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Things Fall Apart by Achebe Chinua

SETTING 1890s- Lower Nigerian villages, Iguedo and Mbanta in particular and PROTAGONIST IS Okonkwo
THEMES • The struggle between tradition and change; varying interpretations of masculinity; language as a sign of cultural difference

Austen, Jane
Pride and Prejudice

Comedy of Manners
The story follows the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, moral rightness, education and marriage in her aristocratic society of early 19th century England.

Angelou, Maya
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

It is a coming-of-age story that illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma

Alcott, Louisa May
Little Women

Sentimental novel; didactic novel; coming-of-age novel.
The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—and is loosely based on the author's childhood experiences with her three sisters.

Anderson, Lauri Halse

Coming of age novel
Themes of conformity, growing up, and strength

Beckett, Samuel
Waiting for Godot

Waiting for Godot follows two days in the lives of a pair of men who divert themselves while they wait expectantly, and unsuccessfully for someone named Godot to arrive

Bronte, Charlotte
Jayne Eyre

A hybrid of three genres: the Gothic novel (utilizes the mysterious, the supernatural, the horrific, the romantic); the romance novel (emphasizes love and passion, represents the notion of lovers destined for each other); and the Bildungsroman (narrates the story of a character's internal development as he or she undergoes a succession of encounters with the external world)The novel goes through five distinct stages: Jane's childhood at Gateshead, where she is emotionally and physically abused by her aunt and cousins; her education at Lowood School, where she acquires friends and role models but also suffers privations; her time as the governess of Thornfield Hall, where she falls in love with her Byronic employer, Edward Rochester; her time with the Rivers family at Marsh's End (or Moor House) and Morton, where her cold clergyman-cousin St John Rivers proposes to her; and her reunion with and marriage to her beloved Rochester.

Bronte, Emily
Wuthering Heights

Gothic and Realistic Fiction
The narrative tells the tale of the all-encompassing and passionate, yet thwarted, love between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and how this unresolved passion eventually destroys them and many around them

Bradstreet, Anne
"To My Dear and Loving Husband"

Bradstreet's Biography: First American Published Poet/First Woman to be published in Colonial America:

Bradbury, Ray
Fahrenheit 451

The short novel presents a future American society in which the masses are hedonistic and critical thought through reading is outlawed

Brooks, Gwendolyn " We Real Cool"
"The Bean Eaters"
"The Crazy Woman"

Best known for her lyrical style and urban poetry. Brooks was the first African-American, male or female, to win the Pulitzer Prize (1950)

Blume, Judy
Are you There God? It's Me Margret

Novel about a girl in sixth grade who grew up with no religion. Margaret's mother is Christian and her father is Jewish, and the novel explores her quest for a single religion.

Cather, Willa
Death Comes for the Archbishop

It concerns the attempts of a Catholic bishop and a priest to establish a diocese in New Mexico Territory.

Chaucer, Geoffrey
The Canterbury Tales

End of 14th Cent. Middle English The tales (mostly in verse, although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral

Conrad, Joseph
Heart of Darkness

Colonial Lit
Begins on Thames River outside London, where Marlow is telling the story that makes up Heart of Darkness. Events of the story take place in Brussels, at the Company's offices, and in the Congo, then a Belgian territory. MAJOR CONFLICT • Both Marlow and Kurtz confront a conflict between their images of themselves as "civilized" Europeans and the temptation to abandon morality completely once they leave the context of European society.

Cooper, James Fennimore
The Last of the Mohicans

Sentimental novel, adventure novel, frontier romance The English battle the French and their Indian allies; Uncas helps his English friends resist Magua and the Hurons. Magua captures Cora and Alice, beginning a series of adventures for the English characters, who try to rescue the women. Uncas triumphs over Magua in the Delaware council of Tamenund in Chapter XXX.
THEMES • The consequences of interracial love and friendship; literal and metaphorical nature; the role of religion in the wilderness; the changing idea of family

Crane, Stephan
The Red Badge of Courage

War Novel
a depiction on the cruelty of the American Civil War, features a young recruit who overcomes initial fears to become a hero on the battlefield.

Dunbar, Paul Lawrence
Poet: "Ode to Ethopia"
Lyrics in a Lowly Life

He was the first African-American poet to garner national critical acclaim.

