by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
- Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas' most famous poem, written for his dying father, in which he urges him to "rage, rage against the dying of the light."Pair “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” with “An Obstacle” to spark a discussion about life, death, and resilience.
Yul Kwon, From Bullying Target to Reality TV Star
- NPR Staff
Yul Kwon’s early life was mired with a host of challenges. Born to South Korean immigrants in New York, Kwon never had a positive role model from his community. In 2006, he decided to join the cast of Survivor and make a name for himself - and other Asian Americans - in popular culture.Pair "Yul Kwon: From Bullying Target to Reality TV Star" with "An Obstacle" and ask how prejudice can influence different individuals' perspectives and lives.
Because I could not stop for death
- Emily Dickinson
In Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for Death," the speaker meets Death, personified as a carriage driver. This poem is a classic example of Dickinson's poetry - short, choppy sentences, packed with meaning and metaphor.Pair "An Obstacle" with "Because I could not stop for death" and ask students to compare the use of author's use of personification in each text.
If We Must Die
- Claude McKay
Claude McKay (1889-1948) was a Jamaican-American writer and poet who was a seminal figure during the Harlem Renaissance. In this poem, McKay discusses facing death and other obstacles with courage and dignity, and reflects upon his perspective on the black experience during early 20th century America.Pair “If We Must Die” with “An Obstacle” to spark a discussion about life, death, and resilience.
Excerpt from “Susan B. Anthony, The Woman”
- Helen Dare
Journalist Susan Dare interviews the famous women’s right activist, Susan B. Anthony, in this text published in 1905.Pair “An Obstacle” with “Excerpts from ‘Susan B. Anthony, The Woman’” and ask students to consider how Anthony might respond to Gilman’s poem in the light of what they learned about her from this interview. How would Anthony interpret the poem? What ideas about the world might Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Susan B. Anthony share? How do both of these texts inform students’ understanding of the status of women during the late 19th and early 20th centuries?
- J. Patrick Lewis
In “The Journalist,” a Chinese American journalist discusses how she uses her platform to address injustices in America.Pair “An Obstacle” with “The Journalist,” and ask students to discuss the poets’ use of figurative language and how they reveal the perspectives of the speakers in each poem. What choices do the poets make to emphasize how the speakers feel, and why?
They're Made Out of Meat
- Terry Bisson
In “They’re Made Out of Meat,” two aliens have to decide if they want to interact with foreign beings that are made out of “meat.”A woman meets Prejudice, personified as a man, while walking on a mountain path. Pair “An Obstacle” with “They’re Made Out of Meat,” and ask students to analyze the writers’ uses of allegory and personification to address prejudice. Discuss both authors’ purpose in using literary devices to critique prejudice.
The Women of Hidden Figures
- Jessica McBirney
In “The Women of Hidden Figures,” Jessica McBirney describes three famous African American women who performed crucial work at NASA during the Space Race.Pair “An Obstacle” with “The Women of Hidden Figures” and ask students to consider how the poem's speaker and the real-life women of NASA responded to prejudice. How did the African American women who worked at NASA during the Space Race respond to prejudice, and how did it compare to the speaker’s actions in “An Obstacle”? Does one text reveal a “better” way to respond to prejudice?
Trailblazing surgeon Mary Walker still one of a kind
- Marylou Tousignant
In the informational text “Trailblazing surgeon Mary Walker still one of a kind,” Marylou Tousignant discusses the accomplishments of a female surgeon during the Civil War.Pair “Trailblazing surgeon Mary Walker still one of a kind” with “An Obstacle” and ask students to discuss the obstacles that stood in Mary Walker’s way. How did she respond? Were there times when she displayed different reactions as reflected by the different stanzas of the poem? Why or why not? If Mary Walker’s story had a final stanza, how would it read?