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Appropriately Provocative Texts in the Classroom: An Act of Violation or a Tool for Democracy?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Reading any kind of literature evokes emotions, introduces new experiences and

benefits the understanding of a person’s individual reaction. However, if the purpose

for the reading is to locate facts, such as identifying a theme, the reading

experience could result in discouraging reading. The Swedish curriculum for

uppersecondary school tends to focus on identifying traits of texts, instead of

offering the students to

emotionally connect with the text through previous personal experiences and

interpretations, which would be beneficial for developing critical thinking. This

challenges the notion that reading any kind of literature is an all-positive

experience.

Using Rosenblatt’s reader response-theory, I analyse the myth of literature as

morally beneficial, which refers to the assumption that the readers of a literary work

of art automatically gains moral values through the reading of literature. By

investigating how different literary works could be used, perceived and categorized

based on their appropriateness for classroom readings, this essay examines how the

criteria of appropriateness can be problematic. Further, this essay assesses how

provocative texts could be used for teaching democratic values. The analysis uses The

Handmaid’s Tale, The Camp of the Saints and The Turner Diaries as literary

examples in order to compare texts that have, and have not been challenged, critiqued

and banned in high schools for different purposes, such as racism, feminism and for

being anti-Christian.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 45
Keywords [en]
The Handmaid’s Tale, Appropriateness, Categorization, Provocative, Interpretation, Rosenblatt, Persson, Democratic values, Critical thinking
National Category
Specific Literatures
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-152090OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-152090DiVA, id: diva2:1177219
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Available from: 2018-09-17 Created: 2018-01-24 Last updated: 2018-09-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf