Key Facts about the Little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry used his love for doodling to create his own watercolor illustrations for The Little Prince. The Little Prince was first published in the U.S in English and French but would be later translated into over 250 languages. The French version of the novel was titled Le Petit Prince. It is said that the … Read more

Through the Looking Glass Quotations and Analysis

Quotations and Analysis “It’s a great huge game of chess that’s being played—all over the world—if this is the world at all, you know.” Alice says this in Chapter 2 as she looks out on a landscape which appears to be a large chess board. She deduces that Looking-Glass World is like a great chess game, … Read more

Key Facts about The Handmaid’s Tale

Key facts Margaret Atwood’s novel was originally titled Offred. The atmosphere of paranoia in Atwood’s novel was inspired by  Orwell’s 1984 as well as her experience of feeling as if she was being spied on when she was writing the novel in 1984 in West Berlin before the fall of the Berlin wall. The novel won the … Read more

Homer’s The Odyssey

Nearly three thousand years ago, sometime between 800 and 600 BCE, the inhabitants of what is now known as Greece passed the time by relaying tales about a war of tremendous proportions. The individual credited for collecting all of these stories and sharing them as one unified collection was a man known only as Homer, … Read more

Key Facts about Brave New World

Much of Huxley’s novel was directly inspired by places and things that really existed. Huxley visited San Francisco in 1920s and was struck by what he saw as rampant consumerism and unrestricted promiscuity in American youth culture. He saw this type of mass behavior as indicative of the world to come, a world driven entirely … Read more

Things Fall Apart Summary

The novel is the tragic story of Okonkwo, the protagonist, and the Igbo culture of Nigeria. We learn from the outset that Okonkwo is a respected leader among the Igbo community in Umuofia, in eastern Nigeria. Though he grew up under the perceived weakness of his father, he his determined from an early age to distinguish … Read more

Alice in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland tells the tale of a young girl as she falls asleep in a meadow one summer day only to find herself trapped in a world of fantastic animals and people, and engaged in a series of adventures. Alice is led by a White Rabbit down the rabbit hole where she meets talking … Read more

Steppenwolf Characters and Analysis

Characters and Analysis Harry Haller, or The Steppenwolf A reclusive middle-aged man. He resents all things bourgeois but nevertheless lives in a distinctly bourgeois boarding house. He refers to himself as Steppenwolf because he believes he is a man of two distinct natures: the lone wolf who rejects society and lives a life of solitary … Read more

Key Facts about Wuthering Heights

The novel was written between 1845 and 1846 and was published by Emily Brontë herself, after being rejected by many publishers. Brontë, aware of the patriarchal society at the time, wrote under the male pseudonym Ellis Bell. Wuthering Heights was inspired by the surroundings of the author as she lived on the moors and also by the … Read more

Hamlet – Quotations and Analysis

Quotations and Analysis O, that this too too solid flesh would melt, / Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew, / Or that the Everlasting had not fixed / His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter. O God, God, / How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable / Seem to me all the uses of this world! Act One … Read more

Key Facts About Doctor Faustus

Full working title: The Tragicall History of D. Faustus and later, The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus. Author: Christopher Marlowe Type of Work: Play Narrator: None, however, the Chorus appears between scenes to offer background information and to provide commentary Point of View: Dr. Faustus is the central figure of the play, there are multiple long soliloquies … Read more

Heart of Darkness Quotes and Analysis

The word ivory rang in the air, was whispered, was sighed. You would think they were praying to it. A taint of imbecile rapacity blew through it all, like a whiff from some corpse. By Jove! I’ve never seen anything so unreal in my life. And outside, the silent wilderness surrounding this cleared speck on … Read more

Night by Elie Wiesel

Making note of his fear of foreign journalists and their questions, Francois Mauriac tells of his chance meeting with a reporter from Tel Aviv, who is later revealed to be Elie Wiesel, the author of Night. As the two begin to converse, Mauriac’s apprehensions are dispelled by the unjudgmental nature of the interview. The men spoke about … Read more

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë’s only novel. Brontë wrote the gothic yet tragic novel in 1847 under the pseudonym Ellis Bell and received a great deal of criticism for the violent nature of the character of Heathcliff that she created. Wuthering Heights is still known today as one of the most tragic romantic, gothic novels in … Read more

The Awakening Summary

The story begins as Edna Pontellier, her husband Léonce  and their children are vacationing at one of the Lebrun’s Grand Isle cottages. Edna’s husband spends most of his time away for business and when he isn’t working he prefers the company of his friends at nearby hotel called Klein’s. Edna as a result spends most … Read more

Key Facts about The Outsiders

Title: The Outsiders. Author: S.E. Hinton. Genre: Coming of age, struggle between socio-economic classes. Time written: Tulsa, 1960. Point of View: First-person narrative by Ponybo. Major conflict: The clash between the lower-class greasers and the upper-class Socs (or Socials), Ponyboy’s own struggle to grow and mature. Rising action: Johnny murders a Soc, He and Ponyboy go into hiding, The tension between the … Read more

