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1 English English English English English Upper School English Department Required Readingg Summerr 2013 Grades th Grade English I The Odyssey translated by Robert Fagles ISBN **Special Instructions* ** You must use the Robert Fagles translation. Freshmen will begin reading The Odyssey. You are required to read the first five books (chapters) as summer reading: Book 1: Athena Inspires the Prince p Book 2: Telemachus Sets Sail p Book 3: King Nestor Remembers p Book 4: The King and Queen of Sparta p Book 5: Odysseus Nymph and Shipwreck p *Additional Information* Summer Letter about Odyssey Guide for First Five Books of the Odyssey for Summer Reading 10 th Grade English II Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe A classic novel about the confrontation of African tribal life withh colonial rule tells the tragic story of a warrior whose manly, fearless exterior concealss bewilderment, fear, and anger at the breakdown of his society. 10 th Grade English II Honors Great Expectations by Charles Dickens A young orphan, Pip, receives a fortune from a mysterious benefactor which enables him to travel to London and become a gentleman of "great expectations."

2 English English English English English English 11 th Grade English III Kindred by Octaviaa Butler Dana, a black woman, finds herself repeatedly transported to the antebellum South, where she must make sure that Rufus, the plantation owner's son, survives to father Dana's ancestor. 11 th Grade AP English III The Things They Carried by Tim O Brien Heroic young men carry the emotional weight of their lives to war in Vietnam in a patchwork account of a modern journey into the heart of darkness. Memoir Possible Memoirs for Summer Reading (APP Language and Composition) Please choose one of the memoirs off the list below or another memoir of literary merit to read as the second book for the summer reading. Go to amazon to read brief descriptions before you choose a book, but don t read too far lest you ruin the discovery! (Some titles on the list are not straight memoir... but they function in the same way... ) Truth & Beauty: A Friendship The Gastronomical Me Paula: A Memoir (P.S.) Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Beauty Don t Let s Go to the Dogs Tonight Autobiography of a Face Black Ice The Color of Water: A Black Man s Tribute too his White Mother Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance Speak, Memory Ann Patchett MFK Fisher Isabel Allende Maxine Hong Kingstonn Dave Eggers Alexandra Fuller Lucy Grealy and Ann Patc Lorene Cary James McBride Barack Obama Vladamir Nabokov

3 On Writing One Writer s Beginnings Stephen King Eudora Welty English English English English English English The Liars Club Mary Karr This Boy s Life: A Memoir The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table A Moveable Feast An American Childhood The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates Autobiography of Malcolm X Do I Dare Disturb the Universe??: From the Projects to Prep School Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy who Discovered He Was Black 12 th Grade AP English IV Atonement by Ian McEwan Tobias Wolff Bill Bryson Jean Reichl Ernest Hemingway Annie Dillard Wes Moore Malcolm X Charlise Lyles Gregory Howard Williams Imaginative thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis, misinterpreting a scene between her older sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner, thee housekeeper's son, later accuses Robbie of a crime she has no proof he committed and spends years trying to atone for her actions.

4 English English English English English English State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett Dr. Marina Singh, a research scientist withh a Minnesota-based pharmaceutical company, is sent to Brazil after the death of her friend and colleague, to take up his mission of finding Dr. Annick Swenson, a ruthlesss woman, now in her seventies, who has been conducting research among the Lakashi tribe on a reputed miracle drug, and refuses to let anything stand in her way. 12 th Grade Creative Writing and Contemporary World Lit. Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller In Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight,Alexandra Fuller remembers her African childhood with candor and sensitivity. Though it is a diary of an unruly life in an often inhospitable place, it is suffused withh Fuller's endearing ability to find laughter, even when there is little to celebrate. Fuller's debut is unsentimental and unflinching but always captivating. In wry and sometimes hilarious prose, she stares down disaster and looks back with rage and love at the life of an extraordinary family in an extraordinary time.

