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Literature Online

American PassagesVisit our companion site,
American Passages. Produced in conjunction with Oregon Public Broadcasting, this rich site includes an archive featuring over 3,000 images, audio clips, presentation software, and more.

Norton Gradebook

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Students can track their online quiz scores by setting up their own Student Gradebook.


Carlos Bulosan (b. 1911)

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Questions for Discussion and Writing

1. Reread the final paragraph of “Be American,” and then read Carl Sandburg’s short famous poem “Chicago” in the Norton Anthology of American Literature. What are the similarities in spirit? In each work, what has to be overcome to affirm that spirit? Are these works surprising in their respective conclusions?

2. How would you describe Bulosan’s protagonists? What are the problems and the advantages, for a writer, of centering stories on people with these aspirations and this inner life?