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Exploring the Different Types of Fiction

Fiction is a general term used to describe an imaginative work of prose, either a novel, short story, or novella. Recently, this definition has been modified to include both nonfiction works that contain [more…]

Understanding Point of View in Literature

Literature provides a lens through which readers look at the world. Point of view is the way the author allows you to "see" and "hear" what's going on. Skillful authors can fix their readers' attention [more…]

Understanding Diction and Tone in Literature

"Dearest reader, I humbly entreat you to eschew the latest celebrity tittle-tattle and instead devote your attention to diction and tone." Does that request sound funny to you? Maybe this sounds a bit [more…]

Discovering the Key to Every Romance Novel: The Heroine

Most romance readers are women, and naturally, they want to see themselves reflected in their choice of reading. That desire for reflection doesn't mean that every heroine has to be straight from everyday [more…]

A War with Words: The Role of Conflict in Literature

Conflict is essential to fiction, and so even a short passage for the AP English Literature exam generally depicts at least one instance of unrest. A character's approach to the conflict, as well as its [more…]

Exploring the Diverse Lands of Middle-earth

You may well wonder why it's important at all to locate Middle-earth in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Does it really matter whether Middle-earth is a future world in another galaxy or a Europe long [more…]

A Few Jane Austen-Related Places to Visit

England has numerous sites where you can explore the life and work of Jane Austen. The following are just the tip of the iceberg. When you get to your hotel or bed and breakfast in London, find one of [more…]

Examining the Battle of Good vs. Evil in Tolkien's Middle-earth

Tolkien was clear in the stories of The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings that the struggle between good and evil is never-ending. No sooner did the Valar vanquish Melkor than Sauron emerged in Middle-earth [more…]

Concerning the Nature of Hobbits in Tolkien's Middle-earth

Tolkien seems to have regarded the Elves as his favorite creatures of Middle-earth, but most of his readers seem to be hobbit-lovers at heart. They find hobbits to be the most likeable and also to be the [more…]

Considering an AP English Literature and Composition Class

Whether or not to enroll in that AP English Literature and Composition class can be a difficult decision. An AP English class can be a lot of work, but it can yield great rewards. Here is some information [more…]

Defining Romanticism in the Arts

Many art historians will tell you that Romanticism slips through your fingers when you try to define it. That's partly because Romantic artists didn't have one style like the Impressionists or Expressionists [more…]

Examining Frodo as the Unwitting Hero of Tolkien's Middle-earth

Frodo Baggins, the main character of The Lord of the Rings, becomes its unwitting hero when he's adopted by Bilbo Baggins (his cousin, but known affectionately as [more…]

Understanding Tolkien as a Linguist

Dictionaries define a linguist as a person who is accomplished in languages, especially someone who speaks several languages. By this definition, Tolkien was a consummate linguist, having learned more [more…]

Asserting Jane Austen's Georgian-ness

Because of the charm of her plots, their setting in merry old England, and the Victorian-styled costumes and 1850 setting used in the first film adaptation of [more…]

Tracing the Rise of Manga's Popularity

Although manga (pronounced MAHN-gah or MANG-ah) may seem like a fairly new art form, humorous and satirical illustrations trace back to 12th-century Japan. Although now understood to mean [more…]

Tracing Jane Austen's Popularity

Austen is now so popular that even non-novel readers recognize the name from seeing it in various, unexpected places like tea mugs and dating guides. Her immediate Regency siblings and her future Victorian [more…]

Getting Comfortable with "Jane" (Austen)

For many Austen fans, reading one of her novels is taking an armchair vacation back to England in the early 1800s, known as the Regency. They see this period as a time of tea and etiquette. The Austen [more…]

A Shakespeare Mini Glossary

These terms help when you're reading Shakespeare's works to keep track of different types and parts of plays, the poetry styles Shakespeare often employed, and stage direction. [more…]

Shakespeare’s Plays

This list breaks down Shakespeare's plays by type. You'll also get a brief summary of each play by Shakespeare, if you need help remembering what a specific play is about. [more…]

Shakespeare For Dummies Cheat Sheet

These lists break down William Shakespeare's works by type and provide you a brief summary of each play. Also find terms commonly used in relation to Shakespeare's writing, covering styles of poetry, types [more…]

Sherlock Holmes Novels

The Sherlock Holmes canon, authored by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, contains 4 novels and 56 short stories. Three of the four novels have a lengthy flashback that explains the back story and motivation of the [more…]

Sherlock Holmes Short Stories

The Sherlock Holmes canon, authored by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, contains 4 novels and 56 short stories. The short stories are grouped in 5 collections. Doyle generally excelled at the short story format [more…]

Sherlock Holmes For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John H. Watson, wrote 56 short stories and 4 novels featuring the great private detective and his loyal sidekick. Sherlock Holmes [more…]

Literature Terms to Study for the Miller Analogies Test (MAT)

The Miller Analogies Test or MAT tests your knowledge through analogies. In order to do well on MAT literature analogies, you need to master the basics of literary terminology, among other things. [more…]

Authors You Need to Know About for the MAT

Expect the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) to test you on famous authors and their works. Even if you’re well read, you might find that the list of authors the MAT tests for is pretty intensive. [more…]


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