Table of Contents
Guy Montag a futuristic American fireman who lights books. Montag’s world has firemen starting fires, not putting out them. These people don’t read, love nature, have time alone, think independently or have meaningful conversations. Instead, they drive fast and watch too much television, have their ears attached to “Seashell Radio” sets that broadcast radio, and listen to a lot of music on the wall.
Montag is greeted by a kind, seventeen-year old girl named Clarisse. Her innocently probing questions and unusual love of nature and people open his eyes to the emptiness in his life. Montag is confronted with a series disturbing events over the next few day. First, his wife Mildred tries to commit suicide by taking a few sleeping pills. He responds to an alarm about an old woman hiding a stash of literature. The woman shocked him and chooses to be burned alive with her books. He hears from Clarisse that Clarisse was hit by a speeding vehicle a few days later. Montag is dissatisfied with his life, and he starts to look for a solution in the books he stole from his own fireplaces and put inside an air-conditioning vent.
Beatty visits Montag’s house when Montag isn’t showing up for work. Beatty explained that it is normal for firefighters to wander around the library looking for books. Then he gave a dizzying monologue on how and why books were banned. Beatty says that special-interest groups and “minorities,” objected to books they found offensive. As writers attempted to avoid offending anyone, books began to look similar. But this did not stop society from deciding to just burn books and not allow for differing opinions. Montag is told by Beatty that he will wait twenty-four hour to find out if the books he stole are valuable and then give them to incineration. Montag begins a long, intense night of reading.
Montag becomes overwhelmed by the task and turns to his wife for support. She prefers television to her husband’s company, and can’t understand why Montag would take on the horrible risk of reading books. He recalls that he met Faber a retired English professor sitting in a green space, and he thinks this man might be capable of helping him understand what he is reading. Faber visits him and tells his story. Faber informs Montag that Montag does not need only books, but also the opportunity to read them and to express his ideas.
Faber agrees with Montag to assist him in his reading. They then devise a risky scheme for overthrowing the status quo. Faber will contact the printer and start reproducing books. Montag will plant books at the homes and offices of firemen in an attempt to discredit and destroy the machinery behind censorship. Faber grants Montag a “green bullet” (the two-way radio headset) so that Montag can hear him and secretly talk to him.
Montag goes home and soon his wife’s two friends are watching television. The women talk about their families, and the war being declared in an extremely frivolous fashion. Their superficiality is what angers Faber, so he pulls out a collection of poetry and begins to read “Dover Beach” written by Matthew Arnold. Faber asks Mildred to quieten down. Montag’s poem is so disturbing that the women leave to file a complaint.
Montag walks to the fire station to hand over one of his books. Beatty confuses Montag, threatening him with contradictory quotations of great books. Beatty uses these contradictions to demonstrate that literature can be dangerously complicated and morbid. The alarm suddenly sounds and the couple rushes to answer, only to discover that the alarm is at Montag’s home. Montag sees Mildred getting into a taxi along with her suitcase and realizes that his wife is betraying him.
Beatty makes Montag burn the house and places him under arrest. Montag begins to burn the house to ashes after Beatty continues to berate Montag. Montag knocks the firemen unconscious and then runs. The Mechanical Hound, a monster machine Beatty set up to attack Montag, attacks Montag and injects a large amount of anesthetic into Montag’s leg. Montag uses his flamethrower to burn it out. Then he walks away with the books he found in his backyard and gets rid of the numbness in both his leg. He places them in a house belonging to another fireman and dials a payphone alarm.
Montag arrives at Faber’s house to learn that Faber has placed a new Hound along with several helicopters on Montag’s trail. Faber informs Montag he’s leaving for St. Louis, where a retired printer may be able assist them. Montag gives Faber some cash and tells Faber how to get Montag’s scent out of his house so that the Hound won’t enter. Montag then runs towards the river in some of Faber’s old clothes. As the chase unfolds, the entire city is watching. Montag manages to escape the river and transform into Faber’s clothes in order to hide his scent. He continues to follow abandoned railroad tracks, drifting downstream until he reaches a group of rebel intellectuals (“the Book People”) who are led by Granger. They welcome him. They are part a nationwide group of book lovers who have memorized many of the greatest works of literature, and philosophy. They hope they can be of any assistance to the world in the aftermath the just declared war. Montag’s task is to remember the Book of Ecclesiastes. Enemy aircraft appear from the sky and destroy the city with bombs. Montag and his new friends leave to find survivors and rebuild civilization.
