"The Duchess of Malfi", a short summary

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  • The Duchess inherited her position from her dead husband, the Duke of Malfi.

  • Her steward, Antonio, is in love with her.

  • The Duchess has two brothers, Cardinal and Ferdinand, both who are corrupt and do not want their sister to remarry.

  • They trick her into hiring Bosola, who is a spy for them.

  • The Duchess becomes interested in Antonio, and proposes.

  • They decide to keep the marriage a secret.

  • She gets pregnant though, and Bosola determines she has remarried someone. She continues to have children with this mysterious man.

  • The brothers know she’s married, but can’t figure out to who.

  • Ferdinand comes to Malfi court and confronts her in her bedroom. She tells him she’s lawfully married, but he doesn’t care.

  • The Duchess is now worried for her family, flees with Antonio and their kids.

  • Bosola finds out that she’s married to him.

  • The brothers hunt her around Italy, and the Duchess and Antonio split up.

  • The Duchess and two of her children are caught and imprisoned.

  • Her brother tortures her and her children and has them strangled.

  • Bosola decides he doesn’t agree with what the brothers are doing, and vows to save Antonio and the one remaining child.

  • Cardinal contracts Bosola to kill Antonio, and Bosola resolves to save him.

  • Things go awry, and he ends up accidentally killing Antonio.

  • He resolves to avenge the family, and kills Ferdinand and the Cardinal, and wounds himself.

  • The surviving child is taken to Antonio’s friend, who hopes the boy can inherit the title.

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"The Merchant of Venice" Essential Revision Notes


Plot Summary:

A young Venetian, Bassanio, needs a loan of three thousand ducats in order to impress Portia, a wealthy heiress. He goes to his merchant friend, Antonio, but Antonio does not have enough to lend him. He then goes to a Jewish money lender, Shylock. Antonio does not like Shylock.

Shylock gives Bassanio his loan, sets one condition – the loan must be repaid in three months or Shylock will exact a pound of flesh from Antonio. Antonio agrees.

Bassanio goes to impress Portia. Portia’s father set a strange test in his will. Anyone who wishes to marry her must choose between three caskets, one of which has a picture of her inside. Any suitor who correctly selects that casket may marry her, but any suitor who chooses incorrectly must never marry. A few princes come and fail the challenge. Bassanio correctly chooses the casket and Portia agrees to marry him.

Meanwhile, two of Antonio’s ships have been wrecked and Shylock comes asking for his repayment of Bassanio’s loan. Bassanio hears about Antonio’s predicament, and he hurries back to Venice. Portia follows him, accompanied by her maid, Nerissa. They disguise themselves as a male lawyer and clerk.

Bassanio arrives, but the deadline for repayment to Shylock has passed and his is demanding his pound of flesh instead. Bassanio offers much more than the originally agreed amount of repayment, but Shylock wants to seek revenge on the Christians he hates.

Portia arrives disguised as the lawyer. She decides that Shylock can have a pound of flesh as long as he doesn’t draw blood--it is against the law to shed a Christian’s blood. Since it would be impossible to draw a pound of flesh without drawing blood or killing Antonio, they cannot go through with it. The Duke of Venice sees this request as a conspiracy for murder, which is a terrible crime. But Portia orders that Shylock should forfeit all his wealth as punishment for his crime instead of facing prison or death. Half of the money would go to the city of Venice and half to Antonio.

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"Paradise Lost" Plot summary


Plot summary

Book I

  • Milton opens Paradise Lost by formally declaring his poem’s subject: humankind’s first act of disobedience toward God (Adam and Eve eating for forbidden fruit, as told in Genesis), and the consequences that followed from it.

  • Milton’s speaker invokes the muse--the Holy Spirit--to sing about these subjects through him. He says that his poem, like his muse, will fly above those of the Classical poets and accomplish things never attempted before, because his source of inspiration is greater than theirs.

  • The poem moves to Hell, where Satan and his followers have just been cast out of Heaven after losing their rebellion against God.

  • Satan rebelled when he became envious of God’s Son, and would rather be a “king in Hell than a servant in Heaven.

