Lesson 1 (from Act One, Scenes 1-2)
Students will investigate an author's purpose in using quotes from other literary works to begin chapters or entire works.
Lynn Nottage begins her play Sweat with an excerpt of Langston Hughes's poem Let America Be America Again. In so doing, Lynn Nottage is from the outset reflecting notions of race, since Lorraine Hansberry's famous play A Raisin in the Sun also opens with a Langston Hughes poem. Students will study Nottage's use of the Hughes quote in order to see how a reader can find out about allusions and use them to illuminate the text's meaning even if they have not previously read the literary works to which the author is alluding.
Class Discussion: Why might an author begin a book or a chapter with a quote from a different literary work? What other books or movies do you know of that start out with...
Aligned to the following Common Core Standards:
- ELA-Reading: Literature RL.9-10.1, 9-10.10, 11-12.1, 11-12.10
- ELA-Writing W.9-10.3, 9-10.7, 11-12.3, 11-12.7
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