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5 fiction stories Document Transcript

  • 1. General Santos Doctors Medical School Foundation IncorporatedAnalysis of literaryArticlesFiction storiesAlemar Allecer BSMT 2A10/15/2012
  • 2. A Wrinkle in TimeSummaryA Wrinkle in Time is the first in a series of four book that follow the adventuresof MegMurry and Calvin OKeefe. The book begins by relating Megs personal strugglesat school and her inability to fit in with the crowd. This is also a problem for her youngerbrotherCharles Wallace. Everyone thinks he is dumb, though both children areextraordinarily intelligent - indeed, Charles Wallace could easily be considered a genius.Beyond that, Charles Wallace also has the unique gift of being able to read the minds ofothers.Charles Wallace befriends a strange group of women living nearby - Mrs. Whatsit,Mrs.Who, and Mrs. Which. These three ladies soon take the children on a strange journey,promising to help them find and rescue their father who has been missing for two years.One afternoon, after meeting Calvin near the ladies house, the three are swept off toanother planet, Uriel, through the process of the tesser - the process of wrinkling spaceand time.On Uriel, the children are given a view of the Dark Thing, a massive blackness thatthreatens to overtake the universe and that is threatening Earth. It is only through thework of great figures such as Jesus and Buddha and Gandhi, as well as other greatartists and scientists, that keeps the Dark Thing from overtaking earth. The ladies tellthe children that this is what their father is fighting.After a visit with the Happy Medium, an oracle who tells them what path they mustfollow, the children are taken to the planet of Camazotz, a planet overtaken by the DarkThing. On Camazotz, everyone acts exactly like everyone else and all creativity hasbeen expunged from the planet. The children meet the Man with the Red Eyes who triesto "hypnotize" them into following IT. Charles Wallace eventually gives in with the hopeof defeating the Dark Force, but he is taken in by the powerful evil.They are then taken to see Megs father who has been imprisoned by IT. After Megheroically rescues him from his glass chamber, Charles Wallace, still under ITsinfluence, takes them to see this IT. IT turns out to be a large, dismembered brain. It 1|Page
  • 3. pulses and tries to hypnotize both Calvin and Meg, but Mr. Murry saves them both bytessering off the planet just as they are about the fall under its power.On another planet, Ixchel, Meg is healed by a giant, tentacled beast called Aunt Beast.Aunt Beast shows her the meaning of true love and soon gives her the strength to offerher self to save Charles Wallace. Alone and back on Camazotz, Meg confronts IT faceto face, and, using the only power that IT does not have - love - is finally able to defeatit. IT only wields the power of hate, and almost overtakes her, but Megs love for herbrother is stronger than the hate of IT. As she and the rescued Charles Wallaceembrace, they are tessered back to earth where they are reunited with their family.ThemesMadeleine LEngles fantasy works are in part highly expressive of her Christianviewpoint in a manner somewhat similar to that of Christian fantasy writer C.S. Lewis.She was herself the official writer-in-residence at New York Citys Episcopal Cathedralof St. John the Divine, which is known for its prominent position in the liberal wing ofthe Episcopal Church.[7] LEngles liberal Christianity has been the target of criticismfrom more conservative Christians, especially with respect to certain elements of AWrinkle in Time.Another major Biblical reference is the hymn of praise sung by the centaur-like beingson the planet Uriel which translates to a very close paraphrase of lines from Isaiah andthe Psalms "Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise from the end of the earth, yethat go down to the sea, and all that is therein"; similarly, the alien that Meg calls AuntBeast quotes a line (without attribution) from PaulsEpistle to the Romans concerningbeing called and justified according to Gods purpose, another line from the same isearlier cited by Megs father.The theme of picturing the fight of good against evil as a battle of light and darkness is arecurring one. It is manner reminiscent of the prologue to the Gospel of John which isalso quoted once. When the "Mrs Ws" reveal their secret roles in the cosmic fightagainst "the darkness" they ask the children to name some figures on Earth (a partiallydark planet) who fight the darkness. They name Jesus, and later in the 2|Page
  • 4. discussion Buddha is named as well, along with various creative artists andphilanthropists. The three women are described as ancient star-beings who act asguardian angels.[9]Further, the theme of "conformity" and the "status quo" are present. It is a generictheme that is within every society (within every society there is a powerful dominantgroup that challenges the minority group. Very few of the powerless members of thisgroup are resilient). In this case, IT is the powerful dominant group that manipulates theplanet of Camazotz into conformity (i.e., they all have the same rhythm). Even CharlesWallace falls prey (due to flattery) and is hence persuaded to conform. It is thanks toMeg that she and her family are able to break from conformity.Main CharactersMeg MurrySquare PegA Wrinkle in Time begins with Meg alone in her attic bedroom, feeling weird,wrong, and out of place in every way. Charles Wallace Murry.Boy Genius, UndercoverCharles Wallace looks like a five-year-old boy, but he talks likea professor and thinks like a psychic and a physicist rolled into one.Calvin OKeefeMirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Whos the Happiest of them All?On first sight, Calvin OKeefemight not seem to have much in common with Meg and Charles Wallace.Mrs. WhatsitThe Clothes Dont Make the WomanMrs. Whatsit is the most human-like of the threeMrs. Ws (at least until she turns into a freaking winged centaur), but theres alwaysmore to her than meets the eye. 3|Page
