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Title:Values in Four Selected British Novels Commonly Read in American Secondary Schools
Author(s):Streit, Gary Wayne
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Abstract:An extensive examination of research studies, texts of English methods classes, bibliographies, and other critical materials on adolescent reading revealed that the four most commonly taught British novels in American secondary schools are Brave New World, Lord of the Flies, 1984, and Great Expectations. These four novels were selected for examination from a values perspective.
This study replicates Theodore Hipple's "Values in Four Selected American Novels." Values are defined in both studies as the conscious or unconscious motivators and justifiers of the actions and judgments of the characters in the novels and are classified for each novel according to the seven value categories included in Harry S. Broudy's Building a Philosophy of Education: economic values; health, bodily, and recreational values; social values; moral values; aesthetic values; intellectual values; religious values.
Both studies use a method of analysis called "value-analysis." Each novel was examined holistically to describe the important motivators of the actions and judgments of the major characters relative to each of the seven value categories. A comparison of the findings of the two studies was included as to the prevalence of each value category in the novels studied.
The research indicated that the values found in the four English novels are quite similar to those found in the American novels of Hipple's study. Moral issues are treated extensively in all the works. All the novels have much to offer the reader about social values. Health and recreational, intellectual, and economic values are evident throughout the novels while religious and aesthetic values are rather elusive in the works.
In adopting Broudy's categories for value-analysis of literary works, one must be aware of the subjectivity inherent in the research. If taken too literally, Broudy's rubrics cannot always be applied meaningfully.
The further research suggests similar analyses of poems and plays, similar studies of literary works from other ethnic traditions, since the novels of Hipple's study and of the present one depict just Anglo-American values, and studies examining curriculum materials across the high school curriculum for their value content.
Issue Date:1982
Description:211 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8302995
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1982

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