I would go along with what your class is doing, and not worry too much about what texts have more or less resources. That shouldn't matter, because your primary resources will be the notes you make in your study of the text. I worry that students depend to heavily on prescribed opinion in "resources." I also worry that you say:
"but if everyone in my class is only learning from the same resources surely our interpretations are all going to be unoriginal?"
What is stopping your interpretation of a text being different? If you look at a text close enough you should start to come up with your own opinions. If there were lots of online resources (like there are for the popular texts) then all the students taking the exams would have the same interpretations! The only "resources" I used for my A level, were plot summaries. Those can be found anywhere.
If you also go off and do your own thing, you miss the crucial discussion of a text with your classmates. If you don't discuss a text, how can you get any good at arguing points surrounding it?
You might also find you come to love a text while you study it! I did Paradise Lost, books 9 and 10. I was DREADING it. After I studied it? I loved it!
Please, Try to be original. Don't just take prescribed opinion on texts. Anyone can do that. It's far more organic if you come up with your own ideas.
Thanks for replying. I understand all this,but coming from self-studying I’ve only been used to using resources (like ‘guide to —‘ books) to help my analysis and also develop my own interpretations. My school has an online resource page so I have been able to look through the whole course that they’ll teach on the awakening (PowerPoints),and it just seems to be teaching the same intepretation (eg. ‘Here’s this quote,what does this quote mean/show themes of’,then next slide there’s a definitive answer-this is it for the whole book). Of course I get the points you bring up and it’s comforted me if I do go along with it,but I am still unsure,especially as my self study worked very well from just using analysis books and then using their ideas to come up with my own,since I got a 9 in gcse by myself and no discussion I guess I’m just not used to the value of it. Another thing is (and it might seem childish) the awakening just really doesn’t interest me,I know after 2 years I may come to like it but it doesn’t particularly resonate with me like when I read the help or streetcar. Thanks again
I'm not saying you can't do it by yourself. Sure, I reckon you could probably do very well. With your can do spirit, I reckon you're probably on track for an A*.
I'm just thinking about my study at A level. We studied The Handmaid's Tale and A Clockwork Orange for a section of our course (you had to do at least one of The Handmaid's Tale or 1984, and then if you don't do both you study one more from a list) because most people do THT and 1984 as you can access all 3 exam questions. No one really studied ACO (we also did Richard III, Paradise Lost and A Dolls House for the same reasons) so our teacher decided that combo would be best.
She did, however give me the option of examining 1984 independently, as she knew I am a HUGE Orwell Nut. I didn't take it since she had prepared us so well with critical quotations, historic context, and comparisons to the Dystopian tradition. Since she was studying for her PhD (in post-colonial African literature through the OU) she had access to bodies of scholarly articles, she pulled sections of articles for us to discuss and use. My school was not good, it was bad even, but her mission as a teacher was to bring world class education to us, and to help us expand.
Why do I bring all this up? What I would do, given your position and obvious passion for Literature, is study Gatsby and the poetry on your own, independent of the class. If you feel you cannot be prepared with The Awakening and the associated poetry, then you can fall back on Gatsby. If you don't need to fall back on it, because your teacher has gone above and beyond with it, then you have still studied another text and have widened your critical repertoire. It's a Win-Win.