The impetus to create the characters and the circumstances of Fahrenheit 451dates before “The Fireman,” it is remarkable. The characters first appeared shortly after World War II. Bradbury describes this in his introduction to Pillar of Fire & Other Plays (Bantam 755):
This story is [“Pillars of Fire,” Planet Stories – Summer 1948] and this character . . What I see now are rehearsals for my next novel and film Fahrenheit 451. If Montag is a burner of books who wakens to reading and becomes obsessed with saving mind-as-printed-upon-matter, then Lantry [protagonist of “Pillar of Fire”] is the books themselves, he is the thing to be saved. In an ideal world, they would have met and established a business together.
By Bradbury’s own admission, the thematic obsession that explicitly emerges in Fahrenheit 451 is the burning of books, the destruction of mind-as-printed-upon-matter. Bradbury does not use the term “censorship” throughout his novel. However, it is clear that he is concerned about censorship. Book burning, a hyperbolic term that refers only to the suppression or destruction of writings, is not the real issue in the novel.
The future dystopia is an imaginary place where people live in fearful, dehumanized lives. However, “Pillars of Fire” can be read with care. This is not true Fahrenheit 451 where all books that have been burned by the “firemen”, are at risk. This novel can be understood as an exaggerated extension of the tensions in the earlier story.
Despite all the exploration possibilities in Fahrenheit 451 the book burning issue, or censorship, is still the most important issue for the novel. This is because it remains one of the most difficult issues to address. Book burning is a symbol of irrationality in twentieth-century society. The genesis Fahrenheit 451 was probably contagious during Nazi anti-intellectualism’s late 1930s period. In fact, book burning was made a synonym of anti-intellectualism within science fiction of 1950s. (Lippincott: 1959) Fahrenheit 451 was created during a period of intense interest in what Brian W. Aldiss called “an authoritarian country” which roughly corresponds to the years 1945-1953. Kornbluth’s The Space Merchants (53). The postwar period produced many novels and films about nuclear holocaust. Montag’s world hovers over it throughout the novel.
The McCarthy period was a postwar period marked by censorship and blacklisting as well as xenophobia. In June 1949, John S. Wood (Representative John S. Wood) asked 70 colleges to submit their textbooks to be examined and approved by the Un-American Activities Committee. Bradbury himself, Nation (May 2, 1953), in a piece on science fiction as social critique, suggested that “when it is right,” Senator McCarthy exhaled a faint odor from him. Many of the issues in the novel are not easily separated from their historical context. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t relevant or timely. In fact, the novel held a special fascination for readers in 1980s when censorship in schools was revived. It was initially printed six times (1953-1965) but went through 20 printings within the next five (1966-1971) years. The novel has been in print ever since its publication.
Bradbury links personal freedom to freedom of expression when he uses the issue of Fahrenheit 451. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution is as follows:
Congress cannot pass laws that prohibit the establishment of religion or their free exercise; or those that impede the freedom of speech and the press; nor the right of the people to peacefully assemble and petition the government for grievance resolution.
Common understanding of the First Amendment is to say that the commitment to freedom of speech does not include the acceptance of all non-controversial expressions which are generally accepted. Justice Holmes said that to accept the First Amendment commitment is to “freedom for what you hate”. Students’ Right to Read, 1982, states that “censorship leaves students with a distorted and inadequate picture of their culture’s ideals, values, problems, and values.” Writing may be the mainstay of a culture’s message, or it may just be an adjunct to that role, trying to explain and evaluate the culture. Partly because of fear or censorship, many writers go unrecognized in schools. Many are also represented in anthologies by their least-offensive work. What are the issues with censorship
Imagine a group that wants to ban Fahrenheit 451 because Montag is a rebel. Consider that you would like to “ban Fahrenheit 451 from the library shelves. There are several things you need to do in order to do this. First, establish why you believe defying authority is wrong. What are the possible consequences? What is the likely impact on youth that they will see a flagrant disregard for authority? You might also want to consult Plato’s Apology to get an idea of how to present the argument. Second, you need to have some theory about psychology. This can be either implied or explicit. You must also demonstrate how Fahrenheit 451 reading would encourage a student disregard for authority. Why is reading bad? What can you do to make it worse? Next, establish how a student who has read Fahrenheit 451 the book will read it. Extract a message saying “Defy Authority whenever Possible” from it and then take appropriate action.
