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Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Hamlet is without question the most famous play in the English language. Probably written in 1601 or 1602, the tragedy is a milestone in Shakespeare’s dramatic development; the playwright achieved artistic maturity in this work through his brilliant depiction of the hero’s struggle with two opposing forces: moral integrity and the need to avenge his father’s murder.
Shakespeare’s focus on this conflict was a revolutionary departure from contemporary revenge tragedies, which tended to graphically dramatize violent acts on stage, in that it emphasized the hero’s dilemma rather than the depiction of bloody deeds. The dramatist’s genius is also evident in his transformation of the play’s literary sources—especially the contemporaneous Ur-Hamlet—into an exceptional tragedy. The Ur-Hamlet, or “original Hamlet,” is a lost play that scholars believe was written...
- HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
- FEDERAL COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE AND ADVISORY OPINIONS
- THE COMPLIANCE AUDIT PROCESS
Compliance auditing determines whether a process or transaction has or has not followed applicable rules. If rules are violated, the auditor determines the cause and recommends ways to prevent future deviations. The rules being tested can be those created by the organization for itself through corporate by-laws, policies, plans, and procedures; can be those imposed on the organization through external laws and regulations; or can be those external standards that the organization has chosen to follow (e.g. ISO 9000 quality management systems, or ISO 14001 environmental management systems). Characteristic of compliance audits, are...
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
In 1925, The Great Gatsby was published and hailed as an artistic and material success for its young author, F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is considered a vastly more mature and artistically masterful treatment of Fitzgerald's themes than his earlier fiction. These works examine the results of the Jazz Age generation's adherence to false material values.
In The Great Gatsby's nine chapters, Fitzgerald presents the rise and fall of Jay Gatsby, as related in a first-person narrative by Nick Carraway. Carraway reveals the story of a farmer's son-turned racketeer, named Jay Gatz. His ill-gotten wealth is acquired solely to gain acceptance into the sophisticated, moneyed world of the woman he loves, Daisy Fay Buchanan. His romantic illusions about the power of money to buy respectability and the love of Daisy—the “golden girl” of his dreams—are skillfully and ironically interwoven with episodes that depict what Fitzgerald viewed as the callousness and moral...
How to Write a Summary by eNotes
How to Write a Summary in 8 Easy Steps
Writing a good summary demonstrates that you clearly understand a text...and that you can communicate that understanding to your readers. A summary can be tricky to write at first because it’s tempting to include too much or too little information. But by following our easy 8-step method, you will be able to summarize texts quickly and successfully for any class or subject.
1) Divide…and conquer. First off, skim the text you are going to summarize and divide it into sections. Focus on any headings and subheadings. Also look at any bold-faced terms and make sure you understand them before you read.
2) Read. Now that you’ve prepared, go ahead and read the selection. Read straight through. At this point, you don’t need to stop to look up anything that gives you trouble—just get a feel for the author’s tone, style, and main idea.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Probably composed in late 1606 or early 1607, Macbeth is the last of Shakespeare's four great tragedies, the others being Hamlet, King Lear and Othello. It is a relatively short play without a major subplot, and it is considered by many scholars to be Shakespeare's darkest work. Lear is an utter tragedy in which the natural world is amorally indifferent toward mankind, but in Macbeth, Shakespeare adds a supernatural dimension that purposively conspires against Macbeth and his kingdom. In the tragedy of Lear, the distraught king summons the goddess of Chaos, Hecht; in Macbeth, Hecate appears as an actual character.
On the level of human evil, Shakespeare's Scottish tragedy is about Macbeth's bloody rise to power, including the murder of the Scottish king, Duncan, and the guilt-ridden pathology of evil deeds generating still more evil deeds....
Mindy McCready's striking appearance and musical delivery has caught the attention of many young country music fans, particularly young women who see her as someone to emulate. Part of a new breed of country music performers, she is unafraid to address issues through her music that had previously been avoided. Her fresh, direct, open style and relative youth allow her to empathize with young people beginning romantic relationships. McCready released albums in 1996 and 1997 and seems poised to become one of country music's next superstars.
The singer was born Malinda Gayle McCready in Ft. Myers, Florida on November 30, 1975 to parents Tim and Gayle. She has two younger brothers, Tim Jr. and Josh, and a half-brother, Kolton Skyler. Her...
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Despite its later popularity, William Golding's Lord of the Flies was only a modest success when it was first published in England in 1954, and it sold only 2,383 copies in the United States in 1955 before going out of print. Critical reviews and British word of mouth were positive enough, however, that by the time a paperback edition was published in 1959, Lord of the Flies began to challenge The Catcher in the Rye as the most popular book on American college campuses. By mid-1962 it had sold more than 65,000 copies and was required reading on more than one hundred campuses.
The book seemed to appeal to adolescents' natural skepticism about the allegedly humane values of adult society. It also captured the keen interest of their instructors in debating the merits and defects of different characters and the hunting down of literary sources and deeper symbolic or allegorical meanings in...
