Students will begin their travels in Africa and learn about historical fiction and cultural characters from Chinua Achebe. Then poetry from Africa has much to teach about sound in poetry. Hop on a plane for the Land of the Rising Sun to learn about point of view and cultural values from Kazuo Ishiguro. In addition to this Japanese novel, students will study poetry from Japan to learn about themes. Students next travel to the Middle East to read Naguib Mahfouz and learn about symbolism and worldviews. Middle Eastern poetry teaches about imagery. Finally, students get to select an autobiography to learn more about writing their own autobiography. They wrap up their tour with more poetry that teaches about tone.
Jokes about Battlestar Galactica aside, technology is a key issue in Silas Marner , because it destroys the community of Raveloe. The novel begins with the decidedly low-fi technology of spinning wheels, as the narrator tells us that the novel takes place "In the days when the spinning-wheels hummed busily in the farmhouses—and even great ladies, clothed in silk and thread-lace, had their toy spinning-wheels of polished oak" (). But that fairytale world is not going to last: "the fall of prices had not yet come to carry the race of small squires and yeomen down that road to ruin for which extravagant habits and bad husbandry were plentifully anointing their wheels" (). Change is, as they say, a-comin'.