Themes of Beowulf

Loyalty Beowulf celebrates a warrior culture. For this reason, loyalty is of paramount importance. One of the central points, which demonstrates this, is the conflict between Beowulf and Unferth. Beowulf is from another place and another tribe. His allegiance to Hrothgar is through a family debt, yet he proves himself more loyal to Hrothgar than Unferth … Read more

Key Facts About Beowulf

Beowulf is written in Old English. Though this is English in the most technical sense, it would be unrecognizable to a modern reader. We can read Chaucer’s Middle English with a little help from a glossary of terms, but Old English resembles a completely foreign language. Here is a sample from the opening lines of the … Read more

Key Facts About Night

Key Facts Complete title: Night Written by: Elie Wiesel Genre: WW2 and Holocaust memoir Language: The book was originally 800 pages long, and written in Yiddish. It’s original title was Un di Velt Hot Geshvign (And the World Remained Silent) Time of Writing: Night was written in Paris in 1950. The author had previously taken a ten year vow of silence, … Read more

Atlas Shrugged Characters and Analysis

Dagny Taggart As vice president of operations for Taggart Transcontinental, Dagny is the central character. She is a brilliant manager and she is committed to saving the railroad against the “looters” who would seize property from capitalists. Amid the growing chaos in the nation, Dagny mainstains the system which allows the looters to disrupt the … Read more

Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Hamlet

Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark is considered by many to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest works. Written around 1599-1602 (the exact date is unknown), it is certainly one of the most famous of Shakespeare’s plays. The line “To be or not to be,” from the famous soliloquy, is now part of the common language in … Read more

To Kill a Mockingbird

A now famous novel by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, was first published in 1960. The book won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize immediately, becoming a classical book of modern American literature and a bestseller, and was soon adapted into a film in 1962. Being one of only two books by Harper Lee, it brought her instant … Read more

Steppenwolf Summary

The novel opens with a preface allegedly written by the nephew. In this he tells us how he hcame to meet Harry Haller, or Steppenwolf, when Harry rented a room in the boarding house owned by his aunt. He tells us that he did not at first like Steppenwolf, but came to like him over time. … Read more

Key Facts about Flowers for Algernon

Key Facts According to Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon is a product of 14 years of thought formation. Keyes first published Flowers for Algernon as a short story in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction  in 1959 and won a Hugo Award for Best Short Story. The novel only came as an extended and more in depth version of … Read more

Through the Looking Glass Characters and Analysis

Characters and Analysis Alice At 7 and a half years old, Alice is the protagonist of the tale. Her adventures in Looking-Glass World present challenges to all of her perceptions and preconceived notions of the world. Because she approaches everything she sees with a firm sense of order, she unintentionally alienates nearly every character she … Read more

Flowers for Algernon Summary

The novel begins as Charlie follows Doctor Strauss and Professor Nemur’s orders as he writes his first ‘Progris riport’. Charlie introduces himself and speaks about his job working for Mr. Donner as well as his night classes with Miss Kinnian who recommended him to Strauss and Nemur due to his hard work and ambition. Burt, … Read more

Toni Morrison’s Beloved

Beloved, by American writer Toni Morrison, was inspired by the story of an African-American slave who escaped slavery in Kentucky after she fled to Cincinnati, Ohio. Garner later killed one of her own children to prevent them from being returned to slavery. Garner’s story was originally entitled “A Visit to the Slave Mother who Killed … Read more

Shakespeares Life

Shakespeare (William) was the most distinguished dramatic poet the world has had since the decline of Greece. He was the son of a wealthy woolen merchant at Stratford on the Avon, a market spot in the English. County Warwickshire, probably born on Apr. 23, 1564. His mother was a daughter of Robert of Wellington, and … Read more

Le Morte d’Arthur Characters and Analysis

Characters and Analysis King Arthur Son of Uther and Igraine. Arthur is destined to become the king who unifies all of England. He establishes his destiny by pulling the sword form the stone. Arthur is the embodiment of royal virtue and valor. Though he proves himself in battle and feats the enemies of the throne, … Read more

The Awakening Quotations and Analysis

“In short, Mrs. Pontellier was not a mother-woman. The motherwomen seemed to prevail that summer at Grand Isle. It was easy to know them, fluttering about with extended, protecting wings when any harm, real or imaginary, threatened their precious brood. They were women who idolized their children, worshiped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy … Read more

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian feminist and speculative/science-fiction novel written by the Canadian author Margaret Atwood in 1985. The novel is presented in a disjointed form that shifts from past to present and that allows for most of the events of the story to occur and be pushed forward through the psyche of the narrator and … Read more

Their Eyes Were Watching God Quotes and Explanations

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men. Now, … Read more

Their Eyes Were Watching God Symbols and Key Facts

Symbols Hair As is the case in many novels with strong African-American characters, hair plays an important role in Their Eyes Were Watching God. To Janie, her hair is a symbol of power and identity. It is representative of her individuality and strength in three ways. Initially, her hair is representative of her independence and refusal to … Read more