  • 5. Mrs. WhichMrs. Which seems the least material but the most powerful of the three Mrs. Ws. Shealso seems to be the most distant from human reality: shes the one who forgets thathumans need three dimensions.Mrs. WhoOf the three Mrs. Ws, Mrs. Who seems the vaguest. Perhaps thats because even herwords are not her own: nearly everything she says is a quotation from somewhere else.While Mrs.ITOne brain to rule them all, one brain to find them, one brain to bring them all, and in thedarkness bind them! IT is the evil genius of Camazotz bent on world domination, andhes all brain.Mr. MurryMr. Murry enters the story three quarters of the way through the novel. Until that point,he exists in Megs childhood memories as the father who called her affectionatenicknames, played math game.Mrs. MurryIf the Murry twins form Megs idea what healthy normality looks like, her mother is anexample of impossible perfection:Meg looked up at her mother, half in loving admiration,half in sullen resent. 4|Page
  • 6. Aunt BeastAunt Beast is one of the alien creatures that inhabitsIxchel, the planet the Murrys andCalvin land on after tessering off Camazotz.They were the same dull gray color as theflowers.The Happy MediumOh, puns, we love you so. The phrase "happy medium" long precedes the Mediumsappearance as a character in the book: in the first chapter, Mrs. Murry says to Meg,The Prime CoordinatorThe Prime Coordinator, a.k.a. the Man with the Red Eyes, introduces Meg, CalvinWallace, and Calvin OKeefe to the power of IT.Sandy Murry and DennysMurrySandy and Dennys are twins, and might as well be clones for the amount of individualcharacterization they get. (They do get more differentiated in the sequels, and ManyWaters is devoted .FortinbrasAs the Murrys pet dog, Fortinbrass main role is to run around and bark at things. Buthis bark has a bite: its his uneasiness that clues the Murrys in that theyre about to get avisit .Symbolism, Imagery & AllegoryTesseract 5|Page
  • 7. What the heck is a tesseract? Well let Charles Wallace explain:"Well, the fifthdimensions a tesseract. You add that to the other four dimensions .The Black ThingThe Black Thing is the like Sauron, Darth Vader, and Voldemort all rolled into one, andits coming to a planet near you.Camazotz and ITIT, speaking through its various mouthpieces, portrays Camazotz as giving Disneylanda run for its money as the Happiest Place in the UniverseReligionA Wrinkle in Time is no The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but religious languageand imagery does keep popping up. Is it coincidence that Charles Wallace asks Calvinto read him the Book .The Tempest by William ShakespeareThe Tempest first pops up in the text among Mrs. Whos plethora of quotations:"We aresuch stuff as dreams are made on." She smiled broadly.SettingThe scenes of A Wrinkle in Time occur in the home of the protagonist and on a varietyof planets. In this type of fantasy novel, the willing suspension of disbelief is essential toa deeper understanding of the story. The reader must embrace the other worlds assymbolic of larger abstract ideas. 6|Page
  • 8. Point of viewThird Person (Limited Omniscient)A Wrinkle in Time has a third-person narrator, but one thats hovering over Megs headmost of the time. When the kids tesser for the first time, we see it through Megs eyes,and throughout the novel we rarely get commentary on whats happening beyond whatMeg is aware of. One of the few instances of such commentary happens on Ixchel, theplanet of the beasts:Here the third-person narrator steps out of Megs perspective for a moment to give usadditional information about why Meg is acting the way she is. While on the one handthis distances from Meg, it also creates sympathy for her at a time when shes beingannoying...which works to bring the reader closer to Meg in the end. Most of the time,however, the narrator stays within Megs limitations, which means that we, as readers,learn about whats going on and why at the same time she does.GenreClassics, Science FictionA Wrinkle in Time is published as a childrens or young adult book, and like muchchildrens literature, it features young protagonists who go off on a quest in the absenceof their parents. In A Wrinkle in Time this quest takes them to other planets, where theymeet strange and fantastical beings. At the end, the object of their quest is achieved,though in not quite the way they expected, and they return to the normal, every-dayworld. 7|Page
  • 9. ToneSympatheticMost of the text is either from Megs point of view or dialogue between the characters,so the narrative voice isnt really a strong perspective. But in the detailed narration ofMegs experience, we get the sense that the author cares deeply about thesecharacters, and wants us to care too, and so does her best to make us feel along withthem (see "Narrative Point of View" for more on this). 8|Page
  • 10. The Time Travelers WifeSummaryWhen Henry DeTamble meets Clare Abshire in a Chicago library they both understandthat he is a time traveller, but she she knows much more than this about him as he hasnot yet been to the times and places where they have met before. He falls in love withher, as she has already with him, but his continuing unavoidable absences timetravelling - and then returning with increasing knowledge of their future - makes thingsever more difficult for Clare.In Chicago, the special collections librarian Henry DeTamble has a genetic anomaly thatallows him to travel in time; however, he is not able to control the moment or the destinyof his voyages. When the stranger Clare Abshire meets him in the library, she inviteshim to have dinner with her in his favorite restaurant Beau Thai where she confessesthat she has been in love with him since she was six years old. Henry leans that he hadvisited her many times in the real state of her parents and he falls in love with her.Sooner they get married, but the life of Clare becomes troubled with the successiveunexpected travels of her beloved husband.ThemeNiffenegger identifies the themes of the novel as "mutants, love, death, amputation, sex,and time".Reviewers have focused on love, loss, and time. As Charlie Lee-Potter writesin The Independent, the novel is "an elegy to love and loss".] The love between Henryand Clare is expressed in a variety of ways, including through an analysis and history ofthe couples sex life.CharactersClare Abshire 9|Page
