The Little Prince Summary

The novel starts as the narrator laments on his childhood as he constantly tried to draw a Boa Constrictor eating an elephant. When he would show grownups his drawing they would constantly assume that it was a hat despite all his efforts in drawing it differently. The grownups around him encouraged him to quit drawing … Read more

Brave New World Summary

Brave New World begins in what is called the Central London Hatching and Conditioning Centre. Henry Foster, an assistant to the Director, is leading a group of boys on a tour. Henry teaches the boys about the Bokanovsky and Podsnap processes which make it possible for the Hatchery to produce thousands of nearly identical human embryos. … Read more

The Sun Also Rises Summary

The novel opens as Jake Barnes, the narrator, offers an account of his friend, Robert Cohn. Jake is a journalist in Paris; a job he took on after his service in WWI. His friend also lives in Paris, although he is not a war veteran. Cohn is a rich Jewish writer, living in Paris with … Read more

The Things They Carried Summary

“Tim O’Brien”, the protagonist of The Things They Carried, starts by recalling a specific event that occurred in the midst of his experience in the Vietnam war setting. The novel describes the collection of things that his fellow soldiers in the Alpha Company brought along with them on their many missions. Some, for example, carried with them … Read more

As I Lay Dying Summary

Addie Bundren, the wife and matriarch of an impoverished southern family, has fallen deathly ill. Her family believes that she is soon to pass. Her eldest son, Cash, begins to use his impressive carpentry skill to build a coffin for his mother right outside her bedroom window. Despite their mothers declining health, Darl and Jewel … Read more

The Stranger Summary

The narrator and protagonist of Camus’s novel is named Meursault, a young man living in Algiers. The novel opens as he receives news that his mother has died. He goes to Marengo to the old persons’ home where his mother lived. After sleeping through nearly the entire bus ride, Meursault speaks to the director of … Read more

To Kill a Mockingbird Summary

The story is set in the times of the Great Depression, during 1933-1935, in the fictional little town of Maycomb, Alabama. The protagonist of the story is a girl aged six, Jean Louise Finch (also called Scout), living with her family, who are Scout’s elder brother Jeremy (Jem) and their father, Atticus, a widowed lawyer. … Read more

Beloved Summary

The novel begins in Cincinnati in 1873 as Sethe, a former slave, is living with her 18 year old daughter, Denver. Sethe’s mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, lived with her until her death 8 years prior to the opening of the novel and we learn that his Sethe’s two sons, Howard and Buglar ran away just prior to … Read more


Summary of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov The foreword of the novel Lolita, written by Russian-American literary great, Vladimir Nabokov, follows a fictional character, John Ray, Jr., Ph.D, as he prefaces the peculiar tale that is set to come. According to Ray, he came to have in his possession a manuscript, entitled the Confession of a White Widowed … 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Les Misérables Summary

After serving a nineteen year sentence for stealing a loaf of bread, criminal Jean Valjean is released from a French prison. Upon arriving to the small town of Digne, Valjean learns that none of the townspeople are willing to offer him shelter because of his criminal past. Seeking refuge, Valjean comes across the home of … Read more

William Shakespeare’s The Tempest Summary

Book Summary The Tempest begins on the deck of a navigator’s vessel that is being ravaged at sea by a violent tempest in Act I, Scene I. The seamen fight with all of their might to lower the ship’s sails in a bid to control the ship. Passengers, Antonio, Alonso, Ferdinand and Sebastian, worried by the growing noise … Read more

The Catcher in the Rye Summary

The protagonist of the novel is seventeen-year-old Holden Caulfield. Directly addressing the reader, Holden lets us know that he is currently in a mental hospital or sanitarium somewhere in Southern California. He explains that he wants to tell us of the events which took place the previous December over two days. At this point he … Read more

The Outsiders Summary

Ponyboy Curtis associates himself with a group of lower-class Oklahoma teens known as ‘greaser’; a named they’ve earned on account of their greasy, long hair. While walking home one evening after a movie, Ponyboy is confronted by members of the ‘Socs’, adversaries of the greasers who are teenagers from wealthy, upper-class families on the cities … Read more

