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Week 29

Teen Reader


Click here for the text version of Tarzan of the Apes

Click here for the audio version of Tarzan of the Apes

About the Author

Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950)

Burroughs was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1875 to a wealthy businessman and his wife.  Burroughs failed the entrance qualifications to get into West Point Military Academy and was later discharged from the military for having a faulty heart.  Burroughs was at many jobs such as gold-miner, cowboy, and policeman until he read some low-quality science fiction material and decided he could do better.  He became one of the most prolific and influential early science fiction writers.  His Tarzan series and Barsoom series were immensely popular in his time and the film rights to his work along with the books made him a wealthy man.  He moved to a large ranch which he named Tarzana, and the community that grew around his ranch named their town Tazana, too.  Burroughs died of a heart attack in 1950.

Tarzan of the Apes (1912)

Tarzan of the Apes is the first of a series of twenty-four books about Tarzan.  It is the story of a man raised by apes and his eventual encounters with humans when he grows up. 

Questions for Tarzan of the Apes

In what ways does Tarzan consider himself inferior to his ape companions as a child?

Based on what the author shows of of Tarzan what is the author’s idea of the ideal man?

What does the author think of civilized society?  Which characters show a negative “over-civilization”?

What is the significance of the hunting knife Tarzan finds?

What effect does Jane have on Tarzan?  In what ways does his character develop under her influence?  How does Tarzan influence Jane?


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