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Ch 8: 11th Grade Contemporary Literature: Help and Review

About This Chapter

The Contemporary Literature chapter of this 11th Grade English Help and Review course is the simplest way to master contemporary literature. This chapter uses simple and fun videos that are about five minutes long, plus lesson quizzes and a chapter exam to ensure students learn the essentials of 11th grade contemporary literature.

Who's it for?

Anyone who needs help learning or mastering 11th grade English material will benefit from taking this course. There is no faster or easier way to learn 11th grade English. Among those who would benefit are:

  • Students who have fallen behind in understanding Amy Tan novels or working with Kurt Vonnegut's writing and themes
  • Students who struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD
  • Students who prefer multiple ways of learning 11th grade English (visual or auditory)
  • Students who have missed class time and need to catch up
  • Students who need an efficient way to learn about contemporary literature
  • Students who struggle to understand their teachers
  • Students who attend schools without extra English learning resources

How it works:

  • Find videos in our course that cover what you need to learn or review.
  • Press play and watch the video lesson.
  • Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
  • Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
  • Verify you're ready by completing the 11th Grade Contemporary Literature chapter exam.

Why it works:

  • Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
  • Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
  • Be Ready on Test Day: Use the 11th Grade Contemporary Literature chapter exam to be prepared.
  • Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any 11th grade contemporary literature question. They're here to help!
  • Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.

Students will review:

This chapter helps students review the concepts in a Contemporary Literature unit of a standard 11th grade English course. Topics covered include:

  • Works and themes of Barbara Kingsolver
  • Amy Tan novels
  • Themes used by Ian McEwan
  • Feminist theory
  • Writing by Chaim Potok

35 Lessons in Chapter 8: 11th Grade Contemporary Literature: Help and Review
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Things They Carried: Summary, Characters & Themes

1. The Things They Carried: Summary, Characters & Themes

The Vietnam War was a long, controversial military conflict. In this lesson, you'll get a summary of Tim O'Brien's Vietnam War novel, including a breakdown of the main characters and major ideas.

Barbara Kingsolver: Biography, Books & Quotes

2. Barbara Kingsolver: Biography, Books & Quotes

In this lesson on American writer Barbara Kingsolver, you'll learn about her life, her major literary awards, and a couple of her best-selling books. You can test your understanding at the end with a short quiz.

Things Fall Apart: Summary, Characters & Themes

3. Things Fall Apart: Summary, Characters & Themes

Things Fall Apart tells the tragic story of a Nigerian tribesman who holds on to tradition in a changing world. In this lesson, you'll learn about the basic story and the characters involved, and you'll pick up on a few of the novel's major themes.

Cormac McCarthy: Biography, Novels & Quotes

4. Cormac McCarthy: Biography, Novels & Quotes

Cormac McCarthy has been called one of the greatest living American writers. In this lesson, you'll learn about his life and three of his most celebrated novels.

Amy Tan: The Joy Luck Club & Other Novels

5. Amy Tan: The Joy Luck Club & Other Novels

Amy Tan is known for writing books about Chinese immigrant mothers and their American daughters, but her books speak to larger issues that anyone can relate to. In this lesson you'll get an introduction to Tan, her most famous book, and a few of her other novels.

Elie Wiesel's Night: Summary, History & Quotes

6. Elie Wiesel's Night: Summary, History & Quotes

The Holocaust of World War II was one of the darkest times in recent history. In this lesson, you'll get an overview of one of the most famous Holocaust memoirs, along with the historical context and some biographical highlights of the author, Elie Wiesel.

Ian McEwan Novels: Saturday and Atonement

7. Ian McEwan Novels: Saturday and Atonement

In this lesson, you'll hit the highlights of two important novels by British writer Ian McEwan. You'll learn what happens in the books, who the main characters are, and which big ideas McEwan develops.

