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Literary Examples

Title:Fahrenheit 451
Author:Ray Bradbury
Time Period:Post-Apocalyptic 24th century
Main Characters: Guy Montag , Captain Beatty
Key Facts:

Clarisse, Montag's 17 year old neighbor, asks him if he is happy. This leads him to
question himself and his life and his state of mind.

This is quickly followed by the discovery of Mildred,his wife, who has overdosed on
sleeping pills.This reinforces Montag's new suspicion that no one in his world is
actually happy.

Captain Beatty, who knows of Montag's rebellious ideas, brings Montag to his own
house and manages to bait him into burning it down.Montag kills Beatty. He takes
off, a fugitive.

Montag meets the "book covers", a group of rebels who have each memorized an
entire book for safe keeping.He turns back towards the city with them, caught up in
their belief that civilization needs them.

If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn.

Author:George Owell
Time Period:Mid-1950s;
Main Characters: Winston Smith
Key Facts:

The Dangers of Totalitarianism In 1984, Orwell portrays the perfect totalitarian

society, the most extreme realization imaginable of a modern-day government with
absolute power.

By means of telescreens and hidden microphones across the city, the Party is able to monitor
its members almost all of the time. 1984 reveals that technology, which is generally
perceived as working toward moral good, can also facilitate the most diabolical evil.
The fleeting image of Winston's mother. Winston has only a passing image of his
mother. It illustrates the extent to which emotional bonds are frowned upon, a
condition of centralized totality in which Big Brother controls all, including the
emotional quotient of its citizens.

Using Winston's fear of rats as a motivator to get him to betray Julia: As he is

desperate to save himself from his worst fear of rats, he betrays Julia.

Title:To Build A Fire

Literary Examples
Author:Jack London
Time Period:Yukon Gold Rush, 1896
Main Characters: Foolhardy Protagonist , Foresighted , Shrewd Old Man
Key Facts:

The man's inanity to depreciate the unforgiving Yukon tundra:He ignores all the
facts that indicate danger--he underestimates the cold, he ignores the absence of
travelers in the last month, he de-emphasizes his soon-to-be-frostbitten cheekbones.
This foolhardy approach leaves him struggling for mere survival, rather than the
prospect of finding gold,

The Mans lack of shrewdness: Under pernicious conditions, the man hastily tries to
start a fire under a frigid spruce tree without realizing the serious repercussions. His
lack of vigilance and sharpness causes the tree to capsize due to the spontaneous
weight of melting ice and snow. The fire burns out and the man perishes after
multiple futile attempts to rekindle it.

The indifference of the Environment:Nature does not go out of its way to hurt the
man; it would be just as cold without the man's presence, as well. Rather, the
environment is indifferent to the man. The bitter environment does not aid him in
any way, and it will not notice if he perishes.

Title:Lord Of The Flies

Author:William Golding
Time Period:On an isolated island
Main Characters: Ralph , Simon , Jack
Key Facts:

Imposing Beliefs: Most of the boys abandon moral behavior as soon as civilization
is no longer there to impose it upon them. They are not innately moral; rather, the
adult worldthe threat of punishment for misdeedshas conditioned them to act

The human impulse toward civilization is not as deeply rooted as the human impulse
toward savagery.

Ralphs commitment to civilization and morality: In the earlier parts of the novel,
Ralph is unable to understand why the other boys would give in to base instincts of
blood-lust and barbarism. As the novel progresses, however, Ralph, comes to
understand that savagery exists within all the boys. Ralph remains determined not to
let this savagery overwhelm him.

Jack retains the sense of moral propriety and behavior that society instilled in him.
But Jack soon becomes obsessed with hunting and devotes himself to the task,
painting his face like a barbarian and giving himself over to bloodlust.

Simon's brutal murder at the hands of the other boys indicates the scarcity of that
good amid an overwhelming abundance of evil.

By the end of the novel, Jack has learned to use the boys fear of the beast to control

Literary Examples
their behaviora reminder of how religion and superstition can be manipulated as
instruments of power.

Title: The Great Gatsby

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Time Period: Early part of the twentieth century
Setting: Long Island
Main Characters: Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, & Daisy
Key Facts:

Gatsby built a fortune by bootlegging alcohol

Gatsbys goal: to court Daisy

Gatsby throws lavish parties for upper social class, but doesnt even know many of
the guests

Gatbsy is fooled into thinking he is popular

His attempt to please everyone is futile and he ends up a sad & lonely man

Title: Animal Farm

Author: George Orwell
Time Period: A stinging critique of the history and rhetoric of Communism.
Key Facts:

Snowball emerges as a fervent ideologue who throws himself heart and soul into the
attempt to spread Animalism worldwide and to improve Animal Farms
infrastructure... But Snowball fervent, single-minded enthusiasm for grand projects
such as the windmill might have erupted into full-blown megalomaniac despotism
had he not been chased from Animal Farm.

Naive Working Class: When presented with a dilemma, Boxer prefers not to puzzle
out the implications of various possible actions but instead to repeat to himself,
Napoleon is always right. Animal Farm demonstrates how the inability or
unwillingness to question authority condemns the working class to suffer the full
extent of the ruling classs oppression.

Abuse of Language . In Animal Farm, the pigs gradually twist and distort a rhetoric
of socialist revolution to justify their behavior and to keep the other animals in the
dark. The animals heartily embrace Majors visionary ideal of socialism, but after
Major dies, the pigs gradually twist the meaning of his words. As a result, the other
animals seem unable to oppose the pigs without also opposing the ideals of the

Animal Farm serves not so much to condemn tyranny or despotism as to indict the

Literary Examples
horrifying hypocrisy of tyrannies that base themselves on, and owe their initial power
to, ideologies of liberation and equality. The gradual disintegration and perversion of
the Seven Commandments illustrates this hypocrisy with vivid force, as do
Squealers elaborate philosophical justifications for the pigs blatantly unprincipled