The laws that govern and the social norms that regulate society are not always fair, legal, moral, or ethical. What is a person to do about all this injustice? What are the hazards of righting injustices or changing social norms? And what are the dangers of doing nothing?


  1. Students read and annotate Antigone, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” and Pygmalion.
  2. Students write a literary analysis showing the effect of social class or the law on a character’s life.


These questions are a guide to stimulate thinking, discussion, and writing on the themes and ideas in the unit. For complete and thoughtful answers and for meaningful discussions, students must use evidence based on careful reading of the texts.

  1. How do social class and legal institutions shape literary characters’ lives (and presumably our lives)?
  2. How does social class affect a person in dealing with the law (protect a person, hurt a person)?
  3. How is social class determined in America and in other places in the world?


During this unit, on a day of your choosing, we recommend you administer a Cold Read to assess students’ reading comprehension. For this assessment, students read a text they have never seen before and then respond to multiple-choice and constructed-response questions. The assessment is not included in this course materials.

English Language Arts, Reading Informational Text, Reading Literature, Speaking and Listening
Material Type:
Unit of Study
High School
  • Grade 12 ELA
  • Injustice
  • Laws
  • Norms
  • Social Change
    Unit 3 Social Class and the Law
    Social Class and the Law

    Education Standards