The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald Nick Carraway, a young man from Minnesota, moves to New York in the summer of 1922 to learn about the bond business. He rents a house in the West Egg district of Long Island, a wealthy but unfashionable area populated by the new rich, a group who have made their fortunes too recently to have established social connections and who are prone to garish displays of wealth. Nick’s next-door neighbor in West Egg is a mysterious man named Jay Gatsby, who lives in a gigantic Gothic mansion and throws extravagant parties every Saturday night. Nick is unlike the other inhabitants of West Egg—he was educated at Yale and has social connections in East Egg, a fashionable area of Long Island home to the established upper class. Nick drives out to East Egg one evening for dinner with his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, and her husband, Tom, an erstwhile classmate of Nick’s at Yale. Daisy and Tom introduce Nick to Jordan Baker, a beautiful, cynical young woman with whom Nick begins a romantic relationship. Nick also learns a bit about Daisy and Tom’s marriage: Jordan tells him that Tom has a lover, Myrtle Wilson, who lives in the valley of ashes, a gray industrial dumping ground between West Egg and New York City. Not long after this revelation, Nick travels to New York City with Tom and Myrtle. At a vulgar, gaudy party in the apartment that Tom keeps for the affair, Myrtle begins to taunt Tom about Daisy, and Tom responds by breaking her nose. As the summer progresses, Nick eventually garners an invitation to one of Gatsby’s legendary parties. He encounters Jordan Baker at the party, and they meet Gatsby himself, a surprisingly young man who affects an English accent, has a remarkable smile, and calls everyone “old sport.” Gatsby asks to speak to Jordan alone, and, through Jordan, Nick later learns more about his mysterious neighbor. Gatsby tells Jordan that he knew Daisy in Louisville in 1917 and is deeply in love with her. He spends many nights staring at the green light at the end of her dock, across the bay from his mansion. Gatsby’s extravagant lifestyle and wild parties are simply an attempt to impress Daisy. Gatsby now wants Nick to arrange a reunion between himself and Daisy, but he is afraid that Daisy will refuse to see him if she knows that he still loves her. Nick invites Daisy to have tea at his house, without telling her that Gatsby will also be there. After an initially awkward reunion, Gatsby and Daisy reestablish their connection. Their love rekindled, they begin an affair. After a short time, Tom grows increasingly suspicious of his wife’s relationship with Gatsby. At a luncheon at the Buchanans’ house, Gatsby stares at Daisy with such undisguised passion that Tom realizes Gatsby is in love with her. Though Tom is himself involved in an extramarital affair, he is deeply outraged by the thought that his wife could be unfaithful to him. He forces the group to drive into New York City, where he confronts Gatsby in a suite at the Plaza Hotel. Tom asserts that he and Daisy have a history that Gatsby could never understand, and he announces to his wife that Gatsby is a criminal—his fortune comes from bootlegging alcohol and other illegal activities. Daisy realizes that her allegiance is to Tom, and Tom contemptuously sends her back to East Egg with Gatsby, attempting to prove that Gatsby cannot hurt him. When Nick, Jordan, and Tom drive through the valley of ashes, however, they discover that Gatsby’s car has struck and killed Myrtle, Tom’s lover. They rush back to Long Island, where Nick learns from Gatsby that Daisy was driving the car when it struck Myrtle, but that Gatsby intends to take the blame. The next day, Tom tells Myrtle’s husband, George, that Gatsby was the driver of the car. George, who has leapt to the conclusion that the driver of the car that killed Myrtle must have been her lover, finds Gatsby in the pool at his mansion and shoots him dead. He then fatally shoots himself. Nick stages a small funeral for Gatsby, ends his relationship with Jordan, and moves back to the Midwest to escape the disgust he feels for the people surrounding Gatsby’s life and for the emptiness and moral decay of life among the wealthy on the East Coast. Nick reflects that just as Gatsby’s dream of Daisy was corrupted by money and dishonesty, the American dream of happiness and individualism has disintegrated into the mere pursuit of wealth. Though Gatsby’s power to transform his dreams into reality is what makes him “great,” Nick reflects that the era of dreaming—both Gatsby’s dream and the American dream—is over. Jay Gatsby The title character of The Great Gatsby is a young man, around thirty years old, who rose from an impoverished childhood in rural North Dakota to become fabulously wealthy. However, he achieved this lofty goal by participating in organized crime, including distributing illegal alcohol and trading in stolen securities. From his early youth, Gatsby despised poverty and longed for wealth and sophistication—he dropped out of St. Olaf’s College
after only two weeks because he could not bear the janitorial job with which he was paying his tuition. Though Gatsby has always wanted to be rich, his main motivation in acquiring his fortune was his love for Daisy Buchanan, whom he met as a young military officer in Louisville before leaving to fight in World War I in 1917. Gatsby immediately fell in love with Daisy’s aura of luxury, grace, and charm, and lied to her about his own background in order to convince her that he was good enough for her. Daisy promised to wait for him when he left for the war, but married Tom Buchanan in 1919, while Gatsby was studying at Oxford after the war in an attempt to gain an education. From that moment on, Gatsby dedicated himself to winning Daisy back, and his acquisition of millions of dollars, his purchase of a gaudy mansion on West Egg, and his lavish weekly parties are all merely means to that end. Fitzgerald delays the introduction of most of this information until fairly late in the novel. Gatsby’s reputation precedes him—Gatsby himself does not appear in a speaking role until Chapter 3. Fitzgerald initially presents Gatsby as the aloof, enigmatic host of the unbelievably opulent parties thrown every week at his mansion. He appears surrounded by spectacular luxury, courted by powerful men and beautiful women. He is the subject of a whirlwind of gossip throughout New York and is already a kind of legendary celebrity before he is ever introduced to the reader. Fitzgerald propels the novel forward through the early chapters by shrouding Gatsby’s background and the source of his wealth in mystery (the reader learns about Gatsby’s childhood in Chapter 6 and receives definitive proof of his criminal dealings in Chapter 7). As a result, the reader’s first, distant impressions of Gatsby strike quite a different note from that of the lovesick, naive young man who emerges during the later part of the novel. Fitzgerald uses this technique of delayed character revelation to emphasize the theatrical quality of Gatsby’s approach to life, which is an important part of his personality. Gatsby has literally created his own character, even changing his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby to represent his reinvention of himself. As his relentless quest for Daisy demonstrates, Gatsby has an extraordinary ability to transform his hopes and dreams into reality; at the beginning of the novel, he appears to the reader just as he desires to appear to the world. This talent for selfinvention is what gives Gatsby his quality of “greatness”: indeed, the title “The Great Gatsby” is reminiscent of billings for such vaudeville magicians as “The Great Houdini” and “The Great Blackstone,” suggesting that the persona of Jay Gatsby is a masterful illusion. Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. As the novel progresses and Fitzgerald deconstructs Gatsby’s self-presentation, Gatsby reveals himself to be an innocent, hopeful young man who stakes everything on his dreams, not realizing that his dreams are unworthy of him. Gatsby invests Daisy with an idealistic perfection that she cannot possibly attain in reality and pursues her with a passionate zeal that blinds him to her limitations. His dream of her disintegrates, revealing the corruption that wealth causes and the unworthiness of the goal, much in the way Fitzgerald sees the American dream crumbling in the 1920s, as America’s powerful optimism, vitality, and individualism become subordinated to the amoral pursuit of wealth. Gatsby is contrasted most consistently with Nick. Critics point out that the former, passionate and active, and the latter, sober and reflective, seem to represent two sides of Fitzgerald’s personality. Additionally, whereas Tom is a cold-hearted, aristocratic bully, Gatsby is a loyal and good-hearted man. Though his lifestyle and attitude differ greatly from those of George Wilson, Gatsby and Wilson share the fact that they both lose their love interest to Tom. Nick Carraway If Gatsby represents one part of Fitzgerald’s personality, the flashy celebrity who pursued and glorified wealth in order to impress the woman he loved, then Nick represents another part: the quiet, reflective Midwesterner adrift in the lurid East. A young man (he turns thirty during the course of the novel) from Minnesota, Nick travels to New York in 1922 to learn the bond business. He lives in the West Egg district of Long Island, next door to Gatsby. Nick is also Daisy’s cousin, which enables him to observe and assist the resurgent love affair between Daisy and Gatsby. As a result of his relationship to these two characters, Nick is the perfect choice to narrate the novel, which functions as a personal memoir of his experiences with Gatsby in the summer of 1922. Nick is also well suited to narrating The Great Gatsby because of his temperament. As he tells the reader in Chapter 1, he is tolerant, open-minded, quiet, and a good listener, and, as a result, others tend to talk to him and tell him their secrets. Gatsby, in particular, comes to trust him and treat him as a confidant. Nick generally
assumes a secondary role throughout the novel, preferring to describe and comment on events rather than dominate the action. Often, however, he functions as Fitzgerald’s voice, as in his extended meditation on time and the American dream at the end of Chapter 9. Insofar as Nick plays a role inside the narrative, he evidences a strongly mixed reaction to life on the East Coast, one that creates a powerful internal conflict that he does not resolve until the end of the book. On the one hand, Nick is attracted to the fast-paced, fun-driven lifestyle of New York. On the other hand, he finds that lifestyle grotesque and damaging. This inner conflict is symbolized throughout the book by Nick’s romantic affair with Jordan Baker. He is attracted to her vivacity and her sophistication just as he is repelled by her dishonesty and her lack of consideration for other people. Nick states that there is a “quality of distortion” to life in New York, and this lifestyle makes him lose his equilibrium, especially early in the novel, as when he gets drunk at Gatsby’s party in Chapter 2. After witnessing the unraveling of Gatsby’s dream and presiding over the appalling spectacle of Gatsby’s funeral, Nick realizes that the fast life of revelry on the East Coast is a cover for the terrifying moral emptiness that the valley of ashes symbolizes. Having gained the maturity that this insight demonstrates, he returns to Minnesota in search of a quieter life structured by more traditional moral values. Daisy Buchanan Partially based on Fitzgerald’s wife, Zelda, Daisy is a beautiful young woman from Louisville, Kentucky. She is Nick’s cousin and the object of Gatsby’s love. As a young debutante in Louisville, Daisy was extremely popular among the military officers stationed near her home, including Jay Gatsby. Gatsby lied about his background to Daisy, claiming to be from a wealthy family in order to convince her that he was worthy of her. Eventually, Gatsby won Daisy’s heart, and they made love before Gatsby left to fight in the war. Daisy promised to wait for Gatsby, but in 1919 she chose instead to marry Tom Buchanan, a young man from a solid, aristocratic family who could promise her a wealthy lifestyle and who had the support of her parents. After 1919, Gatsby dedicated himself to winning Daisy back, making her the single goal of all of his dreams and the main motivation behind his acquisition of immense wealth through criminal activity. To Gatsby, Daisy represents the paragon of perfection—she has the aura of charm, wealth, sophistication, grace, and aristocracy that he longed for as a child in North Dakota and that first attracted him to her. In reality, however, Daisy falls far short of Gatsby’s ideals. She is beautiful and charming, but also fickle, shallow, bored, and sardonic. Nick characterizes her as a careless person who smashes things up and then retreats behind her money. Daisy proves her real nature when she chooses Tom over Gatsby in Chapter 7, then allows Gatsby to take the blame for killing Myrtle Wilson even though she herself was driving the car. Finally, rather than attend Gatsby’s funeral, Daisy and Tom move away, leaving no forwarding address.
Like Zelda Fitzgerald, Daisy is in love with money, ease, and material luxury. She is capable of affection (she seems genuinely fond of Nick and occasionally seems to love Gatsby sincerely), but not of sustained loyalty or care. She is indifferent even to her own infant daughter, never discussing her and treating her as an afterthought when she is introduced in Chapter 7. In Fitzgerald’s conception of America in the 1920s, Daisy represents the amoral values of the aristocratic East Egg set.
Tom Buchanan - Daisy’s immensely wealthy husband, once a member of Nick’s social club at Yale. Powerfully built and hailing from a socially solid old family, Tom is an arrogant, hypocritical bully. His social attitudes are laced with racism and sexism, and he never even considers trying to live up to the moral standard he demands from those around him. He has no moral qualms about his own extramarital affair with Myrtle, but when he begins to suspect Daisy and Gatsby of having an affair, he becomes outraged and forces a confrontation. Jordan Baker - Daisy’s friend, a woman with whom Nick becomes romantically involved during the course of the novel. A competitive golfer, Jordan represents one of the “new women” of the 1920s—cynical, boyish, and selfcentered. Jordan is beautiful, but also dishonest: she cheated in order to win her first golf tournament and continually bends the truth. Klipspringer - The shallow freeloader who seems almost to live at Gatsby’s mansion, taking advantage of his host’s money. As soon as Gatsby dies, Klipspringer disappears—he does not attend the funeral, but he does call Nick about a pair of tennis shoes that he left at Gatsby’s mansion.
potentially. When his dream crumbles. In the novel. Just as Americans have given America meaning through their dreams for their own lives. as people began to spend and consume at unprecedented levels. created a thriving underworld designed to satisfy the massive demand for bootleg liquor among rich and poor alike. Fitzgerald positions the characters of The Great Gatsby as emblems of these social trends. less romantic scope. The reckless jubilance that led to decadent parties and wild jazz music— epitomized in The Great Gatsby by the opulent parties that Gatsby throws every Saturday night—resulted ultimately in the corruption of the American dream. make a fortune. The Great Gatsby is a story of the thwarted love between a man and a woman. Like 1920s Americans in general. both of whom fought in World War I. gaudy. empty hypocrisy. and empty pursuit of pleasure. As Fitzgerald saw it (and as Nick explains in Chapter 9). Wolfsheim helped Gatsby to make his fortune bootlegging illegal liquor. Fitzgerald portrays the 1920s as an era of decayed social and moral values. The main plotline of the novel reflects this assessment. greed. a prominent figure in organized crime. and the rampant materialism that characterizes her lifestyle. New York. evidenced in its overarching cynicism. Before the events of the novel take place. his resorting to crime to make enough money to impress her. The Hollowness of the Upper Class One of the major topics explored in The Great Gatsby is the sociology of wealth. where American values have not decayed.Meyer Wolfsheim . exhibit the newfound cosmopolitanism and cynicism that resulted from the war. In Nick’s mind. Additionally. specifically. especially on the East Coast. The clash between “old money” and “new money” manifests itself in the novel’s symbolic geography: East Egg represents the established aristocracy. as Gatsby’s dream of loving Daisy is ruined by the difference in their respective social statuses. Additionally. wears a pink suit. as the unrestrained desire for money and pleasure surpassed more noble goals. the generation of young Americans who had fought the war became intensely disillusioned. the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment in 1919. as early Americans invested their new nation with their own ideals and values. just as the American dream in the 1920s is ruined by the unworthiness of its object—money and pleasure. His continued acquaintance with Gatsby suggests that Gatsby is still involved in illegal business. easy money and relaxed social values have corrupted this dream. The main theme of the novel. The Great Gatsby is a highly symbolic meditation on 1920s America as a whole. however. Gatsby instills Daisy with a kind of idealized perfection that she neither deserves nor possesses. and lacking in social graces and taste. The dizzying rise of the stock market in the aftermath of the war led to a sudden.