The Kite Runner: Summary, Characters & Themes

8. The Kite Runner: Summary, Characters & Themes

The Kite Runner is a contemporary novel set in Afghanistan that has drawn equal amounts of praise and controversy. In this lesson, you'll learn about the main characters, the main ideas, and get a summary of the crucial events.

Kurt Vonnegut: Biography, Works & Quotes

9. Kurt Vonnegut: Biography, Works & Quotes

Kurt Vonnegut's books are counted among the greatest novels ever written. In this lesson, you'll learn about the interesting life Vonnegut lived, and you'll be exposed to some of the big ideas in his most famous books.

The Book Thief by Zusak: Summary & Analysis

10. The Book Thief by Zusak: Summary & Analysis

In this lesson we will briefly review 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak. We will also explore some of the themes of 'The Book Thief' such as kindness and cruelty, duality, and the importance of words.

The Hero's Journey: Campbell's Archetype

11. The Hero's Journey: Campbell's Archetype

Ever thought that a lot of the world's myths and literary classics start to sound the same after a while? Joseph Campbell sure did, and you can learn more in this lesson about his theory on how all these stories converge into a single 'Hero's Journey!

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison: Themes & Analysis

12. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison: Themes & Analysis

Toni Morrison's 1977 masterpiece, 'Song of Solomon,' tackles some of the most important themes in American life in the 20th century. These include the bitter legacy of slavery, the complexity of family, and the reality of human frailty.

Alan Paton: Biography, Books & Quotes

13. Alan Paton: Biography, Books & Quotes

Few people have captured the turmoil of apartheid in South Africa better than author Alan Paton. In this lesson, you will learn about Paton's life, how he got his start as a writer, and his significant works.

Characters of Elie Wiesel's Night

14. Characters of Elie Wiesel's Night

In this lesson, we will discuss the two major characters of Elie Wiesel's ''Night'': Eliezer and his father, Shlomo. We will look at how they differ in their reactions to the cruelties they are subjected to.

La Guma's A Walk in the Night and Other Stories: Summary

15. La Guma's A Walk in the Night and Other Stories: Summary

In the fictional anthology ''A Walk in the Night and Other Stories'', author Alex La Guma shines a light on the trials of apartheid Africa. This lesson summarizes the stories and offers a glimpse into methods La Guma used to make the reader feel part of the experience.

The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin: Summary & Analysis

16. The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin: Summary & Analysis

Learn about Ben Franklin's political transformation from imperialist to enthusiastic American patriot in 'The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin' by Gordon Wood.

J. M. Coetzee: Biography & Books

17. J. M. Coetzee: Biography & Books

This is a summary of the life and work of the award-winning South African author and literary critic, J.M. Coetzee. It includes discussion of some of his notable works and accolades, including his Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003.

Lord of the Flies Vocabulary Words

18. Lord of the Flies Vocabulary Words

In this lesson, we'll go over some of the more uncommon and advanced vocabulary words from William Golding's classic 1954 novel, 'Lord of the Flies', which explores the brutality of children.

Americanah: Summary & Analysis

19. Americanah: Summary & Analysis

This lesson provides a summary and analysis of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 2013 novel, Americanah. The novel explores the life of a young Nigerian woman who moves to America and experiences racism for the first time.

The Thing Around Your Neck: Summary & Analysis

20. The Thing Around Your Neck: Summary & Analysis

'The Thing Around Your Neck' is a collection of short stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Since there are twelve stories in total, you might have a tough time keeping the details straight. In this lesson, we will take a quick glimpse at each of the twelve stories.

Like Water for Chocolate: Characters & Quotes

21. Like Water for Chocolate: Characters & Quotes

''Like Water for Chocolate'' is a playful and magical novel rooted in passionate emotion. This short novel links the culinary adventures of its heroine, Tita, to the exterior world of centuries-old Mexican traditions. This lesson contains a brief summary, followed by detailed information about the characters and some important quotes from the novel.

