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Book reviews in literature 181 to 210

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21 Jan 2009
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"Clay" excerpt from Dubliners by James Joyce, 1914

Book review - 6 pages - Literature

The passage studied here is an excerpt from "Clay", one of the short stories of the book Dubliners, which was written by James Joyce in 1914. In this story, the main character Maria is invited to spend the Hallow Eve evening at Joe's, a man of whom she once was the nurse but who is now...

19 Jan 2009
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A review of Mead's God and Gold

Book review - 5 pages - Literature

Walter Russell Mead's text God and Gold : Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World is a difficult work, especially in terms of contemporary criticism, because it is revered by both right-wing conservatives and some socialists. The book explains (and to some degree may even argue...

16 Jan 2009
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Order and disorder in Robinson Crusoe

Book review - 14 pages - Literature

“Necessity is the mother of inventions” could undoubtedly be regarded as one of Daniel Defoe (1660 - 1731)'s favourite proverb, and indeed, he employed the maxim in his History of Trade, writing: “Necessity which is the Mother, and Convenience which is the Handmaid of Invention,...

15 Jan 2009
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Ernest Gellner: Nations and nationalism

Book review - 4 pages - Literature

Ernest Gellner's Nations and Nationalism , which was published in 1983, is a core reading for the study of eighteenth and nineteenth-century European history for it cleverly conceptualizes notions -namely nationalism and nation-state- that are essential components of that period. The course...

15 Jan 2009
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Is "To Kill a Mockingbird" (by Harper Lee) a novel about racism?

Book review - 4 pages - Literature

Writing To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee has chosen to make a description of the Deep South during the Great Depression of the 30's through the eyes of a young girl, leaving us uncertain about the qualification of this novel. Indeed, reading the biography of the author, the reader realizes that...

15 Jan 2009
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Dr. Seward's blind rationalism in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897)

Book review - 8 pages - Literature

Seward, young British physician and unreliable narrator, embodies late-Victorian scientism and rationalism in Bram Stoker's Dracula. Irony in Seward's portrayal reveals much of the author's criticism of the late-Victorian scientific establishment. Although Seward sees himself as...

15 Jan 2009
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Incidents in the life of a slave girl, by Harriet Jacobs

Book review - 6 pages - Literature

The novel Incidents in the life of a slave girl is an autobiography written by Harriet Jacobs in 1861. In this book, she relates various events of the life she had when she was a slave in South Carolina. She confides in the reader and gives details of the difficulties she had to face in her...

15 Jan 2009
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Essay on Hemingway's book: "The Sun Also Rises"

Book review - 2 pages - Literature

Published in 1926, The sun also rises is considered as one of Hemingway's best novels. It depicts the circle of American expatriate writers living in Paris in the 20's. Through drinks, rides in Montparnasse, fiestas in Spain, the relationship between Brett and Jake and the remaining...

15 Jan 2009
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John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath": Chapter 3

Book review - 6 pages - Literature

The chapter under study is an extract from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Situated at the beginning of the novel, chapter 3 offers a very detailed description of a land turtle trying to reach the other side of the highway. Its journey is described as a very slow and painful one, full...

15 Jan 2009
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The Fantasy in 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' by Robert Louis Stevenson

Book review - 4 pages - Literature

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, written by Robert Louis Stevenson, was an immediate success and had been revisited a number of times since its first publication in 1886. It can be considered as the Gothic tale par excellence. The Gothic genre started in the middle of the Eighteenth...

15 Jan 2009
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Choderlos de Laclos's : Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Book review - 5 pages - Literature

Choderlos de Laclos's novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses has been the object of four main cinematic adaptations, all very different from one another or from the source text itself. These films are Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 (1959) by Roger Vadim, Dangerous Liaisons (1988) by Stephen Frears,...

15 Jan 2009
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The War (Marguerite Duras)

Book review - 5 pages - Literature

Marguerite Duras was born near Saigon in Indochina in 1914. Her parents went to the French colony as teachers. She left Indonesia in 1932 to study political science and law in Paris. His childhood in Indonesia had a great impact on Duras and brought unity to her work. As she was living in Paris...

15 Jan 2009
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"The innocent anthropologist" Notes from a mud hut - a book of Nigel Barley By Penguin Travel Library (1983), Penguin Books

Book review - 12 pages - Literature

A respectable anthropologist, British Museum's curator, Nigel Barley is yet distinguishable by two aspects from his eminent colleagues. First he chose for his thesis to study "Old English material in published and manuscript form" (11), involving the disapproval of many ‘purists' of the...

15 Jan 2009
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Wuthering Heights - The Ending (An Attempt at a Commentary)

Book review - 7 pages - Literature

The passage, being at the very end of the novel, follows directly Heathcliff's death and stages the final events of Wuthering Heights. Prior to it, Nelly Dean gives her brief account of Heathcliff's death and funeral. Then, we are presented with her conversation with Lockwood who, in turn, puts...

15 Jan 2009
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Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck

Book review - 5 pages - Literature

The scene takes place in a clearing, close to the Salinas river, “a few miles South of Soledad”, at dusk. Two men come (the two main characters), one following the other. The first one is George and the second one Lennie. They are ranch workers who travel together from a ranch to...

