Study guides: popular books

1984 by George Orwell

George Orwell isn’t an easy author to read. His style is heavy, concepts are multidimensional and characters are oftentimes disgusting. You’d never have though that the boy attended the most prestigious schools in the UK – his writing screams anarchy and oppression. Having lived among the most poor of London and served as a policeman in Burma, all of Orwell’s works are...

Animal Farm by George Orwell

George Orwell has always been a loud critic of the social wrongdoings and worrying tendencies around the globe. No wonder he took a strong position about the Soviet Union regime and openly criticized Stalin. In 1945 George wrote a dystopian novella about evolution of animals that expel their human master, Manor Farm owner Mister Jones. The fight for independence from cruel farmer ends up with...

Oedipus the King by Sophocles

The story of Oedipus is one of the most famous in the European literature. There are few people who haven’t heard of it or of a well-known Oedipus complex. Sometimes it seems that the plot of the story is so preeminent that it’s not worth spending the time to read it. But a very familiar story opens up with fascinating details, additional plot lines, rich characters and many more...

Beloved by Toni Morrison

American literary history wouldn’t be the same if Toni Morrison didn’t write this legendary “Beloved” novel. It is partially based on a real story of an enslaved woman who fled Kentucky to escape to freedom, not without terrible sacrifices and consequences.  It’s a fascinating plot that will keep you reading for hours. The setting of the book is symbolic: right...

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Since his childhood years, Aldous Huxley was surrounded by good examples of scientists, teachers and writers. This kind of exposure put him in a perfect position to integrate scientific findings into literature and deliver the story the way a teacher would lead his students through a complicated material. He started with satire, making English privileged society a target for his works. Then was...

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Most of people tend to believe they have never experienced the contemporary literature of Nordic countries until they realize that Stieg Larsson, who wrote the legendary “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, was Swedish.  It is believed that the author wrote the book and especially its main character based on real life events. While we may question whether he really witnessed a...

Candide by Voltaire

Despite the fact that “Candide” title has many translation variations, it is still a one of the most famous and studied works of French Literature. Be it “All For The Best” or “The Optimist” – this satirical text was originally banned due to harsh criticism towards religion, politics, and morals of the time. Voltaire wrote a parody that is also based on...

A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

In 1729 Jonathan Swift published his work that carried an immensely long title but has become known under “A Modest Proposal” name. The book is a major social text exploring the living conditions in Ireland and the attitude towards the Irish from other nationalities. Today it’s hard to imagine a situation in which a parent would sell his kid, but this concept is exactly what...

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

For an offspring of a wealthy Family, Jerome David Salinger didn’t go through a very typical career path. He went to many colleges, but didn’t finish any of them. After that he chose for a military career and combined it with his writing talent. He managed to stir the trouble with his works that are still being mentioned in the context of literature censorship and ethics. “The...

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“Crime and Punishment” is one of the most difficult literary works not only in the Fyodor Dostoyevsky portfolio but of the whole world literary heritage. In our times, when the majority of population learn about the books by the movies, quick read anything that is longer than ten pages and get an idea about the plot from the reviews, it’s not easy to take up a challenge of a...

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

“The Bluest Eye” by Tony Morrison is a novel that is set in 1941. Is it a book written in an easy and airy narrative that dwells upon topics that leave everyone uneasy. The eyes of a person. They can tell so much. They are the history, they are the character, they are the ocean and the universe. And for some people like Pecola, they are the sign of being a chosen one. Pecola, an...

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

“Song of Solomon” is a book by Toni Morrison that talks about the life of Macon “Milkman”. Some might say that it is a story of a privileged child, and others say it’s a story about the symbolic life of a generation of people who have been oppressed for centuries and deserve to have a good life now. Macon “Milkman” Dead III is a son of a rich African...

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

One thing Spanish culture is famous for, after delicious food, is chivalric romances. And then comes the legendary “Don Quixote”. Written in the beginning of the 16th century, the book conquered its place among best literature fiction works and was referenced by numerous authors in later years.  Inspired by the great novels and even greater stories, a middle-aged gentleman...

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury was born in the USA in the 1920s. Together with his family he had to move around quite a lot in his life and mostly taught himself through visiting the libraries. Before becoming a popular science fiction writer, he made a career of writing TV scripts and articles for science magazines. His dystopia “Fahrenheit 451” is centered around censorship of mass media and books...

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Many authors have pondered upon the future industrial revolution was going to bring to Europe and whole world. Mary Shelley was one of them. Even though she wrote her signature novel, “Frankenstein”, as a part of an informal writing competition, it later became a best-seller and a classic of all times. Some might say that the book teaches people not to be selfish about our own...

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“The Great Gatsby” is a novel by American writer Francis Scott Fitzgerald. The book depicts vividly the reality of social morals and economic standing in between the Roaring 20s and Great Depression times. In his early years, Fitzgerald was a smart child but couldn’t fight the boredom of school, which led to him dropping out and signing up for the army. Being a lieutenant in...

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

A legendary sequel written by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien is now one of the most read and best sold books of all times. It’s hard to believe that such rich concepts were developed in 1937 and 1949 when Internet and cinematography wasn’t as much of an influence. It’s a mere product of imagination of a man who has always been fond of ancient history, philology, comparison studies...

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

“To be or not to be?” Who hasn’t used this iconic phrase at least once in their lifetime? Not many of us have actually read the whole book. Which is a pity – the language of the greatest poet on Earth, William Shakespeare, is a must to experience. He was greatly acknowledged as well as staged already during his lifetime and even managed to please two monarchs of the...

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad is a perfectly suitable candidate to write about heroism and government relations with its subjects. Born in Ukraine to a polish nobleman, he experienced all kinds of state influence on his destiny: his father was sent to Siberia by the Russian government for treason, under the influence of French and English novel he fell in love with the sailor profession and had to make it...

Henry V by William Shakespeare

“Henry V” is a play by a great English author devoted to the life and personality of a great King Henry the Fifth. It is a historical text of an author who has been close to royal families and made his career thanks to that fact. Normally historical books don’t begin with the characters. But this is a unique play both in terms of language and style. The book is devoted to life...

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