It is a truth universally acknowledged that Mr. Darcy’s climactic letter to Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice is one of the greatest epistolary examples in any novel. To a similar degree, it’s agreed that there is too much fighting, “owning,” and trolling in today’s society, and not enough engaging, explaining, and seeking to understand. In today’s ELA classrooms, it seems imperative to teach Mr. Darcy’s letter in itself, and also as a model of argumentation for the sake of understanding, for proudly explaining oneself without prejudice, for—as the kids would say—“squashing things” with people we like.
This unit is primarily focused on the formal analysis of Mr. Darcy’s letter so that students can write their own thoughtful, proud, mediating letters to people for whom they care. This was a favorite lesson in my AP classes, and I’m certain it’s a winner at any level.
Included in this unit are some extension activities, namely the opportunity for your students to analyze other letters.
Finally, we hope your students will apply their lessons to their own letter-writing habits.
Students will be able to comprehend and analyze Mr. Darcy’s letter to Elizabeth.
Students will be able to compare and contrast the structural fundamentals of Mr. Darcy’s letter with other letters.
Students will be able to use these fundamentals to write their own exemplary letter.
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Podcasting in the ELA Classroom
by Michael Godsey
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License