Guy Montag This is the protagonist, a miserable, complacent man of thirty years. He has been a firefighter for ten year. Clarisse becomes his friend and he finds her refreshing outlook on life.
Mildred Montag (Millie). Guy’s self destructive wife of thirty years, who also reveals to Montag how alienated citizens are in his society. She is not interested in children and sees her family as television personalities.
Clarisse McClellanMontag is now surrounded by a seventeen-year old neighbor. She calls herself crazy, and loves having conversations. Montag can see the skepticism and nonconformity of her neighbor, who is 17 years old.
Captain Beatty Montag is the antagonist of the book. The Fire Captain, Montag’s superior and who acts as an apologist to the dystopian society in which Montag lives, is the Fire Captain. He is an avid reader and uses his knowledge to fight curiosity.
Mechanical Horse A machine similar to a killer dog used by firefighters to find and capture criminals. The Hound can disable and kill offenders using a morphine/procaine needle.
Unidentified Women This is a woman from the old part of the city. Montag is inspired by her martyrdom to see the power and potential of civil disobedience, books and ideas.
Faber An old man, a retired English professor and an underground scholar. Montag’s mentor, and friend.
Granger Former writer, who is the unacknowledged leader among the social outcasts as well as criminals. He is the unifying force of the group in order to ensure the safety and integrity of the content.
Stoneman’s firemen and Black Montag’s conservative firefighters. Montag’s most familiar working friends are Beatty and Stoneman.
Mrs. Phelps’s friends are not questioned about the social structure. Their husbands go to war. They also see the TV characters as their families, and they become upset when Montag reads to them.
Fred Clements, Dr. Simmons and Reverend Padover are among the many social outcasts and criminals led by Granger. They memorize and choose a book to make sure the story is always remembered.
- G. Kleel
Each generation that has followed Farenheit 451 has analysed and reinterpreted the text to alter its meaning. This is due to the fact that Farenheit 451 is full of assumptions, vague symbolism, and can be taken in many directions. Very rarely do people come away with the same conclusion as the author intended.
It is possible to argue that the title is incorrect. According to current sources, paper can combust at 450° Celsius. Farenheit would indicate more than 800 degrees. Truth is that paper combustion is slow and dependent on many factors. Bradbury was more concerned with a punchy message then in crafting a thoughtful and well-supported argument.
This isn’t a book on book censorship. But it is about how TV can ruin your brain. Bradbury has repeatedly stated this, as this article quotes Bradbury. He also stated videos on his own website. Bradbury stated that he was afraid that a woman would listen to radio when walking her dog. He makes it seem like she’s listening or enjoying classical music. This is a very anti-technical pose for a sci-fi writer.
This cranky neighbor’s message is what makes this book a little less satirical. It is also a book that was written in a single, long, uninterrupted slurry over several days. Although the publishers edited it mercifully, it is now fully restored. The book contains myths, archetypes, and an author surrogate. However, it can still be considered a slighting view on authority and power and the ways people are always willing and able to deceive.
Bradbury, however, did not seem to understand that reading is an exclusive domain of a small number of people and that television would be ineffective at killing it. Today’s books are published and read more than ever. Many of them are redundant filler. But 90% of mass creative output, whether books, art or TV, is just that, as Sturgeon stated. It’s not new, either. Cheap, trashy books have been a joke ever since the Victorian.
Television is a different medium from books and has its strengths as well as its weaknesses. Bradbury’s critique about TV–that it will grow larger and more pervasive and become an escape from small minds–is the same for books. What is more culturally conscious: The slack jawed boy who watches TV or the one-off relic of genre fiction? As a child, I read lots of books and watched a lot TV. Each medium offered something different. Both reading and viewing are different experiences.
The egalitarian belief system holds that all people can be educated and intelligent. It is now common to send everyone to college, even though it is not an option for many. The same elitism which values degrees values being “well-read”, and because this is the elitism in the current power structure it is idealized even by the less fortunate subcultures. Bradbury was informed by what he read. He could have read a schlocky, pop-punk novel every day and still be as dull as the vidscreen zombies he condemned.
I have managed to make it through my life as an English major and book geek, , a science-fiction fanatic, and as a book geek without ever having read this particular book. I vaguely remember picking this book up in high school and not being able to get very far with it. It was an interesting idea but it was far too depressing to my liking at the time.
