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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...
The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Ernest Hemingway: From "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," name three of...
Harry is a man of contradictions. He is brave and unsure, dismissive and thoughtful, satisfied and regretful.
At the beginning of the story, Harry is brave in the face of death. But his bravery and defiant attitude lead him to be cruel to Helen. There is a fine line between this bravery and an attitude of giving up. He is brave in accepting death, but in accepting it, he has given up. By giving up, there is no need for bravery.
This relates to how he treats Helen. On one hand, he has bravely accepted his impending death. On the other hand, in giving up, he takes on a nihilistic attitude which makes it seem okay for him to treat Helen with cruelty. Harry calls Helen a "rich bitch" but he admits to actively seeking out...
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
Probably written in 1599, Julius Caesar was the earliest of Shakespeare's three Roman history plays. Like Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus, Julius Caesar is a dramatization of actual events, Shakespeare drawing upon the ancient Roman historian Plutarch's Lives of Caesar, Brutus, and Mark Antony as the primary source of the play's plot and characters. The play is tightly structured. It establishes the dramatic problem of alarm at Julius Caesar's ambition to become "king" (or dictator) in the very first scene and introduces signs that Caesar must "beware the Ides of March" from the outset. Before its midpoint, Caesar is assassinated, and shortly after Mark Antony's famous funeral oration...
Macbeth: Please explain the witches' chant "Fair is foul and foul is fair" in Act 1 of...
There is no reason to think that the witches are telling the truth. There is no reason to think that they know the truth. There is no reason to attach much importance to their statement that "Fair is foul and foul is fair." The truth is probably that fair is fair, but they find it foul because they hate everything that is fair and good. They would find a beautiful woman ugly because she puts them to shame and probably find an ugly woman beautiful because she would resemble themselves. Everything that is fair is foul--to them, and everything that is foul is fair--to them. They are horrible creatures in their physical appearances, and they have equally horrible minds. They delight in doing wicked things. Bad is good to them, and good to...
Grendel and the Zodiac
I'm sure everyone is familiar with the zodiacal references in each chapter of Grendel. I put together this 3-page handout to help introduce the idea to my students. I assign them a chapter and then have them create a presentation or poster explaining how different parts of the chapter have anything to do with the sign or its characteristics. (They have to tell us about the sign, too.) This just helps get them started in the right direction.
Oranges, Gary Soto: What does the orange symbolize in "Oranges" by Gary Soto?
The orange symbolizes young love.
The speaker acknowledges the presence of the oranges when he first walked with a girl. He projects his emotions onto him. They become symbolic of the innocent, young love he has for her.
The first time I walked
With a girl, I was twelve,
Cold, and weighted down
With two oranges in my jacket
For the speaker, a dime is a lot of money. He clearly has the two oranges for them, but the girl wants chocolate. Since he only has a nickel, he uses the orange. He uses the orange to pay for the candy the girl wants, and the woman in the store lets him. She acknowledges that she knows “what it was all about.” ...
Quiz: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Overview
10 questions to test your knowledge. This quiz has been taken 2,531 times by eNotes members. Compare your score against other members! Sample questions: Who is Maria to Bruno? What is the date of the birthday Bruno and Shmuel share? What is the last adventure Bruno has? What had been Pavel’s job? How do Schmuel and Bruno die? What did Bruno love best about the house in Berlin? Bruno is uncomfortable with what aspect of his appearance? What frustrates Bruno most about the move from Berlin? What advice does Maria give Bruno? What does Bruno set out to make to relieve himself of boredom?
Macbeth: How is Macbeth a tragic hero?
Macbeth is something of a tragic hero because at times he seems a victim of preordained fate. Though he is definitely guilty of pride and greed, there is a certain doom implied in the witches' prophecies. When Macbeth goes to the "weird sisters" demanding a prophesy, they answer his demands by showing him the future, but in a cryptic way.
The first appartaion is that of an armed head, which warns thim to "beware Macduff,", the second is a bloody child who eerily says that "none of woman born shall harm Macbeth"; the third is a crowned child who says Macbeth will be safe until "Birnam Wood moves against him."
In Act V, Macbeth is told that Birnam Wood *is* moving against him, his Queen has taken her own life, and...
When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head
Bessie Head was one of the first female authors from Africa to attract an international audience. The stories she told were sometimes the first glimpses that people from other countries gained of the strict and often life-threatening segregationist political system in South Africa called Apartheid. When Rain Clouds Gather (1969) was Head's first novel.
When Rain Clouds Gather is set in Botswana, a mostly desolate land that borders South Africa. The protagonist, Makhaya Maseko, is a refugee from South Africa who slips over the Botsanian border to escape imprisonment. Maseko has suffered under the Apartheid system in his homeland. Under Apartheid, all black people had no rights to vote. They were poorly...
A selection of thought-provoking activities to illustrate what students have learned during the reading of Macbeth.
Guide to Literary Terms
How to Use This Guide
This guide is intended to help you absorb the essential terms and devices used by writers and poets in their works. By understanding these literary terms, you will gain a more thorough understanding of the work you are reading.
