On Literature

Exercises in Style: a Writing Tribute

3 min read Book rec Writing Toolbox Wordplay Ages 9 to 99 AVAILABLE IN PODCAST HERE Titles begin with letters as human forms Narrative One day at about midday in the food line, behind the checkout of a more or less busy Costco, I observed a person with a very big...

Bedside Counselor on Parenting in Anger, in Two Translations

6 min read Book rec Prose for emergencies Writing feature AVAILABLE IN PODCAST, CLICK HERE For solace and for counsel, I have several books I find myself returning to again and again, and to this one, most recently, as my third child prepares to leave home.* For...

A Poet Warrior Learns Kindness

4 min read Book Rec, Tokaido Road Poetry for Emergencies AVAILABLE IN PODCAST Spotify iTunes Google Podcast It made me feel flawed as a human, this passage from Lucia St.Clair Robson's book, Tokaido Road. The protagonist Cat is disguised as a young man when she meets...

Each Sentence Reflects 3 Choices

2 Min read 1 Essay Toolbox How to improve your sentences immediately AVAILABLE IN PODCAST Spotify iTunes Google Podcast Each sentence reflects three choices. What to write about and what we want to accomplish by writing about itWhich words to useWhat order to put them...

Essays that changed me: Rachel Cusk and “Making Home”

5 min read The Music in Prose Rachel Cusk St. Augustine, Montaigne Why an essay breathes AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify iTunes Google Podcasts The essay can make the best of people cringe, with its connection to the dreaded common application or the college assignment....

Poetry for Emergencies: Ukraine, Howard Nemerov, and the War Dead

6 Min read Howard Nemerov 2 Poems TreeHouseLetter feature:  Poetry for Emergencies   AVAILABLE IN PODCAST iTunes Spotify.com anchor.fm/emelle Poetry is a way of getting something right in language. Nemerov It's a batshit crazy world, especially for our friends of...

Sex Over 70 Years and the Synecdoche

7 min read, explicit content 2 Books 2 Rhetorical devices The Music in Prose - THL feature focused on writing that 'sings' and why   AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify ITunes Google Podcasts   It's a double entendre, this letter's headline, but it's fitting. I'm...

Love in a Sad Cafe

5 Min Read 1 Book Rec The Music in Prose   AVAILABLE IN PODCAST Anchor.fm/emelle Spotify iTunes The Music in Prose is a regular feature of the TreeHouseLetter. The idea for this came from my work on music and language, considering just what it is about the...

The Meaning in Music

4 min read AVAILABLE IN PODCAST (Listen to this letter to hear the piano music) Spotify iTunes Anchor.fm/emelle Your job will change, where you live will change, the people in your life will change, but you will always have your music. It’s been my mantra for years,...

Books as Trophies? the Bibliophile vs the Bibliophagist

AVAILABLE ON PODCAST iTunes Spotify anchor.fm/emelle   I have a book problem. It's a good kind of problem because books teach me a lot and I get to hang out and learn with the best. The books don't break the bank. But the books might break my back, or my shelves,...

The Sexy Semicolon, Really?

AVAILABLE ON PODCAST iTunes Spotify Anchor.fm Loved and loathed, sexy and sinister may not be modifiers that come to mind when you think of the semicolon. Cecelia Watson argues otherwise in her deep dive on this misunderstood mark, concluding a decade of research,...

Poetry for Emergencies: Lain S. Thomas at Daybreak

AVAILABLE ON PODCAST iTunes Spotify Anchor.fm   Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and I’m scared. It’s not often and I usually can get back to sleep. I’m lucky that way because people do suffer from insomnia and my waking is not like that. An overactive...

April Dreams: a Story & Two Poems

AVAILABLE ON PODCAST iTunes Spotify Anchor.fm   One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.  Goethe   The bleachers were full and folks were talking...

I Met a Man at the Top of Chimney Rock

AVAILABLE ON PODCAST iTunes Spotify Anchor.fm   “Would you mind if I take off my shirt?” he said. He asked me to take a photo and didn’t want to offend. I said I wouldn’t be offended. He smiled, posing atop the 315-foot granite monolith, the Broad River flowing...