  • He and his second-in-command, Beelzebub, stand at a lake of fire. They worry that God cannot be defeated, but at least they can turn his good deeds into bad.

  • The two join their legions of followers, other fallen angels. He calls on them to consider whether another rebellion is possible. They build a temple, and hold a summit to discuss.

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A taste of "Sense and Sensibility"



  • Mr. Henry Dashwood dies, leaving all his money to his son from his first wife, John.

  • His second wife and her three daughters are left homeless and with little income.

  • They move to stay with distance relatives, the Middletons.

  • The girls discover many new acquaintances, like Colonel Brandon and John Willoughby.

  • Willoughby begins courting Marianne, but leaves suddenly for business in London.

  • Anne and Lucy Steele, two relatives of Lady Middleton, arrive as guests.

  • Lucy befriends Elinor, and informs her that she has been engaged to Mr. Ferrars for a year. Mr. Ferrars is John’s brother-in-law, and a close friend of Elinor’s. This saddens her.

  • Elinor and Marianne travel to London.

  • Colonel Brandon tells them that everyone is talking about an engagement between Marianne and Willoughby, though he has not proposed.

  • She sees Willoughby at a party, but he cruelly rebuffs her and tells her he has never had feelings for her.

  • Colonel Brandon tells Elinor about Willoughby’s history, and says that he has run out of money and is marrying the wealthy Miss Grey.

  • Lucy’s older sister accidentally reveals Lucy and Ferrars’s engagement. His mother is angry.

  • Marianne falls deathly ill. Willoughby hears of her illness and rushes to see her, begging her forgiveness.

  • Marianne says she could have never been happy with him.

  • She begins to recover.

  • Lucy decides to marry Ferrars brother in the end, and Ferrars proposes to Elinor.

  • Marianne and Colonel Brandon become engaged.

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"Othello" Last minute Revision




  • In this play, jealousy is fueled by lies, but still has devastating effects.

  • Iago uses jealousy to ruin Othello, but this is ironic given that Iago’s jealousy over Cassio is part of what started everything.

  • Jealousy in this play comes in many forms—romantic, professional.


  • Othello is one of the earliest black heroes in English literature.

  • He has risen to power through his skills and hard work.

  • Despite his rank, he is still judged and mistreated for his race.

  • Desdemona’s father believes that Othello must have used witchcraft to win her over (not that she could genuinely love him).


  • The men in this play cause most problems because of their jealousy and anger over women and women’s sexuality.

  • Both women in the play are murdered by their husbands.

  • It doesn’t take much convincing for Othello to believe his wife is cheating on him.

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"She Stoops to Conquer" Exam preparation



  • Mr. and Mrs. Hardcastle are awaiting the arrival of Marlow, who is the son of one of their old friends, and possibly a suitor for their daughter, Kate.

  • Mrs. Hardcastle’s niece Constance is also staying with them. She has an inheritance she can claim once married, which they hope will be to Mr. Hardcastle’s son (from a pervious marriage), Tony.

  • Constance and Tony do not love one another, and Constance has a lover.

  • Marlow arrives with her lover, Hastings at a pub nearby, lost on the way to the Hardcastle’s home.

  • Tony sees them there, and tricks them by telling the house down the road is an inn.

  • The two go to the inn (which is really the Hardcastle home), and Marlow is rude, thinking this is an inn and not his family friend.

  • Constance reveals to Hastings Tony’s trick. They decide not to tell Marlow the truth.

  • They want to get her inheritance and elope.

  • Kate is attracted to Marlow.

  • Tony and Hastings agree that Tony will steal the jewels that are Constance’s inheritance, so Tony will not have to marry her like his mother wants.

  • Tony steal the jewels.

  • Marlow’s father is on his way, and the characters worry that he will reveal Hastings as Constance’s lover.

  • Marlow and Hardcastle continue to fight, as Marlow thinks Hardcastle an innkeeper. Hardcastle kicks him out.

  • Kate pretends to be a poor relation to the Hardcastles, and Marlow realises he cannot marry her.

