A Grim Perspective of Humanity in Macbeth

As a story of appalling crime and retribution, Shakespeare’s Macbeth is unique in ascribing greater attention to unscrupulous criminals than to their victims. As such, the overall mood of the play must be taken with respect to the context; the focus is deliberately placed on the darker side of humanity, and the play continually alludes … Read more

Bound by Learning: Composing, Information, and Opportunity in Reed’s Flight to Canada and Douglass’s the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass follows the format of a traditional slave narrative, characterizing the plight faced by a slave and his or her quest for freedom. Ishmael Reed’s Flight to Canada on the other hand, parodies traditional slave stories, and offers a more modernized view of slavery. Douglass’s Narrative describes the … Read more

The Ultimate Problem of Evil in Oliver Twist

Dickens’ Oliver Twist , which ultimately celebrates a protagonist who journeys from innocence to experience without capitulating to the evil forces that hinder his progress, addresses the pervasive problem of evil in society and human nature. Dickens presents two dimensions of evil in Oliver’s world through the characters of Fagin, the old Jew, and Mr. … Read more

The Significance and Symbolism of Mondays in Marquez’ Novel

On one Tuesday in One Hundred Years of Solitude, Jose Arcadio Buendia, the Buendia family’s enigmatic patriarch, comes to the sudden realization that “it’s still Monday, like yesterday” (Marquez 77). At first, this may seem like lunacy; the characters around him all discredit his idea, and he is eventually tied to a chestnut tree after … Read more

Paradise Lost and Areopagitica: The Test of the Faith with Temptation

In his “Areopagitica,” John Milton claims “He that can apprehend and consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better, he is the true warfaring Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out … Read more

Many Meaning of the Word Play

A discussion of the implications of the various meanings of the word ‘play’ in Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Tom Stoppard’s production Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is highly intelligent in its linguistic style, capability of thought and manner of speech. The two ‘main’ characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (R&G), engage in complicated word … Read more

The Importance of Three in the Poem

Our lives are seemingly centered around numbers. We count the years we have been alive, recall events based on the numerical dates they occurred on, and organize our finances with the help of simple numbers. Life itself appears to be a quantifiable thing – easily arranged and manipulated by mere numbers. But what does this … Read more

Conflict With Society’s Expectations

Written in 1884, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a tale about a young boy’s journey to freedom from society, and his struggle with his conscience during a time in the past when slavery was the norm for society. Huck, a rebellious boy, escapes from Pap, his abusive father, and embarks on a … Read more

Santiago and the Alchemist

“ The Alchemist is the story of a young man “”Santiago”” who finds a treasure. He is shepherd. He wants to be free to roam with his sheep, to have some wine in his wineskin and a book in his bag. Early into his journey, he meets an old king named Melchizedek or the king … Read more

Analysis Of The Book Thief Novel

In Section II, Liesel moves in with Hans and Rosa Hubermann, who are her foster parents. Rosa is abrasive and abusive, but Hans acts as a true father to her (the only one she’s known). When she has nightmares in the middle of the night, he comes in and comforts her, eventually teaching her to … Read more

Creating a Deeper and Psychological Suffering

Instead of leaving all of Inferno’s sinners to burn in the traditional flames of Hell, Dante successfully uses contrapasso to build a world with unique psychological depth, and therefore a deeper potential for suffering. Contrapasso distinguishes each sinner by making his or her punishment uniquely appropriate to the sin so that every soul in Inferno … Read more

Selfishness and Selflessness in The Fountainhead

The impact literature can impose on society remains striking even to this day. Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead contains themes that resonated so significantly with readers that it triggered a political movement, and assisted in forming the Libertarian party. The Fountainhead often referred to as “a novel of ideas,” brings some illuminating claims surrounding selfishness … Read more

Exploring the Gender and Ethnicity Issues of the Novel

In Sandra Cisneros’ work The House on Mango Street, young Esperanza must face the trials and tribulations that accompany growing up. This daunting task is made all the more difficult by society’s views of her race and gender. As a teenage Latina girl living on Mango Street, Esperanza is expected to become a cookie-cutter version … Read more