  • 11. Choice vs. DeterminismWhen Clare first meets Henry as a six-year-old, shes a good Catholicschoolgirl, who believes in God and good manners (aside from stepping on her brothers toes,maybe).Henry DeTambleHenry – Reluctant Time Traveler or Unreliable Husband?In various passages in The Times TravelersWife, Henry explains that the inevitable cause of his time travels is stress.AlbaAlba – The Old SoulHenry and Clare name their daughter Alba, after a "white fortress on the hill." Hername mirrors her strength and assertiveness .Annette DeTambleUnder her artist name "Annette Lyn Robinson," Henrys mother has made a name for herself as afamous opera singer. Richard, Henrys father, tells Clare about Annette .Richard DeTambleRichard DeTamble is a violinist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. After his wife, Annette, dies in acar accident when Henry is five, Richards life becomes meaningless.Mrs. KimMrs. Kim has been a mom to Henry since his mother died when he was five. Henry calls her "Kimy,his buddy." After Henrys mothers death, she not only takes care of Henry, but his father as well.Lucile AbshireClares mother, Lucille Abshire, is a very troubled, unpredictable woman. During her first date withHenry in the present, Clare explains, "My mother is kind of off in the clouds." 10 | P a g e
  • 12. Philip AbshirePhilip Abshire, Clares father, is a lawyer, specializing in wills. "Master of his features," he does a greatjob at playing the affable, smiling head of the family.Mark Abshire and Fiancée SharonMark is studying to be a lawyer, like his father. Clare and Mark have never had a very friendly siblingrelationship. Six-year-old Clare relates,Alicia AbshireAlicia is Clares younger sister. Henry describes her as, "matter-of-fact and kind, but a little odd, absent"Grandma MeagramGrandma Meagram lives with Clares family. She is blind. One day when seventeen-year-old Claretakes her out for a walk, they run into Henry and Clare introduces the two.Great Aunt DulcieGreat Aunt Dulcie participated in the Abshires Christmas dinner when Clare brings Henry to meet herfamily for the first time. Henry describes Dulcie as "pink-haired and tiny."The Abshire Family StaffEtta works as the housekeeper for the Abshire family. Shes German and runs the household like atight ship. Clare says, "Shes really more almost our mom." Nell is the cook.Gomez and CharisseGomez and Charisse have been Clares best friends since she moved to Chicago. She describesGomez as "beautiful, tall and broad…large, an entirely different sort of beauty from Henry.Ingrid 11 | P a g e
  • 13. Ingrid is Henrys girlfriend before he meets Clare. Clare describes her as "blond and beautiful in a veryGerman way, tall and dramatic" She appears to be a bit in awe of the woman.CeliaCelia is a friend of Ingrid, Henrys ex-girlfriend. Clare meets her for the first time during a concert at theAragon, shortly after she witnesses an argument between Henry and Ingrid.BenBen is one of Henrys close friends. He has been infected with HIV by his ex-boyfriend, and stillstruggles with accepting his predicament. .HelenHelen is one Clares oldest school friends. Shes one of the girls who witnesses the Ouija board revealHenry as Clares future husband.Dr. David Kendrick and His WifeWhen Henry visits Dr. Kendrick in his office for the first time, he tells him about his condition andpredicts that Kendrick will work with him in the future on finding a cure.Dr. Amit MontagueAmit Montague becomes Clares doctor throughout her many miscarriages and her final successfulpregnancy with Alba.Henrys Colleagues at the Newberry LibraryMatt works with Henry at the Newberry Library. Although Henry is chronically unreliable and Matt hasdiscovered Henry naked in the library stacks several times. 12 | P a g e
  • 14. Symbolism, Imagery, & AllegoryMuseums - The Store Houses of TimeSince Henry was a little boy, he has loved museums. When his parents promise to takehim to the Field Museum of Natural History, hes so excited that he cant sleep the nightbefore, thinking about "the wonders to be seen there.Time as a Tape RecorderIn an effort to explain to six-year-old Clare how a time travelers life works, Henry likenstime to a tape recorder. First he describes normal life to Clare: "…you put in a tape andyou play it from beginning to the end, right?… Thats how life is" Then he contrasts hislife to that first version.Henry and Clares DreamsBoth Henry and Clare experience very vivid dreams that provide glimpses intosuppressed hopes and fears. Not surprisingly, they precede or follow importantemotionally-charged events in their lives.SettingChicago and South Haven, ILThe Meadow in South HavenThe meadow near the Abshire family home represents the cradle of Clares relationshipwith Henry. Its where she meets him for the first time when she is 6 years old andHenry is 43. The meadow becomes their meeting place throughout Clares childhoodand teenage years. Its where Henry and Clare share their first real kiss and where theymake love for the first time. 13 | P a g e
