by Leo Tolstoy
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.
Excerpt from The Jungle
- Upton Sinclair
Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) was a famous twentieth century poet who often experimented with different genres. The Jungle, published in 1906, exposed the harsh conditions of the meatpacking industry in Chicago and other similar industrial cities. Public pressure during the aftermath of the book’s publication led to the passage of the Meat Inspection Act, which helps ensure that meat is packaged under sanitary conditions.Pair “The Two Brothers” with this excerpt from “The Jungle” and ask students to think about the question of how people create social change as it is played out in each text. Further, ask them if they think social movements are more effective if they have monetary support, having read “The Two Brothers” and knowing the following background information about “The Jungle”: As a young, poor socialist, Upton Sinclair hoped to use his literary talents to draw attention to the unsanitary conditions that Americans working in the meatpacking industry endured. Instead, American readers were more horrified by his revelations about the poor quality of the meat being marketed to them; Sinclair famously noted that he “aimed at the public’s heart and by accident I hit it in the stomach.” Public outcry and unwillingness to purchase meat produced in such conditions led to reform.
Sense and Sensibility, Chapters 1 and 2
- Jane Austen
In “Sense and Sensibility, Chapters 1 and 2,” Jane Austen tells the story of three sisters following the death of their father.Pair “The Two Brothers” with “Sense and Sensibility, Chapters 1 and 2” and ask students to discuss how money can corrupt people. How do the two texts explore ways in which money can help some people, while bringing out the worst in others? How can people avoid this corruption?
God Sees the Truth, But Waits
- Leo Tolstoy translated by Aylmer Maude
In Leo Tolstoy’s short story, “God Sees the Truth, But Waits”, a man is convicted of a crime that he didn’t commit.Pair “The Two Brothers” with “God Sees the Truth, But Waits” to provide students with another short story by Leo Tolstoy. Ask students to compare the theme of each text. How does Tolstoy help his characters find the right path through religion? Based on the two stories, what do students think Tolstoy’s opinion about religion was?