In a theme study students read books that were originally published in three different time periods but which have a common theme. They analyze commonalities and differences.
These themes have been approved for the Three Books Project. If you have an idea for another title or theme, please come and talk to me about it. The same title may appear in more than one theme.
Updated August 14, 2011.
Read one early, one middle, and one recent title. How are women depicted in fiction? What roles do women play? In what ways have those roles remained the same and in what ways have they changed over time?
- The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
- Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane
- Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
- The Awakening, short stories by Kate Chopin
- Short stories by Sarah Orne Jewett or Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
- O Pioneers! or My Antonia by Willa Cather
- A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest Gaines
- The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
- The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Jasmine by Bharati Mukherjee
- The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
- Beloved, Song of Solomon, Sula, Paradise, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
- The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor
- The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan