The syllabus for world literature should be composed so that the studying of certain works of literature provide students with the understanding of literary, cultural and historic context of the period when they were written. Moreover, the earning of these works should develop students’ critical and analytical thinking.
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The study of every work of literature should start with the introduction in the époque when the work was written and its peculiarities. Students should be aware of the greatest writers who worked during this period and, if necessary, with manifests that give general idea about the aims and beliefs that the writers followed.
The next step is to get acquainted with the biography of the author and what historical and cultural events influenced on the formation of his/her literary style. The final step is to focus on the textual study of a particular work of literature.
The syllabus that includes such works as Ambrose Bierce “Chickamauga”, Tadeusz Borowski “Ladies and Gentlemen to the Gas Chamber”, Henrik Ibsen “Hedda Gabler”, and Anton Chekhov “The Lady with the Dog.” Should be aimed at providing students with understanding of different styles of writing of the 19th century literature.
Each of the writers is originated from different countries and each work is written in definite historical and cultural context. Thus, students will have a profound understanding of the literature of the 19th century period from different perspectives.
Ambrose Bierce “Chickamauga.” This work is devoted to the horrors of war and its psychological effect on the human soul. The work is important in context of developing pupils’ understanding of good and evil. It provides real information about personal drama that was not rare during was. It is important in psychological, cultural, historical and philosophical context.
Tadeusz Borowski’s “Ladies and Gentlemen to the Gas Chamber” is another work of literature recognized as a masterpiece of world literature. It is one of the best works devoted to war. The story is passed on the author’s personal experience of living in the concentration camp. It presents real pictures of violence that took place at that time. The work is the exploration of people’s values.
It is also very important in the historical context, as it is a record of true events. Students will be able to learn more about World War II, and the events that occurred in different countries. The author presents his own vision of the war and, in their turn, students will be able to formulate their personal opinion as well.
Anton Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Dog.” Is one of his most famous works. It shows the relations between two people. However, it has a deep social context and perfectly shows the Russian society with its norms and beliefs. The work is a profound analysis of the human soul and contradictions of a person and society.
Henrik Ibsen “Hedda Gabler”. It is a famous and most controversial play by a Norwegian writer. The author used the best dramatic techniques in order to explore the characters of man and woman. The major focus of Ibsen’s works was on the exploration of the woman in the society.
This work is another example of such analysis. From the critical point of view, this work is about one’s unwillingness to resist the social norms applied to our gender. The work is valuable in the context of learning social norms of the 19th century period, as well as it is very important for understanding of the authors main themes and techniques of writing.