All Questions

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
7
votes
1answer
152 views

Are hexagons directly connected to each other?

In The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, the speaker describes hallways in between the hexagonal rooms as, One of the free sides leads to a narrow hallway which opens onto another gallery, ...
7
votes
1answer
825 views

What is the significance/symbolism of the hexagon in “The Library of Babel”?

In The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, the speaker describes the Library, as the universe, as The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite ...
9
votes
1answer
93 views

Do we know whether Hamilton's Federalist papers were ever edited or vetted?

After reading through The Federalist Papers, I've come to the general conclusion that Hamilton's essays are, by and large, a stream of consciousness. I don't know if I'd be able to say exactly why, ...
21
votes
4answers
25k views

What's the significance of “Oranges and Lemons” in 1984?

The popular London nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons is quoted and partially recited several times throughout 1984. Winston learns about it from Mr Charrington in Part 1, Chapter 8, then talks about it ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Are all books the same length in “The Library of Babel”?

In The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, the reader learns: There are five shelves for each of the hexagon's walls; each shelf contains thirty-five books of uniform format; each book is of ...
16
votes
3answers
8k views

If Tolkien disliked allegory, why are there so many allegorical readings of The Lord of the Rings?

There is a famous quote from J.R.R. Tolkien in which he states his hatred of allegorical writing. "I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old ...
5
votes
1answer
189 views

In which book did Poirot find a four-foot long clue?

In one of the Poirot books he mentions that though clues are often small he once found a four-foot long one. Unfortunately I can't remember in which book he mentions this. Does anyone know which ...
4
votes
0answers
27 views

How would the Night Circus have survived the world wars?

The Night Circus must have survived through the wars as the last chapter shows a business card with an email address. There is a commemorative plaque for Chandresh who died in 1932 (after the first ...
14
votes
0answers
261 views

How did T.S. Eliot's literary criticism affect his poetry?

T.S. Eliot wrote influential essays in New Criticism, a literary theory movement that if I understand correctly tried to revive formalism and focus on close reading and the text itself, as a response ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Did Eric Flint comment on how his political views reflected in his writing, especially 1632 series?

Eric Flint is fairly outspoken about his political views (in bumper sticker terms, he's a self-proclaimed socialist, although - as is the case with most real humans - it's a bit more nuanced than that ...
9
votes
1answer
247 views

Is there any evidence the Party was atheistic?

Generally, most totalitarian regimes in history have been atheistic, shunning any form of religion and creating a cult of mass worship towards the leader(s) of the government. Does this hold true for ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the distinction between Imagism and Symbolism as poetic movements?

I have recently been reading about symbolism and imagism and they seem to me to be connected in that they were in some ways the opposite of each other, one being the movement to add greater symbolic ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is the poem “Yggdrasil” placed where it is in House of Leaves, and which narrator included it?

At the very end of House of Leaves, there's a page: The word "Yggdrasil" doesn't appear anywhere else in the book, and the index, which amusingly lists every word in the book and where it shows ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

What was the origin of Emily Grierson's hereditary obligation upon the town?

In A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner, Emily Grierson, the main character of the work says, I have no taxes in Jefferson. Colonel Sartoris explained it to me. Perhaps one of you can gain access ...
10
votes
1answer
978 views

What does the “crimson hexagon” represent in “The Library of Babel”?

In The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, the speaker says, They were urged on by the delirium of trying to reach the books in the Crimson Hexagon: books whose format is smaller than usual, all-...
6
votes
1answer
584 views

What are the charactaristics of German Trümmerliteratur?

Trümmerliteratur is a literary movement that originated in Germany shortly after the Second World War. What are typical charactaristics of Trümmerliteratur? How can a work that is Trümmerliteratur be ...
7
votes
1answer
764 views

In “Sounder”, why is the dog the only character with a name?

The book Sounder strikes me as quite unique, in that it gives a lot of detail, and yet most of the characters, even main characters like the boy and his father, are not named. The only character with ...
21
votes
0answers
367 views

Was Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum at all inspired by A Predicament?

Poe's satirical short story A Predicament tells the story of a woman who is slowly decapitated by the minute hand of a large cathedral clock. In all its ridiculous, it was supposed to be a horror ...
6
votes
1answer
192 views

Did Frodo have a prophetic dream?

Right before Frodo and company head into the Old Forest, Frodo has this dream. Eventually he fell into a vague dream, in which he seemed to be looking out of a high window over a dark sea of ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does Steinbeck never name Curley's wife?

Curley's wife plays an important role in the novel and yet is never given a name. Perhaps Steinbeck was trying to not encourage the audience to develop a personal connection to her? I'd like to see ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is it called Watership Down?

I am an American, so to me the title "Watership Down" sounds like it is about a boat that is underwater, either a submarine or a sunken surface ship. I now understand that a down is a term for a hill ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the foundation of the religion in Watership Down?

In Watership Down, El-ahrairah is essentailly the father of all rabbits. Who interacts with Prince Rainbow who seems to be a god. From where do the religious history and/or deities in the story ...
7
votes
1answer
257 views

In “The Library of Babel” is the “cyclical book” really God?

In the second paragraph of The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, the narrator says, This cyclical book is god. However, later in the story he says, On some shelf in some hexagon (men ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What does the rose represent in “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner?

In A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner, Faulkner never mentions rose as a noun, only as a past tense verb throughout the work. However, its position as one of two primary words within the title, ...
9
votes
0answers
101 views

In “Pierre Menard, Author of The Quixote” is Menard an analogy for a critical lens?

In Pierre Menard, Author of The Quixote by Jorge Luis Borges, the narrator of the work talks about how when he read Don Quixote after having been told that Pierre Menard had rewritten it with the same ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

How old was Hercule Poirot?