5 Back to list 9 th Grade English 1 Letter to Freshmen about the Odyssey June 3, 2013 Dear Freshmen, Welcome to Critical Reading and Writing, your freshmen English program. The theme for this year s course is odysseys of the mind and heart. The word odyssey comes from the great Greek author, Homer, who wrote two works that have become the cornerstones of the Western Canon: The Iliad, which tells the story of the Trojan War (a very important war fought among the city states of Ancient Greece) and The Odyssey, which tells the story of one of the most famous heroes of the war, Odysseus, long journey home to his wife, Penelope and his son, Telemachus. How long is the journey? Nineteen years! The Trojan War lasted for ten full years, and then, in a series of mishaps, disasters, and adventures, Odysseus, who set sail from Troy with hundreds of men, finally arrives home to Ithaca alone, disguised, and battered by what he has seen and done nine years after the end of the war; so ten years at war plus nine years travelling = nineteen years. The Odyssey is not a novel or play; it is an epic poem, a genre designed to showcase heroes valiant quests and victories. Originally it was sung, literally like a song, not written down. Believe it or not, professional bards (poets) would sing all twenty-four books of the tale. We will talk about how it became a written text. A quick word about terminology: Although the work is divided into twenty-four books those books are what we would consider chapters; some are only eight pages long. Additionally, because it is a poem, there are many fewer words on a page than there would be if it were a novel. Please do not be intimidated by the length (you do not read the introduction) or the language or names. Our translator from the ancient Greek to modern English, Robert Fagles, won a Pulitzer Prize for this translation, and one of its many riches is how accessible the language is. There is a fantastic glossary at the back that has a quick summary of all the people and a pronunciation chart for the names, use that to help you navigate the text. You absolutely must read the Fagles version, and you need a clean (not a used) copy because we teach you how to take margin notes. My current freshmen saw the text lying on my desk as I was writing this, and many of them chorused That was our favorite book of the year! I can promise you that you will feel a great sense of achievement when you have finished this remarkable work, debatably the greatest work ever written. This is a love story, a

6 romance, a fairy tale, a tale of monsters and battles and lovers and gods and goddesses and adventure. It has been said that everything written since this first seminal work is just a variation on The Odyssey. We are having you read the first five books as summer reading so that we can go back and reread them closely. Last year, students read a 250 page book for summer reading, so you have a real advantage with our new approach. Remember: you only read the first five books (chapters). You read pp The study guide poses prompts and questions, and gives you a neat summary of the main plot points. Read the study guide (an entry for each book) first and then read the book/chapter in The Odyssey. In a notebook, answer the questions we pose in the study guide. If you can, you are sure to find it easy to master this text; if you can t, touch base with your teacher and we will help you learn how to decode Homer s words. We will be reading the entire work together. Mr. Hatcher and I are looking forward to our odyssey with you. Have a great summer and come ready to dive into the greatest story ever told. We will be explaining the commonplace books mentioned in the study guide when you arrive the first day, so just ignore references to it. Warmly, Mrs. Mueller

7 Book by Book Guide to the First Five books of the Odyssey With: Abbreviated summaries, People to know Important places Reading prompts Maps

8 Back to list Background for Reading The Odyssey The Trojan War Please read this brief background of the Trojan War; it provides important background for reading The Odyssey, which picks up where the Trojan War ends. Homer wrote the two great works of Ancient Greece: The Iliad which tells the story of the Trojan War, and, our text, The Odyssey, which tells the tale of Odysseus s voyage home. There are many names, and many of them are difficult to pronounce. Please do not become intimidated. We will learn how to say the names, and our text has a great pronunciation chart at the back. The Apple of Discord The Trojan War has its roots in the marriage between Peleus and Thetis, a sea-goddess. Peleus and Thetis had not invited Eris, the goddess of discord, to their marriage and the outraged goddess stormed into the wedding banquet and threw a golden apple onto the table. The apple belonged to, Eris said, whomever was the fairest. Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite each reached for the apple. Zeus proclaimed that Paris, prince of Troy and thought to be the most beautiful man alive, would act as the judge.

