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Self and Place: Reflections and Refractions

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Language Arts And English +1 Age Level High School (16 to 18 years old)

This lesson pairs Childe Hassam's Tanagra (The Builders, New York)  (1918) with Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" (1892)  to help students consider the relationship(s) between character and space both in literature and in their own lives. 

For comparison and practice, the lesson could be repeated with Portrait of Mnonja by Mickalene Thomas (2010) and another work: "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker (1973), Baldwin's "Stranger in the Village," Langston Hughes' "Theme for English B." 

The collection includes an excerpt from the introduction of Edith Wharton's The Decoration of Houses (1898). Another document includes comments on interior design from multiple sources.

Finally, while the lesson centers on interior landscape/decor, the collection includes multiple examples of external architecture, to use in an alternative warm-up activity.