The Gift of the Ribbono Shel Olom

In Chaim Potok’s novel My Name is Asher Lev, Asher struggles with self-identity and going against tradition, which ultimately leads him to question whether his gift of art comes from the Ribbono Shel Olom or the sitra achra. Asher’s gift comes from the Ribbono Shel Olom for three main reasons: all gifts come from the … Read more

Power and Control: Clegg vs Miranda

The Collector by John Fowles examines a battle for power and control between the introverted character of Clegg and the audaciously articulate Miranda. Power is defined as the possession of control, authority, or influence over others (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) that Clegg has been cheated of his entire life. Clegg was brought up with a poor education … Read more

Gender Role Depicted in ‘The Coquette’

Although Hannah Webster Foster names her book The Coquette, there is ambiguity in who the true coquette of the story is. Eliza Wharton, named the coquette by Foster and the other characters of the story, does not follow the rules of coquetry. Instead it is Major Peter Sanford who falls under the social definition of … Read more

The Issue of Science Without Ethics as Shown Through Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake

In the emerging technical age the idea of science without ethics has turned into a center stage issue. Throughout Margaret Atwood’s novel Oryx and Crake, science without ethics is explored through two dystopian worlds engineered by Atwood all from the eyes of the protagonist Jimmy, or Snowman—as he is known after humanity was demolished by … Read more

A constant desire to achieve mortality

In the MaddAddam trilogy by Margaret Atwood, the human race is characterized by a constant desire to achieve immortality. For the scientists at the CorpSeCorps, this means creating the Anooyoo Spa and the genetically mutated pigoons—symbols of society’s need to preserve beauty and prevent death. This idea of immortality is also demonstrated through the Crakers, … Read more

The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War addresses manipulation, fear and ethics throughout the 1970’s in which the book was set around. Throughout the novel, through the use of characters, Robert Cormier portrays both sides of the two major themes manipulation and fear. The novel presents an understanding of the problems that go on in day to day school … Read more

A Thousand Acres: The Danger of Temptation and Unnatural Behavior

Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres follows the novel’s narrator, Ginny Smith, as she struggles with temptation and the mental and physical repercussions of being a victim of unnatural behavior. Larry, Ginny’s father, practices chemical-based farming and breaks the natural bonds with his family by raping both his daughters, disrupting natural order. Biblical imagery and symbols … Read more

Ritualistic Consumerism: How Consumption Replaces Religion in ‘White Noise’

Consumer culture has been discussed by many authors and philosophers as long as the human race has been consuming. Consumerism is often referred to as a negative force in society, specifically in the United States, due to America’s image of surplus and leisure even in times of societal and economic suffering as discussed in Clay … Read more

Matsu and Kenzo

Yin and Yang is the idea of creating balance in the universe. While one side represents good, the other represents evil and when both sides are balanced, one achieves perfect harmony. The two sides fit together perfectly, each conjoined to the other. In Gail Tsukiyama’s novel, The Samurai’s Garden, the idea of yin and yang, … Read more

Love as a fundamental principle for humanity

Love is one of the fundamental principles of humanity. It is what ties humans together as a people, and is vital to society. As such, it has influenced the world in countless ways, just one of which being through literature. Les Miserables tells the tale of Jean Valjean, a convicted criminal who must escape his … Read more

Death: the final answer? A Cemetery Symbolism Analysis in The Thief and the Dogs

Death has been a prevalent theme in literature of all cultures throughout the centuries. In The Thief and the Dogs, the author Naguib Mahfouz explores the realm of death and its interconnections with life. Witnessing the turmoil of the Egyptian revolutions since childhood, it is small wonder that Mahfouz creates a fictional world which mirrors … Read more

ICB Style Analysis

Pages: 56-60: Diction:“I only remember Nancy’s Teddy bear staring at me” (Capote, 60). This quote was pronounced by two of Nancy Clutter’s dearest friends, Nancy Ewalt and Susan Kidwell after seeing Nancy’s corpse. This is an ideal example of diction from Truman Capote, however, is also an example of tone because it establishes an eerie … Read more

Judge Dee: A Good Magistrate?