Just a Common Soldier by Vaincourt

This post is for  "the ordinary fellow, who in times of war and strife, goes off to serve his country and offers up his life." It is popular on Veterans Day.     Just a Common Soldier by A. Lawrence Vaincourt He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was...

Birthday and Death Day, Catholics and Customs

PODCAST AVAILABLE iTunes Spotify Anchor.fm     September 2 is a special day for me, the birthday of my daughter and the death day of my father. The cemetery is beautiful. I’ve always had a special regard for cemeteries in spite of the ghosts and the...

On Becoming Sheepdogs, a Modern Fable

AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Anchor.fm Spotify iTunes In the wake of recent events regarding the tragic death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests, this letter seems more relevant than ever. It has been updated to relate my own experience and the role of the brave men and...

Memorial Day Reflection – Two Poems and a Tribute

POEMS AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Anchor.fm Spotify iTunes     Two short Memorial Day poems to remember and reflect on the sacrifice of all those who gave their lives for freedom.  The first is a notable World War II poem, graphic and difficult, because war is...

Why Nursing Homes Suck

PODCAST AVAILABLE Spotify Anchor.fm iTunes   It was my first time visiting a nursing home and I don’t remember its name, but it was somewhere near Seal Beach. I was in California for spring training with the West Point track team and I spent my days working out...

Poetry Dinner Night – A Quarantine Scene

Does she or doesn’t she? Do you recognize this from the 1956 ad campaign? Does it elicit unsavory thoughts? This Hall-of-Fame advertising slogan was used for Clairol’s Hair Color and within six years seventy percent of women were dying their hair. Maybe you remember...

The Three Gifts – So what have you learned in 50 years?

AVAILABLE ON PODCAST iTunes Spotify Anchor.fm   ** A child's note, three gifts from a parent, and Tolstoy's famous story **   I stumbled upon a note recently from my ten-year-old son, written in print with a pencil, the scrawl tending slightly downward. To...

Raise Your Glass! A Toast by W.B. Yeats

AVAILABLE IN PODCAST Spotify Anchor.fm iTunes   I wanted to share a short poem and what makes it special, why it works as a poem and a toast. Along the way, I’ll talk a bit about punctuation and words, and why they are important to making language sing. This...

Solzhenitsyn and the Gulag – A Russian Novel About Your Life

What can we learn from the Gulag? About the military, about the body and soul? AVAILABLE IN PODCAST iTunes Spotify Anchor.fm     Walking up Hawks Hill near my home, I discovered a pebble in my shoe. I had taken a couple of them out of my right sneaker before...

On Poetry and Mondegreens and Teenagers

 Listen to PODCAST iTunes Spotify I had a teacher in eighth grade named Miss Michaelson. She was a bit long in the tooth and had a jagged helmet of black hair. A big boned woman, she wore dresses which wrapped about her like robes on a Greek statue, the overall...

The Making of a Myth or Legend – Stephen Siller

LISTEN TO PODCAST iTUNES Spotify   What goes into the making of a myth or a legend? I listened to my daughter’s English teacher explain the importance of myths in contemporary culture, the idea that something new is often created from the weaving of old threads,...

Walking With Homer – A Connecticut Odyssey

Today I was in for a surprise, an unlikely and timely gift. It was a sunny Sunday in January, just breaking into the 30s after a cold spell.  I put on yoga pants and dressed in layers, a puffy vest, a sweatshirt with black date stamps printed on the front, like the...

ON WALKING – Sedaris, Gornick, Cadogan, & Thoreau

  I've come across the topic of walking in my reading, especially lately, as well as over the years.  Writers walk and maybe the converse, while not logically true, is true on occasion. Walkers write. I need to walk, I must walk, but like my need to run, I am...

A Remedy Much Desired – Suicide & Three Poems by Max Ehrmann

Fun, colorful, classic. The first two clash with the third, because when we think of classic, especially in fashion, we think modest, elegant, subdued.  Designer Kate Spade made the trio possible for professional women, the idea that classic could also be fun and...

Things Desired – Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

  April is National Poetry Month, which makes sense. If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?* And here is spring, eluded and long postponed by wintry flurries and storms, yet the sun is shining in the window. The daffodils sprouted, even amid the snow, and the...

