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Course Guide: WR115

WR115 Stuckey Class Readings

Letting in Light” by Patricia Raybon  |  Questions for “Letting in Light”

Love in the Classroom” by Al Zolynas | Questions for "Love in the Classroom"

Two Views of the Mississippi” by Mark Twain | Questions for "Two Views of the Mississippi"

The Whistle” by Benjamin Franklin | Questions for "The Whistle"

"Young People Cop to It: Technology Is Bad for Us" Michael Malone | Questions for “Young People Cop to It: Technology Is Bad for Us”

Politically incorrect? Or master strategists? Try both” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Time Sept 2016) | Questions for "Politically Incorrect?"

"Commencement Address" Verne Underwood | Questions for "Commencement Address"

Available from RCC Library’s EBSCOhost database:

Wimbledon Has Sent Me a Message: I’m Only a Second-Class Champion” Venus Williams, The Times June 2006 | Questions for "Wimbleton Has Sent Me a Message"

Why (almost) Everyone Is Embracing the Digital Doctor” Alexandra Sifferlin | Questions for “Why (almost) Everyone Is Embracing the Digital Doctor

Short Stories from Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg (PG) is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks."  It was founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart and is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books. These items are free and can be read online or downloaded.  As of February 2017, Project Gutenberg has over 53,000 items in its collection.

The project is named after Johannes Gutenberg, the fifteenth century German printer who propelled the  moving type printing press revolution.

Project Gutenberg

These works are proofread for errors and published by trustworthy publishers.  Many include images. These stories can be read online or can be downloaded in various formats.

Please copy and paste your selected short story into a Word document, using either the HTML or Plain Text.  Please edit out the copyright license information at the end of each story.  Also, please check and make sure you are only printing ONE story and not the complete collection of stories that many of the books contain.  We appreciate your efforts in saving paper.           
Thank you.


