by J. Patrick Lewis
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.
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s poem “An Obstacle,” she urges us to remain strong when facing everyday obstacles. Gilman was writing as a feminist during a time when it was not socially acceptable to identify as such.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?
- Claude McKay
Festus Claudius “Claude” McKay (1889-1948) was a Jamaican-American novelist and poet who played an important role in the Harlem Renaissance. In this sonnet, the speaker reveals his mixed feelings about living in "the land of the free."Pair “America” with “The Journalist,” and ask students to discuss how the themes of inequality are developed in each text. How do the speakers in each poem perceive America? How does each speaker decide to deal with their feelings about America?
Hello, My Name Is ______
- Jason Kim
In the personal account “Hello, My Name Is _______,” Jason Kim discusses accepting his Korean American identity and his experiences assimilating into American culture.Pair “Hello, My Name is _______” with “The Journalist” to provide students with a personal account of the Asian American experience from an Asian American writer. Ask students to analyze the theme of otherness and inequality in each text. What are the similarities and differences between Jason Kim’s personal experience and Lewis’s poem?