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A Reluctantly Pessimistic Interpretation of Moby Dick

In an episode of American TV show Parks and Recreation, Ron Swanson, the no-nonsense head of the Parks Department, presents his unique interpretation of Herman Melville’s classic: ‘Does the white whale actually symbolize the unknowability and meaninglessness of human existence? 684 more words


Wednesday It List

I promise there are no links to the Zayn Malik/One Direction story! 42 more words

Jacob Riis and Upton Sinclair: Social Change through Realism

Both Jacob Riis and Upton Sinclair paved the way for social change through their writing.  While both used different approaches, Riis employing muckraking techniques, and Sinclair realistic fiction, the ultimate end goal for both men was the same: change.  598 more words

Academic Writing

'If I Vanish' by Stuart Dybek

If I Vanish by Stuart Dybek, 2007

The magic trick:

Combining high art with cheap pop culture

“If I Vanish” is a good example of using cheap pop culture references within a story that is attempting some pretty upscale literary maneuvers. 260 more words


The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood… 123 more words

American Literature

The Gift of the Magi-O Henry, short story


ONE DOLLAR AND EIGHTY-SEVEN CENTS. THAT WAS ALL. AND SIXTY CENTS of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. 2,059 more words

19th Century Literature

Meet Patricia Wood

Interview by Nicole Melanson ~

Patricia Wood was born in Seattle, Washington and currently lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her debut novel, Lottery, was short-listed for the 2008 Orange Prize for fiction in the UK. 1,302 more words

Interviews With Writers