World Literature

Sonlight 530 Literature / Language Arts Course
Age Range: 17-18 & above
Grade Range: 11-12
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Complete lesson plans, schedule and teaching notes for the entire year. This Literature Package includes the 530 World Literature Parent Guide and accompanying 530 World Literature Student Guide. This literature-based homeschool curriculum package also includes all of the 530 World Literature books scheduled in these guides.


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Get complete lesson plans, schedule and teaching notes for the entire year. This Literature Package includes the 530 World Literature Parent Guide and accompanying 530 World Literature Student Guide. This literature-based homeschool curriculum package also includes all of the 530 World Literature books scheduled in these guides.

Overview of the Literature

Instructor's Guide

The Literature 530 course can be largely self-taught. Your children are able to chart their own course with help from the Literature and Language Arts Student Guide. The corresponding Parent Guide lets you jump in at any time to assess learning or engage in meaningful discussion.

World Literature

People have always told stories. And the best stories still resonate, even 4000 years later. The Ancients felt the same fears and loves that we do.

This course captures our shared humanity.

Sonlight's 530 Literature is mostly chronological, moving from the ancient poem The Epic of Gilgamesh, where Gilgamesh, after the death of his friend, seeks to avoid death, to the modern play Copenhagen, where Nobel-Prize winning scientists consider the atomic bomb, and how to create (or avoid?) this instrument of death.

There are several foundational texts of World Literature that come up regularly as shared cultural references: Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus. Even without reading these, you've probably heard about the Trojan War, or about Odysseus's trials as he tried to reach his wife Penelope, or about the mother-lust of Oedipus, made famous by Freud.

We have, then, a book about war, a book about a journey, and a book about self-knowledge. These themes come up again, with variation, through the rest of the course.

War and enmity go back to the first family, and this course includes Night, a memoir of a Jew in a concentration camp during WWII, and also The Aeneid, Virgil's epic poem on seeking a homeland and the war to conquer it.

"The Journey" is a common theme in literature. Go away to find yourself. (Think of Chicken Little.) This course has several books about the journey: The Epic of Gilgamesh, where the title character goes to find the Babylonian version of Noah to win eternal life; Candide, where the title character is a world-traveling innocent; and Don Quixote, where the title character attempts impossibilities.

And self-knowledge? Crime and Punishment's depressed Raskolnikov needs some resolution after his great sin; Dante's hero has lost his way and travels through hell as he seeks to find his way again; King Lear suffers much before he gains wisdom and understanding.

It's incredible to read books of power and beauty, and to see how different people, in different times, have wrestled with the big questions in life.

Besides covering 4000 years, this course is not confined to Europe only. We do have great works from authors in the European countries of Greece, Italy, England, France, Spain, Romania, and Russia.

But we also have great works from authors in the Asian countries of Iran, China, Japan, and India, as well as ancient Mesopotamia.

We have great works from authors in the African countries of Nigeria, Algeria, South Africa, and Kenya.

And we have great works from the South American countries of Colombia and Argentina.

To read that list excites me! So much richness!

And that's not counting the collection of poetry! Add to the above: New Zealand, Scotland, Germany, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Poland, Chile, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Wales, and St. Lucia. (With New Zealand and St. Lucia, we've covered all the inhabited continents.)

This is truly "World" Literature.

Besides including books dealing with universal themes and works from around the world, this course employs a wide range of literary styles. It includes drama, comedy, tragedy, graphic novel, novella, novel, short story, saga, epic poem, lyric poem, and memoir. Incredible!

The list is a "who's who" of best books of all time. And I could talk at length about the beauty of these books, because they are beautiful. I'd rather you read the books and experience their richness.

After finishing this course, students will not only have had a year of beautiful books and great thoughts, they will also be able to understand common cultural references: Oedipal complexes, quixotic endeavors, Panglossian optimism, and circles of hell, for example.

It's a great, great year.

Language Arts

Fully integrated with the Literature, Language Arts builds on past years and continues to develop literary analysis, creative writing, research and essay skills. The first semester follows a writing manual to help organize thoughts and improve writing craft. The second semester includes writing prompts for papers to put the instruction into practice.

Come spend a year with the best World Literature of all time.

Estimated daily time for World Literature: Student: 75 mins.