Summary of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

The part Native American narrator of the novel, Chief Bromden, has been a patient living in one of Oregon’s psychiatric facilities for nearly a decade. From the opening paragraph on it is evident that he is a paranoid man, one suffering from delusions and seeing things. The Chief’s outlook on the world around him is controlled … Read more

The Pearl Summary

The novel begins with a prologue that brings forward a novel narrated in a form of a folk tale told by the towns people, a relatable parable of all good and all evil. As the story begins we are introduced to the peaceful and serine life of Kino, Juana and their son Coyotito. As they go … Read more

Summary of The Grapes of Wrath

In the throes of the Great Depression, Tom Joad hitchhikes through Oklahoma after having recently been paroled from the local penitentiary.  During his travels he meets Jim Casy. Tom remembers the man from his childhood, he was a preacher. However, as Jim explains to Tom, that while he is still a God-fearing man, he no … Read more

Summary of Virgil’s Aeneid

Virgil’s poetic masterpiece, The Aeneid, tells of the plight of Aeneas and a group of Trojans as they sail across the Mediterranean Sea in search of Rome. Their homeland, the city of Troy, has been destroyed by the Greeks. As the group near closer to their destination, they are thrown off course by a ferocious storm … Read more

Wuthering Heights Summary

Summary The novel begins with Mr. Lockwood, a man who goes to Wuthering Heights in search of solitude. During his stay, Lockwood is treated badly by Heathcliff, Hareton and Cathy who are the inhabitants of the house. One night he discovers Catherine Earnshaw’s diary and upon reading it he gets an idea of how Hindly … Read more

1984 by George Orwell Summary

In the year 1984 London has become the principal city in Oceania. It is now known as Airstrip One. Oceania is one of three superpowers and totalitarian regions into which the world is divided; the others are Eurasia and Eastasia. The ruling power, known only as the Party, is headed by a mysterious agent called … Read more

Le Morte d’Arthur Summary

Le Morte d’Arthur is the tale of King Arthur. It begins with the formation of the Knights of the Round Table and follows the rise of King Arthur and his tragic fall. The story begins with Uther Pendragon, the King of England who lusts after Igraine, who happens to be the wife of the Duke of … Read more

A Doll’s House Summary

A Doll’s House starts out on Christmas Eve. Leading character, Nora Helmer, enters her impressively furnished sitting room – the setting of the entire play. She is carrying multiple packages. Nora’s husband, Torvald Helmer, hears her arrive and leaves his study to greet her. At first, he is warm and loving towards her, but, he soon reprimands her … Read more

Beowulf Summary

Beowulf is without doubt the most ancient surviving epic poem of the so called Anglo-Saxon epic tradition. Set in the sixth century in the southwestern part of the contemporary Sweden, the poem begins with a genealogy of the royal dynasty of the Scyldings, or Danes. This royal line is named for a mythic hero ancestor who … Read more

Heart of Darkness Summary

Heart of Darkness follows Marlow, a knowledge-seeking sailor, as he embarks up the Congo River to join up with Kurtz, alleged to be an idealistic man with many talents. Marlow assumes a job as a riverboat captain for a Belgian organization with interests in the Congo known simply as the Company. During his journey to Africa, … Read more

The Handmaid’s Tale Summary

The novel begins as Offred remembers her time at the Red Center where Handmaids are trained and conditioned which is situated in an old school. Offred comes back to the present and informs the readers of her new job working for the Commander and his wife Serena Joy. Handmaids are allowed no freedom except for … Read more

The Crucible by Arthur Miller Summary

The setting is in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The opening scene is the home of Parris, a local priest. His daughter Betty appears seriously ill and is lying on her bed unconscious. Parris caught Betty just the previous night, about the midnight hour dancing in the woods with another young woman, Abigail, who is his … Read more

Summary of Gulliver’s Travels

The story tells about the adventures of a straight-forward and practical doctor and ship’s captain. Lemuel Gulliver returns home after three and a half years at sea. He marries and sets up his practice. Since he cannot sustain himself from practicing medicine he returns to sea. He again comes home and sets up another medical … Read more

Summary of Animal Farm

Manor Farm, a modest English farm, is operated by the impetuous drunkard, Mr. Jones. Late one evening, Old Major, a senior boar, summons all of the farms animals. Old Major knows that his life will soon end and feels it necessary to pass along a few words of wisdom. As the animals listen on intently, … Read more