. Gatsby. represent the old aristocracy. Nick and Gatsby. West Egg the self-made rich. as the brutal carnage that they had just faced made the Victorian social morality of early-twentieth-century America seem like stuffy. all that is left for Gatsby to do is die. Nick compares the green bulk of America rising from the ocean to the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. Meyer Wolfshiem and Gatsby’s fortune symbolize the rise of organized crime and bootlegging. how the newly minted millionaires of the 1920s differ from and relate to the old aristocracy of the country’s richest families. Though all of its action takes place over a mere few months during the summer of 1922 and is set in a circumscribed geographical area in the vicinity of Long Island. places and objects in The Great Gatsby have meaning only because characters instill them with meaning: the eyes of Doctor T. but the American aristocracy—families with old wealth—scorned the newly rich industrialists and speculators. ostentatious. and the pursuit of happiness. The various social climbers and ambitious speculators who attend Gatsby’s parties evidence the greedy scramble for wealth. for example. encompasses a much larger. West Egg and its denizens represent the newly rich. individualism. When World War I ended in 1918. the American dream was originally about discovery. Gatsby longs to re-create a vanished past—his time in Louisville with Daisy—but is incapable of doing so. which banned the sale of alcohol.Gatsby’s friend. however. fruitlessly seeking a bygone era in which their dreams had value. Fitzgerald portrays the newly rich as being vulgar. sustained increase in the national wealth and a newfound materialism. especially Daisy and Tom. Gatsby’s dream is ruined by the unworthiness of its object. in particular the disintegration of the American dream in an era of unprecedented prosperity and material excess. lives in a monstrously ornate mansion. Eckleburg best exemplify this idea. J. all Nick can do is move back to Minnesota. while East Egg and its denizens. In the 1920s depicted in the novel. Themes The Decline of the American Dream in the 1920s On the surface. the ability to create meaningful symbols constitutes a central component of the American dream. A person from any social background could.
remaining outside Daisy’s window until four in the morning in Chapter 7 simply to make sure that Tom does not hurt her. Victor grows despondent. who has been traveling by dog-drawn sledge across the ice and is weakened by the cold. shunned. and the Buchanans’ bad qualities (fickleness and selfishness) allow them to remove themselves from the tragedy not only physically but psychologically. epitomized by the Buchanans’ tasteful home and the flowing white dresses of Daisy and Jordan Baker. The wind picks up and prevents him from returning to the island. he secludes himself on a desolate island in the Orkneys and works reluctantly at repeating his first success. at the end of the novel. however. What the old aristocracy possesses in taste. One night. it seems to lack in heart. after several years of research. he is consumed by the desire to discover the secret of life and. and he takes his friend back to his apartment. he brings his creation to life. a monster equally grotesque to serve as his sole companion. he catches sight of the monster and becomes convinced that the monster is his brother’s murderer. William. Successful early on. and executed. he receives a letter from his father informing him that his youngest brother. The monster. Victor hurries home. Trapped. he says that he struck out at William in a desperate attempt to injure Victor. the monster approaches him. Armed with the knowledge he has long been seeking. In contrast. and he eventually convinces Victor. however. Victor falls into a feverish illness. swearing that he will be with Victor on Victor’s wedding night. guilty with the knowledge that the monster he has created bears responsibility for the death of two innocent loved ones. and does not pick up on subtle social signals. The monster begs Victor to create a mate for him. the sight horrifies him. The monster admits to the murder of William but begs for understanding. has a sincere and loyal heart. who has come to study at the university. vows revenge. the old aristocracy possesses grace. crossing an enormous glacier. as he takes the blame for killing Myrtle rather than letting Daisy be punished. Horrified by the possible consequences of his work. to gather information for the creation of a female monster. Though the monster is gone. Ironically. the captain of a ship bound for the North Pole. as the East Eggers prove themselves careless. At the end of a blissful childhood spent in the company of Elizabeth Lavenza (his cousin in the 1818 edition. helps nurse him back to health. later that night. Victor heads for England. has been murdered. the mission is soon interrupted by seas full of impassable ice. The Buchanans exemplify this stereotype when. After a fitful night of sleep. In the morning. gentle girl who had been adopted by the Frankenstein household. inconsiderate bullies who are so used to money’s ability to ease their minds that they never worry about hurting others. Victor runs into Henry. they simply move to a new house far away rather than condescend to attend Gatsby’s funeral. his cruel creator. a kind. The monster is eloquent and persuasive. enraged. he finds himself ashore near an
. Just before departing Ingolstadt. struck by doubts about the morality of his actions. and hears the fantastic tale of the monster that Frankenstein created. Victor refuses at first. Victor takes a boat out onto a lake and dumps the remains of the second creature in the water. Victor prepares to return to Geneva. She is tried. accompanied by Henry. interrupted by the specter of the monster looming over him. eventually wandering in remorse. has been accused. Victor destroys his new creation. Victor finds that Justine Moritz. One climactic night. While he is alone one day. such as the insincerity of the Sloanes’ invitation to lunch. and to health. on the other hand. Arriving in Geneva. There. After returning to Geneva. Victor takes a vacation to the mountains. Robert Walton. While passing through the woods where William was strangled. Leaving Henry in Scotland. Victor enters the university of Ingolstadt to study natural philosophy and chemistry.drives a Rolls-Royce. Sickened by his horrific deed. subtlety. Victor first describes his early life in Geneva. Victor spends months feverishly fashioning a creature out of old body parts. condemned. in the secrecy of his apartment. however. he runs into the streets. becomes convinced that he has found it. Lonely.
Mary Shelley I n a series of letters. horrified by the prospect of creating a second monster. Gatsby’s good qualities (loyalty and love) lead to his death. Grief-stricken. Walton takes him aboard ship. Victor glances out the window to see the monster glaring in at him with a frightening grin. to his family. and elegance. When he looks at the monstrosity that he has created. Gatsby. Walton encounters Victor Frankenstein. whose recent wealth derives from criminal activity. taste. and forlorn. Hoping to ease his grief. his adopted sister in the 1831 edition) and friend Henry Clerval. despite her assertions of innocence. however. recounts to his sister back in England the progress of his dangerous mission.
he is shocked to behold his friend Henry Clerval. Abandoned by his creator and confused. Victor refuses to admit to anyone the horror of what he has created. only to be shunned universally.unknown town. transgressing all boundaries without concern. The monster tells Walton of his immense solitude. but the sea beneath them swells and the ice breaks. He becomes fascinated with the “secret of life. After Victor destroys his work on the female monster meant to ease the monster’s solitude. and he soon departs to begin his quest. The Monster The monster is Victor Frankenstein’s creation. even as he sees the ramifications of his creative act spiraling out of control. he kills Victor’s younger brother. he is arrested and informed that he will be tried for a murder discovered the previous night. but because of his outward appearance. the monster shows that he is not a purely evil being. While Victor feels unmitigated hatred for his creation. with the mark of the monster’s fingers on his neck. Even the death of his creator-turned-would-be-destroyer offers only bittersweet relief: joy because Victor has caused him so much suffering. assembled from old body parts and strange chemicals. worsens and dies shortly thereafter. He cuts himself off from the world and eventually commits himself entirely to an animalistic obsession with revenging himself upon the monster. he also indirectly causes the deaths of two other innocents. The monster then departs for the northernmost ice to die. Victor. having chased his creation ever northward. kind nature. he tries to integrate himself into society. guilt-ridden man determined to destroy the fruits of his arrogant scientific endeavor. The monster proceeds to kill Victor’s youngest brother. masters all that his professors have to teach him. several days later. shame. At the end of the novel. or brave adventurer into unknown scientific lands. he too can end his suffering. Seeking revenge on his creator. and remorse. Torn between vengefulness and compassion. Victor marries Elizabeth. the monster murders Victor’s best friend and then his new wife. but when shown the body. He enters life eight feet tall and enormously strong but with the mind of a newborn. Shortly after returning to Geneva with his father. after which he is acquitted of the crime. hence. Victor falls ill. leaving an unbridgeable gap between them. animated by a mysterious spark. He fears the monster’s warning and suspects that he will be murdered on his wedding night. At this point. Whether as a result of his desire to attain the godlike power of creating new life or his avoidance of the public arenas in which science is usually conducted. He asserts that now that his creator has died. raving and feverish. When Walton returns.” discovers it. a background that serves him ill when he attends university at Ingolstadt. he sends Elizabeth away to wait for him. With its multiple narrators and. not to be held responsible for the consequences of his explorations. Victor Frankenstein Victor Frankenstein’s life story is at the heart of Frankenstein. The monster’s eloquent narration of events (as provided by Victor) reveals his remarkable sensitivity and benevolence. There he learns about modern science and. hatred. he is rewarded only with beatings and disgust. and the narrative catches up to the time of Walton’s fourth letter to his sister. and brings a hideous monster to life. already ill when the two men meet. Victor changes over the course of the novel from an innocent youth fascinated by the prospects of science into a disillusioned. He assists a group of poor peasants and saves a girl from drowning. Victor tracks the monster ever northward into the ice. and is kept in prison until his recovery. While he awaits the monster. Though torn by remorse. he grows up in Geneva reading the works of the ancient and outdated alchemists. and guilt. Victor denies any knowledge of the murder. within a few years. the monster ends up lonely and tormented by remorse. the novel leaves the reader with contrasting interpretations of Victor: classic mad scientist. A young Swiss boy. he is startled to see the monster weeping over Victor. In a dogsled chase. suffering. Victor relates his story to Robert Walton and then dies. To be cautious. sadness because Victor is the only person with whom he has had any sort of relationship. best friend. Victor is doomed by a lack of humanness. Walton encounters Victor. multiple perspectives. not himself.
. Walton tells the remainder of the story in another series of letters to his sister. including Victor’s father. to the room in which the body lies. Victor vows to devote the rest of his life to finding the monster and exacting his revenge. Looking in the mirror. he realizes his physical grotesqueness. he hears Elizabeth scream and realizes that the monster had been hinting at killing his new bride. Victor returns home to his father. an aspect of his persona that blinds society to his initially gentle. who dies of grief a short time later. and wife. Upon landing. Victor almost catches up with the monster.
and Walton finds himself perilously trapped between sheets of ice. proves dangerous. its secrets. secrecy. Walton is an explorer. functions simply as the symbolic backdrop for his primal struggle against the monster. Victor’s influence on him is paradoxical: one moment he exhorts Walton’s almost-mutinous men to stay the path courageously. Victor Frankenstein’s tragic story. nature. having learned from Victor’s example how destructive the thirst for knowledge can be. the monster feels his heart lighten as spring arrives. and selfishness alienate him from human society. after a hellish winter of cold and abandonment. the next. tells Walton the story of his life. Ordinary on the outside. initially offers characters the possibility of spiritual renewal. many critics have described the novel itself as monstrous. Secrecy Victor conceives of science as a mystery to be probed. as Victor’s act of creation eventually results in the destruction of everyone dear to him. Krempe. but deeply imbued in the secrets of his science. once discovered. and tenses (see Texts). Like Victor. the monster is rejected by society. his monstrosity results not only from his grotesque appearance but also from the unnatural manner of his creation. In his ultimate decision to terminate his treacherous pursuit. Dangerous Knowledge The pursuit of knowledge is at the heart of Frankenstein. Walton functions as the conduit through which the reader hears the story of Victor and his monster.” Victor’s entire obsession with creating life is shrouded in secrecy. and then dies. of the light (see “Light and Fire”). He is a product not of collaborative scientific effort but of dark. Victor recovers somewhat. Whereas Victor continues in his secrecy out of shame and guilt. Mired in depression and remorse after the deaths of William and Justine. Victor heads to the mountains to lift his spirits. meaningful friendship beginning to form. he serves as an abject example of the dangers of heedless scientific ambition. weak and emaciated from his long chase after the monster. Likewise. Likewise. Whereas Victor’s obsessive hatred of the monster drives him to his death. He considers M. including the knowledge that Victor used to create the monster (see “Dangerous Knowledge”). embraced by Romanticism (late eighteenth century to mid-nineteenth century) as a source of unrestrained emotional experience for the individual. and their tragic relationship becomes
. Walton laments the death of a man with whom he felt a strong. but for Victor. One can argue that Victor himself is a kind of monster. Walton captains a North Pole–bound ship that gets trapped between sheets of ice. this theme pervades the entire novel. The monster is only the most literal of a number of monstrous entities in the novel. either not obsessive enough to risk almost-certain death or not courageous enough to allow his passion to drive him. Walton serves as a foil (someone whose traits or actions contrast with. Monstrosity Obviously. he may be the true “monster” inside. the monster is forced into seclusion by his grotesque appearance. While waiting for the ice to thaw. texts. as the monster lies at the center of the action. Walton ultimately pulls back from his treacherous mission. as he is eventually consumed by an obsessive hatred of his creation. Finally. Eight feet tall and hideously ugly. By the end. Robert Walton attempts to surpass previous human explorations by endeavoring to reach the North Pole. for which he feels responsible. However. The influence of nature on mood is evident throughout the novel. must be jealously guarded. he also plays a role that parallels Victor’s in many ways. This ruthless pursuit of knowledge. However. as his ambition. supernatural workings. a model scientist: “an uncouth man. in the form of the Arctic desert.Robert Walton Walton’s letters to his sister form a frame around the main narrative. the natural world’s power to console him wanes when he realizes that the monster will haunt him no matter where he goes. and his obsession with destroying the monster remains equally secret until Walton hears his tale. a stitched-together combination of different voices. which involves the secretive animation of a mix of stolen body parts and strange chemicals. he and his crew pick up Victor. as Victor chases the monster obsessively. and thereby highlight. the natural philosopher he meets at Ingolstadt. regardless of danger. Walton serves as the final confessor for both. those of another character) to Victor. Sublime Nature The sublime natural world. as Victor attempts to surge beyond accepted human limits and accesses the secret of life. chasing after that “country of eternal light”—unpossessed knowledge.
and the Yankee army has looted the plantation. she becomes bored and unhappy. Frank Kennedy. One day. He tells her that he does love her but that he is marrying Melanie because she is similar to him.immortalized in Walton’s letters. There. whereas he and Scarlett are very different. and empathize with. Ashley is captured and sent to prison. and Scarlett returns to Tara for the funeral. Scarlett and Rhett’s marriage begins happily. Pittypat. a furious Scarlett vows never to go hungry again.
. Scarlett and Charles marry. A free black man and his white male companion attack Scarlett on her way home from the sawmill one day. dripping with earnings from his blockade-running operation and from food speculation. Over the course of two months. She concerns herself only with her numerous suitors and her desire to marry Ashley Wilkes. On the night the Yankees capture Atlanta and set it afire. who could give birth at any time. She spitefully agrees to marry him. his miserable existence. She makes a long trip to Atlanta to stay with Melanie and Melanie’s aunt. Victor escapes the stifling secrecy that has ruined his life. Scavenging for subsistence. One day she hears that Ashley is engaged to Melanie Hamilton. proposes to Scarlett. Rhett helps Scarlett and Melanie escape the Yankees. and forges a plan. Scarlett O’Hara. hoping to hurt Ashley. Rhett proposes to Scarlett and she quickly accepts. and devotes herself to making Frank’s business more profitable. Charles joins the army and dies of the measles. hoping desperately that at last someone will understand. and the Yankee army begins bearing down on Atlanta. but he abandons them outside Atlanta so he can join the Confederate Army. Rhett has emerged from the war a fabulously wealthy man. word comes that Ashley is free and on his way home. The busy city agrees with Scarlett’s temperament. To the displeasure of Atlanta society. Scarlett slaps Ashley and he leaves the room. The Civil War begins. Suddenly Scarlett realizes that she is not alone. As the war progresses. At a barbecue at the Wilkes plantation the next day. leaving no food or cotton. Ella Lorena. but Ashley’s jealous sister. he lends Scarlett enough money to buy a sawmill. After Rhett blackmails his way out of prison. That night. who now owns a general store. Scarlett takes charge of rebuilding Tara. a one-legged homeless Confederate named Will Benteen. and Frank ends up dead. Scarlett and Melanie fear for Ashley’s safety. Scarlett’s feelings for Ashley have diminished into a warm. Determined to save Tara. she persuades Ashley and Melanie to move to Atlanta and accept a share in her lumber business. escorting them through the burning streets of the city. a scandalous but dashing adventurer. the monster takes advantage of Walton’s presence to forge a human connection.
Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell It is the spring of 1861. lives on Tara. has been watching the whole scene. At last the war ends. Scarlett becomes pregnant again and has another child. Scarlett drives the cart all night and day through a dangerous forest full of deserters and soldiers. However. dull brother. Shortly thereafter. his frail. Rhett Butler. the Ku Klux Klan avenges the attack on Scarlett. Rhett dotes on the girl and begins a successful campaign to win back the good graces of the prominent Atlanta citizens in order to keep Bonnie from being an outcast like Scarlett. Beau. Scarlett hurries to Atlanta to seduce Rhett Butler so that he will give her the three hundred dollars she needs for taxes. Ellen. Scarlett confesses her feelings to Ashley. and he compliments Scarlett on being unladylike. Charles Hamilton. Scarlett becomes a shrewd businesswoman. pays the taxes on Tara. likewise. sympathetic friendship. but Rhett becomes increasingly bitter and indifferent toward her. and Scarlett learns that she is pregnant. her father. hoping to drive the O’Haras out so that he might buy the plantation. a large plantation in Georgia. Melanie gives birth to her son. In confessing all just before he dies. She murders a Yankee thief and puts out a fire set by a spiteful Yankee soldier. a pretty Southern belle. Rhett infuriates Scarlett with his bluntness and mockery. but he also encourages her to flout the severely restrictive social requirements for mourning Southern widows. food and clothing run scarce in Atlanta. luxurious honeymoon in New Orleans. After Scarlett gives birth to a son. a former employee at Tara and current government official. One such soldier. but she has promised Ashley she will stay with the pregnant Melanie. Melanie’s timid. Wade. Rhett is in a Yankee jail and cannot help Scarlett. Scarlett gives birth to Frank’s child. has raised the taxes on Tara. Scarlett and Rhett return to Atlanta. Gerald. at last reaching Tara. stays on and helps Scarlett with the plantation. plain cousin from Atlanta. Gerald dies. where Scarlett builds a garish mansion and socializes with wealthy Yankees. Scarlett desperately wants to return home to Tara. Will brings terrible news: Jonas Wilkerson. she betrays her sister and marries Frank. has lost his mind. is dead. Scarlett sees her sister’s beau. and a stream of returning soldiers begins pouring through Tara. After the bloody battle of Gettysburg. Distraught. After a long. She arrives to find that her mother. Bonnie Blue Butler. and she begins to see a great deal of Rhett.
Although initially she tries to behave prettily. He earns his fortune through professional gambling. and she achieves great success with her sawmill in Atlanta. and food speculation. Determination defines Scarlett and drives her to achieve everything she desires by any means necessary. Rhett sees through hypocrisy and self-delusion. and her failure to do so guides the plot of the novel. Scarlett also aims to win Ashley Wilkes. Rhett abandons Scarlett to commit himself to the Old South. This sentimentality complicates Rhett’s character and reveals that he is partially motivated by emotion. dashing.
. Rhett. however. like Scarlett. after the war leaves it decimated. Scarlett realizes that she loves and depends on Melanie and that Ashley has been only a fantasy for her. Rhett Butler. Scarlett’s development precisely mirrors the development of the South. Second.India. He adapts to the situation masterfully. Scarlett makes up her mind to go back to Tara to recover her strength in the comforting arms of her childhood nurse and slave. who. At two critical points in the novel. Distraught. ultimately clinging to dangerous Rhett. She often professes to see no other choices than the ones she makes. and does not consider concepts like honor and kindness. She concludes that she truly loves Rhett. Rhett Butler brings excitement to Scarlett’s life and encourages her impulse to change and succeed. Scarlett lives her life rationally: she decides what constitutes success. Scarlett O’Hara The protagonist of Gone with the Wind. Scarlett exhibits more of her father’s hard-headedness than her mother’s refined Southern manners. She clings to Ashley. and his marriage with Scarlett worsens. because of her persistent desire to win Ashley. as the novel progresses. Melanie makes Scarlett promise to look after Ashley and Beau. government has overhauled the Southern economy and that the old way of life is gone forever.S. under threat of starvation and even death. green-eyed Georgia belle who struggles through the hardships of the Civil War and Reconstruction. she is determined to survive and does so by picking cotton. she has almost no ability to understand the motivations and feelings of herself or others. and he leaves her. and even killing a man. we see that Rhett does care about the Old South. stays by Melanie’s side through the war because she promises Ashley she will. horrifying people by cutting down their egos and illusions with agility and pleasure. Melanie has a miscarriage and falls very ill. Whereas Ashley cannot face reality and change. Later. He understands that the U. Not long after the funeral. and scandalous. Tara. Rhett thrives on both. After Bonnie is killed in a horse-riding accident. Rhett nearly loses his mind. however. Ashley’s marriage to Melanie Hamilton and rejection of Scarlett drive nearly all of Scarlett’s important subsequent decisions. Grief-stricken and alone. Rhett Butler Dark. he leaves Scarlett in hostile territory and joins the Confederate army. Scarlett possesses remarkable talent for business and leadership. like Scarlett. Despite her sharp intelligence. Scarlett hurries to see her. Melanie takes Scarlett’s side and refuses to believe the rumors. Scarlett is a dark-haired. Ultimately. and loses her true love. Scarlett hurries to tell Rhett of her revelation. Scarlett embodies both Old and New South. finds them in a friendly embrace and spreads the rumor that they are having an affair. Thrown out of both West Point and his aristocratic Charleston family for dishonorable behavior. However. After Melanie dies. behavior that earns him the contempt and even hatred of what he terms the Old Guard—the old Southern aristocracy. Rhett symbolizes the New South. She changes from spoiled teenager to hard-working widow to wealthy opportunist. First. her instincts rise up against social restrictions. who symbolizes the idealized lost world of chivalry and manners. symbolizes the combination of old and new. To Scarlett’s surprise. but he does not fully abandon the idealized Southern past. Mammy. the practical acceptance of the reality that the South must face in order to survive in a changed world. reflecting the South’s change from leisure society to besieged nation to compromised survivor. forging a successful business. and to think of a way to win Rhett back. at the end of the novel he leaves Scarlett and goes in search of remnants of the Old South. but she adapts wonderfully to the harsh and opportunistic world of the New South. wartime blockade-running. finds the most effective means to succeed. running her entire plantation. This determination first manifests itself in her narcissistic and sometimes backstabbing efforts to excite the admiration of every young man in the neighborhood. She recovers her father’s plantation. Rhett. Rhett symbolizes pragmatism. goes after what he wants and refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer. Scarlett marries Charles Hamilton to hurt Ashley. says that he has lost his love for Scarlett. Because of his opportunism.
chivalry. despite their eventual marriage. The novel begins in 1861. nostalgic and unable to change. is the only thing that matters to her. As the novel progresses. and she finally sees that the Ashley she loves is not a real man but a man embellished and adorned by her imagination. When Ashley rejects Scarlett’s proposed affair. and impoverished aristocrats resent the newly rich. thus setting in motion Scarlett’s central conflict. where the war causes the breakdown of traditional gender roles and power structures. takes pleasure in the arts. specifically Tara. Overcoming Adversity with Willpower Scarlett manages to overcome adversity through brute strength of will. dreamy. When Scarlett escapes to Tara from Atlanta during the war. though. and comes from an excellent family. putting a stop to the Southern way of life. and eventually resorts to cruelty and indifference in order to win her. willingly coarsening herself in order to succeed. Because Rhett knows that Scarlett scorns men she can win easily. taking care of helpless family members and friends along the way. Ashley displays signs of weakness and incompetence. Rhett. he weakens and fades. He epitomizes the old lifestyle and cannot function in the New South that emerges during and after the war. Rhett Butler also wills his way to success. but as a gentleman he ignores this love in order to marry Melanie. The South changes completely during the intervening years. after the Democrats regain power in Georgia. Scarlett becomes a cruel businesswoman and a domineering wife. Other characters succeed by exercising willpower. the setting shifts to Atlanta. Mitchell suggests that overcoming adversity sometimes requires ruthlessness. opportunistic and realistic. Scarlett clings to him like many Southerners cling to dreams of their old lives. She rebuilds Tara after the Yankee invasion and works her way up in the new political order. After the war he is worthless on the plantation and cannot adjust to the new world. The Transformation of Southern Culture Gone with the Wind is both a romance and a meditation on the changes that swept the American South in the 1860s. Ashley is the perfect prewar Southern gentleman: he excels at hunting and riding. Mitchell’s main characters embody the conflicting impulses of the South. Scarlett’s idealization of Ashley slowly fades as time goes on. and pride thrive. in the days before the Civil War.” At critical junctures Scarlett usually remembers that land. sometimes even defending the Yankees. she resolves to look forward and continue the struggle with newfound vigor. who watched Indians scalp her entire family as a child and then gritted her teeth and worked to raise her own family and run a plantation. Southerners hate profiteering or domineering Northerners. The Importance of Land In Chapter II. among them Old Miss Fontaine. The novel opens in prewar Georgia. although he covers up his bullheaded willpower with a layer of ease and carelessness. But his fondness for her is evident in his support of her. When the South loses the war and the slaves are freed. He excels at battle despite his doubts about the Southern cause. thrives by planting one foot in the Old South and one foot in the New. realistic opportunism. on the other hand. As the Civil War begins. Gerald tells Scarlett that “[l]and is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything. where tradition. Ashley represents the Old South and Southern nostalgia for the prewar days. Ashley cannot or will not allow himself to thrive in a changed society. and Mitchell’s novel illustrates the struggles of the Southern people who live through the Civil War era. Ashley Wilkes is the foil to Rhett’s dark. Scarlett prizes land even over love. He sinks even lower as he sacrifices his honor—the only thing he still values in himself—by accepting charity from Scarlett in the form of a share in her mill and by kissing her twice. Ashley courts Scarlett but marries Melanie Hamilton. He mocks her. argues with her. and ends in 1871. Whereas Rhett and Scarlett survive by sacrificing their commitment to tradition. Ashley stands for the Old South. and honorable. Rhett refuses to show her she was won him. the more socially appropriate match for him. she lies sick and weak in the garden at neighboring Twelve Oaks and the earth feels “soft and comfortable as a pillow” against her cheek.Rhett falls in love with Scarlett. She emerges as a feminist heroine because she relies on herself alone and survives the Civil War and Reconstruction unaided. Ashley Wilkes Blond. White men fear black men. but her eventual recognition of Ashley’s weakness and incompetence enables her to see that dreaming of a lost world makes one weak. Ashley admits to his love for Scarlett. their relationship never succeeds because of Scarlett’s obsession with Ashley and Rhett’s reluctance to express his feelings. but. After feeling the comfort of the land. the internal conflict intensifies. as he encourages her to shun social customs and gives her money to start her own business. he gives her a clump of Tara’s dirt and reminds her that she
one with courage. He soon comes to a bloody. but Rainsford opts to smoke his pipe on the afterdeck for a while. Rainsford runs for hours until he mistakenly steps into a bed of quicksand. He and his friend Rainsford are big-game hunters bound for a hunting trip in the Amazon River basin. as a renowned big-game hunter. Rainsford believes that the world consists only of predators and prey. covers it with foliage. he hears three gunshots in the distance and moves toward the railing of the deck to investigate. sad that hunting humans no longer satisfies him. a red Russian soup made of beets. He finds an empty rifle cartridge nearby. General Zaroff. until the cries end abruptly with a pistol shot. and reason. a passenger named Whitney points out Ship-Trap Island in the distance. clothes. Zaroff promises to set Rainsford free if he lives through the next three days. At the end of the novel. Rainsford sets off into the jungle after receiving food. forcing Zaroff to return to the chateau again. until he opens the iron gate and knocks on the door. Rainsford runs to another part of the jungle and makes a booby-trap called a Malayan mancatcher to kill Zaroff. Hoisting himself onto the rail to try and get a better look. Rainsford declines Zaroff’s invitation to join in the hunt that night and goes to bed. and then hides in the brush nearby. will provide the challenge he seeks. Zaroff hints. He laments that the sailors he lures to the island present less and less of a challenge. loses his balance in an attempt to catch it. although Whitney is not as certain. His cries for help go unanswered. Ivan. At daybreak. trophies that Zaroff has brought back from his many hunting adventures around the world. answers and refuses to help Rainsford until another man. Rainsford thinks the chateau is a mirage. that he has found a new kind of animal to hunt. and accidentally plunges into the water. appears from inside the chateau and invites Rainsford inside. and a knife from Ivan. Noticing the jitteriness of the crew. however. remarking on how dangerous it can be to hunt Cape buffalo.loves Tara more than she loves him. when all else is lost. a place that sailors dread and avoid. Whitney wants to sail past the mysterious island as soon as possible. Zaroff finds Rainsford easily but lets him escape to prolong the pleasure of the hunt. the two men discuss whether their prey actually feels fear. He lines the bottom of the pit with sharp wooden stakes. Suddenly. then digs a pit in the soft mud a few feet in front of the quicksand. After a fitful night of insomnia and light dozing. General Zaroff reappears at the chateau at lunchtime. cunning. He hears the screeching sound of an animal in agony and heads straight for it.
