Sign In / Sign Out
- ASU Home
- My ASU
- Colleges and Schools
- Map and Locations
“The book inspired me to follow my own heart a little more and figure out what I want to do in life.” — Natalie Parker, Class of 2019
“Community Read gave me a social environment in which to start conversations and build friendships.” — Tristan Sommerville, Class of 2020
“Being able to get together with my peers and talk about the project was a lot of fun!” — Tony Camisi, Class of 2019
The Summer Community Read program, offered only at ASU’s West campus, offers incoming freshman students an opportunity to connect with their fellow students and the community through a shared reading over the summer months.
Founded in 2012, the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences’ Community Read program has attracted authors such as Ernest Cline (“Ready Player One”), Adam Braun (“Promise of a Pencil”), and Allison Bechdel (“Fun Home”) to ASU’s West campus. Students are asked to read the shared text, and then create a personal response to articulate the emotions and ideas the text instilled in them. These projects can take the form of poems, artistic expressions, musical acts, essays, and videos.
The student responses are then shared in a showcase event prior to a keynote speech from the author of the shared text. This allows West campus freshman students, who come from all over the world, to have a shared experience that bonds them in the critical first few months of college.
The 2017 Summer Community Read program features the Broadway smash-hit “Hamilton: The Revolution” by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter. Information on the keynote speech and student showcase will be released soon.
Below is a guide created by Marlene Tromp, former Dean of the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and Vice Provost of ASU’s West campus, to support students and the community in attaining greater understanding of the themes present in the novel.
Guide Questions for "Hamilton: The Revolution" by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
By Marlene Tromp, Dean of New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and Vice Provost of West Campus
These sections are roughly broken up into the stages of Freytag’s pyramid, the phases of classical dramatic structure (for plays, movies, or TV shows, both comedies and dramas). It isn’t a hard and fast guideline, but a way of understanding some of the basic structures of the play. The terms of Freytag’s pyramid are in boldface. These questions are intended to guide you and support you as you read the book. Your instructor may use these questions to inquire into the text in class.
You can listen to the soundtrack on YouTube, if you want to hear the songs sung by the original Broadway cast.
As you begin to read [Exposition: you get the background, meet the characters]
As you progress through the story (of the musical and the creators’ development of the musical) and things become more complex [Rising Action: events build]
What is the significance of Hamilton’s romances in the musical? Why spend time on these? What do they suggest in the play?
As the production reaches some of it most tense moments [Climax: turning points that change the protagonist’s fate; may be multiple climax points that introduce new tensions or challenges]
As tensions abate (through good or ill) [Falling Action], the story is resolved and the fate of the characters is finally known [Denouement]:
As you reflect on the book as a whole:
1) What is the “most American way” to “get to the top” (257)—Burr’s or Hamilton’s? Why? Why does Lin-Manuel Miranda identify with both Burr and Hamilton (264)?
2) What do you make of the creators’ decisions about how various people die on or off stage (Washington, Phillip Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton, etc.)?
3) Do women seem strong/able in Hamilton? Why or why not?
4) The Epilogue of the book talks about how the message of the musical transcends political parties that we must “keep hoping and to work together” and that stories have the “power to change the world.” Can you draw any other major themes from the book or the music?
5) What does Hamilton inspire in you and why?