De Cervantes, Miguel
Don Quixote

Parody; comedy; romance; morality novel takes place in1614 in Spain Don Quixote is protagonist.
The First Part: Don Quixote sets out with Sancho Panza on a life of chivalric adventures in a world no longer governed by chivalric values; the priest attempts to bring Don Quixote home and cure his madness. The Second Part: Don Quixote continues his adventures with Sancho, and Sampson Carrasco and the priest conspire to bring Don Quixote home by vanquishing him.

Dickens, Charles
A Tale of Two Cities
-takes place in London and Paris

Historical Fiction
It depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralized by the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and many unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same time period

Douglass, Fredrick
Narrative Life of Fredrick Douglass

is a memoir and treatise on abolition written by famous orator and ex-slave, Frederick Douglass

Dickinson, Emily American Poet : The subjects of her poems ranged from the inevitability of death to the simple joys of the natural world, and their tone reflected what must have been Dickinson's own complex emotional range: brooding and joyous, witty and sarcastic, morose and hopeful.
" I Heard a Fly Buzz when I died"

Romantic Era/Transcendentalist Era
Known as "The Belle of Amherst," Emily Dickinson is widely considered one of the most original American poets of the nineteenth century

Ellison, Ralph
Invisible Man

is narrated in the first person by the protagonist, an unnamed African American man who considers himself socially invisible

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Romantic Era /Transcendentalist
Best known for leading the Transcendentalist era
Nature (1836)
The American Scholar (1837)
The Divinity School Address (1838)
Essays, First Series, ("Self-Reliance,"
"Circles," "The Over-Soul" and
"Intellect") (1841)
Essays, Second Series, ("Experience,"
"The Poet" and "Nominalist
and Realist") (1844)

Faulkner, William
As I Lay Dying
The Sound and the Fury

1930 and 1929
Novels that use Stream of Consciousnes
As I lay Dying is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family's quest—noble or selfish—to honor her wish to be buried in the town of Jefferson.
The Sound and the Fury is set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. The novel centers on the Compson family, former Southern aristocrats who are struggling to deal with the dissolution of their family and its reputation.

Fitzgerald, Scott, F.
The Great Gatsby

It is set on Long Island's North Shore and in New York City during the summer of 1922 and is a critique of the American Dream.

Frank, Anne
The Diary of a Young Girl

A book based on the writings from a Dutch language diary written by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

Ferlinghetti, Lawrence
Poet, The Coney Island of the Mind

Pub. 1958
Collection of poems
Coney Island was written in the conservative post-war 1950s, and his poetry resonates with a joyful anti-establishment fervor.

Frost, Robert
"The Road Not Taken"and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"

Modernist Period
Major works on Nature
He won the Pulitzer Prize four times, more than any other poet in history.

Giovanni, Niki
Writer, Poet, activist

Inspired by African American culture

Ginsberg, Allen

Leader of Beat Generation
was an American poet who vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression

Hardy, Thomas
Tess of the d' Ubervilles

Far from the Maddening Crowd

Victorian Novel
The novel is set in impoverished rural Wessex during the Long Depression The 1880s and 1890s
Tess is seduced, impregnated, and abandoned by the son of her upper-class patroness, making her unacceptable to her true love Angel later in life.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel
The Scarlet Letter

Symbolic; semi-allegorical; historical fiction
Set in 17th-century Puritan Boston, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who gives birth after committing adultery and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity.

Hurston, Zora Neale
Their Eyes Were Watching God

Bildungsroman (coming-of-age novel), American Southern spiritual journey The early twentieth century, presumably the 1920s or 1930s in Rural Florida . During Janie's quest for spiritual fulfillment, she clashes with the values that others impose upon her during failed marriages and learning from mistrust.

Houseman, Alfred
A Shrosphire Lad

the poems explore the fleetingness of love and decay of youth in a spare, uncomplicated style which many critics of the time found out-of-date as compared to the exuberance of some Romantic poets

Ibsen, Henrik
A Doll's House

Challenges marriage norms

Keats, John
Two of his greatest poems are "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and "La Belle Dame Sans Merci."