  • 15. Meadowlark House in South HavenHousing an impressive 24 rooms and a staff of a gardener, a cook, and a housekeeper,Meadowlark House is Clares big family residence.The Newberry Library in ChicagoThe Newberry Library is where Clare and Henrys relationship begins in Henryspresent. In many ways, the setting acts as microcosm of Henrys daily life.Henry and Clares House in ChicagoAfter Clare complains that she has no space in their tiny apartment to work on her art,Henry uses his time traveling skills to rig the Lottery and Clare suddenly finds herselfwith $8 million to her name.Point of viewThis simply means that he can travel in time. But Henry has no control over his timetravel. It can occur at anytime, anywhere. It is actually time travel that leads him to hiswife, Clare the artist. Did I mention that Clare was only six years old when she first metHenry? The story shows us the story from their first meeting and how they keepreconnecting with each other throughout time. Although, it is not done in that preciseorder.GenreReviewers have found The Time Travelers Wife difficult to classify generically: somecategorize it as science fiction, others as a romance. Niffenegger herself is reluctant tolabel the novel, saying she "never thought of it as science fiction, even though it has ascience-fiction premise".InNiffeneggers view, the story is primarily about Henry andClares relationship and the struggles they endure. 14 | P a g e
  • 16. The Great GatsbySummaryNick Carraway, a young man from Minnesota, moves to New York in the summer of1922 to learn about the bond business. He rents a house in the West Egg district ofLong Island, a wealthy but unfashionable area populated by the new rich, a group whohave made their fortunes too recently to have established social connections and whoare prone to garish displays of wealth. Nick’s next-door neighbor in West Egg is amysterious man named Jay Gatsby, who lives in a gigantic Gothic mansion and throwsextravagant parties every Saturday night.Nick is unlike the other inhabitants of West Egg—he was educated at Yale and hassocial connections in East Egg, a fashionable area of Long Island home to theestablished upper class. Nick drives out to East Egg one evening for dinner with hiscousin, Daisy Buchanan, and her husband, Tom, an erstwhile classmate of Nick’s atYale. Daisy and Tom introduce Nick to Jordan Baker, a beautiful, cynical young womanwith whom Nick begins a romantic relationship. Nick also learns a bit about Daisy andTom’s marriage: Jordan tells him that Tom has a lover, Myrtle Wilson, who lives in thevalley of ashes, a gray industrial dumping ground between West Egg and New YorkCity. Not long after this revelation, Nick travels to New York City with Tom and Myrtle. Ata vulgar, gaudy party in the apartment that Tom keeps for the affair, Myrtle begins totaunt Tom about Daisy, and Tom responds by breaking her nose.As the summer progresses, Nick eventually garners an invitation to one of Gatsby’slegendary parties. He encounters Jordan Baker at the party, and they meet Gatsbyhimself, a surprisingly young man who affects an English accent, has a remarkablesmile, and calls everyone “old sport.” Gatsby asks to speak to Jordan alone, and,through Jordan, Nick later learns more about his mysterious neighbor. Gatsby tellsJordan that he knew Daisy in Louisville in 1917 and is deeply in love with her. Hespends many nights staring at the green light at the end of her dock, across the bayfrom his mansion. Gatsby’s extravagant lifestyle and wild parties are simply an attempt 15 | P a g e
  • 17. to impress Daisy. Gatsby now wants Nick to arrange a reunion between himself andDaisy, but he is afraid that Daisy will refuse to see him if she knows that he still lovesher. Nick invites Daisy to have tea at his house, without telling her that Gatsby will alsobe there. After an initially awkward reunion, Gatsby and Daisy reestablish theirconnection. Their love rekindled, they begin an affair.After a short time, Tom grows increasingly suspicious of his wife’s relationship withGatsby. At a luncheon at the Buchanans’ house, Gatsby stares at Daisy with suchundisguised passion that Tom realizes Gatsby is in love with her. Though Tom ishimself involved in an extramarital affair, he is deeply outraged by the thought that hiswife could be unfaithful to him. He forces the group to drive into New York City, wherehe confronts Gatsby in a suite at the Plaza Hotel. Tom asserts that he and Daisy have ahistory that Gatsby could never understand, and he announces to his wife that Gatsby isa criminal—his fortune comes from bootlegging alcohol and other illegal activities. Daisyrealizes that her allegiance is to Tom, and Tom contemptuously sends her back to EastEgg with Gatsby, attempting to prove that Gatsby cannot hurt him.When Nick, Jordan, and Tom drive through the valley of ashes, however, they discoverthat Gatsby’s car has struck and killed Myrtle, Tom’s lover. They rush back to LongIsland, where Nick learns from Gatsby that Daisy was driving the car when it struckMyrtle, but that Gatsby intends to take the blame. The next day, Tom tells Myrtle’shusband, George, that Gatsby was the driver of the car. George, who has leapt to theconclusion that the driver of the car that killed Myrtle must have been her lover, findsGatsby 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 movesback to the Midwest to escape the disgust he feels for the people surrounding Gatsby’slife 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 anddishonesty, the American dream of happiness and individualism has disintegrated intothe mere pursuit of wealth. Though Gatsby’s power to transform his dreams into realityis what makes him “great,” Nick reflects that the era of dreaming—both Gatsby’s dreamand the American dream—is over. 16 | P a g e