  • Mrs. Hardcastle finds a letter from Hastings, asking Constance to elope. She plans to take the girl away.

  • Marlow, Hastings, and Tony confront one another over the jokes and lies that have gotten them into this mess.

  • Marlow’s father arrives, and Marlow apologizes.

  • Tony drives Constance and Mrs. Hardcastle in circles, so she thought she was going far.

  • Hastings and Constance ask permission to marry, and since Tony refuses to marry her, their request is granted.

  • Kate asks her father to watch her interaction with Marlow, to prove he is a polite and good man.

  • After observing them, he agrees to the match.

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"The Great Gatsby" summarised



  • Nick Carraway moves to New York one summer.

  • He rents a home in West Egg in Long Island. His neighbor is a man named Jay Gatsby, who throws many parties.

  • West Egg is where the “new money” lives, while East Egg is where the ”old money”, longstanding wealthy families, live.

  • Nick goes to East Egg to visit his cousin, Daisy Buchanan and her husband, Tom.

  • He discovers Tom has a mistress, Myrtle Wilson.

  • Nick travels with Tom and his mistress to the city, to visit the flat Tom keeps there for his affair.

  • Nick attends one of Gatsby’s parties. Through a friend, Nick learns that Gatsby knew Daisy and was once in love with her.

  • He often stares across the bay at the green light on her house’s dock.

  • His lifestyle is an attempt to impress her.

  • Gatsby asks Nick to reintroduce them. Nick holds a tea at his house, which Daisy and Gatsby attend.

  • Their love is rekindled, and they start an affair.

  • Tom begins to get suspicious.

  • One day in the city, Tom announces that Gatsby is a criminal who made his money from bootleg alcohol. Daisy sides with her husband.

  • Daisy and Gatsby drive back home.

  • Nick and Tom follow, but find on the way home that Gatsby’s car has hit and killed Myrtle.

  • They rush back, and Gatsby tells Nick that Daisy was driving when it happened, but he will take the blame.

  • Tom tells Myrtle’s husband that Gatsby killed her, and the husband goes to Gatsby’s home and shoots him in the pool, then kills himself.

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"Power and Conflict Anthology" Essential Revision Guide


Poem: Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley


  • The speaker comes across a traveler who tells him about a statue in the desert.

  • The statue is of a proud and boastful king who once ruled, but now the statue is crumbling.

Structure and Language:

  • Stanzas and rhyme: This poem is a sonnet, though it doesn’t follow a perfect sonnet rhyme scheme. It has a turning point at line nine. It uses iambic pentameter, which is also disrupted

  • Structure: The first half of the poem talks about the statue and its many parts. The second half talks about the desert and how small the statue is in relation to it.

  • Language: The language is all about power, namely human power. Nature and natural language comes in though, to show nature is more powerful than man.

Attitudes: The king is portrayed as arrogant and proud. There are also attitudes about power, both the king’s and nature’s.

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"Never Let Me Go" Study Guide



  • It is the 1990s in England, in a dystopian world where people’s lives are prolonged through cloning.

  • The clones, who are called “student”, grow up away from the rest of the world.

  • Once they become adults, they donate their organs until they are “complete”, a euphemism for die.

  • “Carers” are clones who have not yet started donating organs, and they look after those who have.

Chapter 1

  • Kathy is a 31-year-old narrator who is a carer.

  • She has been a carer for 12 years, but will soon become a donor.

  • She used to go to Hailsham, and has reconnected with many of her friends that went there as well.

  • She remembers one time her and her friend Ruth saw their friend Tommy outside playing with the boys. He wasn’t picked for a football game, which upset him.

Chapter 2

  • Kathy continues to think on this time.

  • Tommy was bullied for not being creative, and he tended to lash out because of it.

  • One day, he stops being angry when bullied, and Kathy asks him why.

  • He says he has a new guardian who told him he does not have to be creative if he doesn’t want to.

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Love and Relationships Poetry Explained AQA Revision Notes


Poem: “When We Two Parted” by Lord Byron


  • This poem is about the speaker recounting when his lover and him parted, and how he is still sad over the event.