Amir’s Quest for Salvation in The Kite Runner

“There is a way to be good again” (Hosseini 2). Rahim Khan’s first words to Amir in Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner set in motion Amir’s attempt to mend his scarred past. A mentally tormented man until Khan’s call, he has repressed memories from his childhood for decades. His journey to Afghanistan to seek redemption … Read more

The Five Stages of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in The Outsiders, a Novel by S. E. Hinton

The Outsiders “Psychology is the endlessly fascinating science of the human mind and behavior” (Gillespie 1). Psychological criticism is used to enhance the knowledge of literature by analyzing the behaviors and motives of dynamic characters throughout several theories. Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is one of many theories. This concept has five stages: physiological needs, … Read more

The Road by Cormac Mccarthy

This passage is The Road by Cormac Mccarthy and the main theme of the text and novel in a whole is survival and relicense. It starts with the father and son who are living on the road and are really poor also have nothing but a shopping cart full of supplies as well as one … Read more

The Effectiveness of Violence in The Stranger

Albert Camus’s novel The Stranger is an extremely explicit work describing violent acts witnessed by a narrator who seems to be wholly unaffected by their brutality. The novel begins with death – “Mamman died today” (3) – and ends with the presumed demise of Meursault, the main character. The body of the work contains numerous … Read more

Jake Barnes’ Quest for Control

I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain — and back in rain. I have outwalked the further city light. I have looked down the saddest city lane. I have passed by the watchman on his beat. And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain. -Robert Frost Gertrude Stein summarized … Read more

Thoughts on Courage

Throughout war literature, characters of soldiers are fundamentally exposed. Young men go to war and come out with countless stories and scars from their adventures. For tremendous acts of bravery, some soldiers are presented with awards such as the Distinguished Service Cross and the Medal of Honor. In the book The Thing They Carried, author … Read more

Purple Hibiscus and Things Fall Apart: Comparing Father/Son Relationship Themes

Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart both emphasize the complexities of father-son relationships. The major theme of parental conflict is developed throughout the course of both texts and serves to illustrate the impact of Western imperialism on Igbo culture. While Adichie openly acknowledges that she was inspired by Achebe, a closer … Read more

To the Lighthouse: Mind and Body, Dark and Light

In To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf focuses in great detail on the workings of dark and light on the relationships between her characters. The presence of light or dark tends to govern certain scenes: light brings people together in a harmony based on the physical environment, while darkness instead symbolizes the isolated, interior consciousness. Twilight, … Read more

Imagery in Waiting for Godot and Mother Courage and Her Children

Although Waiting for Godot and Mother Courage and Her Children are quite different in terms of plot structure and setting, there are similarities present in the use of bleak imagery as symbols of religious, social, and political criticism. The symbolism extends beyond the imagery and encompasses the characters themselves. The props, especially in Godot, have … Read more

Russian Formalist’s View on Fabula and Subject

Russian Formalism was a school of literary thought which emerged in Russia during the 1910’s. Members of this movement attempted to study literary language and literature according to scientific methods, and Peter Brooks states that they focussed on “calling attention to the material and the means of its making, showing how a given work is … Read more

The Symbolic Use of an Eye In The Great Gatsby

Throughout history, the eye has always been an emblem of the deities. In the Egyptian pantheon, there is Horus, god of light, who is signified by his famous Eye; in the Roman pantheon, there is Juno, associated with the many-eyed peacock; and in the Hindu pantheon, there is the three-eyed Shiva, with his celestial left … Read more

Fall Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

The American dream states that any individual can achieve success regardless of family history, race, and/or religion simply by working hard. The 1920’s were a time of corruption and demise of moral values in society. The first World War had passed, and people were reveling in the materialism that came at the end of it, … Read more

Fear is Something to be Feared

Fear is Something to be Feared The word “fear” can be defined as: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger or pain. In his play The Crucible, Arthur Miller addresses the fear embedded within Puritan society. According to the Public Broadcasting Service, “Puritans lived in a constant state of spiritual anxiety, searching for signs of … Read more

Rev. Parris: Greed and Lies in The Crucible

Human nature has a tendency, a fad if you will, to display traits of selfishness and a “me first, you later” attitude. This sort of thinking often leads people to do unjust or politically incorrect things, and it gets them in trouble with the law, the government, or other people. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible … Read more

