by Alice Gerstenberg
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 Pride and Prejudice
- Jane Austen
Jane Austen (1775-1817) was an English novelist who is famous for writing works of romantic fiction set among the British upper class. Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813, deals with the issues of class, marriage, manners, and morality. In this scene, the protagonist, Elizabeth Bennett, is visited by Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who is furious about a rumor she heard that could threaten her plans for her daughter.Pair “Excerpt from Pride and Prejudice” with “Fourteen” and ask students to discuss how social status shapes the characters’ lives in the two texts. Why does Mrs. Pringle wish for Elaine to marry Oliver Farnsworth? How does this compare to the why Lady Catherine is against Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy being together?
Keeping Up with the Joneses
- CommonLit Staff
The phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” describes the habit of trying to compete with your peers’ social status, wealth, and possessions. This article explores our systems of status and class, and why there exists this pressure of social competition.Pair “Keeping Up With the Joneses” with “Fourteen” and ask students to discuss how both texts explore the importance of projecting a certain image. How is Mrs. Pringle attempting to portray a certain image and social status to her guests at the dinner party? How are Mrs. Pringle’s actions a form of “keeping up with the Joneses”?
Excerpts from Three Sisters
- Anton Chekhov
In Anton Chekhov’s play “Three Sisters,” the Prózorov siblings struggle to find happiness in a rural Russian village.Pair “Excerpts from Three Sisters” with “Fourteen” and ask students to discuss how both plays explore how people are affected by their social status. What connection do the characters make between happiness and a high social status? How are familial relationships strained in the two texts by the obstacles they face?