  • He hears people talking about her, which hurts him. 

Structure and Language:

  • Stanzas and rhyme: The poem has four stanzas or eight lines each. There is an ABAB rhyme scheme.

  • Structure: The poem shifts from past, present and future

  • Language: The poem uses language in reference to “death” to compare the end of a relationship to a death. It also uses sensual language like “cold touch”, “pale”, and “chill.” This language is the opposite of love poetry, which is meant to invoke warm, happy feelings.

Attitudes: The poem portrays feelings of grief, anger, sadness and has an attitude of secrecy.

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"Hamlet" Last-Minute Revision Notes


Plot Summary

Act I

Scene I

  • The play starts in Elsinore Castle in Denmark with a group of watchmen.

  • Bernardo comes to relieve Francisco.

  • Bernardo is then joined by Marcellus and Horatio, a friend of Prince Hamlet. The two watchmen tell Horatio they want him to stay and see the apparition they have seen the past few nights--a ghost of dead King Hamlet.

  • Indeed, the ghost appears for a moment and Horatio agrees that it looks just like the dead King. He thinks it is a sign of bad times to come to Denmark.

  • They agree to tell Prince Hamlet about this, in hopes the apparition would speak to him.

Scene II

  • The next day, King Claudius tells his court about his recent marriage to Gertrude, his brother’s widow and the mother of Prince Hamlet.

  • He also says that the Norwegian Fortinbras has demanded the land back that King Hamlet won from them. He dispatches two men with a message for the King of Norway.

  • Laertes, son of Lord Chamberlain, Polonius, says that he wishes to return to France, where he used to live, and Claudius gives is approval.

  • Claudius and Gertrude ask Hamlet to stay in Denmark, rather than return to his studies abroad, and he agrees.

  • When everyone has left, Hamlet cries that he wishes he could take his own life. He remembers how much his parents loved one another, and is upset to see his mother marrying his uncle so quickly.

Scene III

  • Laertes is preparing to leave for France.

  • He speaks to his sister, Ophelia, and warns her not to fall in love with Hamlet. Because of their different positions, they may never be able to marry.

  • Polonius enters to bid his son farewell. He then asks Ophelia what they spoke of. She tells him that Hamlet has told her he loves her. Polonius tells her to stay away from Hamlet, and he is deceiving her.

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"Doctor Faustus" A Level Revision Notes


Plot Summary


The Chorus, a single actor, enters. He says the play will involve neither love nor war, but instead will trace the “form of Faustus’ fortunes”. Faustus was born to lowly parents in the small town of Rhode, came to the town of Wittenberg to live with his kinsmen, and was educated at Wittenberg, a famous German university. After earning the title of doctor of divinity, Faustus became famous for his ability to discuss theological matters. Faustus has begun to practice necromancy, or black magic.

 Scene One

●      Faustus is seated in his study.

●      In a long soliloquy, Faustus reflects on the most rewarding type of scholarship.

●      Wagner, Faustus’s servant, enters. Faustus asks Wagner to bring Valdes and Cornelius, Faustus’s friends, to help him learn the art of magic. While they are on their way, a good angel and an evil angel visit Faustus. The good angel urges him to set aside his book of magic and read the Scriptures instead; the evil angel encourages him to go forward in his pursuit of the black arts. Faustus imagines sending spirits to the end of the world to fetch him jewels and delicacies, having them teach him secret knowledge, and using magic to make himself king of all Germany.

  • Valdes and Cornelius appear. They agree to teach Faustus the principles of the dark arts.

Scene Two

  • Two scholars come to see Faustus. Wagner tells them that Faustus is meeting with Valdes and Cornelius. Aware that Valdes and Cornelius are infamous for their involvement in the black arts, the scholars leave with heavy hearts, fearing that Faustus may also be falling into “that damned art” as well (2.29).

