by Robert Firestone, Ph.D.
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.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
- T.S. Eliot
“Prufrock” was written by Eliot in the years leading up to WWI and was published in 1914 during what is referred to as the period of modernism. The poem is a dramatic interior monologue of an urban man, stricken with feelings of isolation and an incapability for action. Prufrock laments his physical and intellectual inertia, the lost opportunities in his life and lack of spiritual progress, of weariness, regret, embarrassment, longing, emasculation, a sense of decay, and an awareness of mortality.Pair “Why Do We Hate Love?” with “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and ask students to discuss how people react to love. Why do romance and intimacy invoke fear and anxiety, as seen in Eliot’s poem?
- Jack London
In Jack London’s “Love Letter,” London expresses a romantic, introspective view into his feelings of tenderness toward a fellow writer.Pair “Why Do We Hate Love?” with “Love Letter” and have students discuss the less idyllic aspects of romantic entanglement. In what ways might something we often champion as an unqualified good—romantic love—cause a person trouble? Is a person’s negative reaction to being loved or being in love unconscious? Does this change your perception of London’s take on love?
- Edgar Allan Poe
In Poe’s short story, “Eleonora," a man poetically recounts his tale of childhood love—and loss—with a somewhat happy ending.Pair these two texts from different periods and genres and have students apply the theories in “Why Do We Hate Love?” to Poe’s story. What does the science of love help reveal about Poe’s writing?
Here We Aren't, So Quickly
- Jonathan Safran Foer
In this avant-garde short story, a man reflects on his life and his relationship with his family.Pair “Here We Aren’t, So Quickly” with “Why Do We Hate Love” and ask students to discuss the way the two texts present the idea of love. What effect does love have on our lives? How can love impact our relationships with one another?
Excerpt from “Where Lovers Dream”
- Anzia Yezierska
In “Excerpt from ‘Where Lovers Dream’” Anzia Yezierska tells the story of a woman who runs into someone she used to know at a wedding.Pair “Why Do We Hate Love” with “Excerpt from ‘Where Lovers Dream’” and ask students to discuss how Anzia Yezierska’s short story explores the negative experiences associated with love. Does the narrator’s ex-boyfriend appear to be having a similarly negative experience as the narrator?