Introduction to The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald: from the Lost Prairies to the Realist Jungle

Introduction to The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald : from the Lost Prairies to the Realist Jungle photo

Both the novel and the American society correspond to the beginning of a modern era. America is a direct consequence of the age of reason (18th century). Indeed, the first settlers intended to escape the tyrannical power of absolute monarchs. The novel is also the result of a revolution : social revolution: when the middle-class asserted its cultural autonomy idealogical change that put the single individual at the centre of the world Yet, there are profound contradictions: America did not […]

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An analysis of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Analysis of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood photo

Introduction Margaret Atwood is a Canadian writer born in 1931, who studied literature in Toronto. In the 1960s, she was a graduate specialist in Harvard and then came back to Canada to teach literature. She was a well-known poet with The Edible Woman (1969), Surfacing (1972), Life before man (1979), The Robber Bride (1993). Margaret Atwood is a very prolific artist, involved in the feminist movement and human rights issues on the international scene. She takes an interest in the […]

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A Midsummer Night's Dream : synopsis

A Midsummer Night's Dream : synopsis photo

Act I Scene 1 Theseus and Hippolyta look ahead to their wedding day, in four days' time. Hermia plans to defy her father and elope with Lysander, but Helena reveals their plan to Lysander's rival, Demetrius. The scene takes place in Athens. The characters are : Duke Theseus Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.  Egeus and his daughter Hermia Two suitors : Lysander and Demetrius Hermia is in love with Lysander. Egeus wants her to marry Demetrius or die. Helena loves […]

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Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee : chapter analysis

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee : chapter analysis photo

Here is an analysis of each chapter in Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee. A general summary In Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee recalls his childhood and adolescence. He was one of seven children in a close family headed by his mother : he grew up in England, in a Cotswold village governed by tradition. The book is organised in accord with his own early exploration of his widening world. He examines his infant sensations, his cottage, his yard, his […]

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19th Century Literary Movements : Realism and Naturalism

19th century literary movements : Realism and Naturalism photo

Introduction Realism and Naturalism are a reaction against Romanticism (imagination, poetry and prose, as well as the main themes : nature, exoticism, history, and heroes depicted as exceptional individuals) because it was thought to have lost touch with the contemporary. Three revolutions took place during the 19th century : the industrial revolution, the scientific revolution, and the moral revolution. In Great Britain, the Victorian Era lasted from 1837 to 1901. In the USA, the Civil War lasted from 1861 to […]

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Questions d'orthographe : "1,9 gramme" ou "1,9 grammes" ? "moins de deux heures suffira" ou "moins de deux heures suffiront" ?

Questions d'orthographe : "1, 9 gramme ou 1, 9 grammes" ? "moins de deux heures suffira" ou "moins de deux heures suffiront" ? photo

L'autre soir, tranquillement installés dans le canapé au coin du feu, nous dégustions un bon plateau de fromage et prenions connaissance des résultats de cette vie politique actuellement tourmentée, lorsqu'une question d'orthographe pour le moins brûlante a interrompu notre bouchée de Maroilles. Faut-il écrire: "1,5 million" ou "1,5 millions" ? "1,9 gramme" ou "1,9 grammes" ? Puisque, concernant ce sujet, les articles sont quasiment inexistants sur le web et les grammaires peu prolixes, j'ai compris qu'il était grand temps d'élucider […]

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The 19th Century : Romanticism in Art and Literature

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, an oil painting composed in 1818 by the German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich

Definition of Romanticism Romanticism (also the Romantic era or the Romantic period) is an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century and was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism is characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical. It is a reaction to the ideas of the Industrial […]

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The Gothic and the Fantastic

The Gothic and the Fantastic photo

Introduction The Gothic and the Fantastic are two literary genres both related and different. A genre can characterize many types of literature such as poetry, drama, or the novel. It is a specific type of writing, obeying a number of rules, or recognizable through a number of themes or structural elements like suspense, plot, or characters. I. Definitions of the Gothic The Gothic is the ancestor of the modern horror stories. It is based on the bizarre, the macabre and […]

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"If" - by Rudyard Kipling

"If" - by Rudyard Kipling photo

If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream – and not make dreams […]

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The 18th Century : the Age of Enlightenment

The 18th Century : the Age of Enlightenment photo

Introduction The 18th Century can be dubbed "the Age of Enlightenment" as it was marked by French philosophers such as Voltaire, Rousseau or Diderot (the Encyclopédie was published in 1761). The Enlightenment is characterized by the belief of natural goodness of man : man is perfectible, it is the idea of progress obtained through the use of reason. Since man is naturally good, all bad things come from society : if we could fight prejudices and oppressive social institutions, man […]

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Questions d’orthographe: écrit-on "Elles se sont succédées" ou "elles se sont succédé"?


Il arrive fréquemment que l'on me pose cette question : "elles se sont succédées" ou "elles se sont succédé"? Une question épineuse, dont la réponse est surprenante... alors je vous propose un petit point grammaire. L'accord correct C'est : "elles se sont succédé". La règle L'exemple présenté fait partie des verbes pronominaux: ce sont des verbes qui se construisent avec "se", pronom qui renvoie au sujet de la phrase. Par exemple, dans "Jean se regarde": Jean regarde quoi ? -> […]

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Questions d'orthographe : écrit-on : "les pommes que j'ai mangées" ou "les pommes que j'ai mangé"?


Aujourd'hui, dans Questions d'orthographe, nous allons nous intéresser à l'accord du participe passé. L'accord correct C'est "les pommes que j'ai mangées". La règle Cette phrase interroge sur l'accord du participe passé : Mini-rappel pour ceux à qui ce terme paraît flou : le participe passé est cette forme du verbe qui sert, à l'aide de l'auxiliaire être ou avoir, à former les temps composés des verbes. Par exemple, dans "j'ai mangé": "j" est le sujet, "ai" est l'auxiliaire avoir et […]

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