Political Literature

What can I learn from literature about man’s political nature and myself?

Why Take This Course?

Political Literature

We believe that students will gain a better understanding of their own political philosophy in Political Literature.

In this Language Arts course we immerse ourselves in great works of political literature, where the dark and dreary landscape seems to be shouting that nothing is sacred about human life – and yet where we also find the most sacred, sunlit examples of selfless sacrifice.

As you follow the lives of the fictional and actual characters we read about, prepare for the cross examination of your life and the likelihood that at several points you will be left feeling utterly exposed. Prepare also for a deeper sense of human nobility, magnanimous governance, and a more clear understanding of your own political philosophy.

Course Framework

Unit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4 (Self Paced Only)
What is man's political nature as shown in Lord of the Flies and A Man For All Seasons?What is man's political nature as depicted in The Bridge at Andau and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress?What is man's political nature as depicted in Fahrenheit 451 and Animal Farm?What is man's political nature as depicted in A Tale of Two Cities?
What factors determine who becomes a leader amongst the children?What are the tenets of communism and why did so many Hungarians desire to fight against communism?In Fahrenheit 451's society, what is the attitude of most people towards books and learning?What is class conflict and how is it evidenced in the story?
As the group of boys work together, which activities become most important? Why?What conflicts exist between political ideology and patriotism?What is the result of the policies that reject books?How is the story presented and what is the role of the blood symbol?
How does the leadership structure change and who had control of that change--the mass of boys, or the leaders?What was the role of strikers and families in the Hungarian movement against communism?What is Montag's approach to his discoveries about books and his society?What is the portrayal of criminals of the time?
What role does appetite play in determining power?What were the consequences of the revolution both in terms of individual lives and overarching impact?How does the society respond to the rebellious actions?What is the political system in France during the revolution?
What are the varying moral and political opinions of Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, and Henry VIII?What is the situation confronting the Loonies and what are their options in facing it?What is the role of oracle in a revolution?Contrast the women Lucie and Madame Defarge.
What is the proper relation between personal conviction and public duty?How is a revolution constructed and what obstacles must be overcome within the movement?What is the citizen's emotional response to overthrowing a dictator and how does the new dictator keep that fervor alive?How does prison and struggle for freedom influence one's perspective on freedom?
How do the characters fare in the end based their choices and who is the most successful?How does an effective revolution gain followers?How does the new leader manipulate the citizens to endorse the new ideals and policies of the society?How is power seen in a mob and in the government?
What are potential problems in a revolution and how can they be solved?What are signs that the new leader may be as corrupt as the old?How does the guillotine influence the French Revolution?
What is the process of diplomacy in negotiating what is wanted for a particular party?In what way is the revolution ultimately successful or unsuccessful?What is class conflict and how is it evidenced in the story?
How does the revolution play out in terms of the governmental structure and the citizens' response?What has been communicated about the relationship between political leadership and the citizens being led?What is the purpose and result of sacrifice?
What is the final result of the revolution and why is Luna ultimately successful?
What have I learned about oppressive government and moral leadership?

Texts for Live Course

Bradbury, RayFahrenheit 451
Orwell, GeorgeAnimal Farm
SophoclesSophocles I
Bolt, RobertA Man For All Seasons
Cather, WillaOne of Ours

Texts & Materials for the Self-Paced Version

  • A Man for All Seasons: A Play in Two Acts by Robert Bolt
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
  • Bridge at Andau: The Compelling True Story of a Brave, Embattled People by James A. Michener
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell


  • Recommended Grade: 11th (Junior)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Versions & Estimated Weekly Hours: Classic: 5 Hours / Honors: 7 Hours
  • Format: Live/Self-Paced
  • Credits: 0.5

*We recommend students take this course in conjunction with Government & Economics A.

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