Scene Three

  • That night, Faustus tries conjuring. Four devils and Lucifer, the ruler of hell, watch him from the shadows. Faustus renounces heaven and God, swears allegiance to hell. The devil Mephastophilis then appears before Faustus. Faustus demands his obedience, but Mephastophilis says that he is Lucifer’s servant and can obey only Lucifer.

  • Faustus quizzes Mephastophilis about Lucifer and hell and learns that Lucifer and all his devils were once angels who rebelled against God and have been damned to hell forever. Faustus declares that he will offer his soul to Lucifer in return for twenty-four years of Mephastophilis’s service. Mephastophilis agrees to take this offer to his master and departs.

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"Brick Lane" Study Guide

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·      Nazneen marries Chanu, who is her senior and who she does not love. They move to Brick Lane, London, to start their married life.

·      Nazneen meets many Bangladeshi immigrants in her new home – and in particular is befriended by Razia Iqbal and Mrs Islam.

·      Nazneen has a son, Raqib. Chanu is worried that his son will be corrupt by western influences, like drugs and alcohol.

·      He decides he wants to move the family back to Bangladesh.

·      Raqib dies as a child.

·      Nazneen stays in contact with her sister, Hasina, who ran away with a man she and engaged in a ‘love marriage’ back at home.

·      Hasina works in a factory and later is forced to become a prostitute in order to make ends meet when she is fired from the factory.

·      Nazneen and Hasina communicate through letters and Hasina describes her life from working in a factory to later as a prostitute.

·      Nazneen has two daughters, Shahana and Bibi.

·      Chanu begins to get more and more worried about the escalating drug use in the community and becomes more determined than ever to return to Bangladesh.

·      He becomes a cab driver to pay for the journey home and he borrows money from Mrs Islam. He also allows Nazneen to start working.

·      Nazneen gets work as a seamstress. She meets Karim, who brings her sewing supplies from his uncle’s store. The two soon begin an affair.

·      Mrs. Islam employs her two sons as thugs to pressure Nazneen and Chanu into giving her more money than they owe.

·      The affair and financial difficulties result in Nazneen having a mental breakdown.

·      Nazneen decides she will not go back to Bangladesh – however she does not share this information with her daughters and Shahana runs away with her friend to Fenton.

·      Nazneen looks for Shahana when she discovers this – and finds and rescues her in the midst of a riot that has broken out in Tower Hamlets.

·      Nazneen returns home and tells Chanu that she does not want her daughters or her to go back to Bangladesh.

·      Chanu leaves alone for Bangladesh, while Nazneen and her daughters stay in London.

·      Nazneen begins her own sewing business with Razia and realises her dream of ice-skating.

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"A Doll's House" main plot



·      It is Christmas Eve. Nora Helmer enters the living room with some packages.

·      Her husband, Torvald, approaches. He greets her but chides her for spending such money on gifts.

·      They talk, and its revealed that the family has been poor for some time, but he just got a new, more promising job.

·      The maid, Helene, enters and announces the arrival of Dr. Rank, an old friend.

·      Kristine Linde enter, and old friend. Nora says she heard that Mrs. Linde’s husband had passed away years ago.

·      Linde tells her that is correct, and she was left with no money or children. .

·      Linde elaborates--she had to care for her sick mother and brothers. Now her mother is gone and her brothers grown. She is hoping they may be able to help her find employment.

·      An employee, named Krogstad, at Torvald’s bank enters, and joins the men in the study.

·      Dr. Rank exits and says the man is “morally sick.”

·      Torvald comes out and says he can probably find Linde a job.

·      Everyone but Nora leaves, and the children enter.

·      Krogstad returns, and it is revealed that he is the one she got her loan from.

·      He tells her that he fears he will be fired from the bank and asks her to ensure with her husband that doesn’t happen.

·      He reminds her that she forged a signature to get a loan from him. He leaves.

·      Torvald returns and Nora begs him not to fire Krogstad.

·      Linde suspects Dr. Rank is the one that the loan came from, but Nora tells her no.

·      Nora begs her husband again, but he sends the letter of dismissal to Krogstad.

·      Dr. Rank enters and tells Nora he fears he will die soon—he is mortally ill.