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
In the Prologue to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, author Rebecca Skloot describes an old photograph of a pretty, fearless-looking young woman with light brown skin. It is a picture of Henrietta Lacks, who died of cervical cancer in 1951. A few months before her death, a doctor cut out a small sample of her cancer cells, which became the first and most important line of human cells ever to survive and multiply indefinitely in the laboratory environment. Her cells have helped scientists make some of the most important advances in modern medical history—but they were taken without her knowledge and without her permission.
Rebecca Skloot became interested in this story when, at the age of sixteen, she enrolled in a community college biology class to fulfill a high school science requirement. Her teacher, Donald Defler, gave a lecture about the amazing qualities of human cells. In it, he mentioned that cell reproduction was “beautiful…like a perfectly...
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson’s Chains, published by Simon & Schuster in 2008, is a young adult novel. The main character is Isabel, a thirteen-year-old slave who works for the Locktons, a Loyalist family in Manhattan with her sister, Ruth. Isabel suffers under the cruelty of Mrs. Lockton. She is a mean and miserable woman who herself is abused by her husband. The relationship between she and her husband is both physically and verbally abusive.
The fate of Isabel and her sister have always been entwined with slavery and the opportunity for freedom. Miss Mary Finch, their previous owner in Rhode Island, had promised their freedom before she died. She also had taught her slaves to read and write. When Miss Mary Finch died, there was no written proof of her promise of freedom. As a result, her nephew inherited her estate and promptly sold Isabel and Ruth to the Locktons. When they are waiting to be sold, Isabel considers running way. Jenny, an...
The origin of the dulcimer is as elusive as its haunting sound. Two types of instrument stake claim to the nameoth have different shapes, different methods of being played, and diverse origins. The fretted dulcimer resembles an elongated violin with a limited number of strings (usually three to five) that can be plucked or bowed. In the United States, the fretted dulcimer is better known as the Appalachian or Mountain dulcimer.
The hammered dulcimer is rectangular or trapezoidal in shape and has sets of multiple strings with a range of up to three octaves. The instrument is played with two light-weight beaters called hammers that are shaped like long-handled spoons and are used to strike the strings.
The history of both dulcimers is confused because they were developed to play folk music and sprang up independently in a number of locations in Europe and the Middle East. It is not...
In many parts of the world, in particular, the Arab Middle East, Europe, and the Americas, the Mongols have become synonymous with murder, massacre, and marauding mayhem. Their advent is portrayed as a bloody "bolt from the blue" that left little but destruction, death, and horrified grief in its wake. A medieval Russian chronicle from Novgorod vividly describes their impact on the region:
No one exactly knows who they are, nor whence they came out, nor what their language is, nor of what race they are, nor what their faith is . . . God alone knows (Mitchell and Forbes, p. 64).
A thirteenth-century Persian eyewitness succinctly summarized their initial impact in Iran: "They came, they sapped, they burnt, they slew, they plundered and they departed" (Juwayni, 1916/1997, p. 107). The Arab chronicler ibn al-Athir, although not an eyewitness, described his emotions on hearing of the Mongols' rise in words...
On the Move by Thom Gunn
“On the Move” is perhaps Gunn’s best-known poem. It perfectly and sympathetically captures the ethos of motorcycle gangs. The poem opens with images of birds following “instinct” and “some hidden purpose.” They have a secure place, since they are “nested.” This, of course, contrasts them to human nature; people are racked with uncertainty and have only a “baffled sense” because they lack instinct and defined purpose. The poem is the fullest exploration of a theme that has obsessed Gunn from the start of his poetic career.
In contrast to the ordinary person, who remains baffled, the motorcycle gangs “strap in doubt—by hiding it, robust—/ And almost hear a meaning in their noise.” They have escaped from the plight of the divided and approach—even if they never reach—the instinct of animals. Gunn describes them as “flies,” metaphorically connecting them to animals. Where they travel is a matter of chance rather than logic or even moral...
Survival In Auschwitz by Primo Levi
Primo Levi was a twenty-four-year-old Italian Jew when the Fascist Militia captured him on December 13, 1943. He explains that he would later learn at Auschwitz that “a man must pursue his own ends by all possible means, while he who errs but once pays dearly.” When he is captured, he tells the authorities that he is an “Italian citizen of Jewish race,” thinking that confessing he was a political rebel would result in torture and death. In the preface, Levi explains that:
it was my good fortune to be deported to Auschwitz only in 1944, that is, after the German Government had decided, owing to the growing scarcity of labour, to lengthen the average lifespan of the prisoners destined for elimination; it conceded noticeable improvements in the camp routine and temporarily suspended killings at the whim of individuals.
Levi, along with the other captured Italian Jews, was sent to Auschwitz by train.
At Auschwitz, the Italian...
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a story about childhood innocence, friendship, and the importance of breaking down the fences we put up around ourselves.