  • 18. ThemeOn the surface, The Great Gatsby is a story of the thwarted love between a man and awoman. The main theme of the novel, however, encompasses a much larger, lessromantic scope. Though all of its action takes place over a mere few months during thesummer of 1922 and is set in a circumscribed geographical area in the vicinity of LongIsland, New York, The Great Gatsbyis a highly symbolic meditation on 1920s Americaas a whole, in particular the disintegration of the American dream in an era ofunprecedented prosperity and material excess.Characters. Nick CarrawayWhile the title The Great Gatsby might suggest that the central puzzle of this novel is“The Great Gatsby,” we disagree. Gatsby himself is, after all, almost shockingly simpleonce you.Jay GatsbyOrigins: Jimmy GatzLong before Gatsby was “great,” he was a small town kid with bigdreams.Daisy BuchananGatsby’s entire fortune, and his entire life, really, are built upon the hope that somedayhe might rekindle his old love with Daisy.Tom BuchananTom Buchanan is Daisy’s husband, an extremely wealthy man, a brute, and an athlete.He’s selfish and does what he needs to get what he wants. 17 | P a g e
  • 19. Jordan BakerNick might end up "halfway in love" with Jordan, but he consistently describes her ascynical, having seen too much and heard too much to be fooled by anybody.George WilsonPoor George. He really gets the short end of the stick in this one. And, seeing as he’sone of the few characters without staggering flaws.Myrtle WilsonWe get the feeling that Myrtle Wilson is not an especially smart woman. Strung along byTom, Myrtle is convinced that he loves her and would leave his wife for her if he could.The whole bit about.Meyer WolfsheimWe don’t know a lot about Meyer Wolfsheim – and we’re not supposed to. Beyond thefact that he’s a business associate and a friend of Gatsby’s.Owl Eyes and KlipspringerThese two odd characters sum up two extremes of the kinds of ludicrous, hilarious,bizarre people that populate Gatsby’s parties, drinking his liquor and gossiping abouthim..Symbolism, Imagery, & AllegoryGatsbys "books"An owl-eyed man at a Gatsby party sits in awe in the library, murmuring withamazement that all the books on Gatsby’s shelves are "real books." But does Gatsbyeven read them? The image works..The Owl-Eyed Man 18 | P a g e
  • 20. Speaking of those books, what’s up with that guy in the library? We almost listed theowl-eyed man as a character, but then we realized we know absolutely nothing abouthim. Even Nick reduces...The Eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg and the Valley of Ashes Below ThemThe first time we see the eyes of T.J. Eckleburg, the image is intertwined with Nick’sdescription of the valley of ashes. The ashes are, as ashes tend to be, "desolate" and"grotesque."The Green LightThe green light on Daisy’s house that Gatsby gazes wistfully at from his own houseacross the water represents the "unattainable dream." But the green light alsorepresents the hazy future.ColorsSometimes we sound like art snobs when we talk about The Great Gatsby ("Look at theuse of green! Such marvelous blues," and so forth). Honestly, it seems like there’s alittle too much color.SettingLong Island and New York City in the early 1920sThe story is set in New York City and on Long Island, in two areas known as "WestEgg" and "East Egg." The story is set in the early 1920s, just after World War I, duringProhibition, a time period that outlawed the manufacture, sale, or consumption ofalcoholic beverages. This is significant not only because Gatsby’s ill-gotten wealth isapparently due to bootlegging, but also because alcohol is conspicuously available,despite being illegal, throughout the book. Indeed, the characters are seen drinking 19 | P a g e
  • 21. expensive champagne – suggesting that the wealthy are not at all affected by theselaws.Point of ViewFirst Person (Peripheral Narrator): Nick CarrawayThe story is told in the first person, through the eyes of Nick Carraway. The primary andmost visible story is about Jay Gatsby and his devotion to his dream. Other stories, alsotold through Carraways eyes, include Toms reconciliation with his wife Daisy, Nicksown relationship with Jordan, and Nicks evolving friendship with Gatsby. Nick is onlyable to tell these stories through his limited omniscience. At times, he is able to narratescenes despite not being present - but he rarely takes advantage of this fact. Althoughthe story is told in the first person, Nick Carraway is able to easily become part of thewallpaper. His major character trait - reserving judgment - allows him to be almost an"invisible" narrator, similar to a traditional third-person omniscient point of view.Ultimately, however, if we lost Nicks point-of-view, we would never understand theevolution of his character. He is the invisible man until the end of the book, whensuddenly, he has opinions about everybody.GenreLiterary Fiction, ModernismAlmost anything on the Shmoop module list would probably fit under the category of"literary fiction": its an umbrella term for a story or novel that focuses more on characterdevelopment and style than on page-turning plots. And its this kind of fiction that youusually read for school: books that provoke discussion over what it all means (Life, theUniverse, and Everything).Tone 20 | P a g e
  • 22. Cynical, IronicNick is one cynical little cookie. Even though Nick reserves explicit judgment on thecharacters, Fitzgerald still manages to implicitly criticize through his narrators tone.Invisible ManSummaryInvisible Man is autobiographically narrated in the first person by the protagonist, anunnamed African American man who considers himself socially invisible. Ellisonconceived his narrator as a spokesman for black Americans of the time: So my task was one of revealing the human universals hidden within the plight of one who was both black and American...[9] Ellison struggled to find a style appropriate to his vision. Wanting to avoid writing "nothing more than another novel of racial protest," he settled on a narrator "who had been forged in the underground of American experience and yet managed to emerge less angry than ironic." To this end, he modeled his narrator after the nameless narrator of Dostoevskys Notes From the Underground, which similarly applies irony and paradox toward far-reaching social criticism.[10] The story is told from the narrators present, looking back into his past. Thus, the narrator has hindsight in how his story is told, as he is already aware of the outcome. In the Prologue, Ellisons narrator tells readers, "I live rent-free in a building rented strictly to whites, in a section of the basement that was shut off and forgotten during the nineteenth century." In this secret place, the narrator creates surroundings that are symbolically illuminated with 1,369 lights from the electric company Monopolated Light & Power. He says, "My hole is warm and full of light. Yes, full of light. I doubt if there is a brighter spot in all New York than this hole of mine, and I do not exclude Broadway." The protagonist explains that light is an intellectual 21 | P a g e
