College of Arts and Sciences
The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis, ninth grade English
Curriculum and Instruction | Literature in English, British Isles | Secondary Education and Teaching
Isom, Taylor, "An Argument for The Great Divorce in the Public School Ninth Grade English Classroom" (2014). Senior Honors Theses. 466.
C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce (1946) can provide a useful supplement for ninth grade English instruction because of its quality as a literary work, the ideas it represents, its commentary on enduring human questions, and its connections to its historical context. At its core, the book reflects on recurring philosophical and religious ideas in a way that simultaneously links to and transcends its time. It also exhibits hallmarks of literary excellence, such as formal consistency and a comprehensive view of its themes. The Great Divorce’s skillful use of literary elements suits it for instruction, adapting form to purpose. The many criteria for selecting works for the classroom prove The Great Divorce to be worthy of inclusion in ninth grade instruction.