The Most Dangerous Game
Richard Connell On a yacht bound for Rio de Janeiro. Rainsford decides to swim in the gunshots’ direction. Rainsford reaches the rocky shore and immediately falls into a deep sleep. Whitney then decides to turn in for the night. The trap only wounds Zaroff. Rainsford demands to leave the island at once. Zaroff states that he now hunts far more dangerous game on his island. torn-up patch of vegetation where a large animal had thrashed about. Rainsford praises his host’s specimens. He theorizes that sailors can sense danger and that evil emanates in waves like light and sound. Zaroff greets Rainsford warmly and has Ivan show him to a room where he can dress for dinner. hoping that Rainsford. As the two men eat borscht. Rainsford hears the baying of the
. The huge. but the general refuses and forces Rainsford to be his new prey in the next hunt. lavish dining hall features numerous stuffed and mounted heads. Zaroff doesn’t understand Rainsford’s indignation but promises that his outrage will subside once he’s begun the hunt. the sound of a distant pistol shot awakens him in the early morning. He manages to wrest free. a burly man with a gun. He follows the hunter’s footprints in the growing darkness and eventually comes upon a palatial chateau at the edge of a precipice that drops steeply into the rocky ocean below. He cuts a complicated. Rainsford drops his pipe. Rainsford’s initial confusion turns to horror as he slowly realizes that the general now hunts human beings. Scarlett thinks of Tara and finds strength and comfort in its enduring presence. He recounts past hunts. forced to skirt the thick growth of the jungle and walk along the shore. At first. from his childhood in the Crimea to hunting big game around the world. Feeling the dirt in her hand. Scarlett realizes that Ashley is right. who returns to the chateau and promises to kill Rainsford the following night. One of Zaroff’s hunting hounds springs the trap and plunges to his death. As the yacht sails through the darkness. Unsettled that Zaroff found him so quickly. He wakes the next afternoon and sets off in search of food. and the yacht quickly disappears into the night. Exhausted. but goes on to describe how the sport eventually became too easy. twisting path through the undergrowth to confuse Zaroff and then climbs a tree to wait as darkness approaches.
just as perceived danger induces fear in an animal. On one hand. Commanding a division of Cossack cavalrymen in Russia. meanwhile. In fact. the most cunning and challenging prey he could find. As he turns on his bedroom light. Sanger Rainsford The protagonist. because Connell purposefully chooses to leave any transformation in Rainsford’s character uncharted. devoid of all emotion and humanity despite his seeming gentility. which inflate his ego and sense of entitlement and impose few limits on his desires. General Zaroff has lost the ability to distinguish men from beasts. just as Whitney had
. familiarized Zaroff with the horrors and atrocities of warfare.hounds and spots Zaroff and Ivan with a small pack of hunting dogs in the distance. The long-term ramifications of Rainsford’s harrowing ordeal remain indeterminate and unresolved. Without realizing it. Rainsford coolly handles any challenge. Accustomed to death. a peninsula on the Black Sea. Stunned and disappointed. suggesting that he has slipped into barbarism and lost his humanity. Ironically. In many ways. Rainsford fashions another trap by tying his knife to a sapling. The trap kills Ivan. Calm and composed. however. luxury. to suggest that instinct and reason are not as mutually exclusive as people have traditionally thought. Rainsford discovers that General Zaroff is far more repulsive than the “scum” he disdainfully hunts. Before they fight. Although Connell suggests that Rainsford now empathizes with the creatures he has hunted in the past. Zaroff even praises his thoroughbred hounds over the lives of the sailors he hunts. but the hounds push on. Rainsford jumps into the rocky sea below. Zaroff returns to his chateau. Zaroff began hunting at an early age when he shot his father’s prized turkeys and continually sought out bigger game in his family’s tract of wilderness in the Crimea. Rainsford later concludes that he has never slept in a more comfortable bed. human and animal. His bloodlust and passion for hunting eventually prompted him to hunt men. Connell describes Zaroff’s sharp pointed teeth and smacking red lips to dehumanize him and highlight his predatory nature. Sanger Rainsford. including people. Only during Zaroff’s relentless final pursuit does Rainsford truly feel fear and his own primal instinct to survive. be it falling overboard in the middle of the night or having to swim several miles to reach the shore. Whitney admits that his perception of the island has sparked a sense of dread in him. Instead of facing the dogs. Connell further turns the table on the idea that reason exists apart from instinct by reducing the gentleman hunter Rainsford to the role of prey in General Zaroff’s sadistic hunt. led him to devalue human life. His passion for the hunt and love of the refined. from fighting on the frontlines during World War I to hunting dangerous animals in some of the world’s most exotic locales. therefore. He’s survived numerous near-death experiences. he is shocked to find Rainsford concealed in the curtains of the bed. Zaroff considers himself a god who can snuff out life as he pleases. Rainsford’s wartime experiences have reinforced his ultimate belief in the primacy of human life and the respect it deserves. is an adventurous big-game hunter who confronts the nature of life and death for the first time in his life during his few frightening days on Ship-Trap Island. Writers and philosophers have traditionally placed human intellect and the ability to reason above the bestial instincts of wild animals. rely on fear and their instinct to survive to avoid pain and death. The sanctioned violence of his youth and early manhood drained the general of his empathy and capacity to make moral judgments. Conversely. meanwhile. Zaroff states that the dogs will eat one of them that night while the other will sleep in the comfortable bed. and militarism. Zaroffs’s madness stems from a life of wealth. who asserts that animals instinctively feel fear and then confesses that Captain Neilson’s description of Ship-Trap Island has given him the chills. General Zaroff General Zaroff’s refined mannerisms conceal a maniacal desire to inflict suffering and death for his own amusement. Rainsford’s ability to sleep so soundly after killing Zaroff may suggest that he has become even more ruthless or hasn’t undergone any significant transformation at all. it is uncertain whether he will discontinue hunting in the future. Reason versus Instinct Pitting Rainsford and General Zaroff against each other in the hunt allows Connell to blur the line between hunter and prey. Connell first blurs the dichotomy between reason and instinct through Rainsford’s friend Whitney. Reason. transforms mere animals into people and allows them to live together in functioning societies. Rainsford comes to realize that all creatures. Rainsford could possibly abandon hunting altogether or at least approach it with a new respect for his prey. cornering Rainsford at the edge of a cliff. which have no moral compulsions and act solely to satisfy their own needs.
and his face reveals spots of blood suggesting that he is a victim of the Red Death. and violet. The seventh room is black. or how rich the food. Although he possesses the wealth to assist those in need. performed by both Prospero and the mysterious guest. the genteel General Zaroff reveals himself to be more animal than human by rationally concluding that people are no different from other living creatures and by ruthlessly hunting men to satisfy his inner bloodlust. in the following color arrangement: green. and it causes its victims to die quickly and gruesomely. can escape death. The rooms continue westward. This progression from east to west. both literally and allegorically. with blue stained-glass windows. the prince. death. This progression is symbolically significant because it represents the life cycle of a day: the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. for the Red Death has infiltrated the castle. are so afraid of this masked man that they fail to prevent him from walking through each room. black-and-red room because it contains both the clock and an ominous ambience. When the clock is not sounding. with red windows. ignoring the illness ravaging the land. inexorable and ultimately personal. is the further symbolic treatment of the twenty-four hour life cycle: it translates to the realm of human beings. with night symbolizing death. Zaroff’s and Rainsford’s cool rationality and calculating cunning throughout the entire hunt belies the fact that each man acts only according to instinct. however. white. the use of names contributes to the symbolic economic context of the story and suggests another set of allegorical interpretations. he throws a fancy masquerade ball. allegorically represent the stages of life. After several months. they find that there is nobody beneath the costume. however. tragic progress of life. Prospero’s arrogance combines with a grievous insensitivity to the plight of his less fortunate countrymen. for example) and their symbolic counterparts. no mortal. a new guest appears. feels happy and hopeful. For example.
“The Masque of the Red Death”
Edgar Allan Poe A disease known as the Red Death plagues the fictional country where this tale is set. His decadence in throwing the masquerade ball. Prospero dies. He decides to lock the gates of his palace in order to fend off the plague. No matter how beautiful the castle. however. he turns his wealth into a mode of self-defense and decadent self-indulgence. though. Rainsford keeps his perspective and continues to value human life. the room the guests fear just as they fear death. As soon as he confronts the figure. whose name suggests financial prosperity. The other guests. Nevertheless. The hourly ringing of the bells is a reminder of the passing of time. orange. When the clock rings each hour. however. swirling among the revelers. Also in this room stands an ebony clock. “Darkness and Decay and the Red Death” have at last triumphed. The next room is purple with the same stained-glass window pattern. When other party-goers enter the room to attack the cloaked man. At midnight. Prospero becomes angry that someone with so little humor and levity would join his party. avoid the final. the story also means to punish Prospero’s arrogant belief that he can use his wealth to fend off the natural. It features a set of recognizable symbols whose meanings combine to convey a message. Rainsford remains calm in spite of his fear and works methodically to evade death and even defeat Zaroff. We can read this story as an allegory about life and death and the powerlessness of humans to evade the grip of death. The Red Death thus represents. his garments resemble a funeral shroud. though. one to survive and the other to kill. how luxuriant the clothing. symbolizes the human journey from birth to death. unwittingly positions him as a caged animal. Analysis “The Masque of the Red Death” is an allegory. Everyone then dies. not even a prince. In contrast. however. Poe crafts the last. he decorates the rooms of his house in single colors. For this celebration. Poe makes it a point to arrange the rooms running from east to west. dressed more ghoulishly than his counterparts.
. Most guests. An allegory always operates on two levels of meaning: the literal elements of the plot (the colors of the rooms. Prospero finally catches up to the new guest in the black-and-red room. Prospero.originally argued. according to this design. with no possible escape. His mask looks like the face of a corpse. Prospero. lined up in a series. Even though this disease is spreading rampantly. Despite his desire to kill his pursuers. The clock that presides over that room also reminds the guests of death’s final judgment. The easternmost room is decorated in blue. which often involve large philosophical concepts (such as life and death). its sound is so loud and distracting that everyone stops talking and the orchestra stops playing. In another sense. black room as the ominous endpoint. As in many Poe stories. What transforms this set of symbols into an allegory. the rooms are so beautiful and strange that they seem to be filled with dreams. The rooms of the palace. therefore remaining more man than beast.
The Red Death. however. and as Jane and Mr. telling her stories and singing songs to her. In the hierarchical relationship between Prospero and the peasantry. Prospero responds antagonistically. he violates an implicit social rule of the masquerade. Brocklehurst preaches a doctrine of poverty and privation to his students while using the school’s funds to provide a wealthy and opulent lifestyle for his own family. Jane’s aunt imprisons Jane in the red-room. where wealth lies in the hands of the aristocracy while the peasantry suffers. Reed concurs. When the mysterious guest dramatizes his own version of revelry as the fear that cannot be spoken. Brocklehurst. but he explains that Bertha has gone mad.exploits his own wealth to stave off the infiltration of the Red Death. A massive typhus epidemic sweeps Lowood. dispels the sense of claustrophobia within the palace by liberating the inner demons of the guests. the masquerade urges the abandonment of social conventions and rigid senses of personal identity. One day. Once at the Lowood School. six as a student and two as a teacher. This use of feudal imagery is historically accurate. The fall of Prospero and the subsequent deaths of his guests follow from this logic of the masquerade: when revelry is unmasked as a defense mechanism against fear. or monetary equality. whom Rochester married when he was a young man in Jamaica. These demons are then embodied by the grotesque costumes. As he knows. The portrayal of the masquerade ball foreshadows the similar setting of the carnival in “The Cask of Amontillado. She wakes to find herself in the care of Bessie and the kindly apothecary Mr. the room in which Jane’s Uncle Reed died. To Jane’s delight. and Helen dies of consumption. as punishment for fighting with her bullying cousin John Reed. believing that she sees her uncle’s ghost. Jane’s life improves dramatically. the voice of Mr. Reed. The distinguished housekeeper Mrs. Rochester keeps Bertha hidden on the third story of Thornfield and pays Grace Poole to keep his
. her cruel. The school’s headmaster is Mr.” which appeared less than a year after “The Masque of the Red Death. Mason testifies that Bertha. who suggests to Mrs. Jane befriends a young girl named Helen Burns. whose strong. embodies a type of radical egalitarianism. where they witness the insane Bertha Mason scurrying around on all fours and growling like an animal. After teaching for two years. screams and faints. At Lowood. Mason cries out that Rochester already has a wife. because it attacks the rich and poor alike. where she teaches a lively French girl named Adèle.” Whereas the carnival in “The Cask of Amontillado” associates drunken revelry with an open-air Italian celebration. She accepts a governess position at a manor called Thornfield. Jane’s employer at Thornfield is a dark. But because Grace Poole continues to work at Thornfield. Rochester does not deny Mason’s claims. The epidemic also results in the departure of Mr. However. then the raw exposure of what lies beneath is enough to kill. Mrs. Jane. His retreat to the protection of an aristocratic palace may also allegorize a type of economic system that Poe suggests is doomed to failure. Jane concludes that she has not been told the entire story. who accepts almost disbelievingly. But Rochester instead proposes to Jane. the mysterious guest illuminates the extent to which Prospero and his guests police the limits of social convention. the masquerade functions in this story as a celebratory retreat from the air itself. Fairfax presides over the estate. Jane yearns for new experiences. Rochester prepare to exchange their vows.
Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre is a young orphan being raised by Mrs. Lloyd. The masquerade. a cruel. Jane sinks into despondency when Rochester brings home a beautiful but vicious woman named Blanche Ingram. Like the carnival. While locked in. Poe portrays the unfairness of a feudal system. wealthy aunt. then. When the mysterious guest uses his costume to portray the fears that the masquerade is designed to counteract. She saves Rochester from a fire one night. Jane expects Rochester to propose to Blanche. Jane finds that her life is far from idyllic. in that feudalism was prevalent when the actual Bubonic Plague devastated Europe in the fourteenth century. which has become infected by the plague. with whom Jane finds herself falling secretly in love. impassioned man named Rochester. After a group of more sympathetic gentlemen takes Brocklehurst’s place. A servant named Bessie provides Jane with some of the few kindnesses she receives. hypocritical. which he claims was started by a drunken servant named Grace Poole. She spends eight more years at Lowood. Mason introduces himself as the brother of that wife—a woman named Bertha. Mr. the prosperity of the party relies upon the psychological transformation of fear about the Red Death into revelry. Brocklehurst by attracting attention to the insalubrious conditions at Lowood. and abusive man. martyrlike attitude toward the school’s miseries is both helpful and displeasing to Jane. He takes the wedding party back to Thornfield. Reed that Jane be sent away to school. is still alive. The wedding days arrives.
Bertha was the real cause of the mysterious fire earlier in the story. Jane feels exiled and ostracized at the beginning of the novel. she realizes that she cannot abandon forever the man she truly loves when one night she hears Rochester’s voice calling her name over the moors. he has proven himself to be weaker in many ways than Jane. John Rivers offers Jane another kind of freedom: the freedom to act unreservedly on her principles. However. and Jane quickly becomes friends with them. three siblings who live in a manor alternatively called Marsh End and Moor House take her in. because she feels they are kindred spirits. Jane is proven to be Rochester’s moral superior. Jane will only enter into marriage with Rochester after she has gained a fortune and a family. John Eyre. Her integrity is continually tested over the course of the novel. and although men were widely considered to be naturally superior to women in the Victorian period. Charlotte Brontë may have created the character of Jane Eyre as a means of coming to terms with elements of her own life. after their marriage is interrupted by the disclosure that Rochester is already married to Bertha Mason. and he urges Jane to accompany him—as his wife. she would be sacrificing her dignity and integrity for the sake of her feelings. Jane also struggles with the question of what type of freedom she wants. John decides to travel to India as a missionary. Jane comes to realize that such freedom could also mean enslavement—by living as Rochester’s mistress. and St. Knowing that it is impossible for her to be with Rochester. Much evidence suggests that Brontë. has died and left her a large fortune: 20. to find “kin. Jane agrees to go to India but refuses to marry her cousin because she does not love him. she would become degraded and dependent upon Rochester for love. At last. too. and a passionate disposition. and Jane must learn to balance the frequently conflicting aspects of herself so as to find contentment. social class. and because he is the first person in the novel to offer Jane lasting love and a real home. that this freedom would also constitute a form of imprisonment. St. Jane is Rochester’s intellectual equal. where he lives with two servants named John and Mary.” or at least “kindred spirits. Diana. When Jane asks how he received this news. Rochester and Jane rebuild their relationship and soon marry. John pressures her to reconsider. Rochester regrets his former libertinism and lustfulness.wife under control. because she would be forced to keep her true feelings and her true passions always in check. Jane feels that living with Rochester as his mistress would mean the loss of her dignity. Edward Rochester wins Jane’s heart. Jane is forced to sleep outdoors and beg for food. Jane flees Thornfield. Jane writes that she has been married for ten blissful years and that she and Rochester enjoy perfect equality in their life together. Jane eventually realizes. a commitment to justice and principle. While Rochester initially offers Jane a chance to liberate her passions. He opens to Jane the possibility of exercising her talents fully by working and living with him in India. At Ferndean. struggled to find a balance between love and freedom and to find others who understood her. and gender. who lost her life in the fire. Their names are Mary. and she nearly gives in. though. Rochester saved the servants but lost his eyesight and one of his hands. Ferndean. Afraid that she will never find a true sense of home or community. and
. St. and the cruel treatment she receives from her Aunt Reed and her cousins only exacerbates her feeling of alienation. He surprises her one day by declaring that her uncle. Moreover. At many points in the book. nevertheless. and he finds Jane a job teaching at a charity school in Morton. while unprotected by any true marriage bond. From the beginning. Jane travels on to Rochester’s new residence. Jane immediately decides to share her inheritance equally with her three newfound relatives. he shocks her further by declaring that her uncle was also his uncle: Jane and the Riverses are cousins. Jane voices the author’s then-radical opinions on religion. Although Rochester is Jane’s social and economic superior. At the end of her story. She says that after two years of blindness. Penniless and hungry. St. John is a clergyman. Edward Rochester Despite his stern manner and not particularly handsome appearance.000 pounds.” This desire tempers her equally intense need for autonomy and freedom. An orphan since early childhood. Jane feels the need to belong somewhere. Jane Eyre The development of Jane Eyre’s character is central to the novel. Rochester regained sight in one eye and was able to behold their first son at his birth. Jane possesses a sense of her self-worth and dignity. John (pronounced “Sinjin”) Rivers. St. Ultimately. Jane immediately hurries back to Thornfield and finds that it has been burned to the ground by Bertha Mason. In her search for freedom. a trust in God.