·      She tries to comfort him, and he tells her he is in love with her.

·      Krogstad comes to Nora and demands he be rehired and to a higher position.

·      Linde tells Nora to distract her husband while she talks to Krogstad.

·      The next night, Linde goes to Krogstad.

·      It is revealed they were once in love, but she left him for a man who could provide for her.

·      She tells him her family is gone, and she wants to be with him. He is delighted and offers to get the letter before anyone sees it.

·      Linde tells him no, it is better for them both to know the truth.

·      Nora and Torvald return. He finds the letter and is angry, telling her she has ruined his life.

·      He has agreed to return the contract and tell no one.

·      But Nora says that even after years of marriage, they do not understand each other and he treat her like a doll.

·      She leaves him.

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“Macbeth”at a glance



Act One

  • The play opens with the Three Witches, who are planning on meeting Macbeth. They do not explain their intentions for doing so.

  • Macbeth and Banquo are leading the Scottish army in battle against rebel armies from Norway and Ireland. Macbeth is heroic and loyal on the battlefield.

  • The Three Witches appear to Macbeth and Banquo, and make three prophecies

  • Upon returning home from battle, King Duncan names Macbeth Thane of Cawdor.

  • Lady Macbeth receives a letter from Macbeth detailing the Witches’ prophecies. She decides that they must kill Duncan when he comes to Inverness for a royal visit, in order for Macbeth to be King, but worries her husband is too weak to do so.

  • Duncan arrives at Macbeth’s castle, and Lady Macbeth acts as the perfect hostess.

  • The next scene opens with Macbeth’s soliloquy, in which he debates murdering King Duncan. Lady Macbeth convinces him he must go through with it.

Act Two

  • Macbeth is on his way to Duncan’s bedchamber to carry out the murder. Along the way, he encounters Banquo and his son, Fleance. Banquo discusses how he cannot sleep, as he keeps thinking about the Witches. He asserts his allegiance to Duncan as King. Macbeth carries on, and sees a ghostly dagger pointing towards Duncan’s bedchamber. 

  • Lady Macbeth waits for her husband to return from carrying out the murder. He returns, and seems conflicted by what he has done. Lady Macbeth takes the daggers that he has mistakenly carried back, returns to the bedchamber, and smears blood over the drugged, sleeping servants, leaving the daggers in the room.

  • The porter goes to answer the door, while having a comical monologue in which he pretends he is the porter to the gates of hell. He opens the door to Lennox and Macduff, who have come to help the King depart. Macduff goes into Duncan’s bedchamber and discovers the murder. Macbeth confesses that he murdered Duncan’s servants in rage and Lady Macbeth faints. Duncan’s sons flee fearing for their lives, which makes them look guilty.

  • Strange things begin happening in Scotland after Duncan’s death (e.g. horses eating one another). Macduff tells Rosse that Macbeth will be crowned King, but he will not go to the coronation.

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An insight into the context of “Lord of the Flies” author



  • From 1939 during the Second World War, Golding served in the Royal Navy in command of a rocket ship. He was involved in the bombardment and sinking of enemy ships, the Battle of the North Atlantic and the Normandy Landings. The character of the naval officer in the final moments of the novel may have been a persona he was familiar with. During his wartime service he witnessed and contributed to vast destruction and human suffering.

  • The end of the Second World War left him pessimistic and bitter about the future of mankind and our capacity for humanity or ‘civilisation’: he felt despair at the ‘discovery’ of the concentration camps as well as the use of the atomic bomb as a way of bringing about an end to the conflict. The war led him to believe in the innate evil of humanity. We are trapped by original sin.

  • The novel is set during a time of global conflict. His original draft of the novel, rejected by his publisher, included an opening chapter that looked at a nuclear war which caused the boys’ evacuation from England and their crash. This fictional background may also explain Piggy’s pessimism that they will be rescued by adults who are busy destroying each other, and his insistence that they are now responsible for and accountable to themselves.

  • Golding worked as a teacher in a boy’s private school. From this experience he felt he gained insight into human behaviour and human potential – or lack of.