9 Hermes went to Paris, and Paris agreed to act as the judge. Hera promised him power, Athena promised him wealth, and Aphrodite promised the most beautiful woman in the world. Paris chose Aphrodite, and she promised him that Helen, wife of Menelaus, would be his wife. Paris then prepared to set off for Sparta to capture Helen. Twin prophets Cassandra and Helenus tried to persuade him against such action, as did his mother, Hecuba. But Paris would not listen and he set off for Sparta. In Sparta, Menelaus, husband of Helen, treated Paris as a royal guest. However, when Menelaus left Sparta to go to a funeral, Paris abducted Helen (who perhaps went willingly) and also carried off much of Menelaus' wealth. In Troy, Helen and Paris were married. This occurred around 1200 B.C. (Wood, 16). Greek Armament Menelaus, however, was outraged to find that Paris had taken Helen. Menelaus then called upon all of Helen's old suitors, as all of the suitors had made an oath long ago that they would all back Helen's husband to defend her honor. Many of the suitors did not wish to go to war. Odysseus pretended to be insane but this trick was uncovered by Palamedes. Achilles, though not one of the previous suitors, was sought after because the seer Calchas had stated that Troy would not be taken unless Achilles would fight. One of the most interesting stories is of Cinyras, king of Paphos, in Cyprus, who had been a suitor of Helen. He did not wish to go to war, but promised Agamemnon fifty ships for the Greek fleet. True to his word, Cinyras did send fifty ships. The first ship was commanded by his son. The other forty-nine, however, were toy clay ships, with tiny clay sailors. They dissembled soon after being placed in the ocean (Tripp, ).

10 The Greek fleet assembled, under Agamemnon's inspection, in Aulis. However, Agamemnon either killed one of Diana's sacred stags or made a careless boast. Either way, Diana was outraged and she calmed the seas so that the fleet could not take off. The seer Calchas proclaimed that Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon, must be sacrificed before the fleet could set sail. This was done, and the Greek ships set off in search of Troy. (We will return to this story at the end of the year when we read a science fiction novel called The Gate to Women s Country). Embassy to Priam Odysseus, known for his eloquence, and Menelaus were sent as ambassadors to Priam. They demanded Helen and the stolen treasure be returned. Priam refused, and Odysseus and Menelaus returned to the Greek ships with the announcement that war was inevitable. The War The first nine years of the war consisted of both war in Troy and war against the neighboring regions. The Greeks realized that Troy was being supplied by its neighboring kingdoms, so Greeks were sent to defeat these areas. As well as destroying Trojan economy, these battles let the Greeks gather a large amount of resources and other spoils of war, including women (e.g., Briseis, Tecmessa and Chryseis). The Greeks won many important battles and the Trojan hero Hector fell, as did the Trojan ally Penthesilea. However, the Greeks could not break down the walls of Troy. Patroclus was killed and, soonafter, Achilles was felled by Paris. Helenus, son of Priam, had been captured by Odysseus. A prophet, Helenus told the Greeks that Troy would not fall unless: a) Pyrrhus, Achilles' son, fought in the war, b) The bow and arrows of Hercules were used by the Greeks against the Trojans,

11 c) The remains of Pelops, the famous Eleian hero, were brought to Troy, and d) The Palladium, a statue of Athena, was stolen from Troy (Tripp, 587). Phoenix persuaded Pyrrhus to join the war. Philoctetes had the bow and arrows of Hercules, but had been left by the Greek fleet in Lemnos because he had been bitten by a snake and his wound had a horrendous smell. Philoctetes was bitter, but was finally persuaded to join the Greeks. The remains of Pelops were gotten, and Odysseus infiltrated Trojan defenses and stole the Palladium. The Trojan Horse Still seeking to gain entrance into Troy, clever Odysseus (some say with the aid of Athena) ordered a large wooden horse to be built. Its insides were to be hollow so that soldiers could hide within it. Once the statue had been built by the artist Epeius, a number of the Greek warriors, along with Odysseus, climbed inside. The rest of the Greek fleet sailed away, so as to deceive the Trojans. One man, Sinon, was left behind. When the Trojans came to marvel at the huge creation, Sinon pretended to be angry with the Greeks, stating that they had deserted him. He assured the Trojans that the wooden horse was safe and would bring luck to the Trojans. Only two people, Laocoon and Cassandra, spoke out against the horse, but they were ignored. The Trojans celebrated what they thought was their victory, and dragged the wooden horse into Troy. That night, after most of Troy was asleep or in a drunken stupor, Sinon let the Greek warriors out from the horse, and they slaughtered the Trojans. Priam was killed as he huddled by Zeus' altar and Cassandra was pulled from the statue of Athena and raped. After the War After the war, Polyxena, daughter of Priam, was sacrificed at the tomb of Achilles and Astyanax, son of Hector, was also sacrificed, signifying the end of the war.