Nevertheless. she enjoys economic independence and engages in worthwhile and useful work. St. Jane struggles to find the right balance between moral duty and earthly pleasure. And while Helen is not oblivious to the injustices the girls suffer at Lowood. Helen is an orphan who longs for a home. Jane often describes Rochester’s eyes as flashing and flaming. and their practical consequences. or to let a bull toss me. Her consideration of St. but also for a sense of being valued. St. There. and Helen’s submissive and ascetic nature highlights Jane’s more headstrong character. and snow. she counts on God for support and guidance in her search. Jane knows their marriage would remain loveless. and St. . Helen Burns Helen Burns. of belonging. Independence would be accompanied by loneliness.” The marriage can be one between equals. but marriage to St. he has become weaker while Jane has grown in strength—Jane claims that they are equals. . Helen ascetically trusts her own faith and turns the other cheek to Lowood’s harsh policies. Helen represents a mode of Christianity that stresses tolerance and acceptance. offering her a partnership built around a common purpose. John would mean sacrificing passion for principle. Brocklehurst embodies an evangelical form of religion that seeks to strip others of their excessive pride or of their ability to take pleasure in worldly things. John would require Jane to neglect her own legitimate needs for love and emotional support. between obligation to her spirit and attention to her body. John offers Jane the chance to make a more meaningful contribution to society than she would as a housewife.
. but the marriage dynamic has actually tipped in her favor. Additionally. she believes that justice will be found in God’s ultimate judgment—God will reward the good and punish the evil. Although St. or passion. John is austere and ambitious. Each represents a model of religion that Jane ultimately rejects as she forms her own ideas about faith and principle. her efforts involve self-negation rather than self-assertion. Although Helen manifests certain strength and intellectual maturity. Marriage with Rochester represents the abandonment of principle for the consummation of passion. Her fear of losing her autonomy motivates her refusal of Rochester’s marriage proposal. ice. in which Jane’s need for spiritual solace would be filled only by retreat into the recesses of her own soul. To be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude. Religion Throughout the novel. Nonetheless. When he invites her to come to India with him as a missionary. Brocklehurst uses religion to gain power and to control others. Jane’s friend at Lowood School. but Helen believes that she will find this home in Heaven rather than Northern England. psychological vulnerability. John Rivers. Like Jane. . . John Rivers St. serves as a foil to Mr. At the same time. Her quest is for love and happiness in this world. or Miss Temple. Love Versus Autonomy Jane Eyre is very much the story of a quest to be loved. because Rochester has been blinded by the fire and has lost his manor house at the end of the novel. not just for romantic love. Jane must learn how to gain love without sacrificing and harming herself in the process. As Jane says: “I am my husband’s life as fully as he is mine. I would willingly submit to have the bone of my arm broken. Jane searches. yet she lacks emotional sustenance. as gay as in company. and let it dash its hoof at my chest” (Chapter 8). is unable to have such blind faith. teaching the poor. paradoxically. and joining St. John would mean life without true love. . a large part of one’s personal freedom is found in a relationship of mutual emotional dependence. John Rivers is a foil to Edward Rochester. loneliness. on the other hand. the events of Jane’s stay at Moor House are necessary tests of Jane’s autonomy. Brocklehurst as well as to Jane. Jane believes that “marrying” Rochester while he remains legally tied to Bertha would mean rendering herself a mistress and sacrificing her own integrity for the sake of emotional gratification. While Mr. . John’s proposal leads Jane to understand that. She waits until she is not unduly influenced by her own poverty. or to stand behind a kicking horse. John with rock. She encounters three main religious figures: Mr. Yet. We are precisely suited in character—perfect concord is the result” (Chapter 38). Thus Jane says to Helen Burns: “to gain some real affection from you. Whereas Rochester is passionate. Brocklehurst. life with St. Only after proving her self-sufficiency to herself can she marry Rochester and not be asymmetrically dependent upon him as her “master. Jane. John proposes marriage. On the other hand. or any other whom I truly love. Helen Burns. her life at Moor House tests her in the opposite manner.after she has been on the verge of abandoning passion altogether. St. whereas she constantly associates St. over the course of the book.
she is his intellectual. sophistication. As she wanders the heath. who tutored children in etiquette as well as academics. as it is now for me to leave you. on the other hand. as paid employees. Jane is a figure of ambiguous class standing and. religion helps curb immoderate passions. Social Class Jane Eyre is critical of Victorian England’s strict social hierarchy. and education are those of an aristocrat. but not his social. they were more or less treated as servants. which appears most strongly in Chapter 17.” In Chapter 12. through the time she spends at Moor House. she prays to God for solace (Chapter 26). Jane is hesitant to marry Rochester because she senses that she would feel indebted to him for “condescending” to marry her. or a belief in a Christian God. Jane’s understanding of the double standard crystallizes when she becomes aware of her feelings for Rochester. is too passive for Jane to adopt as her own. Jane must escape Brocklehurst. St. she must fight against patriarchal domination—against those who believe women to be inferior to men and try to treat them as such. Even before the crisis surrounding Bertha Mason. and she refuses to consider living with him while church and state still deem him married to another woman. John’s religions do. Jane’s distress. Edward Rochester. I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!—I have as much soul as you—and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth. Each tries to keep Jane in a submissive position. Rochester is blind at the novel’s end and thus dependent upon Jane to be his “prop and guide. Mr. She strongly objects to Rochester’s lustful immorality. Jane remains penniless and powerless while at Thornfield. Even so. she does not abandon morality. John Rivers provides another model of Christian behavior. Brocklehurst adopts the rhetoric of Evangelicalism when he claims to be purging his students of pride. she puts her survival in the hands of God (Chapter 28). where she is unable to express her own thoughts and feelings. When her wedding is interrupted. in Chapter 23 she chastises Rochester: “Do you think. Her spiritual understanding is not hateful and oppressive like Brocklehurst’s. were expected to possess the “culture” of the aristocracy. Jane herself speaks out against class prejudice at certain moments in the book. Brocklehurst’s proscriptions are difficult to follow. Brocklehurst. All three are misogynistic on some level. like when he orders that the naturally curly hair of one of Jane’s classmates be cut so as to lie straight. Three central male figures threaten her desire for equality and dignity: Mr. I should have made it as hard for you to leave me. in a community and in a family. Many chapters later. Jane articulates what was for her time a radically feminist philosophy:
. and come to Rochester only after ensuring that they may marry as equals. seems to be Brontë’s critique of Victorian class attitudes. equal. and St. In addition to class hierarchy. Ultimately. plain. Of course. nor does it require retreat from the everyday world as Helen’s and St. glory. Brocklehurst illustrates the dangers and hypocrisies that Charlotte Brontë perceived in the nineteenthcentury Evangelical movement. spiritualism. This last condition is met once Jane proves herself able to function. For Jane. She will not depend solely on Rochester for love and she can be financially independent.Mr. Jane is only able to marry Rochester as his equal because she has almost magically come into her own inheritance from her uncle. Brontë’s exploration of the complicated social position of governesses is perhaps the novel’s most important treatment of this theme. is entirely un-Christian. In her quest for independence and selfknowledge. Like Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. thus.” However. and extreme self-importance. Jane’s manners. Jane ultimately finds a comfortable middle ground. and little. These achievements include full self-knowledge and complete faith in God. Although Jane ends up rejecting all three models of religion. Furthermore. Helen Burns’s meek and forbearing mode of Christianity. reject St. because Victorian governesses. but his method of subjecting them to various privations and humiliations. John. Gender Relations Jane struggles continually to achieve equality and to overcome oppression. John urges Jane to sacrifice her emotional deeds for the fulfillment of her moral duty. Jane can barely bring herself to leave the only love she has ever known. Yet. and his hypocritical support of his own luxuriously wealthy family at the expense of the Lowood students shows Brontë’s wariness of the Evangelical movement. although she loves and admires Helen for it. it is also important to note that nowhere in Jane Eyre are society’s boundaries bent. a source of extreme tension for the characters around her. offering her a way of life that would require her to be disloyal to her own self. and it spurs one on to worldly efforts and achievements. St. John Rivers. For example. She credits God with helping her to escape what she knows would have been an immoral life (Chapter 27). because I am poor. His is a Christianity of ambition. consequently. obscure. poor and starving.
some vagabonds trading his personal effects for cash. after all. Tiny Tim. Scrooge receives a chilling visitation from the ghost of his dead partner. shivers in the anteroom because Scrooge refuses to spend money on heating coals for a fire. and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do. He discovers Bob Cratchit's crippled son. too absolute a stagnation. As the day passes. they need exercise for their faculties. avaricious ways and to honor Christmas with all his heart. a courageous boy whose kindness and humility warms Scrooge's heart. generosity. The spirit escorts Scrooge on a journey into the past to previous Christmases from the curmudgeon's earlier years. and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings. Overwhelmed with joy by the chance to redeem himself and grateful that he has been returned to Christmas Day. a majestic giant clad in a green fur robe. He wakes moments before the arrival of the Ghost of Christmas Past. and treats his fellow human beings with kindness. He vanishes instantly as Scrooge notices a dark. After the wraith disappears. looking haggard and pallid. A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens
A mean-spirited. and his engagement to Belle. he shows Scrooge two starved children. Analysis A Christmas Carol is a fairly straightforward allegory built on an episodic narrative structure in which each of the main passages has a fixed.Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel. His clerk. bustling Cratchit family prepare a miniature feast in its meager home. Scrooge looks at the headstone and is shocked to read his own name. Scrooge revisits his childhood school days. spitting out an angry "Bah! Humbug!" in response to his nephew's "Merry Christmas!" Later that evening. Bob Cratchit. and warmth. Two portly gentlemen also drop by and ask Scrooge for a contribution to their charity. becoming noticeably older. He desperately implores the spirit to alter his fate. with each of the middle
. after returning to his dark. Scrooge. his apprenticeship with a jolly merchant named Fezziwig. deeply moved. Whoosh! He suddenly finds himself safely tucked in his bed. to the stifled surprise of the other guests. a strange childlike phantom with a brightly glowing head. Scrooge. Scrooge collapses into a deep sleep. precisely as men would suffer. begs to know the name of the dead man. After pleading with the ghost. cold apartment. The specter then zips Scrooge to his nephew's to witness the Christmas party. pays his uncle a visit and invites him to his annual Christmas party. miserly old man named Ebenezer Scrooge sits in his counting-house on a frigid Christmas Eve. Scrooge's nephew. relates his unfortunate story. Scrooge watches the large. provides lavish gifts for the poor. the spirit pointing to a grave. As the years go by. Scrooge sees businessmen discussing the dead man's riches. Invisible to those he watches. if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex. they suffer from too rigid a restraint. Marley informs Scrooge that three spirits will visit him during each of the next three nights. Scrooge rushes out onto the street hoping to share his newfound Christmas spirit. a woman who leaves Scrooge because his lust for money eclipses his ability to love another. Scrooge reacts to the holiday visitors with bitterness and venom. Scrooge finds the jovial gathering delightful and pleads with the spirit to stay until the very end of the festivities. or laugh at them. to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. the spirit ages. Scrooge finds himself in a churchyard. hooded figure coming toward him. Fred. sheds tears of regret before the phantom returns him to his bed. It is thoughtless to condemn them. Ignorance and Want. Marley hopes to save Scrooge from sharing the same fate. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come leads Scrooge through a sequence of mysterious scenes relating to an unnamed man's recent death. Jacob Marley. promising to renounce his insensitive. He sends a giant Christmas turkey to the Cratchit house and attends Fred's party. he holds true to his promise and honors Christmas with all his heart: he treats Tiny Tim as if he were his own child. Toward the end of the day. obvious symbolic meaning. living under his coat. As punishment for his greedy and self-serving life his spirit has been condemned to wander the Earth weighted down with heavy chains. and a poor couple expressing relief at the death of their unforgiving creditor. The Ghost of Christmas Present. is a song). Marley. The book is divided into five sections (Dickens labels them Staves in reference to the musical notation staff--a Christmas carol. takes Scrooge through London to unveil Christmas as it will happen that year. anxious to learn the lesson of his latest visitor.
and the reaperlike Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come represents the fear of death. generosity. which Red eventually comes to believe in as well. The three spirits of Christmas visit the stodgy bean-counter in hopes of reversing Scrooge's greedy. Ebenezer Scrooge's equally greedy partner. mild. and very poor man with a large family. Andy was sent to Shawshank for life in 1947 for the cold-blooded murder of his wife. Empathy enables Scrooge to sympathize with and understand those less fortunate than himself. indifference. The book also contains a political edge. caring. with every intention of tugging on your heartstrings. Ebenezer Scrooge . begins to believe Scrooge has a chance at salvation. carry out a thematic function--the Ghost of Christmas Past. Scrooge's path to redemption culminates with his figurative "adoption" of Tiny Tim. crippled from birth. a kind. Bob Cratchit . Scrooge's emotive connection to Tiny Tim dramatically underscores his revelatory acceptance of the Christmas ideal. especially because many of the other prisoners think he’s a snob. the Ghost of Christmas Present represents charity. the ability to empathize. Despite the damning evidence placing him at the scene of the crime on the night of the murders. struggling Cratchit family. Dickens hopes to illustrate how self-serving. A Christmas Carol advances the Christian moral ideals associated with Christmas--generosity. and overall goodwill. The reader. Memory serves to remind Scrooge of a time when he still felt emotionally connected to other people. Warmth.
Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption
Stephen King Red. He appears to Scrooge as a ghost condemned to wander the world bound in heavy chains. Tiny Tim. and socially conscious members of society through the intercession of moralizing quasi-religious lessons. most evident in Dickens' development of the bustling. kindness. before he closed himself off in an austere state of alienation. selfishness. crippled Cratchit son.Bob Cratchit's young son. a nineteenth century term for an accountant's office. and her lover. recounts how he planned and carried out his wife’s murder by disabling her brakes. tennis pro Glenn Quentin. with his Bah! Humbug! attitude. acting as "a second father" to the little boy. The fear of death hints at imminent moral reckoning--the promise of punishment and reward. even though it always lands him in the infirmary and sometimes solitary confinement. With A Christmas Carol. along with each of their tales. The three spirit-guides. Dickens. which accidentally killed a neighbor and child as well and earned him a life sentence at Shawshank Prison.In the living world. representation of the plight of the poor.Scrooge's clerk. festive celebrations. overcome Scrooge's bitter apathy as he encounters and learns from his memory. if one-dimensional. Scrooge begins to break through his emotional barricade in Stave Three as he expresses pity for Tiny Tim. people like Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit.three Staves revolving around a visitation by one of the three famous spirits. coldhearted approach to life. displays of prosperity. Marley died seven years before the narrative opens. With each Ghost's tale functioning as a parable. and his fear of death. Linda. Dickens carries this sentiment even further with the tragic figure of the pure-hearted. Despite these hardships. Scrooge. Andy has always maintained his innocence. Andy has some initial difficulty adjusting to prison life. Andy fights the Sisters. less concerned with solemn religious ceremony and defined by more joyous traditions--the sharing of gifts. Cratchit remains a humble and dedicated employee. Tiny Tim is a highly sentimentalized character who Dickens uses to highlight the tribulations of England's poor and to elicit sympathy from his middle and upper class readership. and the Christmas spirit. insensitive people can be converted into charitable. Tiny Tim . and universal love for your community--and of Victorian England in general. upon hearing the usually uncaring miser inquire into Tim's fate. empathy. paints the Cratchits as a destitute family that finds a way to express profound gratitude for its emotional riches. Andy never complains or loses his confidence. and a lack of consideration for one's fellow man. A gang of men known as the Sisters frequently attack and rape him in the laundry room while the guards look the other way. The book also offers a distinctly modern view of Christmas. the narrator.
.The miserly owner of a London counting-house. Though treated harshly by his boss. represents memory. however. Red also remembers the arrival of an inmate named Andy Dufresne. Jacob Marley . embodies all that dampens Christmas spirit--greed. who are a compelling. Marley hopes to save his old partner from suffering a similar fate. with his glowing head. whose tenure at Shawshank affected the lives of everyone at the prison.
and after several weeks of searching. Norton. which has since become more than $370. Red adds a postscript to his story about a year later. and Norton has a nervous breakdown and resigns. After a few years. but they soon expand to laundering money for the various prison wardens. the friend invested $14.000. but also as a man who never let prison crush his spirit. and becoming the proprietor of a small hotel in Mexico. The guards search the prison but find nothing.000 he just inherited from his long-lost brother. Andy drops the issue and becomes more brooding and introspective. transfers Tommy Williams to another prison out of fear that Andy would expose his money laundering operation if paroled. rather nervously. he also pays Red to smuggle in some polishing cloths and then. Andy even offers to fill out the paperwork for Hadley in exchange for giving three beers to each prisoner on the work crew. after being released from Shawshank. Andy also imagines Red going with him. a man who privately admitted to killing tennis pro Glenn Quentin. which empties into the marshes surrounding Shawshank.000.000 of Andy’s money. can’t touch the money. Red fulfills Andy’s requests. Andy relishes his new position and works hard during the next two decades to significantly expand the library. Under the false identity. Andy’s financial responsibilities start with filing the guards’ tax returns. Now working as a bag boy at a supermarket. Red discovers a letter addressed to him from Peter Stevens. writing from a hotel in Portland. A search of the marshes and nearby towns reveals nothing. Andy has no moral objection to hiding the money that Norton receives from construction companies. Andy approaches Red and asks him to procure a rock hammer because he’s interested in rock collecting and carving. make him the prison librarian. Red figures that Andy slowly and systematically used the rock hammer and polishing cloths every night for nearly twenty years to carve through the wall. The deal wins Andy the respect of everyone involved and makes him a mythic hero in the eyes of the prisoners. After some initial hesitation and suspicion. When Andy asks Norton to request a retrial. The hole leads to the sewage drainpipe. however. Red concludes the
. After completing his hole. partly because he likes the freedom and the space but also because he’s looking for the volcanic rock where Andy hid the key to the safe-deposit box. until an extremely frustrated Norton rips the pinup poster from the wall to reveal a gaping hole in the thick concrete.Soon after arriving at Shawshank. the key to which has been stashed under a black volcanic rock wedged into a stone wall in the countryside near the prison. Red and Andy both find themselves on a work crew. a prison guard. Red thinks nothing of this until years later when the prison guards find Andy’s cell empty one morning. Red never hears anything from Andy but receives a blank postcard from a border town in Texas some months later. The transition to life on the outside has been tough. Maine. As a result. He becomes the symbol of hope for many prisoners. the guards and the warden protect Andy from the Sisters. meanwhile. saved under his alternate identity. a large poster of pinup Rita Hayworth. A new inmate named Tommy Williams arrives at Shawshank and tells Andy that he served time in another prison with Elwood Blatch. Underneath. not only as someone who successfully escaped. Red uses his days off to explore the countryside. The letter invites Red to join Andy in Mexico and includes a gift of $1. Andy also becomes a valuable financial resource to those who run the prison. After a while. Andy dreams of escaping. Red also figures that it took Andy roughly eight years to muster the courage to actually try to escape. Hadley agrees. because he would risk exposing himself and losing everything. however. Andy offers Hadley some financial advice by telling him to give the money to his wife as a one-time tax-free gift. assuming the new identity. complaining to the other guards about the taxes he’ll have to pay on the $35. Andy’s pseudonym. Red walks the rural hayfields in search of the stone wall Andy had described years earlier. and don’t assign other inmates to his cell. tarring the roof of the prison’s license plate factory. including Bible-thumping Samuel Norton. Andy. Norton dismisses Andy’s claims and puts him in solitary confinement for more than a month on the “grain and drain” diet of bread and water. he finally finds the rock. and Red thinks of Andy when he feels the urge to commit a petty crime or violate the terms of his parole so that he’ll be put back in prison. Andy overhears Byron Hadley. The documents and lucrative bonds are kept in a safe-deposit box at a local bank. The story of Andy’s escape spreads throughout the prison and gives him an even greater mythic status. After another aborted attempt to reason with the warden and another stint in solitary. but he doesn’t realize that doing so also hurts his chances of ever leaving Shawshank. Eventually Andy emerges from his lengthy depression and tells Red one day that he had a friend set up a false identity for him.
Ultimately. violate his parole. and predatory Sisters only add a sense of entrapment and suffocation to these layers of isolation. In truth. allows Red to face his fears and find the psychological freedom he seeks. for example. finally. it is Andy’s resolute sense of hope that Red admires. and excessive cruelty he employs to maintain control of the inmates. Without this strength and inner resolve.postscript with renewed hope for the future as he decides to abandon his job. the man who can talk down the guards. Elwood Blatch. The bars. There are many levels of isolation inside Shawshank. passive emotion. many of whom believe they can’t function outside the prison system. and. He forces the other men to do business on his terms and knows full well the need to defend his own interests in a world where violence and exploitation are the norm. Andy would never have survived his twenty-eight years in prison nor managed to escape. Andy. however. Although Red has undoubtedly thought of escaping numerous times during his thirty-eight years in prison. the man who can escape out from under everyone’s noses. and Andy. The prison is thus a multilayered world. enclosed recreation yard to the smaller work crews down to the cellblock. a microcosm of the world outside that the prisoners have been forcibly removed from. Red Red is the lifeline of the prison. immobile. solitary confinement. a figure onto whom they project their various embellishments of the ideal man: Andy. Andy’s inner confidence and sense of self-worth represent the part of Red that Hadley. who dreams of being paroled but eventually struggles to find his place in society after almost forty years in prison. Red affords himself protection and an esteemed place in the pecking order of the prison yard. At times aligned with images of death—his face is compared to a cold slate tombstone—Norton is a selfdeluded despot who justifies his exploitation and the promotion of his self-interest at the expense of others in the name of his faith and the fire-and-brimstone Bible passages he often quotes. Andy Dufresne Andy is an enigma to Red and the other inmates. Andy emerges as an object of fascination for many of his fellow prisoners. An element of fantasy infuses the characterization of Andy: at one point King even refers to the mysterious “myth-magic” that his protagonist seemingly possesses. and make his way to Mexico to find Andy. cells. Hope is an abstract. By making himself indispensable to the other inmates. Andy’s sheer determination to maintain his own sense of self-worth and escape keeps him from dying of frustration and anger in solitary confinement. The national exposure and adulation he gets for his “Inside-Out” program belies and conceals the corruption that prevails during his tenure and the campaign of threats. the man who can smuggle almost anything into Shawshank from the outside world. Beneath the hardened criminals lie insecure. is a braggart and an egomaniac whose exaggerated accounts of his exploits fool none of his listeners into believing that he is the master criminal whom he makes himself out to be. and inert lives of the prisoners. Red admits that the story is really all about himself. Andy is an anomalous figure who stands out from the rest of the inmates at Shawshank Prison. meanwhile. Samuel Norton Warden Norton embodies the hypocrisies and contradictions of the penitentiary system. Even though Red’s narrative focuses on Andy and his eventual escape. and he rarely succumbs to emotion or cheap sentiment. The Burden of Isolation and Imprisonment Each of the inmates inside Shawshank Prison is locked up metaphorically as well as literally. Norton. and the other prison authorities never managed to crush. therefore. also highlight the extent to which the prisoners have isolated themselves and compromised their sense of identity. drives the inmates at Shawshank and gives them the will to live. however. Andy’s calm. cool collectedness govern his interactions with the world around him. hiding from himself or unable to function in the unregulated world that extends beyond the prison walls. Red’s hardened stance conceals his fear and insecurity as he struggles to make sense of his life both in and out of prison. from the large. Recounting Andy’s escape. sadistic keepers. abuse. intimidation. Freedom is a frightening concept for Red. Red knows that hope is what keeps him and every other inmate alive. but not for any mythical or spiritual reason. more than anything else. strict schedules. The Power of Hope Hope. Andy sets about making hope a reality in the form of the agonizing progress he makes each year
. akin to the passive. Shawshank’s confines. Red. identifies Andy as the part of himself who never let go of the idea of freedom. What many inmates take for snobbery is actually reserve and caution as Andy tries to stay one step ahead of his adversaries. a man they admire but never really understand. maladjusted outcasts. the man who can manipulate the warden.
who quickly befriends him. Up North. by contrast. a middle-aged man with a wife and children on the farm. he buys Topsy. Tom meets Cassy. Tom dives in to save her. Red’s closing words. When Loker attempts to capture them. Clares for two years. however. a coarse slave trader. She miraculously evades capture by crossing the half-frozen Ohio River. Shelby’s maid Eliza. however—one of Christ and one of Eva—which renew his spiritual strength and give him the courage to withstand Legree’s torments. Though he and his wife. she is appalled because she has promised Eliza that Shelby would not sell her son. a cage that released a tiger called Hope. St. then dies. and her father. Separated from her daughter by slavery. Eliza. as he embarks tentatively onto a new path. bereft of hope and with no reason to embrace life or the future. Tom is taken to rural Louisiana with a group of new slaves. Haley. She slowly weakens. He has two visions. Eva grows very ill.tunneling his way through his concrete cell wall. Eliza and Harry make their way to a Quaker settlement. Augustine St. whom the demonic Legree has purchased to use as a sex slave. Marie. but two other Shelby slaves alert Eliza to the danger. hoping to find freedom with her husband George in Canada.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe Having run up large debts. St. Haley pursues her. Meanwhile. with whom he shares a devout Christianity. who reunites joyously with his family for the trip to Canada. he at last finds God and goes to be reunited with his mother in heaven. When Eva falls into the river. and Harry. where he can be healed. sells Tom to a vicious plantation owner named Simon Legree. the boundary separating Kentucky from the North. In Louisiana. and Legree resolves to crush his faith in God. To help Ophelia overcome her bigotry. As he dies. Eliza overhears the conversation between Shelby and his wife and. with a vision of heaven before her.” which in the end is all that Red has left. After Tom has lived with the St. Uncle Tom sadly leaves his family and Mas’r George. However. Clare decides to set Tom free. Haley hires a slave hunter named Loker and his gang to bring Eliza and Harry back to Kentucky. Even Andy’s even-keeled and well-balanced temperament. Clare. eventually succumb to the bleakness of prison life. a young black girl who was abused by her past master and arranges for Ophelia to begin educating her. Clare is stabbed to death while trying to settle a brawl. Red notes that Tommy Williams’s revelation that he could prove Andy’s innocence was like a key unlocking a cage in Andy’s mind. The slaves in question are Uncle Tom. a Kentucky farmer named Arthur Shelby faces the prospect of losing everything he owns. Clare household and increasingly close to Eva. Her death has a profound effect on everyone who knew her: Ophelia resolves to love the slaves. after warning Uncle Tom and his wife. including Emmeline. When Shelby tells his wife about his agreement with Haley. and he nearly ceases to believe. as Haley takes him to a boat on the Mississippi to be transported to a slave market. with the help of Tom Loker—now a changed man after being healed by the Quakers—George. and the other slave hunters retreat. Tom receives a severe beating. Eliza convinces George and the Quakers to bring Loker to the next settlement. who opposes slavery as an institution but harbors deep prejudices against blacks. In his letter addressed to Red. Around this time. Clare’s cruel wife. Tom’s faith is sorely tested by his hardships. and Harry at last cross over into Canada from Lake Erie and obtain their freedom. Tom meets an angelic little white girl named Eva. They are joined at the settlement by George. Clare. St. George shoots him in the side. Andy writes that “hope is a good thing. before he can act on his decision. where he grows increasingly invaluable to the St. she became pregnant again but killed the child because she could not stand to have another child taken from her. Legree takes a strong dislike to Tom when Tom refuses to whip a fellow slave as ordered. where the Quakers agree to help transport them to safety. However. George and Eliza remain in flight from Loker and his men. Clare discusses slavery with his cousin Ophelia. gratefully agrees to buy Tom from Haley. feels no hostility against blacks but tolerates slavery because he feels powerless to change it. On the boat. Red’s decision to go to Mexico to find Andy is the ultimate proof of Red’s own redemption. Clares to their home in New Orleans. replacing his previous sex slave Cassy. the young son of Mrs. and hears her story. Aunt Chloe. This hope reinvigorates Andy and spreads to many of the other inmates in the prison. Shelby’s young son and Tom’s friend. not from his life as a criminal but from his compromised state. Shelby decides to raise money by selling two of his slaves to Mr. Meanwhile. Emily Shelby. He encourages
. St. she takes Harry and flees to the North. and St. Topsy learns to trust and feel attached to others. show that hope is a difficult concept to sustain both inside the prison and out. Tom travels with the St. in New Orleans. have a kindhearted and affectionate relationship with their slaves.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin fell into neglect. Stowe makes it very clear that if the villainous white slaveholders of the novel were to achieve Tom’s selfless Christian love for others. He urges them to think on Tom’s sacrifice every time they look at his cabin and to lead a pious Christian life. Tom becomes a Christ figure. He will submit to being beaten for his beliefs. when the Civil Rights Movement reawakened an interest in anti-slavery fiction. The newly reunited family travels to France and decides to move to Liberia. he supports Eliza’s escape. but he will not capitulate or run away. Cassy and Emmeline meet George Harris’s sister and travel with her to Canada. Clare Probably the most complex female character in the novel. where. Because Stowe believes that a transformation through Christian love must occur before slavery can be abolished successfully. More than a hundred years after its initial publication. She portrayed his passivity as a virtue unconnected to his minority status. she holds up Tom’s death as nobler than any escape. in that it provides an example for others and offers the hope of a more generalized salvation. the passive acceptance of slavery practiced by the novel’s title character seemed horrendously out of line with the resolve and strength of modern black Civil Rights crusaders. When Tom refuses to tell Legree where Cassy and Emmeline have gone. while Tom may not actively seek his own freedom. Tom’s passivity owes not to stupidity or to contentment with his position. The values and attributes that seemed admirable in its characters in 1852 frequently appeared incomprehensible and even contemptible to twentieth-century readers. And while this religiosity translates into a selfless passivity on Tom’s part. When Legree orders him to beat the slave girl in Chapter XXXIII. his strength of faith. taking Emmeline with her. Tom is presented as more than a black hero—he is presented as a hero transcending race. Tom’s central characteristic in the novel is this religiosity. George Shelby arrives with money in hand to buy Tom’s freedom. Legree orders his overseers to beat him. Moreover. standing firm in his values. black and white. but he is too late. one should note that Stowe does not present this behavior as a model of black behavior. Moreover. slavery would be impossible. Tom is not an old man. where Cassy realizes that Eliza is her long-lost daughter. First. however. Within the world of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. the notion of an “Uncle Tom” contains generalizations not found within the actual character in the novel. The term “Uncle Tom” became an insult. When Tom is near death. the book was virtually out of print. Not until the early 1960s. he manages to spread some of the love and goodwill of his religious beliefs. after his father’s death. Uncle Tom’s Cabin stood as a testament to a past set of standards and expectations. By practicing selflessness and loving his enemy. Ophelia deserves special attention from the reader because she is treated as a surrogate for Stowe’s intended audience. Tom becomes a martyr and affects social change. helping to alleviate the pain of slavery and enhance the hope of salvation. Ophelia St. which probably places him in his late forties at the start of the novel. which impel him to love everyone and selflessly endure his trials. Stowe meant for Tom to embody noble heroic tendencies of his own. and Tom’s death never would have happened. it also translates into a policy of warm encouragement of others’ attempts at freedom. Taking a boat toward freedom. and provides the motivating force behind George Shelby’s decision to free all the slaves. Tom does not accept his position of inferiority with happiness. conjuring an image of an old black man eager to please his white masters and happy to accept his own position of inferiority. The novel states that he is eight years older than Shelby. after she devises a ruse in which she and Emmeline pretend to be ghosts. a radical role for a black character to play in American fiction in 1852. the African nation created for former American slaves. She does so. but to his deep religious values. Although contemporary society finds its heroes in active agents of social change and tends to discourage submissiveness. It is as if Stowe conceived an imaginary
. George Shelby returns to the Kentucky farm. After its initial burst of sensational popularity and influence. did the novel again become widely read. the hero of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and one of the most popular figures of nineteenth-century American fiction. In particular. even in recognizing Tom’s passivity in the novel. and Stowe’s approving treatment of it. Thus. Everywhere Tom goes in the novel. he sets all the slaves free in honor of Tom’s memory. just as Tom did. and by the mid-1900s.Cassy to escape. he forgives Legree and the overseers. He can only watch as Tom dies a martyr’s death. he refuses. moreover. but as a heroic model of behavior that should be practiced by everyone. Through this death. Its circulation declined following the end of the Civil War and Stowe’s death. Moreover. Uncle Tom History has not been kind to Uncle Tom. he practices a kind of resistance in his passivity. Although modern readers’ criticisms hold some validity. Tom’s death proves Legree’s fundamental moral and personal inferiority. as well as that of Cassy and Emmeline from the Legree plantation. Indeed.