Fruitcake & Friends & Truman Capote

WINTER SOLSTICE There are sunnier days ahead! The days are getting longer with the winter solstice just past. Day length on December 22 is two seconds more than yesterday in my town, if you consult the chart for 2017. It's hard to believe the sun sets at 4:29 PM, but...

Little Free Library – Charter # 46480 – For the Love of Reading

The Little Free Library (LFL) is up, in the yard, along the road, by the wooded end of our lot. It is full of books of all kinds, fiction, non-fiction, young adult, children's, and even an Inaugural Poem, mind games, and a field guide. It is open for fall and school...

Revisiting a Classic –  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  I've been reading a lot for grad school, a dozen plus books in a short time, some of which I'd read already, like this one. So yep, graduate school, ME and going back AGAIN  for another degree, in writing. It shouldn't be as much work because I'm already doing...

Keep Chirping – Poetry & What Divides Us

Word of the day: a cephalophore is any of a group of Catholic martyrs who were supposed to carry their heads in their hands.  Also:  The family of mollusks with distinct heads. Family of ventricose or filliform mushrooms. (wordnik.com) I came across this image in a...

A Lifetime in Books – Sandy’s List – Daedalus’s Bookseller

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.  Jorge Luis Borges When I travel I visit local bookstores, often the highlight of a trip.  Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores is a collection of tales and colorful illustrations by writer and...

Can You Just Spell Your Name? Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

      If any man should ask you how the name Antoninus is written, would you, with a straining of voice, utter each letter? What if the questioner grew angry, would you be angry, too? Would you not go on with composure and spell out every letter? Just...

Keeping Christmas by Henry van Dyke

  For the next couple of weeks, I will share essays, poems, stories and readings . Here's a good "sermon" for the season, regardless of religious background. The words are skillfully chosen and arranged to highlight the idea that we are part of something bigger,...

Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea & the Madwoman in the Attic

Jane, Rochester, Fairfax. The mention of characters in literature conjures emotions and memories, as much as the scent of balsam fir and the crackle of a fire reminds us of Christmas. Simple plainspoken Jane Eyre and the brooding Mr. Rochester may take us back to high...

A Toast for All Times – Weddings & Graduations – Marcus Aurelius

The flight to Seattle from JFK was perfect, a clear day across most of the country.  I had a window seat behind the wing on the left side of an Airbus 320, or the south side going west, giving me a bird's eye view of the good old U.S. of A. My neighbor slept and most...

What is a Good Life? – Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Stop philosophizing about what a good man is and be one. The Roman emperor (161 - 180 AD) Marcus Aurelius wrote this in his personal notes. Considered the last of the Five Great Emperors and regarded as the philosopher king by historians, Aurelius left a legacy in his...

Poetry Month – Today – Billy Collins Welcomes Spring

Spring came late this year to Connecticut with mornings still in the 40s. We hosted an exchange student from Spain and she experienced her first snow in April, not once but twice.  It was just the right amount to cover the ground, dust branches, and melt by afternoon....

Alan Rickman & Kate Winslet on Women & Beauty

  Today is International Women's Day. If you're like me, you saw it on Google's search page, and by holding your mouse cursor over the Google logo, you can watch the video and proceed to the link to learn more. So it's a good time to share this exchange between...

David Foster Wallace on Kafka’s “A Little Fable”

  David Foster Wallace is my latest literary obsession: a state of consumption and immersion in his essays, conversations, speeches, and thoughts. DFW was an influential writer and professor, who had an assignment to review Bryan Garner's A Dictionary of Modern...

“Does your cup runneth over?” – Tao Te Ching – Verse 9

The bible mentions this cup, but how very different are its meanings in Psalm 23 and the Tao Verse 9. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Psalm 23 V5 (Link to NIV Commentary) The cup...

A Gift for Readers – Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl Buck

Last night my twelve year old was tired from homework and nervous about two quizzes and a test today. She changed into her pajamas and came downstairs, her plush toy seal tightly in her arms, her brow wrinkled with worry. We sat by the Christmas tree and I read her...