The “Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee,” revolved around a very prominent district magistrate named Judge Dee Goong An, a man famous for his ability to solve mysterious cases. Judge Dee digs deep to solve each case and was successful because he combined the three philosophies of legalism, daoism and Confucianism. These philosophies provided him with … Read more

Unavoidable Destiny: Flannery O’Connor’s Southern Adaptation of Oedipus Rex

Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood is a powerfully unsettling novel concerning a lost man in the grotesque, dark world of the American South. Published in 1949, Wise Blood’s protagonist Hazel Motes serves as a reflection of the power of mythology that continues to assert itself in O’Connor’s text. Throughout the course of the novel, Hazel Motes’s … Read more

Analysis of Mirth

You are Ibsen. Review House of Mirth. Which of the domestic palaces in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth claims itself as the titular source of the tragic novel? Each offers strong evidence in its own favor. There is the bucolic decadence of the Trenor’s Bellomont; the old money severity of Mrs. Peniston’s Fifth Avenue … Read more

Love and Control Shown in ‘The Collector’

Love is a complex concept, one that even ingenious writers have struggled to understand. While scientists confine their understanding of love to ‘chemical reactions’ involving dopamine and serotonin, one cannot deny the qualitative nature that love has. Clegg expresses signs of love throughout the The Collector by John Fowles; however, there is more evidence that … Read more

The Story of the Faustian bargain: Trading soul and salvation for vast power

Commonly referenced in Western Europe and around the world, the story of the Faustian bargain—in which a remarkable individual trades soul and salvation for vast power—has appeared throughout history in poems, plays, newspapers, and novels describing characters’ dilemmas. In The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares, the narrator falls in love with a machine-generated … Read more

The Role of Food in the Social, Cultural, and Political Landscapes of Paradise of the Blind

One of the most striking elements of Paradise of the Blind is its constant discussion of food. Through imagery and description of traditional foodstuffs, the novel emphasizes the Vietnamese’s deep cultural connections to and love of food. These descriptions serve to describe family and cultural dynamics of Hang’s childhood as well as highlight the differences … Read more

The Role of Ambiguity in Literature

Art lives in a realm of ambiguity, and it is ambiguity that grants it greater applicability to the average life. In Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham, three narratives lack detail as to draw greater attention to the ideas within the narratives and the idea of individuality within society. In We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, a dystopian … Read more

The Allegory of Rape in Paradise of the Blind

In the novel Paradise of the Blind, Duong Thu Huong tells the story of Hang, a native Vietnamese girl, following the establishment of independence in Vietnam and the imposition of Communism. Vietnam, with a historical background of invasion by foreign entities, was initially accepting of the system of Communism because it allowed them independence from … Read more

Professionalism and Englishness in The Remains of the Day

In The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro exemplifies English identity from the perspective of the butler of a prominent estate, Mr. Stevens of Darlington Hall. Ishiguro uses Mr. Stevens’s account to establish English identity, allowing Mr. Stevens’s conservative perspective to be a commentary on that identity as it relates to professionalism and integrity. Ishiguro’s … Read more

Understanding of "Steppenwolf" as Main Idea

It is rightly said that what a man thinks, he becomes. In light of this, Herman Hesse’s novel Steppenwolf deals with Harry Haller, the protagonist who thinks himself to be divided between his human nature and an animalistic one, considering himself a “wolf of the steppes.” In a time when an essentialized idea of the … Read more

Tomorrow Will Be Anxious for Itself: A Close Reading of Devotion and Allusion in “Pamela”

On page 496 of Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, the young woman ponders her account of God’s mysteries. Her story’s strange circumstances provide sight of both personas of Mr. B___: one foul, one noble. Her successful endurance through frightening displays of his physical control over her fuels burgeoning comprehension of the role lack of worry plays in … Read more

A Continuous Metaphor: Theater in Revolutionary Road

Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road unveils the emptiness of suburban life by incorporating a play into the opening paragraphs and then continuing a metaphor of theater throughout the rest of the novel. The novel opens with theatrical failure that foreshadows the evident downfall of Frank and April’s lives. The book characters take on their own theatrical … Read more

Fly Away Peter: Analysis of Symbolism

Fly Away Peter, by David Malouf, details not only the horrors of war, but the beauty of innocence found in Australian wildlife. In essence, Malouf expresses the concept of binaries, in particular the contrast between innocence and experience, and what it means to be alive. The novel explores the life of Jim Saddler and his … Read more