by Jonathan Edwards
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.
A Good Man is Hard to Find
- Flannery O'Connor
In “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor tells the story of a family who travels on a vacation that goes horribly wrong.Pair “A Good Man is Hard to Find” with “Excerpt from ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’” and ask students to discuss what it means to be bad or a sinner. Is this something that the characters have control over in “A Good Man is Hard to Find”? Does Jonathan Edwards describe the possibility of change and avoiding hell? Does either text explore the possibility of people having control over who they are or what happens to them?
The Coming of Night
- Linda Pastan
This short poem describes a speaker’s acceptance of the inevitability of death.Pair “The Coming of Night” with “Excerpt from ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’” and ask students to discuss how each text explores death. How does Pastan’s depiction of death compare to how Jonathan Edwards describes the end for sinners? How would students describe the speaker’s attitude regarding death in the poem? How does this compare to the constant threat of death and hell that the speaker portrays in “Excerpt from ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’”?
Young Goodman Brown
- Nathaniel Hawthorne
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” a religious man goes into the woods against his wife’s wishes and meets several obstacles that challenge his faith.Pair “Young Goodman Brown” with “Excerpt from ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’” and ask students to discuss how the nature of sin is explored in each text. How is Goodman Brown tempted by sin in the short story? Do students think that Goodman Brown was rewarded for resisting sin? How do students think Jonathan Edwards’ would feel about Goodman Brown’s choices throughout the short story? Why?