Remember More Than Just Rabbits: Understanding “Of Mice and Men”

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When people talk about influential pieces of American literature, there are a few titles you can just about guarantee will be thrown into the discussion, i.e. To Kill a Mockingbird, Grapes of Wrath, Huckleberry Finnand oh yeah, Of Mice and Men (kudos to Steinbeck for making my off-the-cuff list twice). Chances are that even if you haven’t read any of these titles (though that is unlikely, knowing how popularly they are assigned as staples of high school reading lists), you have at the very least heard of them. Continue Reading ›

Understanding “To Kill a Mockingbird”: Top Q&A from Students

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It may just be impossible to consider classic American literature without delving into the story of To Kill a Mockingbird. Written by Harper Lee and published in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird remains one of the most well-known and impactful works of literature within the last century, and arguably on a more historical level as well. The novel tackles the realities of racial inequalities, gender roles, and class-based hierarchies as they existed in the 1930s, particularly in the American Deep South. Harper Lee was raised in the small town of Monroeville, Alabama and grew up experiencing life as it appears in her novel. Her father was even a lawyer who may have provided a great deal of inspiration for the character Atticus; in his day, Lee’s father worked to defend two black men accused of the murder of a white store clerk. Continue Reading ›

Book Covers… Anew!

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We’re all familiar with classic books (hence we call them “classic”). But along with the memorable stories they tell, these books have relatively well-known cover art. We’re betting that if you’re asked about the cover of Catch 22 or a Salinger novel, you’ll have something in mind. For that reason, we at eNotes thought it might be fun to take a look at some landmark titles and imagine what different, updated covers could look like. Below are five “covers” imagined (and painstakingly created) by yours truly! Continue Reading ›

Happy Birthday, Tennessee: 10 Famous Tennessee Williams Quotes

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Tennessee Williams was born on this day in 1911. Decades after his time on earth, his works such as A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof are still referenced in pop culture (“STELLAAAAAAA…!”) and taught in high schools around the globe.

Here are ten of our favorite quotes that reflect William’s voice and inner turmoil, showing that not only your strong passions, but that overwhelming frustrations can be a turning point in your life filling you with inspiration.  Continue Reading ›

A Fun Introduction to History: Books That Give an Insight to Days Gone By

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Books are passports to other worlds, no matter how cheesy that sounds. With that in mind, there’s something particularly fascinating about works of fiction that take encompass times and events that really occurred. That isn’t to say that novels taking place outside the realm of real life aren’t wonderful—they are, but to be able to pick up a book and see what it was truly like to live as an average person during, say, the reign of King Henry VIII and the break with the Catholic Church? Well, that is something the average person would never be able to do without the help of author-historians. Continue Reading ›

Wonderful Wanderlust: Books that Make You Want to go Places

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Travel is one of the most wonderful experiences granted to us – what other creature can say (relatively on a whim) that they want a change of scenery and to experience something new? With the potential exception of migratory birds, not many. So what influences us to want to see the sights? Often, it’s hearing about grand adventures or seeing pictures of some far-off land. But there is another medium that gives us an itch to get going: literature, books, stories, etc. Reading the story of a life somewhere far, far away makes us yearn to see the places the author describes.

That being said, it is important to note that not everything happening in all countries is peachy. Many books (set in the U.S. and around the world) focus on the strife and turmoil happening within those borders, and it’s relatively impossible and perhaps irresponsible to make a booklist that ignores drama and conflict. So please, enjoy the following list, make some travel plans, learn some stuff, and stay safe out there! Continue Reading ›