The New York Times record Hercule Poirot's age as "unknown" in their obituary: Hercule Poirot, a Belgian detective who became internationally famous, has died in England. His age was unknown. ...
6
votes
0answers
32 views

What is the argument for Kuni being a worthy leader, when all others fail?

The Grace of Kings is deeply concerned with the mechanics of power - who has it; how to get it; how to keep it; what price you pay for it. Through its course, the book surveys a great many rulers and ...
21
votes
3answers
844 views

Do we know what prompted Orwell to write 1984?

I just read through Orwell's short essay, What is Fascism? In it, Orwell defines fascism (or doesn't) with two sentences: Why, then, cannot we have a clear and generally accepted definition of it? ...
8
votes
2answers
533 views

What did Charles Dickens say about genius and pain?

While reading Somerset Maugham's Cakes and Ale, I came across this quote (emphasis mine): ...Charles Dickens in an after-dinner speech had stated that genius was an infinite capacity for taking ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

What are the “dark Satanic mills” in Blake's Jerusalem?

The short poem Jerusalem by William Blake - not to be confused with his much longer epic poem of the same title; I'm talking about the "did those feet in ancient times" one - contains the following ...
3
votes
2answers
554 views

Is there any symbolism in Casey at the Bat?

Casey at the Bat is one of my all-time favorite poems. I always thought it was just about baseball. But is it? Is there a metaphor or an allegory hidden somewhere in the last inning of a baseball ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does the narrator in “Stopping by Woods” stop by the woods?

In Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Frost: Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

What does “The Edge of Doom” mean?

The following stanza is from Robert Frost's Into My Own: One of my wishes is that those dark trees, So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze, Were not, as ’twere, the merest mask ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Who wrote the Boxcar Children books after Gertrude Chandler Warner's death?

Gertrude Chandler Warner's story The Boxcar Children became the first in a series of books that she continued writing until her death in 1979. She wrote a total of nineteen books in the series. But ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What does 'Gilead' mean in The Raven?

Poe's poem The Raven contains the following words in the fifteenth stanza: [...] tell me truly, I implore— Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!" What does 'Gilead' mean ...
6
votes
1answer
649 views

Does Curley ever realize Lennie is cognitively disabled?

From the moment Curley sees Lennie, he develops a strong dislike towards him because Lennie is physically bigger than Curley. I've always wondered if there were other reasons for Curley's hatred of ...
14
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the “heap of broken images” in The Waste Land?

In T. S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land (which you can read online), T. S. Eliot claims that someone (probably either humankind or the reader) only knows "a heap of broken images". What are the roots ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

What do the “mirror” and the “lake” represent in “Mirror” by Sylvia Plath?

In "Mirror" by Sylvia Plath, the speaker in the poem says, Now I am a lake. But, also at times implies that the speaker is a mirror. However, since an object can not both be a mirror and a lake, ...
8
votes
2answers
471 views

How does a book become “an American classic”? [closed]

It seems that, in passing, some books are referred to as "an American classic," or "one of the great American classics." This seems like it's a whole subsection of what counts as "classic literature." ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

Is there a central theme in I, Robot?

In the book I, Robot by Isaac Asimov, the author wrote several short stories, all usually revolving about robots of different types. It's possible to interpret the short stories with many different ...
16
votes
2answers
585 views

To what extent did Agatha Christie base Captain Hastings on Dr. Watson?

I've noticed that there are quite a few parallels between Agatha Christie's Captain Arthur Hastings and Arthur Conan Doyle's Dr. John Watson: Both served in the British military (Hasting in World War ...
7
votes
1answer
271 views

What's the defining difference between a fairy tale and a fable?

In Is a moral lesson a requirement for fairy tales?, the commenting crowd has pressed for clear distinguishment between whether fables or fairy tales are being discussed. How do fables and fairy ...
10
votes
1answer
683 views

Why does Modesta Gómez demand payment from the indigenous girl?

In Rosario Castellanos's short story "Modesta Gómez," we see how a girl named Modesta with bright dreams for the future has them destroyed first by a wealthy family and then by her working-class ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

What is Jack's crown?

The English nursing rhyme "Jack and Jill" has several verses. The first verse is: Jack and Jill went up the hill To fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown, And ...
2
votes
2answers
474 views

How was the albinism of Silas significant to the story line of 'The Da Vinci Code'?

In "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown (2003), was the albinism of Silas significant to the story line, or was its purpose only to make Silas more distinct?
15
votes
1answer
225 views

Juvenile literature about a group of children living in a castle, looking for a treasure

There were at least two books, although I only recall the plot of the first one. They were paperbacks, probably about octavo dimensions, fairly short as I remember them, under a hundred pages. I read ...
6
votes
1answer
839 views

What does “Burning” symbolize in “Burning the Old Year”?

In Burning the Old Year by Naomi Shihab Nye, Nye refers to "notes", "lists", and "letters" as things that can be burned. From reading this poem, I interpret the theme to be the short time for which ...
11
votes
1answer
407 views

What is meant by the reference to theology in The Death of The Author?

I'm looking to clarify how I should interpret the following passage from The Death of The Author by Roland Barthes: We know that a text does not consist of a line of words, releasing a single "...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

What magazines was Roland Barthes referring to in The Death of The Author?

The author still rules in manuals of literary history, in biographies of writers, in magazine interviews, and even in the awareness of literary men, anxious to unite, by their private journals, ...
9
votes
0answers
318 views

What is the meaning of the blue X in the Three Attic Whalestoe Letters in House of Leaves?

In the middle of Appendix E of House of Leaves, "The Three Attic Whalestoe Letters", a mysterious blue "X" appears through the middle of an "e" on the page. Click to view the whole of page 625 in ...

15 30 50 per page