Fast forward 15 years. I just purchased a copy of the book to register for BookCrossing’s Banned Books Month release contest. Banned Books Week, which is September’s ALA celebration, was challenged by a BXer to let loose books that were at one time or another banned in this country. Fahrenheit451 suits the bill — an irony that I trust is not lost on anyone. (Everyone knows Fahrenheit451 is about the evils that censorship can bring. The temperature at the which paper burns is the title.
I didn’t plan to start it. I didn’t. I was seduced by it. I glanced at the page first, and it was 1:00 am. It was already halfway through. It is really great! It’s no surprise that this is a modern masterpiece. Montag’s emotional and moral journey, from a character that burns books with joy and smiles to one who is willing to sacrifice his career, marriage, house and ultimately his life, is incredibly compelling. It is amazing that this man, a product of a culture that devalues reading, values entertainments that are designed to kill the mind and prevent serious thought could eventually find literature so vital that he would give his life for it …!. This really spoke to my heart.
It begs the question, “Why?” What is it about literature, poetry and books that we find so vital? My mind is clear that it is important, if not just for individuals (although it is hard for me to imagine life without books), then for society. Why shouldn’t that be? There is no definitive answer to every question in life that books can provide. While they might contain some profound philosophical truths, this is only subjective. There will always be someone who disagrees or will argue with anything someone else says. Captain Beatty, an evil fire chief, says that there is no agreement between the books. One book says what the other contradicts. Their attraction is then what? What was it that made Mildred’s foolish friend weep when Montag read the poem “Dover Beach” aloud to him? Where did the power of literature originate?
I believe that books are important for our lives and society’s health. They don’t give us answers. Books, good books, books that will stay with you for years, books that can change your outlook or way of thinking, and they are not simple. They are not for everyone. They are not about surface; they are about depth. They are thought-provoking. They require complex thinking. They require effort from the reader. Books are satisfying in a way other entertainments cannot.
They aren’t mass produced. They are singular, individual, and truly unique. They are an isolated refuge from an increasingly homogeneous society.
I was glad to have read Fahrenheit 451 even though the ending was quite dark. It challenged me and encouraged me intellectually. A little intellectual stimulation can make life so much more satisfying.
Irony is something few people can appreciate as much. I therefore understand the review. The book’s message is a decent one: Knowledge shouldn’t be censored. The book’s rest is just utter crap. Bradbury spent countless metaphors and allusions on one point of the plot and I was screaming at points. It is just too complicated to comprehend! This is the English teacher’s dream. The message was the main focus of the story, not the story. People who know me will understand that I loathe classics. It’s the same reason why everyone loves them even though they aren’t reading them.
The Afterword and Coda only add to the confusion. I’m not sure if Bradbury is a very hateful person or just a hypocrite. The main plot of the novel is that intellectualism was destroyed by the majority. Bradbury attacks minorities, all races, religions, and so on. For creating an overly sensitive society. He is the minority, which is odd. Ha. A coda is a big “Fuck you!” to anyone who wishes to critique his work. Ray Bradbury is my enemy so I feel obliged to answer in turn. Your writing style stinks and I won’t force you to write it on my worst enemy. True, it’s hard to believe, but true. Cliff Notes versions are recommended if you absolutely must read this book.
|Add new Web site: Academia – Fahrenheit 451 Analysis.||Sep 26, 2018.|
|Add new Web site: Internet Archive – “Fahrenheit 451”.||April 16, 2018,|
|Add new web site: National Endowment for the Arts. Fahrenheit 451.||April 16, 2018|
|New article added.||Jan 26, 20|
War and Peace historical book by Leo Tolstoy. Published originally as Voyna and mi in 1865-1969. This comprehensive overview of Russian society from the 19th century, distinguished by its ability to provide a variety of psychological analysis and realistic detail, is generally considered to be a great Russian literature.
St. Petersburg in Russia, where peace and war begin. Petersburg in 1805 when fear of Napoleon’s ongoing war making starts to set in. The party hosts most of the characters, including Pierre Bezukhov Andrey Bolkonsky and the Kuragin- and Rostov family members. Much of the novel centers on interactions between the Bezukhovs Bolkonskys, the Rostovs. Andrey Bolkonsky is joined by Nikolay Rostov at the Austrian front under General Kutuzov . This fictional representation of Mikhail Kutuzov will engage Napoleon’s soldiers. Andrey then is wounded in the Battle of Austerlitz. believed dead, he finally returns home to Lise. Lise dies soon thereafter. Pierre, in the meantime, has married Helene Kurtzgina. Pierre is not faithful to his promises and she fights with Pierre, nearly killing him. He soon finds himself overwhelmed by Helene and leaves. He joins Freemasons. It has great impact on both his personal and business fortunes. Nikolay has been gambling heavily, which has caused the Rostov_ family most of their fortune. He is encouraged and even forced to marry a wealthy heiress despite his promise to Sonya, his cousin. Nikolay sees Napoleon and Tsar Alexander ( Treaties of Tilsit) signed in 1807). Andrey is soon involved with Natasha Rostov. However, his father informs him that he must wait for a year to marry her. Andrey discovers that Natasha had been unfaithful, after a long time. Pierre consoles Andrey, who eventually falls for her.