Monkey Bridge by Lan Cao: Summary & Analysis

22. Monkey Bridge by Lan Cao: Summary & Analysis

''Monkey Bridge,'' by Lan Cao, is a novel narrated by both Mai and her mother, Thanh. Mai is torn between her present world in America and her family's Vietnamese history, which she discovers by reading her mother's journals.

B. Wordsworth by V.S. Naipaul: Summary & Themes

23. B. Wordsworth by V.S. Naipaul: Summary & Themes

This lesson looks at V.S. Naipaul's short story, 'B. Wordsworth'. We'll first take a look at its plot summary and then we'll examine each of its major themes one at a time.

B. Wordsworth by V.S. Naipaul Quotes

24. B. Wordsworth by V.S. Naipaul Quotes

B. Wordsworth is a short story written by V. S. Naipaul and published in Naipaul's collection of short stories, Miguel Street. Learn about the quotes that sculpt the characters, describe the setting, and move the plot forward.

Taylor Caldwell: Biography, Books & Quotes

25. Taylor Caldwell: Biography, Books & Quotes

Taylor Caldwell, an English-born American author, wrote countless novels during her career. She wrote fictional family sagas during the twentieth century. In this lesson, we learn all about her life, her career, and some of her most popular books.

Kurt Vonnegut's Writing Style & Themes

26. Kurt Vonnegut's Writing Style & Themes

Kurt Vonnegut is both an accomplished American author, as well as educator in the nuances of writing. This lesson will examine his own writing style through his ruminations on writing, as well as the common themes in his works.

James Ellroy: Books & Quotes

27. James Ellroy: Books & Quotes

American author James Ellroy has written several crime series that are hugely popular around the world. In this lesson, we will talk about some of his most popular book series to see what the hype is all about.

Engine Trouble by R.K. Narayan Summary

28. Engine Trouble by R.K. Narayan Summary

When does a prize become a headache? For the narrator of our story, 'Engine Trouble,' almost immediately! In this lesson, we'll summarize this short story from Indo-Anglian writer R.K. Narayan.

The Black Box by Jennifer Egan: Summary & Analysis

29. The Black Box by Jennifer Egan: Summary & Analysis

''The Black Box'' is a short story by contemporary writer Jennifer Egan, winner of a Pulitzer Prize. The intriguing and mysterious plot and the rather cryptic writing style offer an unusual experience for the reader.

The House on the Lagoon: Summary & Characters

30. The House on the Lagoon: Summary & Characters

In this lesson, we will summarize and describe the characters from 'The House on the Lagoon' by Rosario Ferre. This novel describes the family history of a Puerto Rican family over several generations.

The House on the Lagoon Analysis

31. The House on the Lagoon Analysis

In this lesson, we will analyze 'The House on the Lagoon' by Rosario Ferre. This is a semi-autobiographical book about an author who faces criticism from her husband for writing about some of the stories from their ancestral line.

Burn Your Maps Short Story Summary

32. Burn Your Maps Short Story Summary

Robyn Joy Leff's story ''Burn Your Maps'' takes a few interesting and confusing twists and turns. In this lesson we'll break it down and summarize the events. Dive in to find out what the story is all about.

Jack Vance: Books & Short Stories

33. Jack Vance: Books & Short Stories

Jack Vance was a prolific 20th-century author who wrote mystery, fantasy, and science fiction novels. Though he won many awards for his work, he remains an undervalued voice in American literature. This lesson gives an overview of his career.

Jack Vance: Biography & Quotes

34. Jack Vance: Biography & Quotes

Jack Vance was an American science fiction and fantasy book writer in the twentieth century. His most popular work was the 'Dying Earth' book series. In this lesson, we will talk about Vance's life and work.

Indian Folk Tales

35. Indian Folk Tales

From stories of the Buddha's previous lives to tales about how to live a moral life, Indian folk tales combine morals with religious, cultural, and historical stories. In this lesson, we'll take a closer look at Indian folk tales.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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