  • An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1890, 1891) by Ambrose Bierce – A short story masterpiece and suspenseful story about a Civil War man who makes a daring escape....
  • A Dark Brown Dog (1893) by Stephen Crane – Read this story for its powerful and emotional content, then contemplate social and historical significance afterwards.
  • The Gift of the Magi (1905) by O. Henry – The magi, as you know, were wise men – wonderfully wise men – who brought gifts to the newborn Christ-child. They were the first to give Christmas gifts. Being wise, their gifts were doubtless wise ones.
  • The Monkey’s Paw (1902) by W. W. Jacobs – Three wishes and a monkey’s paw. What could go wrong? A horror story in short story form.
  • The Cask of Amontillado (1846) by Edgar Allen Poe – A classic revenge story in the horror genre. Montresor invites his ‘friend’ Fortunato to taste some fine wine.
  • Eve’s Diary (1906) by Mark Twain – “He talks very little. Perhaps it is because he is not too bright…”
  • To Build a Fire (1908) by Jack London – A classic Man versus Nature story set in the Yukon Territory in Northwest Canada. “The dog did not know anything about thermometers but it had the sense to know it that it was no time for traveling...”
  • The Luck of Roaring Camp (1868) by Bret Harte – The hard-luck life of hard-hearted miners’ changes with the birth of Thomas Luck who draws on the heart strings of the rough and tumble miners of Roaring Camp. 
  • The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (1865) by Mark Twain – The famous story of Dan’l Webster, the frog, and his anticipated performance in the jumping contest.
  • The Skylight Room (1906) by O. Henry – The story is about a young woman, Miss Leeson, and her stay at one of Mrs. Parker’s parlours. During her stay, Miss Leeson experiences hard times and is later rescued by a star.
  • A Horseman in the Sky (1889) by Ambrose Bierce – Set during the Civil War, the story of a man versus himself.
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820) by Washington Irvine – One of the early American classics, along with Rip Van Winkle.
  • My Kinsman, Major Molineux (1832) by Nathaniel Hawthorne – a short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1831. It is set in the approximate year of 1732, and follows Robin, a not yet 18 young man. He has arrived in Boston on a ferry to look for his kinsman, Major Molineux, a British Colonial government official who promised Robin work.
  • The Minister’s Black Veil (1836) by Nathaniel Hawthorne – The black veil is a symbol of secret sin and how terrible human nature can be.
  • Young Goodman Brown (1835) by Nathaniel Hawthorne – Young Goodman Brown came forth at sunset, into the street of Salem village, but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss …
  • The Cactus (1882) by O. Henry – A classic dose of O. Henry. Short and direct. Communication is so important.
  • The Tell-Tale Heart (1843) by Edgar Allen Poe – “Me crazy? Not at all. Let me prove my sanity by describing how carefully and ingeniously I murdered my victim!”
  • Scarlet Stockings (1869) by Louisa May Alcott – “Belle Morgan does and says what she likes, is very blunt and honest, has ideas and principles of her own, goes to parties in high dresses, won’t dance round dances, and wears red stockings, though Mrs. Plantagenet says it’s fast.”
  • An Angel in Disguise (1851) by T.S. Arthur – A sentimental story about love and kindness. “A bond had already corded itself around them both, and love was springing into life.”
  • Bartleby the Scrivener (1853) by Herman Melville – A widely read story with widely debated interpretations. If you figure out what it means, tell me!
  • The Purloined Letter (1844) by Edgar Allen Poe – the third of his three detective stories featuring the fictional C. Auguste Dupin, the other two being “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “the Mystery of Marie Rogêt”.
  • A Jury of Her Peers (1917) by Susan Glaspell – a short story by Susan Glaspell, loosely based on the 1900 murder of John Hossack (not the famed abolitionist), which Glaspell covered while working as a journalist for the Des Moines Daily News.
  • A Modest Proposal (1729) by Jonathan Swift – A satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathon Swift in 1729.
  •  The Yellow Wallpaper (1890) by Charlotte Perkins Gillman – “It is the same woman, I know, for she is always creeping, and most women do not creep by daylight.” “There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will.” “I’m sure I never used to be so sensitive.”
  • The Diamond Necklace (1884) by Guy de Maupassant – She was one of those pretty and charming girls who are sometimes, as if by a mistake of destiny, born into a family of clerks. She had no dowry, no expectations, …
  • Lost Hearts (1895) by M.R. James – is a ghost story by British writer M.R. James, originally published in 1895. It was later collected in his 1904 book Ghost Stories.
  • The Outcasts of Poker Flat (1869) By Bret Harte – As Mr. John Oakhurst, gambler, stepped into the main street of Poker Flat on the morning of the twenty-third of November, 1850, he was conscious of a change …
  • The Devil and Tom Walker (1824) by Washington Irving – Narrator Geoffrey Crayon relates a local legend about Captain Kidd, a pirate said to have buried treasure in a swamp near Boston. One day, in 1727, a miserly man named Tom Walker walks through the swamp, where he meets a black man whom he recognizes as the devil, also known as Old …
  • The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock (1906) by O. Henry – Prince Michael, of the Electorate of Valleluna, sat on his favorite bench in the park. The coolness of the September night quickened the life in him like a rare, tonic wine.
  • The Fall of the House of Usher (1839) by Edgar Allen Poe – Poe’s unnamed narrator is called to visit the House of Usher by Roderick Usher. As his “best and only friend,” Roderick tells of his illness and asks that he visits. He is persuaded by Roderick’s desperation for companionship.
  • The Nose (1836) Nikolai Gogol – is a satirical short story by Nikolai Gogol written during his time living in St. Petersburg.
  • Nightingale and the Rose (1888) by Oscar Wilde – ‘She said that she would dance with me if I brought her red roses,’ cried the young student; ‘but in all my garden there is no red rose.’ From her nest in the holm-oak tree the Nightingale heard him, and she looked out through the leaves, and wondered.
  • The Story of an Hour (1894) by Kate Chopin – This short story takes the reader on an emotional journey and was considered to be rather controversial when published. An early entry into feminist literature.  From The Kate Chopin International Society.
  • Regret (1897) by Kate Chopin – A beautiful story hinting at the depths of a woman’s emotional complexity.  From The Kate Chopin International Society.
  • On the Gull’s Road (1908) by Willa Cather – a touching story about a man telling us his story about how he met his love Alexandra Ebbling. From The Willa Cather Archive.
  • An Ornery Kind of Kid (1986) by William Saroyan – Mayo Maloney at 11 was a little shrimp of a fellow who was not rude so much as he was rudeness himself. From EBSCOhost.
  • “Lamb to the Slaughter” (1953) by Roald Dahl – contains two kinds of irony. The use of irony upsets our expectations of how the story will turn out, yet it leaves a memorable impression. From the RCC Library Catalog
  • “Love is a Fallacy” (1951) by Max Shulman – Max Shulman narrates the attempt of a young man to use logic as his advantage to pursuit love. From the RCC Library Catalog
  • The Lottery (1948) by Shirley Jackson – It has been described as “one of the most famous short stories in the history of American Literature.” From The New Yorker
  • A White Heron (1886) by Sarah Orne Jewett – “The woods were already filled with shadows one June evening, just before eight o’clock, though a bright sunset.” From
  • “Hills Like White Elephants” (1927) by Ernest Hemingway – She tosses out a conversational, fanciful figure of speech – noting that the hills beyond the train station “look like white elephants” – hoping that the figure of ... From the RCC Library Catalog
  • “For Esmé – With Love and Squalor” (1950) by J.D. Salinger – a short story by J.D. Salinger. It recounts a sergeant’s meeting with a young girl before being sent into combat in World War II. From the RCC Library Catalog
  • A Good Man is Hard to Find (1953) by Flannery O’Connor – Grandmother insisted on her son changing the tour to Tennessee from Florida, as the vicious gang of Misfit is likely to be present in that area. From EBSCOhost.
  • “Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?” (1976) by Raymond Carver – The tale of the couples sojourn in Arcata is just that; we can fill in the gaps, but the speaker does not … He does not want to speak to his wife, begging her to ‘just be quiet, please’ but ultimately responds to her sexual advances. From the RCC Library Catalog
  • “A Sound of Thunder” (1952) by Ray Bradbury – Sci-fi at its best. The sign on the wall seemed to quaver under a film of sliding warm water. Eckels felt his eyelids blink over his stare, and … From the RCC Library Catalog
  • “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (1939) by James Thurber – When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure … From the RCC Library Catalog
  • “The Swimmer” (1964) by John Cheever – Well-off ad man Ned Merril is visiting a friend when he notices the abundance of backyard pools that populate their upscale suburb. Ned suddenly decides that he’d like to travel the eight miles back to his own home by simply swimming across every pool in town. From the RCC Library Catalog
  • “The Man from the South” (1948) by Roald Dahl – Would you risk losing a finger for a chance to win a nice car? Roald Dahl’s story is a suspenseful tale about gambling. From the RCC Library Catalog