Confined to the Cannon: An Existentialist View of Restricted Imagination in American Adult English Literature Classrooms
Philip Ray Jones, Ph.D.

This essay highlights the controversial educational issue of the literary cannon debate within adult English literature education. The debate over the cannon has dominated professional and literary critics in the field for decades and continues to do so in the current day. This essay questions the strong idealization of traditional literary works over more contemporary works from an Existentialist‟s perspective. Moreover, it advocates how English literature instructors are robotically dehumanized by authoritative literary society and should be granted the freedom to rebel against the traditional literary cannon without fear of minimizing the students‟ level of literary sophistication. In addition, this essay argues that the traditional works within the literary cannon tend to limit and restrict the imagination, ultimately failing to effectively reflect the social, cultural, and psychological norms of modern-day society.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v8n1a5