The eleventh grade curriculum stresses close-reading skills, extensive reading of major works of American literature, and analytical writing. As the students read selected works from 19th, 20th, and 21st century authors, they will explore some of the complex, often contradictory, themes which make up the American identity. They will develop critical thinking skills as they examine closely the context of the ideas behind these works and our cultural identity. The reading, both classic and contemporary, reflects a range of the American experience. Classic texts may include works by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway. Students will also read related contemporary texts by such authors as Jon Krakauer and Sherman Alexie in order to explore the contemporary relevance of themes concerning American identity. Poetry by Whitman, Dickinson, Hughes, and Frost, among others, and selected short stories are also studied. In writing, juniors will continue to develop their skills in writing the structured analytical essay, the persuasive essay, and the compare/contrast essay. They will also focus on close-reading explications using textual support to integrate their understanding of the reading into their writing. Emphasis on MLA format, vocabulary development, and shorter, in-class responses will also be integral aspects of the junior year curriculum.