15 Jan 2009
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Commentary on an extract from O. Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray" chapter 2

Book review - 8 pages - Literature

This passage takes place in the middle of chapter II, in which Lord Henry has just been introduced for the first time to Dorian by his friend Basil. During this scene of first encounter Lord Henry made an impressive philosophic speech about one's self and soul, moral influence, virtues and sins,...

15 Jan 2009
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Sir Francis Bacon's New Atlantis - The beginning

Book review - 7 pages - Literature

The beginning of the New Atlantis is, in the first place, an account of a long voyage across the Pacific, undertaken by a crew of 51 sailors. At the same time, it serves as a brief introduction to two different peoples - the sailors on the one hand and the Bensalemites on the other. The passage...

15 Jan 2009
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Place, race and identity in Langston Hughes' "A Toast to Harlem"

Book review - 5 pages - Literature

“A Toast to Harlem” is an extract from a volume of selections entitled The Best Of Simple which was published in 1961. The author, Langston Hughes, was born in Joplin, Missouri in 1902 and died in 1967. He is known as one of the most important writers and thinkers of the Harlem...

15 Jan 2009
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How does "Boating for Beginners" (Jeanette Winterson) use intertextuality to comment the world?

Book review - 5 pages - Literature

Boating for Beginners is a novel by Jeanette Winterson which belongs to post-modern literature and can be defined as a re-writing of the Bible. In her text, she uses a literary device called intertextuality in order to make comments on what she thinks is wrong in our modern society and for what...

15 Jan 2009
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Barbara Blaugdone's An Account Of The Travels Sufferings & persecutions

Book review - 8 pages - Literature

Barbara Blaugdone was born in England in 1609. Her journal entitled An Account OF THE TRAVELS; Sufferings & Persecutions was published in 1691. It is an autobiographical work where she relates her personal and perilous adventures, as a testimony of what she endured when she traveled both in...

15 Jan 2009
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"Go tell it on the mountain" of James Baldwin

Book review - 5 pages - Literature

Go Tell It on the Mountain was published in 1953; it is James Baldwin's first novel and a real success. It took him ten years to complete this work, he was a very polyvalent writer and he published novels: Another Country (1962), short stories: Going to Meet the Man (1965) scripts and plays: The...

13 Jan 2009
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Black and white imagery in Blood Wedding by Federico Garcia Lorca

Book review - 3 pages - Literature

When analysing Lorca's use of black and white imagery in Blood Wedding, a first observation would tend to show that the colour white is much more present throughout the play than black, the white being used, not essentially in the characters' clothing as black is used, but also in totally...

13 Jan 2009
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"The Tempest", William Shakespearean - Prospero's relationship with the natives

Book review - 3 pages - Literature

In Shakespeare's play The Tempest, Prospero is presented as the colonizer, and Ariel and Caliban are seen as his «colonized subjects ». These two Natives had to accept this newcomer twelve years ago, and we rapidly learn that both didn't react the same way. Ariel feels grateful towards Prospero...

12 Jan 2009
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The Wood-Pile

Book review - 4 pages - Literature

Frost presents to us here a rather enigmatic poem. Upon a first contemplation the reader may experience the feeling that he has read a poem about nothing, and may read and re-read it, endeavoring to discover some hidden meaning. And indeed “The Wood-Pile” is virtually about nothing, a...

09 Jan 2009
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Analysis of Samson Occom through 'A Grammar of the Hebrew Tongue'

Book review - 5 pages - Literature

The book A Grammar of the Hebrew Tongue is an aid to learning the Hebrew language, bettering one's ability to speak, read, and write. As the first book he owned, A Grammar of the Hebrew Tongue was especially significant to the Mohegan Samson Occom. Occom purchased the book on a trip to Boston in...

09 Jan 2009
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Vision in the prologue and battle royal scene of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

Book review - 8 pages - Literature

The most predominant theme in a noel full of them—Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man—is that of vision. More specifically, in Ellison's novel, how characters in the novel see the world reflect the prejudices and inaccurate perceptions of the society in which the protagonist lives. The...

18 Dec 2008
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The theme of isolation in Kafka's 'The Metamorphosis'

Book review - 5 pages - Literature

Franz Kafka's novella The Metamorphosis concerns a traveling salesmen named Gregor Samsa who “[awakens] from unsettling dreams one morning” and “[finds] himself transformed into a monstrous vermin” (Kafka 7). Gregor is late for work, and he gripes about his joyless job; he...

04 Dec 2008
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Unity and divergence: The literary philosophy of Samuel Taylor Coleridge in opposition to the English romantics

Book review - 5 pages - Literature

Many of the words used by S.T. Coleridge to express his critical philosophy of literature are familiar. He writes of metaphysics as well as aesthetics, beauty and pleasure, and above all, unity. His definitions of these terms, however popular the terms were, are in many ways remarkably different...

04 Dec 2008
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Reasonably wrong: The underground man's inferiority complex

Book review - 7 pages - Literature

In Fyodor Dostoevsky's Notes From Underground, desire is shown to be a more important force of human nature than reason by observing how the Underground Man makes decisions. Understanding that he suffers from an extreme case of inferiority complex is instrumental in being able to decipher the...

04 Dec 2008
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The effects of knowledge on happiness and freedom

Book review - 5 pages - Literature

Upon reading The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Oedipus the King, The Crying of Lot 49, and Dostoevski's “The Grand Inquisitor on the Nature of Man”, I find that a common theme links their ideas together. As the four stories progress, the main characters all receive...