  • 23. necessity for him since "the truth is the light and light is the truth." From this underground perspective, the narrator attempts to make sense out of his life, experiences, and position in American society.ThemesIdentityIdentity in Invisible Man is a conflict between self-perception and the projection ofothers, as seen through one mans story: the nameless narrator. His true identity, herealizes.RaceWhile most the narrators difficulties throughout the novel are associated with his race,Invisible Man is a novel aimed at transcending race and all the other ways humanity hasused to categorize..Lies and DeceitInvisible Man is about the process of overcoming deceptions and illusions to reach truth.(One of the most important truths in the book is that the narrator is invisible to thosearound him.)IdeologyInvisible Man promotes a political philosophy of appealing to the emotional individual. Itrejects all forms of ideology, arguing that ideology misses the trees for the forest, so tospeak .Memory and the Past 22 | P a g e
  • 24. Most of Invisible Man takes place in the narrators memory, which inherently brings upissues of how well memory works – in other words, the nameless narrator character ischoosing specific.PowerPower infuses nearly all of the relationships depicted in Invisible Man. More specifically,white male power threads its way throughout the novel. Even in situations where thereare no white males.AdmirationAdmiration is particularly salient towards the beginning of Invisible Man, whenthenarrator takes Dr. Bledsoe and Mr. Norton to be role models. By the end of thenovel.AmbitionIn Invisible Man, admiration tends to fuel ambition. As the narrator admires Dr. Bledsoe,so his ambition is to one day serve as Bledsoes assistant.LoveLove is notable in Invisible Man because of its absence throughout most of the novel.The narrator rejects it because it would interfere with his ambitions.Women and FemininityIn Invisible Man, the situation of white women is drawn parallel to that of black men –both are oppressed by white male society.CharactersNarrator 23 | P a g e
  • 25. Throughout the course of the novel, our nameless narrator is mistaken for a reverend, apimp, a gambler, a fink, a unionist, a Southern Negro, a New York Negro, a rapist, alover, a doctor, and a gangster.Dr. BledsoeDr. Bledsoe is the president of the narrators college, and the narrator looks up to himuntil he turns out to be a big phony.Mr. NortonA wealthy white man who helped found the narrators college, Mr. Norton is describedby the narrator as a "symbol of the Great Traditions.Brother JackBrother Jack, our main contact with the Brotherhood is a pretty mysterious character. Awhite male.Brother Tod CliftonWhen we meet Brother Tod Clifton, he at first seems like a possible rival for the narrator– hes young, bright, good-looking, and has been working for the Brotherhood for threeyears.Ras the ExhorterRas the Exhorter is a "mahn" (as he puts it) from the West Indies. He is a blacknationalist and strongly opposed to Brotherhood activities.SybilSybil has basically one scene in the entire novel, but boy, is it intense. Drunken Sybilwants to be raped by a black man, and it somehow comes across as touchinglyvulnerable. 24 | P a g e
  • 26. TruebloodA poor, uneducated black man who lives on the outskirts of the narrators collegecampus, Trueblood fits the negative black stereotype to a tee – and is amply rewarded.Rev. BarbeeReverend Barbee is a religious man from Chicago who details the Founder and Dr.Bledsoes quests to found the college.EmersonThe son of a wealthy white man, Emerson is the only white guy in the novel who seemsto genuinely care about racial progress and helping the narrator.Mary RamboA kind and motherly woman who sees plenty of potential for the narrator to contribute toracial progress, her only flaw, as far as the narrator is concerned, is that she talks toomuch.RinehartOK. So the real Rinehart never actually appears in the novel. Details, details. After thenarrator dons some colored glasses and a hat, just about everyone in Harlem beginsmistaking him .Brother HambroIn Chapter 23, we finally meet the man responsible for the narrators training. BrotherHambro turns out to be a tall lawyer who (no surprise here) thinks in incrediblymacroscopic terms.Symbolism, Imagery & Allegory 25 | P a g e
  • 27. Liberty PaintsThe narrators first job is in a highly patriotic paint company most famous for its OpticWhite paint color.Vision and SightWhen theres a lot of talk about eyeballs in a book called Invisible Man, you knowsomethings up with sight.Sambo DollWhen the narrator further examines the paper doll that Clifton was selling, he realizesthat Clifton controlled the doll with a thin black string that was invisible to the audience.The Battle Royal BriefcaseWe think its symbolic that the narrator receives the briefcase as a naïve kid, and thenhangs onto it for the rest of the novel.SettingThe American South and Harlem, New York in the late 1930sThe narrator is born and raised in the American South, only to wind up in the New YorkCity neighborhood of Harlem, which is a major center of African-American culture. Thenarrator finds the contrast between the North and the South incredible – he is amazedto find white drivers obeying the directives of a black policeman, on the subway hestresses out about being in close proximity to a white woman, and in the diner hewonders if its insulting to tip a white waiter. In the North, then, the narrator experiencesa certain amount of unprecedented racial freedom.Point of viewFirst Person (Central Narrator) 26 | P a g e
