Lesson 1 (from Part One, Archie, 1974, 1945, Chapter 1, The Peculiar Second Marriage of Archie Jones,)
The objective of this lesson is to give students a short introduction to the author and the novel, looking at an author's history influences his/her writing. Students will also look at the three time periods during which the majority of the novel takes place: World War II, the 1970s, and the early 1990s. These are three very different cultural eras, and to fully understand the progression of the novel, students need to understand the basic differences among these periods in time.
1. Give students a brief biography of the author, Zadie Smith, and tell them when the novel was published (2000). Have students take notes.
2. Set up a 3-column chart, with each column being one of these time periods. Give students Xeroxed copies of this blank chart. The far-left column, before WWII, should have a variety of cultural reference points for students to consider: music, movies...
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