This course of study is concerned with building the necessary skills to allow students to become literate, critical thinkers by using American literature as a tool for learning. Students will use the text as a vehicle to explore who they are as Americans, both as individuals and as members of a community, in an effort to consider who they will become as members of the 21st Century American community and how that will be significant in a global context. Students will consider how being aware and informed (of historical/cultural context, i.e. setting), understanding motivation (characterization), evaluating relationships, experiences and societal influences (conflict and theme), and being reflective (self-discovery) all account for an individual's capacity to realize his or her dreams. Individuals with the capacity to read, write, and think on this sophisticated level enhance their appreciation of learning because they can align the characters' self-discovery with their own journeys toward realizing their dreams.