A Comparison of The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe and The Cat from Hell by Stephen King

Depicted in the acclaimed short story “The Black Cat” (1843) by master of macabre, Edgar Allan Poe and “The Cat From Hell” (1977) by contemporary horror brilliance, Stephen King is a composition of suspense strategies, which engenders fear and curiosity that allows authors to manipulate their audience. Both pieces were initially published in an American … Read more

Analysis Of Darcy’s Letter In “Pride And Prejudice” By Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s famous novel, Pride and Prejudice depicts the marvelous and unusual relationship between Elizabeth Bennet and Charles Darcy, following them through an understanding of love, challenges of the prejudices of their time and the never ending pride of both characters. The novel opens up with the basic plot and ideas of which the story’s … Read more

Lord of the Flies Summary

During a war, an airplane carrying British boys crashes down in the Pacific. All the boys survive, except for the pilot, who was the only grown up among them. Ralph, a handsome boy with long and fair hair, whose father works in the English military, is the first to be introduced in the story. Along … Read more

True Wisdom and Humanity in Piggy’s Character

In the introduction to William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies, E.M Forster describes Piggy as not only “the brains of the party” but also “the wisdom of the heart” and “the human spirit.” This description of Piggy becomes more accurate as the novel increases and the distinction between savagery and civilization becomes clearer. At … Read more

Jane Eyre and Parental Figures

Jane’s marginal status as an orphan is partially obviated by various parental figures that appear throughout the novel. For example, Bessie and Miss Temple play very maternal roles and take Jane under their wings when she is wrongfully accused. However, while Miss Temple was incredibly important to Jane during her time at Lowood, she becomes … Read more

The Struggle to Truth Through The Mask: The Gypsy Episode

Jane’s relationship with Mr. Rochester is marked by uncertainty in equality and independence in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Using the Gothic elements of disguise in the gypsy scenes, Mr. Rochester assumes an ambiguous role of gender and class inferiority. By breaking gender barriers, Mr. Rochester finds a way to come out of his shell, speak … Read more

The Construction of Desdemona’s Character as Feminine Woman

Marilyn French asserts that Shakespeare only constructs two types of women, the “virtuous subhuman or deceiving subhuman.”[1] In conjugation with the Elizabethan expectation of an “acceptable version of the feminine” woman, a woman who is passive, obedient and chaste, Shakespeare has constructed Desdemona as a “virtuous subhuman.” This supports the feminist criticism that “literary representations … Read more

Iago’s Metadrama: Villain, Director, Playwright

In William Shakespeare’s Othello, the deceptive Iago weaves an intricate web of lies with which he enmeshes Othello alongside his many other victims. His manipulation of other characters, machinations that serve as the driving force behind the plot, and sly staging of various scenes in the play not only establish him as the play’s beguiling … Read more

Odysseus and Athena: Friends

The characters in Homer’s The Odyssey are forever at the mercy of the Gods, those immortals who live in the heights of Mount Olympus, and who, on occasion, walk the lands of earth. Throughout the epic poem the main characters are visited quite often at pivotal times in the storyline. No god visits these characters … Read more

Culture Clash

Generalizations and associations seem to permeate the culture of every human society. If this were not the case, there would be no need for the sociological study of ethnocentricity. The Odyssey of Homer strongly exhibits this quality of judging cultures and other peoples based on criteria defined by its own ancient Greek civilization. In this … Read more

English 10 Reading Journal: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Chapter 11- the loss of Jem and Scout’s innocence When autumn turns into winter in Maycomb County, Scout and Jem plan to create a snowman. This is an example of how their innocence is retained towards the beginning. Jem and Scout shape the snowman: “Jem glanced at me, his eyes twinkling: ‘Mr. Avery’s sort of … Read more

“To kill a Mockingbird” Summer Reading

The setting of this novel is a huge factor that controls the story and overall outcome, the novel takes place in a gloomy town, with the name Maycomb (Fictional town), located in Alabama. Also, this had taken place during the time of the “Great Depression”, during the 1930’s. The setting is odd, it seems it … Read more