1795-1821 Romantic poet

Lewis, C.S.
The Chronicles of Narnia

1949 Fantasy Novels

Lee, Harper
To Kill a Mockingbird

Coming of Age
The story takes place during three years of the Great Depression in the fictional "tired old town" of Maycomb, Alabama

Lawrence, D.H.
English author, poet, playwright, essayist and literary critic

His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization

Melville, Herman
Bartleby the Scrivener

2 editions 1853
The narrator, an elderly Manhattan lawyer who has a very comfortable business helping wealthy men deal with mortgages, title deeds, and bonds, relates the story of the strangest man he has ever known.

Miller, Arthur
The Crucible

The Crucible -1953
It is a dramatization of the Salem witchcraft trials that took place in Province of Massachusetts Bay during 1692 and 1693

Milton, John

Paradise Lost in 1667
Epic Poem
The poem concerns the Judeo-Christian story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden

O'Neil, Eugene

Long Day's Journey into Night in1956
One theme of the play is addiction and the resulting dysfunction of the family. All three males are alcoholics and Mary is addicted to morphine. They all constantly conceal, blame, resent, regret, accuse and deny in an escalating cycle of conflict with occasional desperate and half-sincere attempts at affection, encouragement and consolation.

Orwell, George

1984 in1949
Themes: Nationalism
Sexual Repression
the totalitarian regime of the Party, an oligarchical collectivist society where life in the Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance, public mind control, and the voiding of citizens' rights

Pope, Alexander

Translation of Iliad 1715-1720

Parker, Dorothy

Poet: Enough Rope 1893-1967
Algonquin Round Table
Known for her Satirical Verse

Poe, Edgar Allan

Selected Tales 1809-1849
Gothic Tales

Pound, Ezra

The Cantos
10 sections 1925-1969
Modernist -generally considered the poet most responsible for defining and promoting a modernist aesthetic in poetry

Roethke, Theodore

Poet- "The Waking" 1953
Theme of Death and Dreaming

Salinger, J.D.

The Catcher in the Rye
1951 - a Coming of Age
is set around the 1950s and is narrated by a young man named Holden Caulfield. He is not specific about his location while he's telling the story, but he makes it clear that he is undergoing treatment in a mental hospital or sanatorium

Shakespeare, William

A Midsummer's Night Dream
Romeo and Juliet 1564-1615 Plays

Shaw, George Bernard

Pygmalion in 1938

Shelley, Mary

Frankenstein 1818

Swift, Jonathan

Gulliver's Travels in 1726
a satire on human nature and a parody of the "travelers' tales" literary sub-genre.

Thackeray, William

Vanity Fair in 1847
Vanity fair refers to a stop along the pilgrim's progress: a never-ending fair held in a town called Vanity, which is meant to represent man's sinful attachment to worldly things.

Twain, Mark

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 1884

Tan, Amy

The Joy Luck Club 1989
It focuses on four Chinese American immigrant families in San Francisco, California who start a club known as "the Joy Luck Club," playing the Chinese game of Mahjong for money while feasting on a variety of foods

Taylor, Mildred Delois

Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry 1976
This popular novel explores life in southern America, "The South", after the American Civil War - when racism was still common-place and many were persecuted for the colour of their skin


Candide 1759
The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide's slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not outright rejecting optimism, advocating an enigmatic precept, "we must cultivate our garden", in lieu of the Leibnizian mantra of Pangloss, "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds

Vonnegut, Kurt Jr.

Slaughterhouse Five in 1969 is an anti-war science fiction novel by Kurt Vonnegut about World War II experiences and journeys through time of a soldier called Billy Pilgrim.

Walker, Alice

The Color Purple 1982
Epistolary novel- in a series of documents
Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on female black life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing the numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture.

Whitman, Walt

Leaves of Grass 1855
Poet "Song of Myself"

Wilde, Oscar

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Only novel published by Wilde- Gothic
The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian's beauty and becomes infatuated with him, believing his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art.

Williams, Tennessee

The Glass Menegarie
Themes: failures of capitalism, failures of the family structure, failures of fathers (perhaps even God), broken promises, individual failure and reconciliation
1944 Play
The play is introduced to the audience by Tom as a memory play, based on his recollection of his mother Amanda and his sister Laura.

Woolf, Virginia

To the Lighthouse 1927
Novel A landmark novel of high modernism, the text, centering on the Ramsay family and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, skillfully manipulates temporality and psychological exploration

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