Summary of Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is ostensibly a simple love story, as it might seem from its plot outline. However, there the novel has much more depth than this and close reading reveals more than just a simple romance, which is evident even in its summary. The timeline of the events is set in the early 19th century, … Read more

All Quiet on the Western Front Summary

The statement of the book’s essence is concluded in the preface: “This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, … Read more

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies Summary

In times of an unnamed war, a plane crash brings a group of British boys to a paradise-like tropical island, where they try to survive. William Golding furnishes this simple plot with details of relations in children’s group and quick deterioration of their upbringing while they have to find food, water, organize their life and … Read more

Macbeth Introduction and Summary

One of Shakespeare’s shorter tragedies, Macbeth is based on a historical king of Scotland. Although some of the basic facts in the play are true to history, the murder of the king for example, Shakespeare largely wrote the play as an entertaining tragic story rather than a historical document. The play is a tale of ambition, revenge, … Read more

Night Summary

 Even though Night by Elie Wiesel is not a memoir in the true sense of the word, the following study guide will frequently reference it as one due in part to the book’s collection of testimonials, depositions, and emotional honesty that is often reflective of the memoir genre. It is evident that Eliezer is meant to act, … Read more

Doctor Faustus Summary

Well respected German scholar, Doctor Faustus, becomes discontented by the constraints of conventional knowledge forms – logic, medicine, law, and religion – and resolves to practice magic. He receives instruction in the black arts from his friends Valdes and Cornelius, soon he embarks on a new career as a magician and summons the devil Mephistopheles. … Read more

Romeo and Juliet Summary

The Montagues and the Capulets are two noble families in Renaissance Verona, Italy. Locked in a long-standing feud, one that is fought by the nobles of the two families as well as their servants, they have engaged in a series of bloody public battles. In response, the ruler of Verona, Prince Escalus, is forced to … Read more

The Great Gatsby Summary and Plot

Nick Carraway is from a respected and well-off family from the Midwest. At first, we can’t help but wonder whether Nick is the one who wrote The Great Gatsby? He studied at the Ivy League school, went to war as a soldier, and then moved to New York in 1922 to study credits and bonds. … Read more

Death of a Salesman Summary

The setting is New York City. Willy Loman is an aging salesman who has just returned from a business trip. We learn that Willy is having memory lapses and having difficulty telling the difference from things in the past and things happening now. His wife, Linda, wants him to request a new job that does … Read more

The D’Urbervilles Summary

The impoverished peddler John Durbeyfield is shocked to discover that he is the direct descendent of nobility – the d’Urberville family. Meanwhile, his older daughter, Tess, dances in the May Day dance alongside the other girls in the village. It is here where she first exchanges looks with a young man. Her parents make the … Read more

Summary of Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 can be boiled down to a story of a man in course of soul searching, but, as it usually happens with Ray Bradbury’s works, the reader is completely immersed into his fictitious world outlined with creepy detalization. The timeline is XXIV century, and life in this period is fast and depreciated. In Part … Read more

The Old Man and the Sea Summary

The Old Man and the Sea starts with a description of an old man, Santiago, a fisher who spent eighty-four days without any fare. Local fishermen had already defined him as “salao”, a pathetic loser. Of course, it is offensive for Santiago who spent all his life at the sea and travelled a lot while being … Read more

Through the Looking Glass Summary

Summary The book begins as Alice is sitting with her pet kitten, Kitty, who is playing with a ball of string. Alice tells Kitty a story about “Looking-Glass House,” a magical world on the other side of the mirror where everything is backwards. Suddenly, Alice finds herself on the mantel piece. She walks through the … Read more

The Odyssey Summary

Summary It’s been ten years since the fall of Troy, and Odysseus the Greek hero has yet to return to his kingdom in Ithaca. An anxious crowd of suitors have swarmed his palace and destroyed his land, they attempt to court his wife, Penelope, who remains loyal to her absent husband. The son of Odysseus, … Read more

Alice in Wonderland Summary

Summary The story begins as Alice is sitting by a river bank on a summer day. As she is reading she sees over her sister’s shoulder, a White Rabbit in a waistcoat running by. The White Rabbit pulls a watch out of his pocket and says that he is late. With that, he jumps into … Read more