- Moby Dick
- Moby Dick, novel of Herman Melville. First published in London October 1851 as The Whale. The Whale was published a month later in New York City. It is dedicated Nathaniel Hawthorne. Moby Dick can be considered Melville’s masterpiece and one of the great American novels.
Moby Dick begins his narration with the famous narratorial invocation, “Call my Ishmael.” Like his biblical counterpart, the narrator has been described as an outcast. Ishmael is a sailor who searches the sea for meaning and relays to his audience the pequod‘s final voyage. The reader is introduced to a variety of characters in this tale of madness and tribulation. The ship’s captain Ahab who Ishmael learns from Quequeg that he is having trouble remembering his name. Starbuck Ahab’s first-mate, sees this too and is the only one in the novel to voice disapproval over Ahab’s growing obsessive behaviour. Ishmael & Queequeg are first to learn the nature of Ahab’s obsession. They do this after Peleg & Bildad, the Pequod‘s, tell them that Ahab still has to recover from an encounter that left him with a large . Moby Dick is the whale’s nickname. The Pequod sets sail. Soon, the crew discovers that this expedition will be quite different from other whaling missions. Starbuck may not be keen to let them know, but Ahab has no qualms about hunting and killing the massive Moby Dick.
Pride and Prejudice Romantic Novel by Jane Austen. Published anonymously in 3 volumes in 1813. The classic English literature. It’s written with incisive humor and excellent character delineation. It centers on Elizabeth Bennet’s blossoming relationship with Fitzwilliam Dacy a wealthy aristocratic Landowner. Pride and Prejudice enjoyed a great reception from readers and critics. The first edition was sold out within one year. It has never been out of print.
Pride and Prejudice took place in rural England, at the beginning of the 19th Century. It follows the Bennet family which includes five different sisters. Jane, Jane’s eldest daughter, is sweet-tempered, modest, and a good listener. Elizabeth’s friend and confidant, Jane is her closest confidante. Elizabeth, the heroine is intelligent, high-spirited. She shares her father’s dislike for conventional views of society about the importance of wealth or rank. Mary, Mary, is the third and most prominent of Mary’s three daughters. Lydia, Kitty and Kitty are more flighty and mature.
Lee has written a novel
Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird as a novel in 1960. It became a massively popular book, which was translated into over 40 languages . The novel is still a favorite in American schools, and has been sold more than 40,000,000 copies. In 1961 it won a Pulitzer Prize. The novel received praise for its sensitive treatment a child’s awakening racismand prejudice within the American South.
To Kill a Mockingbird took place in Maycomb (Alabama) during the Great Depression. Jean Louise (“Scout”) Finch plays the role of the protagonist. This intelligent and unconventional young girl ages six to nine in the course of the novel. She is raised by her father Atticus, with her older brother, Jeremy Atticus (“Jem”) He is a well-known attorney who encourages his kids to be compassionate and just. He tells them, “It is a sin for a murderingbird,” making reference to the fact they are innocent and harmless.
Don Quixote, Spanish version, Part 1 El intelligentioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (“The Ingenious Heydalgo Don Quixote de La Mancha”) Part 2 Segunda parte del inteligento caballero Don Quijote de la Mancha (“Second part of the Ingenious Knight Don Quixote de La Mancha”), novel written by Miguel de Cervantes (part 1, 1605 and part 2, 1615), Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes) and is one of Western literature. The original idea was to parody the chivalric romances of long ago. It depicts the real story of an aging knight who, having lost his mind in reading such romances, embarks on his old horse Rocinante along with his pragmatic squire Sancho Pantza to seek adventure. The novel was immediately and widely translated (first English translation 1612), it was a huge success and is considered a model of the modern book.