Giving Thanks For Teenage Children

My first baby screamed for six weeks. We didn’t know what we were doing; neither of us ever babysat a child, much less an infant.  I remember coming home from the hospital and setting our baby and her carrier in the entrance, letting out a breath, thinking “Phew, the...

Poetry is in the Trees – Frost & Dickinson on Autumn

Poetry is in the trees this time of year. They whisper and wink, with emerald eyes and golden hair, all aglow with love.  This couple welcomes the day and I see them on my morning commute.   Nothing Gold Can Stay  by Robert Frost Nature’s first green is gold, Her...

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee – a Reader’s Guide

What modern classic makes #4 on the banned book list? It’s on 8th grade reading lists around the country. The author’s ‘new’ novel was released this summer and stirred up a controversy, maybe because Harper Collins made historic sales of more than 1.1 million copies...

Don Quixote on Presidential Debates and Military Service

The Republican debates have made history with 23 some million viewers, just north of the average NFL football game at 19 million! Americans are concerned about this upcoming presidential election, or at least as much as their fantasy football league. This is progress...

Interracial Love, the World Child, and Pearl Buck

The name Josui Sakai sounds lovely; it rolls nicely on the tongue, JOH SOOEY  SAH  KAI.  Josui left the United States with her parents during WWII to avoid being placed into the Japanese American internment camps, a decision her father made. American born and raised...

History Teacher Provides a Lesson – But Not One She Intended

Some unlucky souls have already returned to school and we will keep them in our thoughts. Meanwhile, stretch out on the lounger, kick off your shoes, and crack open a cold one while we consider our luckier path, no school till AFTER Labor Day. Let's contemplate the...

A Stone Pig and Cold Feet – Common Core in New York

He wasn't tall but he was fit and wore the beard of a man in charge of his own schedule. His shop opened last year and he doubled its inventory since, adding furniture like a stool with inlaid walnuts, another with legs of horn, and collectibles like the Adirondack...

An Appeal to the “Supreme Judge of the World” – July 4, 1776

Just 1300 words long, the Declaration of Independence is worth reading this weekend. You'll learn something about the United States, about its history, and about yourself. If you have children, include them. For the last few years, our family has read this founding...

Battalion Commander’s Meditation on Memorial Day

 by Colonel Kenneth Mintz ... after a year of combat, I saw a group of haggard veterans, lean and sinewy in uniforms bleached by sun and sweat, soldiers who had been through a terrible crucible and who absolutely loved each other... On Memorial Day we take pause to...

A Mother’s Day Gift – The Lanyard by Billy Collins

Here's a gift for you to give your mother, but be prepared to laugh out loud and to cry. First I have something to share. My kids have one grandparent now though they once had five, lucky them. This weekend we think about our parents, mothers in particular. We are...

Do You Feel the Love? Thich Nhat Hanh – How to Love

Do you feel the love? Keeping Elton John out of this, when the emotional bank account is low, drained from winter and children and parents and life, I find consolation from the Vietnamese teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh.  In his book How to Love, the Buddhist monk and author...

Spring into Books

Tulips have sprouted at the base of the plum trees. On my run this morning, bare branches shook and trees creaked from the north wind, but the sun was defiant and the ground mushy and littered from weeks of melted snow. Spring is for flowers, gardens, lovers, and...

Taking a Teen to NYC

Freaky Friday is here: it's the first day of spring and there's a snow storm in Connecticut.     We're just back from a blustery cold visit to NYC.  My teen daughter and I took our first trip, three days and two nights, just us. We watched An American in...

Marginalia – Notes in Books – To Write or Not To Write?

Marginalia as a word may bring forth varying associations, but focus on the first two syllables for its meaning, as opposed to the last. Readers write in books along the margins, on the flyleaf, making various marks, scribbles, appendages and annotations.   As a...

A Year of Reading

If you could see a summary of the food you digested in 2014, you might find some surprises:  17 pounds of chocolate, 47 of bottles of wine, 5.7 servings of red meat a week, 1.3 fast food visits per week, the venial sin in this quarter is fried chicken or Five...

