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When Times Get Tough

Background and Purpose

This unit is concerned with the idea of revolution. You will read literature concurrent with revolution in various Western European nations and discover how a tempestuous climate impacts literature and literary nonfiction of the time period.


Similarly, in just a few short months, (many of) you will be moving on to the next chapter in your lives.  While it may not necessarily be as tumultuous as a national revolution, a majority of your former constants will change as you move away from the place you spent at least eight hours a day, five days a week, your home, your city, your social circles, etc.  As so many things are changing, don't forget to look outward instead of inward as your instinct may tell you to do.  You'll be surprised at how much more you learn about yourself by considering your new surroundings instead of holding onto your old environment.  This unit, called When Times Get Tough, will help you on the journey outlined above.  Our main text will be Porter's abridged version of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, which was your summer reading selection.  As we work through this and other texts in class, we will also be considering the concept of learning through service, a vital concept in many universities, armed forces branches, and places of employment.  The links below contain most of the material we will be tackling in and out of class throughout this unit.

Subpages (1): Focus on France