The work opens in La Mancha Spain. It is here that a country man’s love of books about chivalry causes him to choose to become a knight errant and takes the name Don Quixote. He locates an antique suit of armour. He attaches a helmet-visor made from pasteboard to the helmet. He then declares his old nag to be the noble steed Rocinante. Don Quixote explains that a knight errant also needs to be loved. He selects a young girl from a nearby village and christens her Dulcinea del Toboso. After being crowned, he sets out to perform heroic deeds for her. He finds an inn which he believes to have a castle. He insists that he be knighted by his innkeeper. After being told he had to bring money and extra clothes with him, Don Quixote makes the decision to head home. He picks a fight against a group of merchants and they defeat him. After his recovery, he convinces Sancho Panza the peasant to be his squire. With the promise that Sancho would one day have an island to call his own.
Hugo has written a novel
Les Miserables Victor Hugo published in French 1862. It was a hugely popular bestseller and was quickly translated to many other languages.
It is set in Parisian underground and is plotted as a detective story. The work follows the fortunes Jean Valjean who is a victim to society after being imprisoned for 19-years for stealing one loaf of bread. After his release, a tough and streetwise criminal, he finally reforms and becomes a successful industrialist, and the mayor of a northern village. Javert, the police inspector, pursues him relentlessly, haunted still by an impulsive and regrettable past crime. Valjean finally surrenders to Marius and his adopted daughter Cosette.
The Hobbit fantasy novel by J.R.R. Tolkien published The Hobbit in 1937. The novel portrayed Tolkiens richly imagined Middle Earth of the Third Age. It also served as a prologue to The Lord of the Rings.
SUMMARY. The Hobbits are small, human-like creatures that have the characteristic value simple, comfortable homes and courage. Bilbo Baggins (the unwilling hero) is persuaded into joining Thorin and the 12 dwarfs in a search for their stolen treasure. The treasure is being guarded at all times by the dragon Smaug. Bilbo Baggins discovers a magical ring which makes the wearer invisible. It is prominently featured in The Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit tells of Bilbo’s growth from a seeker to warmth and comforts, to a fighter, no matter how humble, for greater good.
The Picture of Dorian Gray is an Irish moral fantasy novel written by Oscar Wilde. It was published in a form early in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine in 1890. The novel, Wilde’s sole, contained six chapters more when it was made available as a book in 1891. The novel, an archetypal story of a young man buying eternal youth at his expense, was a romantic exposition Wilde’s Atheticism.
Basil Hallward meets Lord Henry Wotton in his art studio to discuss a current painting. Henry suggests that the painting be displayed. However, Basil disagrees. His obsession about the portrait’s subject, Dorian Gray is visible in the work. Dorian arrives shortly after, and is fascinated by Henry’s belief that one should enjoy life to its fullest extent and follow one’s passions. Henry also points out the fragility of beauty and youth, and Dorian states that he would sacrifice his soul to see the portrait grow older and more wrinkled. Basil gives Dorian the painting.
Ulysses novel created by James Joyce in Ireland. It was published for the first time in book form back in 1922. It is rich and exhilarating. It is widely regarded as a masterpiece. Numerous volumes have been written about it. The novel is meant to be an updated version of Homer‘s Odyssey .
All the action from Ulysses is set in and around Dublin, on one day (June 16, 1904). The three main characters in the novel–Stephen Dedalus, the hero of Joyce’s earlier Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Leopold Bloom, a Jewish advertisement canvasser; and Molly-–are modern counterparts to Telemachus, Ulysses, and Penelope. In fact, the events of the novel loosely follow the major events of Odysseus’s journey home following the Trojan War.
A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens. Published in serial form and as a book in 1859. The story is set in late 18th century, against the backdrop French Revolution. Dickens borrowed material from Thomas Carlyle’s history The French Revolution to tell his epic tale of Paris and London. But the novel offers more drama that accuracy. Even though the historical background is limited, the vivid scenes of large-scale mob violence seem especially vivid.
The complex plot includes Sydney Carton giving up his life to support his friends Charles Darnay as well as Lucie Menette. Dickens, despite the fact that political events are the main focus of the story, takes a strong antipolitical tone. Dickens lambasted both aristocratic oppression along with revolutionary excess — the latter was memorably drawn in Madame Defarge. The latter knits next to the guillotine. Its opening lines, “It were the best times, it was terrible,” are the best. Also, Carton’s final speech, in which, he states that he replaced Darnay in prison with “It has been a far and far better thing than I have done”>caricatured in prison.