Crisis of Faith? Read What a Nurse Says

A friend wrote on Facebook that her son found out the truth about Santa Claus.  The post generated a few comments, my own included which I will share here. MyLinh:  Dear Laurie - please read this and maybe your son should too, the most reprinted editorial in history....

Where Are the Tough Teachers? Mediocre Music & Why We Need Mr. K

I drove to my son's winter concert listening to Yo-Yo Ma's holiday album with musicians Chris Botti on trumpet and Natalie MacMaster on fiddle. I wanted to get into the holiday spirit, but perhaps I set myself up for disappointment. The school's preparatory ensemble...

“Christmas Sparrow” – Billy Collins – a Holiday Poem

Stories, books, poems, and music are a favorite part of Christmas.  Over the Thanksgiving holiday, we take out the songbooks with popular tunes and solemn carols.  I like playing the songs and reading stories with my children; last night I stumbled on a poem by a...

Did You Mail Your Cards Yet? a History of the Christmas Card

Have you mailed your Christmas cards?  Did you receive any at Thanksgiving, astonished at the organizational efficiency of your friends, reconciled to the fact that for better or worse the season is upon you? My annual card regimen boils down to a paste and edit on...

Train Dreams – Denis Johnson – Here’s Why I Steal Books

I steal books.  It doesn't happen often and if possible, I make a confession, appealing to the owner's sympathies and good will. I replace the books when I can, though one librarian was not happy about it. The surroundings have as much to do with it as the writing and...

Toni Morrison’s Beloved: Should Books Get a Rating Like Movies?

Parents get upset about the book Beloved and here's why.  In the first chapter, Toni Morrison wrote about the five men who were "so sick with the absence of women they had taken to calves." Go ahead.  Read it again; I had too.  My reading group picked this as part of...

Beauty & the Buddha: the Royal Courtesan Visits Siddhartha

A woman of exceptional beauty came to see the Buddha. He was not there when she arrived, so the monks invited her and her son to wait for his return.  A monk named Kaludayi had never seen a more lovely woman in his life.  Having taken his vows as a monk not long...

Don Quixote’s Advice for the New Congress

Election results are in. A news anchor announced last night that Congressman Michael Grimm from Staten Island won reelection, though he faces 20 counts of fraud and a pending federal indictment.  Then she asked, "What does that say about the other candidate?" Just who...

What would Don Quixote do? Quixote on Families and Greatness

Don Quixote himself will answer this question, and I promise to relate such counsel as faithfully as this modern, wretched hand will permit. You may ask, "Who cares what Quixote thinks or does?" The sane madman and the wise fool (Sancho Panza) are two of the most...

Taken for Dead – Edgar Allan Poe in Minnesota – a True Tale

I visited Rochester, Minnesota last week and stayed at the Ivy Lodge where the brothers William and Charles Mayo once resided.  Often confused with the Mayowood Mansion, today the lodge is the home of good friends who suffer an endless parade of visitors mistaking...

Two Monks and a Woman – A Zen Story not a Bar Joke

One day, two monks set out on a journey to a temple in a distant village. Along the way, they came to a shallow and fast moving river where a young woman waited, full of despair for fear of falling in. The monks looked at each other because the rules of their order...

Quiet: the Power of Introverts – Susan Cain – in the Top 10

  This makes my top 10 list. Here’s why. With her book, Susan Cain gave me a gift as lasting and substantial as any literary work I’ve read. Every now and then you read something that reaches you, touches you deeply in ways you could not imagine. Quiet does that...

Banned Books Week, Soft Bans & Selective Shelving in Schools

People made over 18,000 attempts to remove books from schools and libraries since 1990, according to the American Library Association  (ALA article link).  Here are the Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books (scroll to bottom). My family read six of them, so we have...

Ten Books That Stayed With Me, a Facebook Meme

"Ten books that stayed with me" is a post circulating on Facebook.  I write about books on this site, so when a friend asked for my list, I thought I would share them here too. Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling  (favorites in series...

“As droplets fell through the dark” – a Poem for 9/11

Poet Billy Collins, then U.S. Poet Laureate, was asked by the Librarian of Congress to write a poem to remember the victims of 9/11 which he read at a special joint session in September 2002.  It is titled "The Names" and is worth listening to or reading. This is the...

