College Board Literature: A Great Novel in a Malevolent Environment

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English is characterized by the scrutiny and analysis of universally renowned works of literature. The class in geared towards preparing students for the Advanced Placement course the following year, should it be taken. As such, students spend an enormous amount of time developing their writing skills, as wells as their critical reading skills. Starting with J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, the course progresses to such works as Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. According to the College Board, these works are designed to “provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers.” While most of the selections for the Sophomore Accelerated course fit these criteria, there is …show more content…
After appearing in both 1991 and 1992, the text failed to appear until 2007, again in 2009, and then not a fifth time since. Though anything can happen, the trends indicate the A Passage to India carries less and less weight each year when compared to the others novels and plays studied during the course of the Sophomore Accelerated year. Perhaps a more appropriate read would be Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (nine times) or Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire (seven times). Different in style from A Passage to India, the Dickensian opus and the popular play would be better equipped to force students to “read deliberately and thoroughly, taking time to understand a work’s complexity,” as the College Board outlines. Furthermore, the novel is often excessively symbolic and philosophical, to such an extent that readers get confused and frustrated. As Glen O. Allen delineates in his “Structure, Symbol, and Theme in E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India”, the “obscurities of the novel duplicate or disappear”, causing the meaning to be lost in translation. This argument is exemplified in the text itself, such as the chapter concerning the Dr. Aziz’ trial. The opening pages of the chapter explore Adela’s return to faith in the midst other trial, yet the narrative exceeds the general comprehension of most sophomores. Touching on the intricacies of Christianity and its contrast with Hinduism, the personification of God no doubt

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