12 Aeneas, a Trojan prince, managed to escape the destruction of Troy, and Virgil's Aeneid tells of his flight from Troy. Many sources say that Aeneas was the only Trojan prince to survive, but this statement contradicts the common story that Andromache was married to Helenus, twin of Cassandra, after the war. Menelaus, who had been determined to kill his faithless wife, was soon taken by Helen's beauty and seductiveness that he allowed her to live. The surviving Trojan women were divided among the Greek men along with the other plunder. The Greeks then set sail for home, which, for some, proved as difficult and took as much time as the Trojan War itself (e.g., Odysseus and Menelaus).

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14 Background on Homer Distilled from the Introduction (which you don t read) Introduction: Odyssey literally means tale of Odysseus. A Trojan war hero who takes ten years to return home from battle. Poem is an epic told in 12,109 lines of hexameter Composed 2, 700 years ago Odysseus is gone for ten years First printed version in Florence in in type that imitated ancient Greek handwriting Most of the great Italian poets Petrarch, Dante and Bocacchio could not read Greek. Greek was essential a lost language during the Renaissance. Homer was writing 400 years after the Trojan war ended Trojan War was 1200 B.C. Homer wrote (did not just sing) The Odyssey virtually all scholars now believe that he was using writing, not just singing the Epic. No one in The Odyssey reads or writes Homeric Greek was not spoken; it is a uniquely poetic form- In fact, the language of Homer was one nobody, except epic bards, oracular priests, or literary parodists would dream of using. (12) The texture of Homeric epic was for the classic age of Greece like that of the Elgin Marbles for us weathered by time but speaking to us directly: august, authoritative, inimitable, a vision of life fixed forever in forms that seem to have been molded by the gods rather than men. (12) Yet though it is always metrically regular, it never becomes monotonous; its internal variety guarantees that. This regularity imposed on variety is Homer s greatest metrical secret, the strongest weapon in his poetic arsenal. (12-13) While The Odyssey often makes reference to events in the Iliad, it does not replicate them, a technique that assumes that the audience is well familiar with that tale and format. Homer s sense of Greek geography is completely even bizarrely flawed. He only seems to know the Aegean area well. His descriptions of Ithaca are so widely divergent that no one can really locate where it was. (25-26) One of Odysseus many epithets is Sacker of Cities. Fagels makes the point that he was in fact no better than a pirate in this regard, but that piracy was invested with honor. Importance of hosts: at every turn the text reinforces Greek codes about being a good host. One had to offer gifts, but the guest could turn them down. Some of the people O. meets are excellent hosts,

15 others delay him, and still others harm him and his men. The suitors break every rule of hospitality. Deceit is one of O s best weapons In the Iliad, Achilles says to O in Troy, I hate the man like the very Gates of Death/ who says one thing but hides another in his heart. Achilles found lies abhorrent but they were second nature to O and a point of pride for him. (37) Echoes of Iliad themes in the death of the suitors. O kills all 108 suitors with just the help of T. and two servants. He goes into a kind of blood frenzy. Unlike the Iliad, the Odyssey is an epic with a thoroughly domestic base. Except in the wanderings and sometimes even there we are down on earth, whether in the full and frequent meals in a palace (Fielding called the Odyssey the eatingest epic ) or in the rural domesticity of Eumaeus hut. (41) The Odyssey owes much of its power to enchant so many generations of readers to its elegant exploitation of something that war temporarily suppresses or corrupts the infinite variety of the emotional traffic between male and female. (50)

