Best books of 2010

American Lit Timeline

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
    Key Theme- By making his villain, Injun Joe, Native American, Twain puts race and racial stereotypes in the forefront of the novel.
    Historical Reference- In this same year, all Native Americans were forced by the US Government to move onto reservations.
  • The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby
    Key Theme- The novel explores the excess and greed of its time. It looks at the sad way the American dream seemed to be changing. It was no longer about discovery and individualism, but rather now about social class and easy money. Historical Reference- The 1920's were a time of great excess and greed. The nation was enjoying easy wealth which would lead into The Great Depression. This "easy money" became not-so-easy, afterall.
  • The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye
    Key Theme- The main theme of the novel is how Holden uses his alienation as a form of self preservation. Alienating himself from others helps him keep from becoming the frauds he sees others around him to be. Historical Reference- During this time, McCarthyism raged in the US. Friends and coworkers began turning eachother in as communists. Alienation really came a means of self preservation.
  • To Kill A Mockingbird

    To Kill A Mockingbird
    Key Themes- The novel deals with race and bigotry. It does so on a human level, but perhaps more importantly, it takes on the discriminatory laws and law practices that were widely accepted in the South. Historical Reference- During the same year, Congress passes the Civil Rights Act of 1960, which established penalties for obstructing someone's attempt to register to vote.
  • Weetzie Bat

    Weetzie Bat
    Key Themes- "The new family" drugs, and sexuality are huge themes in the novella. Magical realism intertwines with key social issues to make it seem like a fairytale-esque society, when in reality many of issues were tangible and very much real. Historical Reference- The late 80's was a time when homosexuality got a "worse wrap" as homosexuals began dying by the thousands. It was the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. The traditional family structure was still upheld in most communities.