How I Teach - Spark a Passion for Literature of Love: News

By Neale, Georgia | Times Educational Supplement, November 15, 2013 | Go to article overview

How I Teach - Spark a Passion for Literature of Love: News


Neale, Georgia, Times Educational Supplement


Inventive strategies help boys to connect with tales of romance.

Teenage boys tend to prefer gore, violence and explosions to subtle affairs of the heart, which can make teaching classic fiction that explores love between protagonists a challenge. Rather than embracing the nuance of the emotions, male students are likely to resort to laughter, obscenities and general disinterested messing about.

Is their behaviour down to embarrassment about such a personal subject, an unsympathetic view of what love actually is or a lack of understanding at a hormonal time of life? In my experience, it is usually all three.

There is hope, however. Whether you're discussing Heathcliff and Catherine, Romeo and Juliet, or Slim and Curley's wife, getting boys to engage with tales of romance is simply a question of challenging their perceptions and being inventive.

One useful tactic is to first introduce students to the alternative relationships in the text, then lead them into the main love story. The love-struck protagonist may make the "cool" boys uncomfortable, but a father-son relationship that runs through a novel could be a useful starting point, leading, for example, to an understanding that the character needs to act on his feelings for the object of his affections because he feels constrained by parental love.

Another angle of attack is to show students a film adaptation. This can help boys to overcome any initial stand-offishness. Seeing a romance develop on screen prepares them for the scene before they actually read it and reduces some of the embarrassment they may feel.

Alternatively, help students to connect with the novel through textual adaptations, such as manga or comic books. One boy in my class only truly identified with the tragic love story of Wuthering Heights when he read a graphic novel version. Without it, we would both have been at a loss - the student over how to learn and me over how to teach him.

Linking scenes to a current craze can also be beneficial. For example, the relationship between Juliet and her parents has parallels with that of Walter and Jesse in television series Breaking Bad, a new obsession among my classes.

Ultimately, though, the most effective way I have found of teaching romantic literature to teenage boys is to remember that behind all great love stories is an even better tale of hatred, jealousy or murder. These themes have helped me to engage minds that are full of the gore and violence of the Grand Theft Auto video games or the Saw horror films.

Whatever the piece of romantic literature, seek out the gruesome underbelly of the tale and you will easily capture boys' rapt attention. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

How I Teach - Spark a Passion for Literature of Love: News
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.