  • 28. The invisible man is our narrator throughout the entire novel, sandwiching the bulk of hisstory with a prologue and epilogue from his manhole. Since we hear his story from hispoint of view, we cant be sure whether all the memories are entirely factual. Instead, weunderstand the story to be his perception; he is speaking out about his experiences and,as he says in the epilogue, hopefully shedding light on things we might not haverealized, or perhaps helping us feel more connected with similar experiences. Eventhough the story is told with other readers in mind, this is very much our narrators show– its his personal development that we witness, and no one elses. This treatment ofother characters actually mirrors the way he himself has been treated; aside from thenarrator, everyone in Invisible Man is pretty one-dimensional. Instead of complexindividuals, we have set types: a member of the black establishment, a wealthy whitephilanthropist, a black nationalist, a utopian visionary, and so on.GenreLiterary Fiction, Coming-of-Age, African-American LiteratureInvisible Man is literary fiction because of its in-depth exploration of one mans psycheand its innovative style.ToneFrank, ThoughtfulThe narrator tells it like it is – or, at least, how he perceives it. And although his storycould easily have degenerated into a sob story of racial injustice, anger, and hate, thenarrators frank and thoughtful tone allows for a more reflective edge to the story. Itprobably helps that hes telling his story from hibernation, allowing him to capture thetruth to the moments in his life. 27 | P a g e
  • 29. The MetamorphosisSummaryGregor wakes up one morning to discover that hes become a "monstrous vermin" .Ashe struggles to come to terms with his new body, he realizes that hes late for his job asa traveling salesman. First his mother, then his father and sister, knock on his bedroomdoor in an effort to get him out of bed. His supervisor, the office manager, arrives toinquire about his absence. With his parents pleading with the office manager outside hisbedroom door and his sister sobbing in another room, Gregor manages to crawl to hisbedroom door, open it, and reveal to everyone his shocking new form. His mothercollapses, and the office manager runs out of the apartment in horror. His father grabs anewspaper and the office managers cane and chases Gregor around the living room.Gregor finally manages to crawl back to his bedroom door, but he gets stuck. His fatherfirmly shoves him into the room and closes the door behind him.Perplexed and horrified by Gregors new body, both Gregor and the family settle into aroutine in the following weeks and months. While Gregor gets to know the capabilities ofhis new body – and his new taste for rotten foods – Grete, his sister, becomes hisprimary caretaker, feeding him twice a day and cleaning his room.One day, Grete discovers that Gregor enjoys crawling all around the room, includingover the walls and the ceilings. Grete and the mother proceed to move the furniture outof Gregors room to give him more space to roam. While up to this point Gregor hashidden himself whenever anyone walks into the room, he plants himself on top of apicture on the wall in an effort to express his wish that the furniture remains in his room. 28 | P a g e
  • 30. When the women return to the room, the mother sees Gregor and faints. Grete runs intothe living room to get the mother some spirits, and Gregor follows. When Grete turns,she is startled by Gregor and runs back into Gregors room. Flustered, Gregor scurriesaround the living room until he plops onto the table in the middle of the living room,exhausted.After a brief while, the father returns home. Grete explains what has happened. Thefather, infuriated, chases Gregor around the living room and throws apples at him. Oneapple lodges into Gregors back, paralyzing him. Suddenly, the mother runs from theroom and begs the father to spare Gregor.It takes a month for Gregor to heal from his wound. The door to Gregors room is leftopen in the early evenings so that he can witness the familys nightly routine. While thefather dozes in his bank messengers uniform in a chair, the mother sews lingerie andGrete studies shorthand and French. The family hires a new cleaning woman, an oldwidow, who regularly chats with Gregor, much to Gregors dismay. The family also takesin three boarders to make ends meet.One night, the boarders invite Grete to play violin for them in the main room. Gregor isenthralled with Gretes playing, and creeps out into the middle of the room, in full view ofall the spectators. At first amused, then horrified, the boarders declare that they intendto move out the next day without paying any rent. After the boarders retreat, the familyconfers. Grete insists that Gregor must be gotten rid of at all costs. Gregor, who is atthis point still lying in the middle of the room, makes his way back into his room.Famished, exhausted, and depressed, Gregor dies early the next morning.A few hours later, the cleaning woman discovers Gregors corpse and announces hisdeath to the family. After kicking out the boarders, the family decides to take a day offand take the trolley out into the country.Themes 29 | P a g e
