The Most Popular Online Literature Library presents summary and analysis of British and American poetry, fiction, drama, non-fiction and criticism for teachers and students.

Biography

William Collins - Biography and Works

William Collins was one of the most influential English poet of the mid-18th century literature. He was born as the son of a mayor and was educated in The Prebendal School and Megdalen College.More

Phillis Wheatley - Biography and Works

Phillis Wheatley was born in Senegal in 1753 and she was brought in a slave ship to Boston, Massachusetts. She was then bought by John Wheatley for his wife. Phillis was given a chance to education because of her intelligence and Mary Wheatley, the d ...More


Poem

Ode to Evening by William Collins: Summary and Analysis

Ode to Evening is one of the finest poems of Collins in his collection 'Odes on Several Descriptive and Allegorical Subjects'. It is composed in a single stanza of fifty two lines with unrhyming pattern. This beautiful poem is addressed to the evenin ...More

On Being Brought from Africa to America by Phillis Wheatley: Summary and Analysis

Phillis Wheatley was brought to America from Africa at the age of eight. She uses that event and her experience in America as the subject matter of her poem. Therefore, this poem has autobiographical component.More


Fiction

Themes in Uncle Tom's Cabin

The theme of a novel is the general vision of life or the more explicit proposition about human experience that the literary work conveys. There is a special variety of theme known as a moral, an exhortation to good behavior that may take the form of ...More

Symbols in Uncle Tom's Cabin

Symbols are objects, characters, figures, and colors which are used to represent abstract ideas or concepts in the literary works. A symbol resembles the allegorical sign only in representing something more than itself. Its relationship to the thing ...More


Drama

Romances or Tragicomedies in Shakespeare’s Last Plays

Shakespeare's last plays 'romances' effectively continue the irregular line of development of his earlier works by interfacing comic and tragic themes with a new intensity. All these romances deal in one way or another with evil and innocence, guilt ...More

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett: A Tragedy

In the tradition of tragedy there is always a profound understanding of suffering and helpless humanity. The tradition continues from the ancient Greeks to the modern playwrights - Luigi Pirandello, Arthur Miller, Jean-Paul Sartre and Samuel Beckett, ...More


Short Fiction

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka: Summary

One of the best known stories The Metamorphosis ranked Franz Kafka; a Czech-born German-Jewish writer one of the most famous story writer who dealt with an issue of existentialism of the twentieth century.More

A Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka: Summary

A Hunger Artist depicts the story of the world famous performer who performed the act of fasting for more than forty days at a time. The story is told from the perspective of unsatisfied, frustrated and alienated protagonist who does so difficult tas ...More


Essay

The Timeless World of a Play by Tennessee Williams: Summary

Classical Greek tragedies were really excellent. The actors wore masks, moved like dancers and used highly literary language. The Greek audiences considered all these artificial things quite normal. Perhaps they supposed that the created world of a p ...More

The Timeless World of a Play by Tennessee Williams: Commentary

The Timeless World of a Play by Williams elaborates upon the generally accepted idea that art in any form captures and makes significant action, emotion, or mood 'in a world outside of time'. He pleads for greater understanding and for a recognition ...More


Critical Theory

The Paradox of Acting by Denis Diderot: An Overview

Diderot, in the essay The Paradox of Acting, dismantles the theoretical distinction between poet, actor, work, and audience. They all, for him work for the unity of the whole. Hazard Adams writes 'What the poet experiences and writes about an actor i ...More

Discourse on Art by Sir Joshna Reynolds: An Overview

Sir Joshna Reynolds in 'Discourse on Art' seems to build a principle of aesthetics. He refutes the idea that beauty does not follow rule. Rather he puts emphasis on the principles that make a work of art beautiful, the principles that assist “clear ...More


English Periods

Salient Features of Victorian Literature

The word Victorian suggests a few features of the literature including poetry of the nineteenth century. In poetry and literature, it carries the suggestion of pessimistic subject, elegiac tone, lyrical expression, musical poetry, description of the ...More

Nineteenth Century Prose

With the arrival of romanticism, the nineteenth century prose reached a new stage and became for the first time a literary norm of its own. The essay of this time became highly personal and often whimsical. They also contained the wanderings of the w ...More


Literary Terms

What is Confessional Poetry?

The confessional poetry is something that poets of the fifties like Robert Lowell and John Berryman had developed; but it reached its climax with Anne Sexton. Confessional mode of poetry is also defined as the poetry of 'I' centering on the extremes ...More

What is Harlem Renaissance?

Harlem Renaissance is a literary movement that emerged exclusively in African American area of Harlem, New York in 1920s. A mass migration had taken place in Harlem from the South after the World War I. This particular Renaissance refers to artistic, ...More


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