Stowe explores the question of slavery in a fairly mild setting. Even under kind masters. A common contemporary defense of slavery claimed that the institution benefited the slaves because most masters acted in their slaves’ best interest. Above all. Legree demonstrates literally infernal qualities. in which slaves and masters have seemingly positive relationships. where the evil of slavery appears in its most naked and hideous form. predominantly Protestant audience. In the final third of the book. At first she tries to teach Topsy out of a sense of mere duty. Eva. Clare possess kindness and intelligence. un-Christian. The Evil of Slavery Uncle Tom’s Cabin was written after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. and when the fiercely selfish Marie. also serves. Stowe takes great pains to illustrate the fact that the system of slavery and the moral code of Christianity oppose each other. However. Legree’s demoniacally evil ways also play an important role in shaping the end of the book along the lines of the traditional Christian narrative. Nonetheless. we can detect Stowe’s rhetorical methods.picture of her intended reader. Eva’s death proves the crucial catalyst in Ophelia’s transformation. First she deflates the defense of the pro-slavery reader by showing the evil of the “best” kind of slavery. slaves suffer. She then presents her own case against slavery by showing the shocking wickedness of slavery at its worst. Simon Legree Although largely a uniformly evil villain. Once St. For most of the novel. Clare houses and takes her reader into the Legree plantation. Legree’s main purpose in the book is as a foil to Uncle Tom. proving that his faith prevails over Legree’s evil. Clare puts Topsy in her care. The Incompatibility of Slavery & Christian Values Writing for a predominantly religious. Tom dies loving the men who kill him. Ophelia is one of the only characters in Uncle Tom’s Cabin who develops as the story progresses. She seeks to expose the vices of slavery even in its best-case scenario. At the Shelbys’ house. then brought that reader into the book as a character. she insists. overcoming her racial prejudice and offering a model to Stowe’s Northern readers. insisting that the slave’s best interest can lie only in obtaining freedom. The novel seeks to attack this law and the institution it protected. and even murder. introduces the power of shock into Stowe’s argument. sexual abuse. Because Ophelia has seldom spent time in the presence of slaves. against whom she harbors a deep-seated prejudice—she does not want them to touch her. Each of Stowe’s scenes. in the worst of cases it is nightmarish and inhuman. Stowe emphasizes that much of Ophelia’s racial prejudice stems from unfamiliarity and ignorance rather than from actual experience-based hatred. and as an effective picture of slavery at its worst. Ophelia detests slavery. which made it illegal for anyone in the United States to offer aid or assistance to a runaway slave. their ability to tolerate slavery renders them hypocritical and morally weak. and intolerable in a civil society. to persuade the reader—especially the Northern reader of Stowe’s time—that slavery is evil. In the book’s structural progression between “pleasant” and hellish plantations. without exception. He has been deeply affected by the death of his angelic mother and seems to show some legitimate affection for Cassy. she finds them uncomfortably alien. Ophelia begins to have increased contact with a slave. No Christian. Legree desires to break Tom’s religious faith and to see him capitulate to doubt and sin. and his devilishness provides an effective contrast with the angelic qualities of his passive slave. Clares’. Stowe refutes this argument with her biting portrayals. Clare slaves from mourning the death of her own angelic daughter. while serving to further character and plot. in which slaves suffer beatings. Though Shelby and St. by demanding attention be given to herself. and she comes to love Topsy as a human being. ceaselessly advocating the immediate emancipation of the slaves and freedom for all people. prevents the St. Ophelia embodies what Stowe considered a widespread Northern problem: the white person who opposes slavery on a theoretical level but feels racial prejudice and hatred in the presence of an actual black slave. as we see when a financially struggling Shelby guiltily destroys Tom’s family by selling Tom. Often associated with firelight and flames. the evil that Legree stands for has been destroyed. But Stowe suggests that duty alone will not eradicate slavery—abolitionists must act out of love. although Tom dies and Legree survives. This harsh and barbaric setting. Stowe leaves behind the pleasant veneer of life at the Shelby and St. and again at the St. but she considers it almost necessary for blacks. Stowe does not offer these settings in order to show slavery’s evil as conditional.
. In the end. Simon Legree does possess some psychological depth as a character. If slavery is wrong in the best of cases. the slaves have kindly masters who do not abuse or mistreat them.
Alice Kinnian. In the cases where women do not act morally—such as Prue in her drunkenness or Cassy with her infanticide. Not all women appear as bolsters to the book’s moral code: Marie acts petty and mean. committed. Nonetheless. White women can use their influence to convince their husbands—the people with voting rights—of the evil of slavery. He becomes a changed man. Moreover. committed. rests on a principle of universal love. Dr. Examples include Mrs. brave. he gradually improves his spelling and grammar. Mrs. After a battery of tests—including a maze-solving competition with a mouse named Algernon. yet she expresses hope for the oppressed in her presentation of women as effectively influencing their husbands. Rose. In this way. who has already had the experimental surgery performed on him—Charlie undergoes the operation. the reader can nevertheless regard the book as a specimen of early feminism. When he is beaten to death by Legree and his men. but Charlie is unable to understand that he is the subject of mockery. The text portrays women as morally conscientious. a mentally retarded thirty-two-year-old man. is chosen by a team of scientists to undergo an experimental surgery designed to boost his intelligence. Throughout the novel. Shelby. Strauss and Professor Nemur. then voraciously. but Christianity can actually be used to fight slavery. Eva. has recommended Charlie for the experiment because of his exceptional eagerness to learn. and after being healed by the generous-hearted and deeply religious Quakers. who resented and often brutally punished Charlie for not being normal like other children. Throughout the novel. it would be impossible for one segment of humanity to oppress and enslave another. of perfect mothers and wives who attempt to find salvation for their morally inferior husbands or sons. Charlie works at Donner’s Bakery in New York City as a janitor and delivery boy. in Stowe’s novel.
Flowers for Algernon
Daniel Keyes Charlie Gordon. Charlie begins to read adult books. often as more morally conscientious. He is initially disappointed that there is no immediate change in his intellect. and courageous—indeed. Charlie also begins to recover lost memories of his childhood. the reader sees many examples of idealized womanhood. the women’s sins are presented as illustrating slavery’s evil influence rather than the women’s own immorality. Christianity. Uncle Tom ultimately triumphs over slavery in his adherence to Christ’s command to “love thine enemy. Black women generally prove strong. The text also portrays black women in a very positive light. The directors of the experiment. Stowe insists.
. He believes that his coworkers are good friends. slowly at first. as seen especially in the character of Eliza. Moreover. ask Charlie to keep a journal. Stowe implies a parallel between the oppression of blacks and the oppression of women. but with work and help from Alice. The entire narrative of Flowers for Algernon is composed of the “progress reports” that Charlie writes. and Ophelia begins the novel with many prejudices. the most morally perfect white character in the novel. Charlie’s teacher at the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults. He shocks the workers at the bakery by inventing a process designed to improve productivity.” He refuses to compromise his Christian faith in the face of the many trials he undergoes at Legree’s plantation. The Moral Power of Women Although Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin before the widespread growth of the women’s rights movement of the late 1800s. pointing to an inherent moral wisdom in the gender as a whole and encouraging the use of this wisdom as a force for social change. not only are Christianity and slavery incompatible. and capable. The slave hunter Tom Loker learns this lesson after his life is spared by the slaves he tried to capture. If all people were to put this principle into practice. most of which involve his mother. the more religious a character is. Thus. the morally revolting. filling his brain with knowledge from many academic fields. fails to understand why anyone would see a difference between blacks and whites. St. he dies forgiving them. Legree’s mother. Tom becomes a Christian martyr. the book seems to argue the existence of a natural female sense of good and evil. The other employees often taunt him and pick on him. to a lesser extent. In contrast. she shows how this show of strength by one oppressed group can help to alleviate the oppression of the other. and. Bird. Clare’s mother. a model for the behavior of both whites and blacks. The story of his life both exposes the evil of slavery—its incompatibility with Christian virtue—and points the way to its transformation through Christian love.should be able to tolerate slavery. the more he or she objects to slavery. and courageous than men. nonreligious Legree practices slavery almost as a policy of deliberate blasphemy and evil.
now a demented old woman. scientifically proving that a flaw in the operation will cause his intelligence to vanish as quickly as it has come. it usually has been out of condescension or out of an awareness that he is inferior. However. He finds the experience moving. and his sister is overjoyed to see him. free-spirited artist named Fay Lillman. Delighted by the realization that he is capable of solving moral dilemmas on his own. Strauss and Professor Nemur take Charlie and Algernon to a scientific convention in Chicago. even though it is disturbingly clear that Charlie’s scientific knowledge has advanced beyond Nemur’s. Interestingly. the experimental operation elevates Charlie’s intelligence to such an extent that his new genius distances him from people as much as his disability does. expresses pride in his accomplishments. and he drifts away from Fay. Charlie visits his mother and sister in order to try to come to terms with his past. Algernon’s intelligence begins to slip. The foundation that has funded the experiment gives Charlie dispensation to do his own research. but he sends her away as he senses the return of his old self. and his miraculous transformation from mental disability to genius sets the stage for Keyes to address a number of broad themes and issues. Charlie succeeds in finding the error in Nemur’s hypothesis. Charlie forgets that he is no longer enrolled in Alice’s night-school class for retarded adults. the one person whom he feels has never betrayed him and the only one for whom he has maintained a deep affection throughout his life. and he upsets her by showing up. Charlie grows closer to Alice. Rose suddenly slips into a delusional flashback and attacks Charlie with a butcher knife. he checks himself into a home for disabled adults.
. but it is obvious that she shares Charlie’s attraction. He leaves sobbing. Likewise. Charlie’s lack of intelligence has made him a trusting and friendly man. and he realizes that this past trauma is likely responsible for his inability to make love to Alice. Charlie meets his neighbor. though whenever the mood becomes too intimate. and he is able to consummate a sexual relationship with her. Charlie calls this phenomenon the “Algernon-Gordon Effect. Charlie eventually convinces himself that he has lost feeling even for Alice Kinnian. and his behavior becomes erratic. In fact. Charlie flees back to New York with Algernon and gets his own apartment. his coworkers at Donner’s Bakery—are as well intentioned as he is. his commitment to his work begins to consume him. passionate relationship with Alice. He realizes that Nemur’s hypothesis contains an error and that there is a possibility that his intelligence gain will only be temporary. Charlie has become frustrated by Nemur’s refusal to recognize his humanity. However. Charlie gains perspective on his past and present. Charlie is let go from the bakery because the other workers are disturbed by the sudden change in him. Charlie confronts the worker and forces him to stop cheating Donner. thrilling. an attractive. Charlie Gordon Charlie is the narrator and the main character of the novel. When Charlie discovers that one of the bakery employees is stealing from Mr. knowing that he would not understand. Charlie enjoys a brief. where they are the star exhibits. Dr. Not long afterward. Charlie recovers memories of his mother beating him for the slightest sexual impulses. as he assumes that the people in his life—most notably. He realizes that people have often taken advantage of him and have been cruel to him for sport. where his coworkers welcome him back with kindness. and because Donner can see that Charlie no longer needs his charity. Algernon eventually dies. so he returns to the lab. he briefly returns to his old job at the bakery.As Charlie becomes more intelligent. he is uncertain what to do until Alice tells him to trust his heart. Charlie’s mother. where the scientists cannot find him. Having decided to remove himself from the people who have known him and now feel sorry for him. He feels that Nemur treats him like just another lab animal. he realizes that when people have been kind to him. Charlie has forgotten their entire romantic relationship. Charlie wreaks havoc at the convention by freeing Algernon from his cage while they are onstage. She insists on keeping their relationship professional. When Charlie’s regression is complete. Fearing a regression to his previous level of intelligence. Charlie worries that whatever happens to Algernon will soon happen to him as well. he experiences a sensation of panic and feels as if his old disabled self is watching him. however. As his intelligence grows. but he feels that he has finally overcome his painful background and become a fully developed individual. His last request is for the reader of his manuscript to leave fresh flowers on Algernon’s grave. Charlie does not tell Fay about his past.” As he passes through a stage of average intelligence on his way back to retardation. These realizations cause Charlie to grow suspicious of nearly everyone around him. Donner. and devastating. he realizes that he is deeply attracted to Alice.
that he learns to forgive his family and give and receive love. Finally. the new Charlie must come to grips with the traumas the old Charlie experienced. ironically. we see after the operation that Charlie himself is potentially at risk of becoming cold and loveless like Nemur. Nemur represents the opposite. genius Charlie. She insisted that her son was normal. and back and forth from pride at his recent accomplishments to an irrational fear that he has come back to molest Norma. It is only in the final weeks of Charlie’s heightened intelligence. Pressured by a domineering wife. Charlie’s brief moment of emotional grace comes in the form of the fulfilling but fleeting romantic affair he has with Alice. Her ability to accept Charlie as a person of any level of intelligence sets Alice apart from the other characters in the novel. whose actions are largely informed by the fear and shame his mother. she is fascinated by academia and high culture. Although Charlie resents the mistreatment he endured while disabled. uncertain of what is and is not appropriate in their unique situation. She takes genuine satisfaction in helping people and recommends Charlie for Nemur and Strauss’s experiment because she admires Charlie’s desire to learn. and the older. feels the same lack of respect for his intellectual inferiors that many others used to feel for him. Rose Gordon Obsessed by an imaginary ideal of normalcy. visits an aged Rose near the end of the novel. before he reverts to his previous mental retardation. and she developed a delusional theory that he was brilliant but was cursed by jealous neighborhood mothers. Unlike his partner. disabled Charlie. Charlie appreciates Alice’s concern for his well-being. She demanded that Charlie be removed from her home. especially his manifestations of sexuality. he harbors hostility toward his old self and. To reach his goal. she also denied what she perceived to be her failure as a mother.