16 Book One: Athena Inspires the Prince Place: Ithaca People to Know- Athena (Goddess of Wisdom), Telemachus (Odysseus and Penelope s son), Penelope (Odysseus s wife) Plot Points- We learn the Odysseus has not returned from the Trojan war, that he has been gone for nineteen years, that the suitors are overrunning Penelope and Telemachus household, that they are vying for Penelope s attention and want her to select one of them as a new husband, and that Athena is going to disguise herself as a man named Mentor in order to help Telemachus find his father. Points to Ponder- Be ready to respond to these points. You might want to select a passage for your commonplace book entry based on one of these. Reading quiz questions may be drawn from here. 1. How, specifically, has Odysseus absence imperiled or endangered Penelope and Telemachus? 2. Do they face different dangers? 3. To what degree has Penelope failed Telemachus? Should he forgive her? Do you? 4. What are your first impressions of the suitors? What has Homer done stylistically to make you respond in this way? 5. Make special note of the adjectives that are used to describe all of the characters we meet. Which terms are used to describe the suitors? 6. Should the people of Ithaca have intervened and tried to banish the suitors? 7. Why do you think Athena disguises herself? Why not appear as a god? 8. What is Telemachus attitude to his mother? 9. How does Telemachus change over the course of Book 1?

17 Book Two: Telemachus Sets Sail Athena and Telemachus People to Know: Eurymachus and Antinous (two of the most brazen of the suitors; they will continue to be singled out for special attention, especially in the last books); Telemachus nursemaid, Eurycleia Plot Points: Telemachus finds his voice and addresses the assembled citizens of Ithaca. Athena, disguised as Mentor, helps him plan a strategy to find his father. We learn more about the suitors designs. Points to Ponder 1. How has Telemachus changed? 2. How does he speak to and treat Penelope? 3. What does Penelope s ploy to hold off the unwanted attentions of the suitors tell us about her? 4. How does the tone of Telemachus first speech to assembly alter from the beginning to the end? 5. How does Antinous depict Penelope s character? 6. When Athena/Mentor rejoins Telemachus, what is she chiefly trying to accomplish with him? 7. Which character traits do you see in Telemachus as he leaves Ithaca behind?

18 Book Three: King Nestor Remembers Nestor and Menelaus People to Know: Nestor and Menelaus (two of the heroes of the Trojan War and Odysseus s close friends) Plot Points: Telemachus arrives at Pylos, Nestor s home. Nestor is one of the senior statesmen/leaders of the Trojan War. His people are on the beaches making proper sacrifice to Poseidon (who will be Odysseus enemy). Telemachus tells Athena/Mentor that he s shy about approaching the king, but she encourages him. Nestor is moved to tell the tale of Troy ( ). Pay attention to the romantic language used. Does Nestor ever really address the horrors of war? Points to Ponder 1. Given Nestor s evident love for Odysseus, why hasn t he done more to help his friend s family? 2. Compare Nestor s kingdom to Ithaca; note specific differences. How does this portrait highlight Telemachus plight? 3. Given that Nestor does not know where Odysseus is, what is the value of Telemachus journey here? Be ready to share specific things that he learns and knows as a result of this visit. 4. What are the main causes of the troubles Agamemnon and Menelaus have on their way home? 5. Why does Homer introduce the story of Agamemnon, Aegisthus, and Orestes, here? 6. What, exactly, does Telemachus learn in this book? 7. What can we tell about Greek rules of hospitality from this book? 8. Be ready to compare the length of time it took Nestor and Menelaus to return to the length of time it is taking Odysseus. What accounts for this remarkable difference? 9. Nestor himself will ask why Telemachus has not taken action against the suitors. Does Telemachus respond directly? Do his rational make sense?

19 Book Four: The King and Queen of Sparta Helen of Troy Place: Sparta People to Know: Helen of Troy - In Greek mythology, Helen (in Greek, Ἑλένη Helénē), known as Helen of Troy (and earlier Helen of Sparta), was the daughter of Zeus and Leda (or Nemesis), wife of King Menelaus of Sparta and sister of Castor, Polydeuces and Clytemnestra. Her abduction by Paris brought about the Trojan War. Helen was described by Christopher Marlowe as having "the face that launched a thousand ships."-- Wickipedia Plot Points 1. Having been entertained by Nestor, Telemachus and Nestor s son journey to the palace of Menelaus and Helen, where a double wedding is taking place. 2. Menelaus palace is filled with rare and expensive objects; he s been richly rewarded for his role in the war, and has safely returned, though not with the speed that Nestor did. 3. Compared to Odysseus ten year journey, and Nestor s it took Menelaus eight years to get home. 4. Helen recounts her role in starting the Trojan War by emphasizing that Athena cast a spell on her and made her mad. 5. Helen recounts one of the most famous Trojan tales (which we will learn more about later) that of the Trojan Horse one of Odysseus most brilliant tricks. 6. The next day, Menelaus recounts his return journey; after being delayed by idle winds, he learns from one of Proteus daughters how to trap Proteus and question him about why they are being delayed. Menelaus and his men disguise themselves as seals and trap Proteus in a form where he can answer their questions. Proteus tells them that they must go all the way back to Egypt and make a proper sacrifice to Zeus if they are to arrive home safely.

