A Geographical Tour of Literary America

The Grand Tour of Literary Landmarks resulted from my students' success with another project that we called "Poetic License with THE AMAZING RACE." This new journey also begins and ends in my students' hometown. Chosen writers are specific to our curriculum and texts; however, teachers can adapt new selections to their students' needs. Side images are their original work. Photo images at each destination go directly to official sites or to the slideshows of my own travel photos. The main sources of written material here are www.Poets.org and Adventures in American Literature, Heritage Edition and Pegasus Edition.

Oxford, Mississippi

On the literary map, travel from Monroeville, Alabama, to Oxford, Mississippi.


# _____________ Miles to Oxford, Mississippi

$ _____________ Cost for Gasoline to Oxford, Mississippi

Visit Mrs. Steller's William Faulkner Gallery.

Read about William Faulkner at www.SouthLiteraryTrail.org and fill-in-the-blanks.

"I don't like having my private life and affairs available to just any and everyone who has the price of the vehicle it's printed in."

William Faulkner, writing to Malcolm Cowley,

editor of The Portable Faulkner.

"Around Oxford, they called him 'Bill.' Around the world, William Faulkner is called one of America's greatest writers, arguably literary history's most examined and studied author after Shakespeare. In 1977, his friend and fan Eudora Welty reviewed the Selected letters of William Faulkner - a volume of private correspondences that Faulkner would not have wanted to see in print. In her New York Times review, Welty observed, 'No man ever put more of his heart and soul into the written word than did William Faulkner. If you want to know all you can about that heart and soul, ______________________________________________________.' "

"Faulkner's fiction begins and ends in Oxford, a place that exposed him to ______________, ________________________, alleged ghosts and every other imaginable character that a small town can produce. When he was four, around 1901, the Falkner family moved from New Albany to Oxford, the model for 'Jefferson' in his fiction. Oxford's home county, Lafayette, inspired Faulkner's fictional ___________________________ County. It is uncertain how Bill Falkner became William Faulkner. Legend decrees that the Nobel Prize winner, when asked about the spelling of his last name, replied: '_________________________. ' "

Read "The Bear" in your text and answer the questions.

The boy hunts the bear three times, when he is ten, eleven, and fourteen years old. The first hunt divides into several actions, as a kind of prelude to the other hunts. What does Sam teach the boy before the first hunt? How does Sam know the bear is near?

As the boy sees the hound return with a tattered ear and raked shoulder, he imagines a cause far more universal than a bear:"...it was still no living creature, but the wilderness which, leaning for the moment down, had patted lightly once the hound's temerity." Interpret this sentence.

During the second hunt, the boy seems to be on the track of something more than animals. Although the others think he is "hunting squirrels," what is he unconsiously teaching himself?

Sam tells the boy that he will have to "choose." Between what two alternatives must the boy choose? In what sense can a coward be more dangerous than a brave person?

As the boy advances farther into the woods, he realizes that he must abandon not only his gun but also his watch, compass, and stick. What does his abandonment of these things suggest is the real point of his hunting the bear?

By the time the boy is fourteen, what qualifies him as a competent woodsman? What action marks his initiation as a true hunter?

After the first hunt Say says, "We ain't got the dog yet." What kind of dog is needed for the hunt? How does this dog's nature relate to the choice that the boy has had to make?

What has the boy finally acquired from his experiences in the wilderness that is more important than his skill as a woodsman?