Elegant Sentences, Express Ideas & Make an Impact

I am not a grammarian but I love words, their arrangement and sound, the infinite combinations and uses, their impact. Words are responsible for founding our country, We the people; for ending a war, Tear down this wall; for perhaps the most intimate and familiar of...

The Age of Insolence & Politically Correct Nursery Rhymes

The stair and attic lights were on when I went upstairs.  I whispered goodnight to my daughter, then reminded her she left the lights on. "David and Laura left them on," she said. I walked to David's room and told him to turn off the lights. "Why me?" he said. "I...

Einstein on Classic Literature

Somebody who reads only newspapers and at best books of contemporary authors looks to me like an extremely near-sighted person who scorns eyeglasses. He is completely dependent on the prejudices and fashions of his times, since he never gets to see or hear anything...

You Get a Line and I’ll Get a Pole, an Unlikely Catch

Mountain lakes, wilderness hikes, fishing. E.B. White who is known for Charlotte's Web was a notable American writer.  His essay "Once More to the Lake" was first published in Harper's magazine in 1941 and explains this summer ritual. One summer, along about 1904, my...

Invisible Cities – Italo Cavino – Constructs of the Mind

Italo Calvino was the most translated Italian author of his time and a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature.  Published in 1972, Invisible Cities (link to book) is considered Calvino's masterpiece.  It's a slender 165 page volume, but beware.  The words and the...

In the Heart of the Sea – Philbrick – Couples Book Night

As part of an "inaugural town-wide reading initiative," our library chose In the Heart of the Sea, the Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex for its first selection.  Nathaniel Philbrick earned the National Book Award for this retelling of the fateful 1819 voyage from...

Greek Stoic Epictetus – Life is a Festival

Epictetus teaches and instructs, even today, almost 2000 years later.  So it is with the great thinkers.  A freed slave and Stoic, his philosophy is often compared to that of Jesus Christ though he never met any Christian teachers. Like many teachers of the classical...

My Antonia – Willa Cather – an American Beauty

In My Ántonia, Willa Cather writes about our American past, its western expansion, rugged living, and the indomitable spirit of the men and women of the late 1800s.  The character of Antonia embodies all this, but the book is so much more. It's a portrait of our...

Not Your Average Support Group, Teen Birthday & Fault in Our Stars

They joined her support group Saturday.  What kind of support?  The best kind, for celebration and friendship.  Do we need cancer to support each other? The book The Fault in Our Stars opens with John Green’s characters meeting in their cancer support group.   One...

Read Austen, Train Your Brain

Mention Austen to literature lovers and you get one of two reactions: love her or loathe her. Mark Twain was perhaps her harshest critic.  He said, “Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.” I...

The Only Gift Is a Portion of Thyself – Emerson

It’s that time of year again.  In addition to a Bar Mitvah and graduations, we have birthdays and anniversaries.  I received a couple invitations from ECHOage last year.  Here’s their homepage mission:  “ECHOage is an online birthday party service where kids get the...

More Than a Vietnamese Folktale – the Goddess of Compassion

“To my mind, Kuan Yin’s gentle form is a worthier symbol than the figure of a tortured being hanging from a cross or of an awesome father god.” John Blofeld I’ve known Kuan Yin for some years now as Quan Am, her Vietnamese name.  My Vietnamese mother is Buddhist and...

The Sybil – Par Lagerkvist – Summary & Review

The Oracle of Delphi and the Divine in All of Us The Swedish author Par Lagerkvist won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1951 and this story is worth your time;  it’s just 154 pages and readable in a day.   Some readers get upset because he combines Greek paganism and...

Going Postal — Miss Trunchbull & the Chokey

I had forty five minutes at lunchtime and thought I would mail my tax checks.  It’s April, so maybe that was my first mistake. My town post office moved onto Main Street and there’s no parking unless you want to circle the block, park at the cemetery, or jog in.  So I...

Literary Analysis or Amateur Psychology?

A friend shared her son’s 7th grade English assignment.   This worksheet makes my stomach churn.  It entirely misses the point of this often referenced, much misunderstood passage. In it, Tom Sawyer must white wash the fence but instead, convinced his peers to do it...