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“Handmaid’s Tale” in 30 seconds



Chapter 1

  • The narrator, Offred, describes how she and other women sleep in gymnasiums. During the day, the women walk around a football field as armed guards, called Angels, patrol.

Chapter 2

  • Now the narrator is in a bedroom.

  • She describes what Handmaids are, which is what she currently is. They dress in all red with white wings on their head. Servants, called “Marthas”, dress in all green, and “Wives” wear all blue. Marthas work in the home, and Wives are married to important men. All wives are barren.

Chapter 3

  • Offred goes to the store, and looks for the Commander’s Wife, Serena, as she leaves.

  • Offred remembers the first day she came to this new home, when Serena told her to stay out of her way and remember that the Commander is her husband.

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A “Frankenstein” Guide


Plot Summary :

The story begins with a series of letters from a man named Walton to his sister. Walton is an explorer. The ship comes across a man on a sledge in poor condition. They take him aboard, and he tells them his story.

Chapter 1

·      The narrator, Victor Frankenstein, begins his story.

·      He explains his family background and history. His childhood companion, Elizabeth, enters his family when her mother dies and she is adopted by them.

Chapter 2

·      Elizabeth and another friend, Henry, are Victor’s closest friends growing up.

·      As a teenager, he becomes interested in the natural world, and begins reading about the occult and alchemy.

Chapter 3

·      Victor goes to university in Ingolstadt.

·      Just before he leaves, his mother catches fever and dies.

·      She begs him and Elizabeth to marry, as her dying wish.

·      Victor goes to university and is determined to study science.

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“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” Cheat Sheet



  • The key theme of Dy. Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the dual nature of man. Jekyll identifies that there is a good and a sinful side to humans. Not only are these two sides good vs. evil, but also civilised vs. uncivilised--thus why Hyde takes on an animalistic, savage demeanor. This novel suggests that there is a savage part of all humans, not simply that some are lesser developed or civilised than others. 

  • Reputation is very important to the characters in the novel. Jekyll is more concerned about maintaining his reputation than the evil things Hyde is doing. Utterson also seems more concerned with protecting Jekyll’s reputation than ensuring Hyde is ever punished or stopped. Because reputation is valued so highly, the characters hide much of their true selves.

  • Many of the characters in the novel are scientists. Dr. Lanyon is concerned with rational science, while Dr. Jekyll experiments more with the spiritual and supernatural. Science is powerful but frightening in the novel. The laboratory is portrayed as curious and odd, and the transformation from Jekyll to Hyde is described as grotesque. Science is powerful in that is causes murders and other horrible deeds through Hyde’s actions.

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“Half of a yellow sun” summarised



·      Ugwu, an Igbo boy, goes to Nsukka to be a houseboy for Odenigbo. 

·      Odenigno is a man of strong character, who is in love with Olanna, the daughter of a wealthy man. 

·      The story then switches to Richard, an expatriate in Nigeria. 

·      Richard becomes friends with Olanna and Odenigbo. 

·      A few years pass, and Igbo is blamed for the coup that overthrows the government.

·      Olanna gives birth and takes their child to Kano to be with her relatives. 

·      Colonel Ojukwu announces a secession, but a war is declared on Biafra. Nsukka is evacuated. 

·      Olanna and Odenigbo get married, but there is an air raid during their reception. 

·      The story jumps back in time, to before the war. 

·      Olanna is in London and mother visits Odenigbo. She brings a girl named Amala with her. 

·      Odenigbo sleeps with Amala, and Olanna finds out and moves out. 

·      Olanna sleeps with Richard. She tells Odenigbo, but neither tells Kainene. 

·      Olanna and Odenigbo adopt Amala’s child, who we now know is Ugwu. 

·      The story comes back the the present. 

·      Odenigbo’s mother passes away and he starts drinking. 

·      Ugwu is drafted into the army and wounded. 

·      Kainene takes in Olanna and her family, but Kainene soon disappears. 

·      Ugwu learns his sister was raped and begins to write about his experience.

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