. even though she is not a member of the scientific team that is examining him. who consistently judge Charlie only on his intellect. In her old age. Though Charlie resents Nemur for most of the novel. she is a constant presence in his earliest progress reports. Rose has been driven entirely mad by her overwhelming yet doomed desire to be what she perceives as normal. Charlie pursues a course of self-education and struggles to untangle his emotional life. Professor Nemur If Alice represents the possibility of an emotionally healthy adulthood.” After Norma’s birth. Rose. a newfound sense of self-worth remains within him. Rose initially responded to Charlie’s mental disability with denial. now brilliant after his operation. When Charlie. Alice displays unwavering care for Charlie as his IQ boomerangs up and back down again.Feeling isolated from humanity. In Alice’s concern and affection lie the seeds of her eventual romantic love for Charlie. By denying his existence. He is deeply perturbed when Charlie surpasses him intellectually and takes command of the experiment. and certainly not by Charlie. Strauss. on the contrary. Rose turned her full attention to Norma’s success and tried to ignore Charlie altogether. Dr. though Charlie lapses back to his original state at the end of the novel. She switches back and forth from recognizing Charlie to thinking he is a stranger. He is a man of great intellect but little ability to relate to others. despite the fact that he has lost his short-lived intelligence. her capacity for denial has grown into full-fledged dementia. Signs of Charlie’s progression toward adulthood. he cares only about Charlie’s quantifiable progress as an experimental subject. Her refusal to accept her son’s disability was demonstrated by her decision to name Charlie’s younger sister Norma because it sounds like “normal. Alice is not at all anti-intellectual. Alice’s intellectual leanings demonstrate that one need not sacrifice his or her ability to love in order to enjoy a life of the mind. He comes to feel that his mind contains two people: the new. who wants to reach emotional maturity. Alice teaches literacy skills to mentally retarded adults because she cares about and enjoys working with her students. Nemur is never interested in Charlie’s human emotions. Though intellect and emotion seem to be opposed throughout the novel. It is fitting that throughout the novel Alice represents the human warmth and kindness that persist in the face of the intellectual and scientific focus of many of the other characters. Nemur cannot stand to be shown up by anyone—not by Strauss. Alice Kinnian Alice Kinnian is the one person with whom Charlie comes to experience a truly fulfilling personal relationship. Though she is often deeply confused throughout their relationship. Professor Nemur thinks of Charlie just as he thinks of Algernon—as a laboratory animal. Nemur is desperate to advance his career and longs for his peers to regard him as brilliant. Though she is driven by emotion. she does not believe that their disabilities make them lesser human beings. instilled in him. infuriated Rose.
The harrowing turn of events at this meeting is a tragic reminder of the past’s pervasive influence on the present. but as his intelligence increases he grows cold.Mistreatment of the Mentally Disabled The fictional idea of artificially augmenting or diminishing intelligence enables Keyes to offer a telling portrayal of society’s mistreatment of the mentally disabled. At his loneliest point. which in this tale is a jungle world of constant torrential rainstorms. Charlie fears the patients at Warren State because he does not want to accept that he was once like them and may soon be like them again. taking the form of the old Charlie. regardless of his level of intelligence. the past. like his coworkers at the bakery. Nemur is brilliant but humorless and friendless. others have tried to be kind but ultimately have been condescending in their charity. enabling his readers to see through the eyes of someone who has experienced such ridicule firsthand. whom the new Charlie perceives as a separate entity that exists outside of himself. in Progress Report 12. Charlie himself drifts into a condescending and disrespectful attitude toward the disabled to a certain extent. When Charlie longs to make love to Alice.
All summer in a Day
Ray Bradbury The story is about a class of school children on Venus. he is horrified by the dim faces of the disabled people he meets. where the sun is only visible for two hours every seven years. When he sees patrons at a diner laughing at a mentally retarded busboy. While some. Charlie struggles with a tendency toward the same prejudice and condescension he has seen in other people. and he is unable to muster any warmth toward them. For the most part. Such an occurrence is imminent. It is only with Alice’s encouragement that Charlie finally realizes he does not have to choose between his brain and his heart. Charlie shockingly decides that his genius has effectively erased his love for Alice. the old Charlie panics and distracts him—a sign that the shame Rose instilled in Charlie is still powerful. Charlie learns to integrate intellect and emotion. When Charlie returns to see Rose. the more he recoils from human contact. However. We may even interpret Charlie’s reaction as his own embodiment of the same fear of abnormality that has driven his mother to madness. he realizes that people have always based their attitudes toward him on feelings of superiority. Rose cannot separate her memories of the retarded Charlie from the genius Charlie who comes to visit her in the flesh. even if he cannot remember the origin of this shame. finding emotional pleasure in both his intellectual work and his relationships. other people have treated Charlie not only as an intellectual inferior but also as less of a human being than they are. After his operation. Charlie cannot move forward with his emotional life until he understands and deals with the traumas of childhood. while Keyes condemns the act of mistreating the mentally disabled. the past interferes with her actions and concerns in the present.
. Charlie’s past resurfaces at key points in his present experience. Charlie’s dual perspective allows him to understand that he is as human as anyone else. the extremes represented by Nemur and Fay. he also displays an understanding of why this mistreatment occurs. Charlie is initially warmhearted and trusting. It is in this phase that he finds true fulfillment with Alice. have treated him with outright cruelty. just as for Charlie. Fay acts foolishly and illogically because she is ruled entirely by her feelings. Similar ties to the past control Charlie’s mother. arrogant. when Charlie visits the Warren State Home. Charlie consciously wants to treat his new intellectual inferiors as he wishes others had treated him. literally keeps watch over the present. effectively transforming from a mentally retarded man to a genius. he demands that the patrons recognize the boy’s humanity. Conversely. As Charlie grows more intelligent after his operation. Thus. The more he understands about the world. as represented by the old Charlie. she still harbors her old resentment over Charlie’s lack of normalcy—even after his intelligence levels have increased dramatically. The Persistence of the Past in the Present Charlie’s recovery of his childhood memories after his operation illustrates how significantly his past is embedded in his understanding of the present. Professor Nemur and Fay indicate the incompatibility of intellect and emotion. However. In a sense. Rose’s attempt to attack Charlie with a knife illustrates that for her. and disagreeable. The Tension between Intellect and Emotion The fact that Charlie’s mental retardation affects both his intellectual and emotional development illustrates the difficulty—but not the impossibility—of developing both aspects simultaneously and without conflict.
And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler. they realize that what the lions were eating in the distance was not an animal. they decide to call a psychologist. In their astonishment and joy. The emptiness of life in the "Happylife Home" has caused George to take up smoking and drinking. The house is filled with machines that do everything for them from cooking meals. her beating against the closet door begging to be let out. Thunder sounds. The two children. George and Lydia. and agree to let them spend a few more minutes there. and she is the only one in her class to remember sunshine." Margot describes the sun as "a penny". THE ROAD NOT TAKEN Robert frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood. all the children start to cry. The psychologist. still locked in the closet.
.One of the children. The other children refuse to believe her. while the teacher is out of the classroom. screaming the water mustn't touch her head. George and Lydia are also perplexed that the nursery is stuck on an African setting. Margot. the children lock them in from the outside. with the parents absent. The children. suggests they turn off the house and leave. unable to "meet each other's glances. Margot will not play with the other children. a girl feels a raindrop in her hand. beg their parents to let them have one last visit.
Ray Bradbury A family has just bought a house with the latest technology. Peter and Wendy. and let Margot out. claiming that she's lying and she doesn't remember. There they also find recreations of their personal belongings. Wondering why their children are so concerned with this scene of death. to clothing them. savoring every second of their newly found freedom. to rocking them to sleep." The precious sun has come and gone." Margot writes a poem about the sun: "I think the sun is a flower. completely addicted to the nursery. David McClean. They stand frozen with shame for what they have done. Then took the other. and the children run back inside. In her misery. but their own simulated remains. As the sun is about to appear. All at once. Suddenly. they all forget about Margot. skip jump and prance about. long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth. she had refused to shower in the school shower rooms. They run and play. the student who most often torments Margot for being a quiet outcast. the teacher arrives to take the class outside to enjoy their two hours of sunshine." a virtual reality room that is able to connect with the children telepathically to reproduce any place they imagine. William. leaving Margot still pale in gloom and darkness. George and Lydia look on as the lions begin to advance towards them. had moved to Venus from Earth five years before the story takes place. They ignore her cries and pleas. a month ago. and with the sad realization that the rain is returning. "[Once]. soon realize that there is something wrong with their way of life. eating the dead carcass of what they assume to be an animal. As the sun's predicted appearance draws near. as just as fair And having perhaps the better claim.000. and they bully her for her separateness and refuse to believe her memories of the sun. The children walk slowly towards the closet. or "like a fire in the stove". The story then jumps forward in time to a scene with Peter and Wendy having a picnic in the African scene. not having seen the sun. The parents. She has become frail and miserable on Venus. with lions in the distance. and almost has a nervous breakdown from the anxiety of living with the relentless rain. That blooms for just one hour. At that point. convinces the other children to lock Margot in the closet. one of the children remembers Margot. now silent. It is called the “Happylife Home” and its installation cost $30. The parents relent. become fascinated with the "nursery. while the children have become spoiled and are ruling the roost. had clutched her hands to her ears and over her head. When they come to the nursery to fetch the children.
The traveler regrets leaves the possibilities of the road not chosen behind. He kept plugging along. sometimes starving to complete his over 800 known works. The words "sorry" and "sigh" make the tone of poem somewhat gloomy." The figurative meaning is not too hidden either. Van Gogh sold only one painting. however. Though as for that. And that has made all the difference. slow and anti-social.
. Some say in ice. I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way. But if it had to perish twice. While Van Gogh was never a success during his life.
Walt Disney: Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise. and I -I took the one less traveled by. movies and theme parks around the world. the passing there Had worn them really about the same. Vincent Van Gogh: During his lifetime. Albert Einstein: Most of us take Einstein's name as synonymous with genius. And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black Oh. he plugged on with painting. and eventually found a recipe for success that worked. winning the Nobel Prize and changing the face of modern physics. I doubted if I should ever come back. He was fired by a newspaper editor because. It might have taken him a bit longer. After much mental debate. and this was to a friend and only for a very small amount of money. but most people would agree that he caught on pretty well in the end. Winston Churchill: This Nobel Prize-winning. Today. Disney started a number of businesses that didn't last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven. he was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. but Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. but he didn't always show such promise. "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas. He realizes he probably won't pass this way again. From what I've tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. Eventually. causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped.
Fire and Ice Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire. The poem describes the tuogh choices people stand for when traveling the road of life. twice-elected Prime Minster of the United Kingdom wasn't always as well regarded as he is today. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood. Churchill struggled in school and failed the sixth grade. meaning: The literal meaning of this poem by Robert Frost is pretty obvious. A traveler comes to a fork in the road and needs to decide which way to go to continue his journey. they bring in hundreds of millions." After that.Because it was grassy and wanted wear. After school he faced many years of political failures. as he was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 62. I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice. the traveler picks the road "less traveled by.
. he left to chart his own course to create history by becoming one of the world’s richest entrepreneurs. Bill Gates made Steve Ballamer CEO and designated himself chief software Architect to focus on his real love. Thomas Edison had no father’s business but he used to work 18 hours a day and yet say that he didn’t work in his life as it was all fun. Though he did not have any arguments with his father. However the son wanted to become a mechanic and used to do that work endlessly. software design. the former chairman of Lintas has written a book called “The double life”. a Japensese drink. however. The best example in recent times is the richest man in the world. That is not always the case as the following examples show:-: One of the most interesting vocation stories are with respect to Henri Ford. He had to sacrifice a lot of social life for this “double life” but this story clearly shows that one has to follow one’s heart more than one’s head for the choice of one’s career. In that he describes how he used to do advertisements for money which used to fund his real passion which was theatre. He created one of the world’s biggest companies in partnership with another person. However. Much later in life. he was expected to take over the family business of brewing sake. his teachers felt he was hopeless at it and would never succeed with the violin or in composing. young Beethoven was incredibly awkward on the violin and was often so busy working on his own compositions that he neglected to practice. This is similar to what Henri ford did.Ludwig van Beethoven: In his formative years. It can be concluded that passion alone determines what one should or should not be doing because it enables one to overcome all obstacles.supplement their own strength and complement their weaknesses. Sometime back. being the eldest in the family. Mr Bill Gates who left his Harvard studies midway to follow his heart and that is what made him the richest man in the world. Henri ford was regarded as a business genius in his time. The lesson to learn here is that one has to see where one’s spontaneous inclination lies and then have the courage and conviction to back is up. His father was ashamed of his son because he had no interest in work and was lazy and indifferent. Morita’s interest lay in electronics which is where he went. He pursued his heart and went on to become chairman of Boeing. Henri Ford brought into ford a person who could concentrate on all other areas except for manufacturing which was Henri’s forte. This shows that even geniuses have to indulge in complimentary synergies.
Inspiring career stories of famous people for students
Some of us think that one is lucky if one is born in a business family so that after graduating one can straightaway take over the family business. This would obviously not happen with everyone but what one has to learn is to know exactly what one wants to do. Despite his love of composing. It would not be out of place to mention an Indian story. Ford’s father was a farmer who wanted his son to follow him in his own footsteps. After furious arguments with his father. In one of Dale Carnegie’s books there is the example of one person whose father has a laundry business. However young Hernri’s heart was with the motor engine and similar things with which he tinkered. The other example is that of Akio Morita who became Sony’s Chairman. Alyque Padamsee. Another example is Michael Dell who had a passion for selling computers and competing with IBM which led to the formation of Dell corporation while he was only 19. and composed some of the best-loved symphonies of all time–five of them while he was completely deaf. Beethoven kept plugging along.