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


William Stafford - Biography and Works

William Stafford was born in the U.S.A in 1914. The eldest of three children, Stafford grew up with an appreciation for nature and books. During the Depression the family moved from town to town as Earl Stafford searched for jobs. William helped to s ...More

William Stanley Merwin - Biography and Works

William Stanley Merwin is an American poet, essayist and literary translator who has written nearly 50 books of poetry, translations and essays. He is best known for his unique style of writing in indirect and unpunctual narration. He was greatly inf ...More

William Shakespeare - Biography and Works

William Shakespeare was born in 1564 to a prosperous leather merchant in the village of Stratford-upon-Avon, in Warwickshire England. He is not only regarded as the father of English drama, but also known as the greatest English poet, and actor. He i ...More

William Wordsworth - Biography and Works

William Wordsworth, English poet and worshipper of nature and simplicity, was born in the Lake District. He spent some time in France, where he became an enthusiastic republican until disillusioned by the Terror which followed the French Revolution.More


Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka: Summary and Analysis

In this poem, Telephone Conversation, Wole Soyinka is trying to highlight the impact of racial discrimination in the micro-structure of society. The title of the poem clearly reveals that two people are talking on the phone and the theme of racial di ...More

Lost in Translation by James Ingram Merrill: Summary and Analysis

Lost in Translation by James Ingram Merrill was first published on April 6, 1974 which later included in his famous poetic collection Divine Comedies for which he was awarded with the most prestigious award the Pulitzer Prize in 1976. As the epigraph ...More

Daddy by Sylvia Plath: Theme

The poem Daddy by Sylvia Plath is typically a protest poem whose themes are multiple. On its surface, it is the outpour of a daughter's anger against her dominating father, but the poem's deeper meanings should be more generalized and symbolically in ...More

Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley: Summary

The poem makes simple bare statements about the downfall of a certain tyrant called Ozymandias. The speaker in the poem reports to us what a traveler "from an antique land" told him. The traveler conjoins the past with the present. The traveler knew ...More


Significance of the Three Scaffold Scenes in The Scarlet Letter

The three scaffold scenes in The Scarlet Letter are integral to the structure and unity of the narrative. They are the most dramatic scenes at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the novel. Artistically and dramatically, these scenes are a ...More

Narrative Technique in Frankenstein

Mary Shelley had many narrative conventions hitherto followed by earlier writers. Jane Austen had written many novels, but the area, she covered was restricted to one or two families. Her realistic mode did not suit Mary Shelly. More

Thomas Hardy as a Great Novelist

Thomas Hardy is one of the greatest English novelists. With his fourteen novels, he has carved for himself a niche in the glorious mansion of the English novel. He is a great poet as well as a great novelist; but the success and popularity of his nov ...More

The French Lieutenant's Woman as a Postmodern Novel

If the fundamental principles and assumptions about the nature of fiction is questioned and challenged, postmodernist elements are supposed to exist. In The French Lieutenant's Woman, John Fowles questioned the fundamental Victorian principles and as ...More


The Importance of Being Earnest as a Comedy of Manners

The Importance of Being Earnest is an enlightening example of comedy of manners as it makes fun of the behavior of Victorian aristocracy which attaches great value to hypocrisy, frivolity, superficiality, artificiality and money mindedness. The Victo ...More

Social Realism in The Cherry Orchard

The history of the early twentieth century Russian society is the history of social transition, transformation. The late 19th century Russian society was struggling to be free from the shibboleth of the dying feudal aristocracy. In parallel to this s ...More

Short Fiction

An Episode of War by Stephen Crane

The lieutenant's rubber blanket lay on the ground, and upon it he had poured the company's supply of coffee. Corporals and other representatives of the grimy and hot-throated men who lined the breastwork had come for each squad's portion.More

The Use of Force by William Carlos Williams

They were new patients to me, all I had was the name, Olson. Please come down as soon as you can; my daughter is very sick. When I arrived I was met by the mother, a big startled looking woman, very clean and apologetic who merely said, Is this the ...More


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

Objective Theory

In The Mirror and The Lamp, M. H. Abrams proposes that we can divide any work up into four areas of study: The relationship between the universe as a whole and the work itself, between the audience and the work, between the author and the work, or re ...More

Expressive Theory

Formerly “Expressionism” is a German movement in painting but later on, it extended its access to other literary arts too. Expressive criticism treats a literary work primarily in relation to the author. It defines poetry as an expression, or ove ...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 Ballad?

The ballad is probably the simplest form of narrative poem which tells a story in simple and colloquial language. The principal function of a narrative poem is to narrate what has actually happened, that is historical incidents, myths and legends. So ...More

What is Classical Poetry?

The term classic has an array of meaning. It may be applied to works from the ancient Graeco-Roman tradition or those written in imitation of it. Classical has also had a number of meanings over the centuries. Its root is the Latin word classicus, re ...More

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Arts in Painting

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Movement and Genre Studies

Rhetoric and Composition