This thematically organized anthology treats literature as a continually expanding commentary on our infinitely varied lives, helping students make the connection between literature and their own unique life stories. Each of the anthology's themes--Family, Men and Women, Vulnerability, Freedom and Responsibility, Creativity, and Quest--progresses outward from reflections on the self to more universal issues. Within each theme, the readings provide a unique combination of traditional and contemporary works that highlight the diverse cultures and perspectives of our world today. Brief, but essential, apparatus includes a process-oriented approach to interpreting literature, a recast discussion of classical argument as it applies to literary analysis, and a stronger emphasis on writing about film adaptations. This edition has been updated for the 2009 MLA Guidelines.