Instructor's Guide
  • Literature 530 Parent Guide
    Complete lesson plans and teaching helps you need to effectively teach Level 530 Literature and Language Arts for the entire year.
    Retail: $64.00
  • Literature 530 Student Guide
    The daily schedule and tools your student needs for Level 530, Literature and Language Arts for the entire year.
    Retail: $37.00
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
    Miraculously preserved on clay tablets dating back as much as four thousand years, the poem of Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, is the world's oldest epic, predating Homer by many centuries. The story tells of...
    Retail: $15.00
  • The Insanity of God
    The personal and lifelong journey of an ordinary couple from rural Kentucky who thought they were going on just your ordinary missionary pilgrimage, but discovered it would be anything but. After spending...
    Retail: $14.99
  • King Lear
    Shakespeare's bleakest and profoundest tragedy, a searing dramatization of humankind at the edge of apocalypse that explores the family and the nature of being with passion, poetry, and dark humor. Edited...
    Retail: $7.99
  • The Essential Iliad
    The Iliad is one of the two great epics of Homer, and is typically described as one of the greatest war stories of all time, but to say the Iliad is a war story does not begin to describe the emotional...
    Retail: $15.50
  • Oedipus Tyrannus
    Peter Meineck and Paul Woodruff's collaboration on this new translation combines the strengths that have recently distinguished both as translators of Greek tragedy: expert knowledge of the Greek and...
    Retail: $15.00
  • The Misanthrope and Tartuffe
    One of the best of his plays – and one of the greatest of all comedies – is The Misanthrope, first performed in 1666, when the King of France himself had assumed patronage of Molière's company, and...
    Retail: $16.99
  • The Odyssey
    Robert Fitzgerald's translation of Homer's The Odyssey is the best and best-loved modern translation of the greatest of all epic poems. Since 1961, this Odyssey has sold more than two million copies,...
    Retail: $17.00
  • Night
    A terrifying account of the Nazi death camp horror that turns a young Jewish boy into an agonized witness to the death of his family...the death of his innocence...and the death of his God. Penetrating...
    Retail: $12.00
  • Candide
    Caustic and hilarious, Voltaire's Candide has ranked as one of the world's great satires since its first publication in 1759. It concerns the adventures of the youthful Candide, disciple of Dr. Pangloss,...
    Retail: $4.00
  • Risking Everything
    This luminous anthology brings together great poets from around the world whose work transcends culture and time. Their words reach past the outer divisions to the universal currents of love and revelation...
    Retail: $21.00
  • The Lively Art of Writing
    The basic principles involved in communicating ideas on paper are carefully reviewed for the aspiring writer as well as the student. This is one of the few English essay writing books that is actually...
    Retail: $8.99
  • Things Fall Apart
    Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a "strong man" of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual...
    Retail: $14.00
  • The Aeneid of Virgil
    Aeneas flees the ashes of Troy to found the city of Rome and change forever the course of the Western world--as literature as well. Virgil's Aeneid is as eternal as Rome itself, a sweeping epic of arms...
    Retail: $5.95
  • A Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Inferno
    Perhaps the most stirring masterpiece from the Middle Ages, Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy was an astonishing achievement that places the author among the ranks of the great epic poets of the classical...
    Retail: $6.95
  • The Ramayana
    A sweeping tale of abduction, battle, and courtship played out in a universe of deities and demons, The Ramayana is familiar to virtually every Indian. Although the Sanskrit original was composed by Valmiki...
    Retail: $16.00
  • Other Voices, Other Vistas
    This collection of contemporary multi-cultural fiction includes stories by: Bessie Head Charles Mungoshi Ngugi wa Thiong'o Wang Anyi Ding Ling Wang Meng Chen Rong Lu Wenfu Anita Desai Mahasweta Devi Ruth...
    Retail: $8.95
  • Don Quixote
    With his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, Don Quixote sets off on picaresque adventures in 16th-century Spain, in one of the treasures of Western literature, both an immoral satire and a biting portrayal...
    Retail: $7.95
  • Chronicle of a Death Foretold
    A man returns to the town where a baffling murder took place 27 years earlier, determined to get to the bottom of the story. Just hours after marrying the beautiful Angela Vicario, everyone agrees, Bayardo...
    Retail: $15.00
  • Crime and Punishment
    Fyodor Dostoevsky is one of the world's greatest novelists and the Crime and Punishment novel is one of his greatest achievements. When Raskolnikov believes he is above the law, he murders an old woman...
    Retail: $18.00
  • The Stranger
    Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd."
    Retail: $15.00
  • Persepolis
    Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six...
    Retail: $16.00
  • Copenhagen
    An explosive re-imagining of the mysterious wartime meeting between two Nobel laureates to discuss the atomic bomb.
    Retail: $17.00
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Take up to one year to use your curriculum. If you don’t love it, return it! Complete details here.

Have a Question?

Contact Customer Service

Available 7am-5pm MT Mon-Fri.