by G.K. Chesterton
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.
I'm Nobody! Who Are You?Emily Dickinson
Dickinson, a well-known introvert, cherished isolation. In this poem, she calls public life "dreary" and takes pride in maintaining a private identity.Pair “The Fallacy of Success” with “I’m Nobody! Who are You?” and ask students to discuss how each piece views what it means to be a success of a person.
From 'The World Before Him'Horatio Alger, Jr.
In this excerpt from The World Before Him (1902), author Horatio Alger, Jr. perfectly captures the hopeful vision of success in America's Gilded Age through the eyes of a young country boy.Pair the excerpt from “The World Before Him” with “The Fallacy of Success,” and ask students to discuss how the ideas of success and luck are portrayed in each text. What would Chesterton think of Alger’s stories? Which author do students agree with more?
The Model MillionaireOscar Wilde
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854B1900) was an Irish author and playwright who is most famous for his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. "The Model Millionaire" is a about an average man whose generosity produces an unexpected outcome.Pair “The Model Millionaire” with “The Fallacy of Success” and ask students to discuss how each piece uses humor to discuss wealth, status, and how to become successful.
The Elements of SuccessMike Kubic
"The Elements of Success" examines three cultural traits that are said to illustrate the successfulness of different groups in America.Pair “The Elements of Success” with “The Fallacy of Success” and have students discuss different definitions of success and how to achieve it. Given that these texts were written 100 years apart, what does the common theme tell us about humanity’s fascination with success?
Excerpt from The Autobiography of Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin
In this excerpt from his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin discusses his efforts to better himself by developing different virtues.Pair “Arriving at Perfection” with “The Fallacy of Success” and ask students to discuss how they viewed Franklin’s 13 virtues before and after reading “The Fallacy of Success.”
Why I Despise The Great GatsbyKathryn Schulz
In this text, New York magazine writer Kathryn Schulz shares her opinion on The Great Gatsby.Pair “The Fallacy of Success” with “Why I Despise The Great Gatsby” and ask students to discuss the idea of success discussed in Chesterton's article. In “Why I Despise The Great Gatsby” the author stated that the novel was not a success as it did not sell the anticipated amount of copies printed. After reading the article, “The Fallacy of Success,” do students think The Great Gatsby could have been a success at the time of publication? Why or why not? How is success defined? Who defines success? Why do students think definitions of success differ?