Robin Finley, the author of Analytical Grammar, lectured on this subject for more than three decades. Her belief was that Western literature is really one long argument, the Eternal Argument.
Why do we read all these “classics”? What’s the point? Does he who reads the most by the end of his life win? Win what?
Robin Finley taught middle and high school language arts for 34 years and was an accomplished and well-known author of grammar and writing curriculum. More and more Robin became painfully aware that teachers and students are not getting what they should out of their study of the Western Canon, which is supposably a loosely-agreed-upon list of great works written by authors ranging from the ancient Greeks to modern writers.
The Eternal Argument was Robin’s term for her framework for studying these treasures. In her opinion western culture is really one big ongoing argument that debates whether man or God is in charge of our lives. Many great works and classics can be interpreted through this “lens” to allow modern readers a deeper, more thorough understanding of this important literature.
For a sample chapter, table of contents, and more, read below.
While the topic is “academic,” the tone is not. Remember, Robin taught 8th graders for more than three decades! This book, available in either paperback or audiobook, is a supplement or enhancement to your regular language arts curriculum. It takes about a month to simply read or listen to each chapter and talk through the discussion questions included. There are no outside readings or assignments.
With great humor and many excellent examples from literature and history, The Eternal Argument explains this framework which will make reading and teaching literature a more meaningful endeavor. Robin enjoyed nothing more than sharing her materials and her teaching techniques and skills with home teachers in her workshops. It is this drive that has resulted in the final feather in Robin’s cap: The Eternal Argument. Robin taught classic literature for years and years. She was not a literature expert; there are books out there she hasn’t read! However, she WAS an expert in teaching literature. She’s formulated a way to make it relevant, important, and meaningful. That framework is The Eternal Argument.