The novel is told from the perspective of nine-year-old Bruno, the son of a Nazi commandant. Bruno arrives home from school one day to find the family's maid packing their things. Unbeknownst to Bruno, his father has been selected to oversee operations at Auschwitz (which Bruno hears as "Out-With") and the family will be joining him. Bruno is devastated to leave his home, his friends and his grandparents in Berlin. The situation becomes even worse when the family arrives at their new home which is stark and isolated. Bruno is instructed by his parents that there are certain rooms that are "Out Of Bounds At All Times And No Exceptions." This includes the vast property behind the house which seems to beckon Bruno. With no idea what...
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay by author Suzanne Collins is the third installment in The Hunger Games series. This young adult novel follows protagonist Katniss Everdeen as she fights in a futuristic rebellion against a sadistic dictatorship run by President Snow. Mockingjay largely explores the psychological and emotional costs of war.
Panem is a dictatorship that maintained its power after a failed rebellion. After the war ended, the country was divided into the Capitol and twelve outlying districts (the thirteenth district was supposedly destroyed in the failed rebellion), each of which is responsible for producing a specific good for the Capitol. The Capitol is relentless in its effort to suppress further rebellion in the outlying districts. To maintain power, it relies on military might, resource control, and especially televised propaganda. The crowning achievement of this propaganda program is the Hunger Games, an annual event in which each of the districts...
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
When To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960, it brought its young first-time author, Harper Lee, a startling amount of attention and notoriety. The novel replays three key years in the life of Scout Finch, the young daughter of an Alabama town's principled lawyer. The work was an instant sensation, becoming a best-seller and winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Scout's narrative relates how she and her elder brother Jem learn about fighting prejudice and upholding human dignity through the example of their father. Atticus Finch has taken on the legal defense of a black man who has been falsely charged with raping a white woman.
Lee's story of the events surrounding the trial has been admired for its portrayal of Southern life during the 1930s, not only for its piercing examination of the causes and effects of racism, but because it created a model of tolerance and courage in the character of Atticus Finch. Some early reviewers found Scout's narration...
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
Behind the Beautiful Forevers opens dramatically as Abdul Hussein, a teenaged garbage sorter, hides from police who are trying to connect him and his father to the suicide of his neighbor Fatima. Abdul crouches on a pile of trash in a room next to his home, hoping that the police will not bother to search the room when they come.
Abdul and his family live in a slum, Annawadi, located on the outskirts of the sprawling Mumbai Airport. Despite the airport’s cutting-edge terminals and a proliferation of luxury hotels nearby, this slum has grown up on airport property as waves of migrants from rural India have come to the city seeking to increase their fortune. The Husseins have done better than most of their neighbors. They run a thriving trash-sorting business, in which local scavengers and trash collectors bring their daily hauls to Abdul, who with his knack for sorting trash separates all the different kinds of materials so that they can be recycled. Abdul’s...
The Pot of Gold by Plautus
The grandfather of Euclio, an Athenian miser, entrusted a pot of gold to his household deity after burying the pot in the hearth. The god, angered in turn at Euclio’s grandfather, his father, and Euclio himself, has kept the secret of the treasure from all, until finally the daughter of Euclio, Phaedria, has endeared herself to the god. In an effort to help the young woman, the deity shows Euclio where the gold is hidden, so that the miser, by using the money as a dowry, might marry his daughter to Lyconides, the young man who has seduced her.
Euclio, miserly and distrustful by nature, is thrown into a feverish excitement by the discovery of the gold. He fears that someone will learn of its existence and either steal it or trick him out of it. After carefully hiding the gold in his house once more, he is afraid that even his old female slave, Staphyla, might learn of its whereabouts. Staphyla becomes worried about her master’s strange behavior and about the fact that...
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
A perennial staple of high school English classes, Romeo and Juliet was written by Shakespeare at a relatively early juncture in his literary career, most probably in 1594 or 1595. During much of the twentieth century, critics tended to disparage this play in comparison to the four great tragedies that Shakespeare wrote in the first decade of the seventeenth century (Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and Othello). Appraised next to the Bard's mature works, Romeo and Juliet appears to lack the psychological depth and the structural complexity of Shakespeare's later tragedies. But over the past three decades or so, many scholars have altered this assessment, effectively upgrading its status within Shakespeare's canon. They have done this by discarding comparative evaluation and judging Romeo and Juliet as a work of art in its own right.
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The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Using the historical subject of the Salem Witch trials, Arthur Miller's play The Crucible (1953) presents an allegory for events in contemporary America. The Salem Witch Trials took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, and were based on the accusations of a twelve-year-old girl named Anne Putnam. Putnam claimed that she had witnessed a number of Salem's residents holding black sabbaths and consorting with Satan. Based on these accusations, an English-American clergyman named Samuel Parris spearheaded the prosecution of dozens of alleged witches in the Massachusetts colony. Nineteen people were hanged and one pressed to death over the following two years.
Miller's play employs these historical events to criticize the moments in humankind's history when reason and fact became clouded by irrational fears and the desire to place the blame for society's problems on others. Dealing with elements such as false accusations, manifestations of mass hysteria, and...