  • 31. Man and the Natural WorldIf human beings are traditionally distinguished from animals by their capacity forthought, language, and social feeling, how do we categorize Gregor, who seems toexhibit all of these human capacity.Life, Consciousness, and ExistenceMuch of The Metamorphosis is spent in Gregors head as he struggles to come to termswith his new form. At times he seems to be able to think abstractly about his condition(as an insect) in ways ..Morality and EthicsForgive the short dip into Philosophy 101 here, but we promise – itll pay off in the end.A major German Enlightenment philosopher by the name of Immanuel Kant came upwith the ethical principles.TransformationBy starting out with Gregors metamorphosis into a bug, The Metamorphosis playsaround with some interesting questions as to the significance of transformation. Werenever told exactly how or why...IdentityGregors transformation into a giant bug touches on larger issues of identity for himselfand his family.IsolationEarly in The Metamorphosis, we learn that Gregor dearly wishes to quit his job and befree of his family obligations.Family 30 | P a g e
  • 32. Kafkas Metamorphosis toys with the traditional family structure where the father is atthe head. Instead, the story begins with Gregor, the son, as the sole provider and thefather as a weak,..Society and ClassKafkas stories are known for their exploration of the nightmare of bureaucracy and thedehumanizing effects of modern life – all of those things we think of when we use theterm "kafka-esque...CharactersGregorSamsaLets take a look at two ordinary young men. Both of them are hardly chick magnets.Neither of them is particularly witty, smart, or rich – in fact, theyre kind of wimpy.However, both of them.Grete SamsaThe first time Grete, Gregors sister, appears in the story, we dont see her. Like theother family members, shes just a voice behind a wall, trying to get Gregor to open uphis bedroom door.Mr. SamsaMr. Samsa, Gregors father, looms as a domineering figure in the novel. With Gregorincapacitated, Mr. Samsa can no longer malinger as a helpless invalid…Mrs. SamsaMrs. Samsa is the sympathetic yin to Mr. Samsas domineering yang. Shes constantlyproclaiming her maternal love for her poor, poor son Gregor . 31 | P a g e
  • 33. The Cleaning WomanThe cleaning woman seems to be a relatively minor character in the novel. In Part 3 shecomes sweeping in, taking a job that no one else wants.The Middle BoarderThe middle boarder appears to be the leader of the three boarders who room at theSamsas home.The Other Two BoardersThe other two boarders dont do much except nod and follow the middle boarders lead.Theyre the Oates to his Hall, the Garfunkel to his Simon, the other two Supremes to hisDiana Ross.The Office ManagerThe office manager makes a brief appearance in the beginning of the story. Hes reallyonly in the story so that we can hear some of the rumors about Gregors misbehaviorand his possible misuse .The MaidBefore the cleaning woman arrives, the Samsas have a maid, a frightened youngwoman who spends most of the time locked in the kitchen.Symbolism, Imagery & AllegoryThe VerminYou could say the entire story is an allegory. After all, the setting seems so ordinary thatits tempting to see Gregors transformation as a symbolic one, rather than an actualone. Maybe hes on... 32 | P a g e
  • 34. Religious ImageryWhile religion doesnt play a huge part in the story, there are some religious elementssprinkled here and there. Some critics argue that Kafka chose the German word forvermin –The Picture FrameFor a discussion of the photograph of the lady in furs, check out the theme "Morality andEthics." But lets talk about the frame around the photograph. Thats right – the frame.When we see...SettingThe Samsas ApartmentThe story doesnt give us a specific geographical location or historical date. With theexception of the very last paragraph, where the Samsas take a trip out to the country, allof the action takes place in the Samsas apartment. The apartment overlooks a busy citystreet, and a hospital is across the way within viewing distance from Gregors window.(The story doesnt mention whether anyone can look in. Pity the poor convalescent wholooks out his or her hospital window to see Gregor twitching across the way.) It is ironicthat the Samsas can be so centrally located without attracting more attention to the factthat there is an extraordinarily large bug living in their apartment.The apartment itself is modest. Sandwiched between his parents room and Gretes,Gregors room opens out onto the living room. By confining all the action to theapartment, the story highlights Gregors isolation from human society.Point of viewThird Person/Limited Omniscient 33 | P a g e
  • 35. The story is mainly told through the perspective of GregorSamsa, as if the narrator wereplanted with Gregors human consciousness inside Gregors insect body. We discoveraspects of Gregors body as he himself discovers them. If he itches, we dont know whyuntil he looks to see whats making him itch. If hes hungry, we dont know what he likesto eat until he discovers his preference for rotten foods. The narrator does break out ofGregors perspective on occasion and weaves into the minds of other characters, mostnotably in the last few paragraphs of the story after Gregor dies.GenreMagical Realism, ModernismWritten in 1912 and published in 1915, Kafkas Metamorphosis falls squarely in thegenre of Modernist fiction. The fate of Gregor, lonely traveling salesman, expresses thecommon Modernist concern with the alienating effects of modern society. Like otherModernist works, the story uses the stream-of-consciousness technique to reflect thepsychological complexity of its main character. Kafkas novella is also notable as amodern work of magical realism with its juxtaposition of fantastic occurrences – theguys a bug – in a realistic setting.ToneDispassionateA really famous writer, James Joyce, once said that a novelist shouldnt make hisopinions known in fiction: he should remain disinterested, as if he were standing outsidehis creation "paring his fingernails" (source). Reading The Metamorphosis, you get thesense that Kafka has some pretty well-manicured nails. The story itself is sensational,absurd, grotesque – but the actual tone of the story is about as dispassionate as anarticle in The International Journal of Electrical Engineering. 34 | P a g e