Power of Story

Sophomore Honors English - SHE

Think about...

  • How can a person’s decisions and actions change his/her life?

  • How do the decisions and actions of characters reveal their personalities

  • How do decisions, actions, and consequences vary depending on the different perspectives of the people involved?

  • How do individuals develop values and beliefs?

  • What factors shape our values and beliefs?

  • How do values and beliefs change over time?

  • How does family play a role in shaping our values and beliefs?

  • Why do we need beliefs and values?

  • To what extent do belief systems shape and/or reflect culture and society?

  • How does conflict lead to change?

  • Is humankind inherently good or evil?

  • Have the forces of good and evil changed over time and if so, how?

Pieces of Literature

Telling stories is one of the most powerful means that leaders have to influence, teach, and inspire. What makes storytelling so effective for learning? For starters, storytelling forges connections among people, and between people and ideas. Stories convey the culture, history, and values that unite people.

East of Eden

In his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden "the first book," and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California's Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

The masterpiece of Steinbeck’s later years, East of Eden is a work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love's absence.

A Raisin in the Sun

Never before, the entire history of the American theater, has so much of the truth of black people's lives been seen on the stage," observed James Baldwin shortly before A Raisin in the Sun opened on Broadway in 1959.

Indeed Lorraine Hansberry's award-winning drama about the hopes and aspirations of a struggling, working-class family living on the South Side of Chicago connected profoundly with the psyche of black America—and changed American theater forever. The play's title comes from a line in Langston Hughes's poem "Harlem," which warns that a dream deferred might "dry up/like a raisin in the sun."

"The events of every passing year add resonance to A Raisin in the Sun," said The New York Times. "It is as if history is conspiring to make the play a classic." This Modern Library edition presents the fully restored, uncut version of Hansberry's landmark work with an introduction by Robert Nemiroff.