Their Eyes Were Watching God Characters and Analysis

Janie Mae Crawford Janie is the central character of the novel, and she seeks to defy stereotypes. And, while a strong and independent black female, she has strikingly ‘Caucasian-like straight hair’; a trait she has inherited as a result of her mixed ancestry. She further asserts herself by wearing overalls in an era where all … Read more

Their Eyes Were Watching God Summary

Written by Zora Neale Hurston, the novel and later turned movie Their Eyes Were Watching God is regarded as an important piece of history. While fictitious in nature, the novel is viewed as one of the first major publications ever written by a black woman. It follows the life of attractive and confident African-American woman Janie Crawford … Read more

Beowulf Quotes – Explanation and Analysis

“They stretched their beloved lord in his boat, laid out by the mast, amidships, the great ring-giver. Far-fetched treasures were piled on him, and precious gear.” (lines 34-37) From the opening lines of the poem, here is evidence of the declarations of loyalty to the founder of the Danes. As they send him off to a … Read more

Major Themes of The Stranger

The Irrationality of the World It is important to remember that Camus was a philosopher who described the irrational aspect of existence. His belief is that there is no rational meaning or order to life. This tendency to deny order and meaning where there is none is central to Camus’s notion of the absurdity of life. … Read more

Flowers for Algernon Themes and Symbols

Themes Ignorance Is Bliss Charlie is shown to be an ambitious man with the mental capabilities of a child. Charlie seems to live blissfully in ignorance before his intelligence as he believes his bullies at work are his friends and he thinks highly of them. He also seems to have suppressed his painful childhood memories … Read more

Anne of Green Gables Summary

As the story opens, we are introduced to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, unmarried siblings who live on their ancestral farm in the rural town of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island in Canada. Matthew is now 60 years old and unable to properly work the farm, Green Gables. Matthew and Marilla decide to adopt and orphan boy … Read more

The Prince Summary

Written just two years after being driven from office as a diplomat, The Prince was originally intended to be part of a larger work entitled “On Principalities.” This short book is the only extent part of that original text, first published in 1532. Chapters 1-11 examine the various types of principalities or principates. The text offers examples … Read more

The Little Prince

The Little Prince is a fantasy science-fiction novel written by the French author, poet and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and was first published in 1943. The novel is presented in the form of a parable or fable in which many creatures and animals are given the power and wisdom to speak and reveal important messages regarding society and … Read more

A Clockwork Orange Characters and Analysis

Alex The protagonist and narrator, Alex is a violent and antisocial teenager. He derives satisfaction from brutalizing others. He leads his gang on nightly outings of robbery, rape, and other forms of ultra-violence. He seems to enjoy only one decent thing and that is classical music. Eventually brainwashed by the government into being sickened by … Read more

A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange may be best known for the movie adaptation which came afterward. The novel has seen massive critical praise since its publication in 1962. This is a dystopian novel that imagines a future in which people are generally numbed by boredom and the general tedium of life under a repressive government, which … Read more

Summary of A Clockwork Orange

In a dystopian future city, the main character and narrator, Alex, and his gang of “Droogs” (friends), run wild through a society which has fallen into a complacent stupor. The city is governed by a repressive government which operates as a totalitarian state. Alex and his droogs speak in a slang dialect called “nadsat” which … Read more

The Outsiders

Author, S.E. Hinton forever changed the direction of literature written for young adults when she penned her premier novel, the Outsiders. Remarkably, Hinton was just 17 years old when the book was published, the Outsiders, she has stated, was written as her response to the fluffy and feminine high school dramas about dating and proms and … Read more

Key Facts About The Odyssey

Complete title: The Odyssey Written by: Homer (although some believe that there were multiple authors) Classification: Poetry Language of Origin: Ancient Greek Time and Place of Original Text: Presumed to be 700 BCE, Greece Point of View: Narrated in third person. The narrator regularly offers insights into the thoughts and emotions of minor characters, gods and mortals. Protagonist: Odysseus Rising Conflict: Odysseus has … Read more

As I Lay Dying Quotations and Analysis

Quotes That’s what they mean by the love that passeth understanding: that pride, that furious desire to hide that abject nakedness which we bring here with us, . . . carry stubbornly and furiously with us into the earth again. At the end of Section 11, these are the thoughts that Peabody has about the soon to pass, … Read more

Major Themes of Atlas Shrugged

The Mind over Labor The “Strike of the mind” is one of the main issues in the novel. Rand’s belief that great minds are the engines of social progress is contained in this theme. It is the work of great minds which create and fuel progress and not labor. The idea that society is driven … Read more

Beloved Quotations and Analysis

Quotations and Analysis “124 was spiteful. Full of a baby’s venom.” 124 serves as a central image in the novel and all three part begin with an observation of this type. This begins Part One. The problem of haunting will pervade the novel, both literally and figuratively. Beloved is a character who can be read … Read more

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Short biography of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is probably the most famous German poet of all times and is considered a universal genius. He has gained recognition with important works not only in literature, but also in art theory and natural sciences. Goethe, for example, developed his own theory of color … Read more