This guide has been designed to guide you to the terms you are looking for quickly and effectively. The use of this study guide will save you hours of preparation time that would ordinarily be required to arrive at a complete grasp of a work of literature.
For best results, this guide should be used as a companion when studying a work of literature. By identifying and understanding the literary devices used by authors, your performance on exams, homework, and in...
Quiz: The Hunger Games Overview
10 questions to test your knowledge. This quiz has been taken 2,393 times by eNotes members. Compare your score against other members! Sample questions: Who or what is Katniss named after? Which character serves as Katniss’s and Peeta’s mentor? The tributes for the Hunger Games are chosen on this day: Historically, the time the Districts rebelled is known as: Prim, like her mother, becomes: Katniss wears this color of dress to the reaping: What is the name of the blackmarket in District 12? When does Peeta fall in love with Katniss? Where does Thresh hide? How does Glimmer die?
Charles by Shirley Jackson
The narrator tells the story of Laurie’s first month at kindergarten. Laurie comes home each day to report on the doings of a fellow student, Charles, who behaves in an extraordinary manner. For the first two weeks, Charles is spanked or otherwise punished almost daily for being “fresh,” for hitting or kicking the teachers, for injuring fellow students, and for a host of proscribed activities. Charles proves so interesting to the kindergarten class that whenever he is punished, all the students watch him; whenever he stays after school, all the students stay with him.
As a result of this behavior, Charles becomes an institution at the Hyman house. Whenever anyone does anything bad, inconsiderate, or clumsy, he or she is...
The Great Gatsby: In the book, The Great Gatsby, why does Fitzgerald use the words hope and...
Repetition plays a large role in defining the motifs of any novel and this novel is known in particular for its use of motif to support theme. One of the novel's central themes is dreaming and pursuing hopes.
The character of Jay Gatsby is closely associated with the idea of dreaming and of hope (hope beyond the norm, beyond the average person's capacity for belief, for faith, for fulfillment...). Gatsby's dream in particular is given literal play and symbolic play in the novel.
Nick discusses the story Gatsby tells him about his vision of a ladder to the sky. Often, Gatsby's hopeful intentions regarding Daisy are discussed. Furthermore, Gatsby's nature and demeanor are defined by this tendency to dream and this...
Final Test for "A Doll's House"
A final assessment for "A Doll's House", with both objective and subjective questions.
To Kill a Mockingbird: What lessons does Atticus teach throughout To Kill a Mockingbird to...
Primarily, Atticus teaches his children about tolerance, and he is an example of this to his neighbors and community through his interactions. Although Atticus is assigned Tom Robinson's case, Atticus does his utmost to give Tom the best defense possible. Color does not matter to Atticus Finch, and he tries to instill this in Scout and Jem. He also teaches them to respect their elders, even if the elderly people are cranky and sometimes mean (such as Mrs. DeBose). When Jem disrespects Mrs. DeBose by ripping up her flowers (even though he was angry because she'd made a nasty remark about Atticus), Atticus makes Jem spend time reading to her. It is only through this that Jem learns that the old woman suffers from terrible...
Quiz: To Kill a Mockingbird Overview
10 questions to test your knowledge. This quiz has been taken 2,150 times by eNotes members. Compare your score against other members! Sample questions: Why is it a sin to kill a mockingbird? What was “Boo” Radley’s real, given name? Which decade serves as the setting for To Kill a Mockingbird? Where does Boo leave presents for Scout, Jem, and Dill? Which character gets the lynch mob to break up and go away? What is Scout's real name? What activity does Miss Fisher forbid Scout to do?
What does Jem have to leave behind when he, Scout, and Dill are scared away while spying on Boo Radley?Why do the gifts in the Radley tree stop appearing? To what is Mrs. Dubose addicted?
Jane Martin: What is the central conflict in the play "Beauty" by Jane Martin?
The central conflict of the play “Beauty” is that each character wants something the other has.
A conflict is a problem. In this case, it is an internal conflict because each character is jealous of the other but does not necessarily have a problem with the other.
Carla is beautiful and Bethany is studious. Carla wishes she was smarter and could do better in school, and Bethany wishes that boys paid more attention to her. The irony is that neither girl appreciates what she does have, and both wish to have what the other has.
Carla has so many dates that she can’t even remember all of the boys she dates.
In love with me? You’re in love with me? Could you...
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...
Essay Lab: If you are writing an essay do you underline, use quotation marks or italicize...
Book titles are italicized. If you are using a typewriter and can't write in italics, then it is customary to underline the title. Same applies to plays. Titles of poems, short stories, essays, and other short pieces are set off in double quotes. George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant" would be in quotes, since it is only an essay. Commas and periods go inside the closing quotation mark, as for example with Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant." The English do it differently and this can create some confusion, but observe the usage in American publications.
It occurs to me that you might be referring to a collection of essays by Orwell in a book that just has the title Shooting an Elephant derived from the title of the essay. If it...