come up with at the time, but that's probably because my 11th
grade English class--focus on American lit--is the one I remember most
clearly from school.  We did British lit in 12th grade.  Lovely that they
can break it all down by country like that for you, eh?  Though it does tend
to mean you get a double dose of T.S. Eliot....)

Anyway, it could be educators wanting to get the attention of reluctant
readers, but the end result is the impression that Good Literature has a
shocking or surprising or ambiguous ending.

Melissa Proffitt
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