20 Proteus then recounts the stories of Ajax s and Agamemnon s deaths, a tale that reduces Menelaus and his men to tears; Proteus chastises him for wasting time in idle tears and urges him to hurry home so that he can avenge his brother s death or share the funeral feast if Orestes beats him to killing Aegisthus. Points to Ponder 1. Why are Helen s story and role so important? What is shocking about her story? Do you believe her when she says that only madness could account for why she left her family? 2. Be ready to list important themes that are coming into sharper focus. 3. We are hearing variations on the same stories especially Agamemnon s fate. Why do you think this story, in particular, is being told in many ways and from many different perspectives? What new details do we learn from different tellers? Why do you think the Greeks were so haunted by and obsessed with Agamemnon s fate? Which specific elements seem most disturbing to them? Why? Which elements are most disturbing to you? Why? Note: I have a very different stance on this story than the ancient Greeks did. One of the great pleasures of reading is that we can have the dual experience of knowing how the initial audience felt about a text, while acknowledging that our own modern stances are valuable and important. 4. Helen has traditionally been blamed for the Trojan war. To what degree are you ready to accept this stance? To what degree is this a simplistic reason? To what degree is this a misogynistic (misogyny is the profound dislike of women/sexism) one? 5. Menelaus also lacks specific answers to Telemachus questions. What does he offer the young prince? How does his household compare to Telemachus or to Nestor s? 6. What specific value is there in seeing Menelaus peaceful household? 7. How does the visit to Menelaus widen Telemachus experience and continue his education? 8. What is Menelaus s mood as he reminisces?

21 Book Five: Odysseus Nymph and Shipwreck Calypso and Odysseus Place: Ogygia = a name that means various things, one of them being, belly button of the world Plot points: An important shift happens here where we start to leave behind Telemachus search and journey and enter Odysseus world. We discover that he has been on Ogygia, Calypso s island, for seven years. The book opens with the gods gathering to debate whether Odysseus should be allowed to go home. Athena champions Odysseus cause and Zeus agrees; he sends Hermes (the messenger god) to tell Calypso that she must free Odysseus. Although enraged, Calypso-- who is only a nymph, not a god releases him. She gives him an ax to cut logs for a raft and she calms the seas. People to Know Calypso - She was the daughter of the Titan, Atlas, and is also known as Atlantis, in ancient Greek. Her mother was probably Tethys. [2] Calypso was confined to the island of Ogygia for supporting her father and the Titans during the Titanomachy. She is remembered for her role in Homer's Odyssey, in which she imprisons the fabled Greek hero Odysseus on her island in order to make him her immortal husband. Athena asks Zeus to spare Odysseus of his torment on the island, as he wants to return home to see his beloved wife Penelope. Zeus compels Calypso to release Odysseus, and she attempts suicide, but she is thwarted by her own immortality. According to Hesiod, Calypso bore Odysseus two children, Nausithous and Nausinous. --From Wickipedia Points to Ponder

22 1. Calypso accounts for a full seven of the nine year delay. Given that she is beautiful and that her island is a kind of paradise, what does this episode tell us about danger and temptation? 2. In what ways has Calypso adopted a stereotypically male agenda or way of treating the opposite sex? 3. What does Ogygia look like? Does it remind you of other literary/mythic/religious spaces? 4. Be ready to name specific benefits that remaining with Calypso would give Odysseus. 5. In rejecting Calypso s offer, what does Odysseus embrace? 6. What lessons does Odysseus learn on Ogygia?

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