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24 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
The Great Gatsby author and characters
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jay Gatsby, Tom, Daisy, Myrtle Wilson, Mr. Wilson, Nick, Jordan
The Great Gatsby themes
-decay of the American dream
-shallowness of the upper class
Gatsby characters
Nick, Jay Gatsby, Tom, Daisy, Jordan, Myrtle Wilson and Mr. Wilson
Gatsby Summary
Nick Carraway, the narrator, moves to the West Egg of Long Island, where the new rich live. He lives next to a mysterious man named Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is in love with Nick’s cousin, Daisy, who is married to Tom. Gatsby met Daisy before he left to go to war. Gatsby throws extravagant parties all in the hopes of meeting Daisy. Tom grows suspicious of Gatsby and Daisy and one day he forces all of them to go to the Plaza Hotel in NYC. On the way back Daisy is driving with Gatsby and she kills Tom’s lover, Myrtle Wilson. Tom tells George who Gatsby is and George shoots Gatsby. The novel ends with Nick having a very small funeral for Gatsby
A Streetcar Named Desire author and life
Tennessee Williams
Williams’s father was an alcoholic and he was a very shy kid. He used writing to express himself. He was a homosexual, which was not okay with his father. Alcoholism, depression, thwarted desire, loneliness, and insanity were all part of Williams’s world.
Streetcar characters
Blanche, Stella, Stanley, Mitch
Streetcar summary
Blanche comes to live with her sister Stella after losing the family home, Belle Reve and having all of the family members die. Blanche tells many lies about her past and constantly criticizes Stanley because he is an immigrant. We later find out that her husband cheated on her with a man and then committed suicide. Blanche tries to escape her problems by drinking. Blanche looks to Mitch as a companion but he tells her that he can never marry her. Stella has a baby and Stanley comes home for the hospital and Blanche tells him more lies. He rapes her and she is never the same afterwards. Stella and Stanley decide to have Blanche sent to a mental institution
Streetcar themes
Fantasy’s inability to overcome reality, dependence on men, fantasy vs. illusion, cruelty, desire, loneliness
Our Town author and history
Thornton Wilder
Wilder was able to quit teaching and focus solely on writing after his first novel won the Pulitzer Prize. He was criticized for his refusal to write about the depression and face reality. Our Town was very popular because its themes are universal and all audience members can relate to them.
Our Town characters
Emily Webb, George Gibbs, Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs, Mr. and Mrs. Webb, Wally Webb, Rebecca Gibbs, stage manager
Our Town summary
George Gibbs and Emily Webb are neighbors. Emily is a very bright girl and is hard-working. In the beginning of Act II, George and Emily are about to get married. The Gibbs are concerned that George is too young to marry. Mrs. Webb is also worried that Emily isn’t ready and doesn’t know enough about marriage yet. Act III occurs at Emily’s funeral after she died during her second childbirth. The stage manager allows Emily to travel back to her 12th birthday and realizes that the living don’t cherish every moment they are alive.
Our Town themes
the shame of taking life for granted and not appreciating every moment of every day, pattern of life, time passes quickly, importance of companionship
Othello author and history
William Shakespeare
Shakespeare was born in England and married Anne Hathaway. He had three children with her. He was an actor and a playwright and was a part-owner of the Globe theater. Othello comes from a much older Italian play and was written by Shakespeare during his period of tragedies.
Othello characters
Iago, Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, Roderigo, Bianca, Montano, Emilia
Othello summary
Iago is upset that Othello chose Cassio to be his lieutenant and made Iago his ancient. Iago decides to make Othello suspect that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio by telling him lies and giving him false evidence. Othello falls into Iago’s trap and kills Desdemona. After he realizes his mistake, Othello kills himself.
Othello themes
danger of isolationism, appearance vs. reality, jealously
The Importance of Being Earnest author and history
Oscar Wilde
Wilde was born in Dublin and moved to England after he graduated college. He was a very flamboyant dresser and unafraid of being honest. He got married but had an affair with a man and was arrested in England for being a homosexual. This work criticizes the upper class, something which Wilde was not afraid to do.
Earnest characters
Jack Worthing, Algernon, Lady Bracknell, Cecily, Gwendolen Fairfax, Miss Prism, Chausable
Earnest themes
triviality of the upper class, triviality of marriage, importance of wealth/life of leisure
Earnest summary
Jack Worthing, who goes by Ernest in the town, wants to marry Algernon’s cousin, Gwendolen Fairfax. However, Gwendolen’s mother won’t allow this because Jack doesn’t know who his parents are. Jack pretends to make up a brother named Ernest so that he can get away from his moral obligations as a guardian to Cecily Cardew. Algernon, Jack’s best friend, discovers Jack’s secret and in Act II he shows up at Jack’s mansion pretending to be his brother Ernest. Cecily and Algernon fall in love and Gwedolen arrives. The two women find out that have both been lied to because both thought they were marrying Ernest Worthing. Lady Bracknell arrives and questions Miss Prism, Cecily’s governess, where the baby is. It turns out that Miss Prism lost a child at a train station and that baby was Jack. Jack finds out that he is Algernon’s older brother and his actual name is Ernest.
Their Eyes Were Watching God author and history
Zora Neale Hurston
Hurston was born in Alabama but moved to the all black town of Eatonville, Florida when she was young. She wasn’t aware of her race until she was 13. She studied anthropology, but found many difficulties succeeding as a woman. She died without any money after having difficultly getting her works published. Eyes is considered part of the Harlem Renaissance because of its freedom of culture.
Eyes characters
Janie, Teacake, Nanny, Pheoby, Jody, Logan
Eyes summary
Janie has just returned from living with Tea Cake and Eatonville is very critical of her. She tells her story to her neighbor Pheoby. Janie first married Logan because her grandma wanted to be financially secure. Janie wasn’t happy and escaped to live with Jody Starks. They go to Eatonville and Jody becomes mayor and owner of the town store. He controls Janie and doesn’t let her speak in public. Jody dies and a short time after Janie meets Teacake. She loves him despite the town’s criticisms and the two get married. They live and work in the Everglades together. A hurricane comes and they barely escape and Teacake gets a dog bite rescuing Janie. Teacake gets rabies eventually and becomes delusional. Janie is forced to shoot Teacake before he can shoot her. Janie is put on trial but is quickly declared innocent.
Eyes themes
The search to find your voice, women’s search for contentment within herself, love changes people, personal freedom