Course: 9th Grade Literature - Standard Diploma
Good literature is critical for many reasons. First, it exposes students to a certain kind of argument that is not present in other courses, such as catechism or the sciences: the argument by example. This type of argument can move the soul and will in a way that a clearly reasoned and concise argument cannot. For example, a priest could give a well-reasoned sermon on good morals and trust in God's will in the midst of heavy trials; such a sermon aids the mind and moves the will. But even this does give one the same experience one gets seeing virtue in a particular character, in action and vivid color. An example of this might be a novel like Jane Eyre.
Besides this, however, literature exposes the student to the richness of the author's rich vocabulary, sentence structure, imagery, and narrative. The student's imagination is perfected, and his writing skills are given a great style to emulate.
This Ninth Grade Standard literature course introduces the student to some easier but classic works. The goal here is to make the student enjoy the reading, gain some of the above benefits, and want more.
Fabiola is a historical-fiction novel telling the inspiring and enlightening story of the noble Roman pagan woman named Fabiola, who lives in the time of Roman persecutions of Catholics. She is surrounded by Catholic martyrs (St. Sebastian, St. Agnes, and others) who teach her - by example first - how beautiful the Catholic Faith is. Does she convert? Read it to find out! Besides inspiring stories of heroic martyrdom, the student learns many true historical facts about life in the time of the persecution. We say this is historical fiction because Cardinal Wiseman skilfully blends the lives of saints who lived at different times and places into the same story.
Huckleberry Finn is the timeless classic of a boy who escapes his own very difficult life by joining and aiding the very likeable negro slave, Jim in his escape to freedom down the Mississippi River. Their adventures on the river, besides being very interesting, are not just for entertainment. There are meaty things to ponder, such as Huck's selfishness and biases in contrast with Jim's simple virtues; Huck's very real moral dilemmas about obedience and breaking the civil law; shocking realities of life in some of the characters they meet on the river; and Huck's subsequent character development through it all. Twain's simulation of Jim's negro slang is another enjoyable aspect of the book.
Kidnapped is the adventurous story of young David Balfour, who is the rightful heir to a Scotish estate, but who is deprived of his fortune by his uncle who unjustly claims the estate. David eventually discovers that he himself is the rightful heir, but the uncle has David kidnapped by the captain of a ship bound for America. The excitement begins here with David eventually meeting the man who will become his great ally and friend, Alan Stewart. David and Alan eventually get back to Scotland, experience many dangerous adventures together, finally meeting a lawyer who helps them force an agreement with the uncle to give David a fair inheritance.
The Scarlet Pimpernel is the exciting and uplifting story of a mysterious hero who helps French nobles escape their deaths by guillotine during the Freemasonically-inspired French Revolution. The hero's implacable foe, the French agent of the Revolution, Chauvelin, relentlessly hunts the Scarlet Pimpernel down. The lovely Lady Marguerite Blakeney is caught in the middle. All play their parts in a suspenseful tale that ranges from the squalid slums of Paris to the aristocratic salons of London, from intrigue on a great English country estate to the final climax on the cliffs of the French coast.
This is a modular course. Please click on any of the links below to see details for the subcourses.