DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets- Notes

Background Information:

-        1893 novel by American author Stephen Crane

-        a novella because of its short length

-        the work was considered too risqué by publishers so Crane had to finance the publication of the novel himself

-        Takes place in the Bowery, a New York neighborhood in lower Manhattan.

-        Maggie was published during the time of industrialization

-        American author was inspired by French naturalism


-        a literary movement that used detailed realism to suggest that social conditions, heredity, and environment had inescapable force in shaping human character

-        replicate a believable everyday reality

-        scientific underlying forces that shape a person

-        no free will

-        pessimism

Chapter 1:

-        the language is VERY descriptive and vivid- he uses a lot of adjectives


-        "A very little boy stood upon a heap of gravel for the honor of Rum Alley”- very ironic b/c “little boy” and “honor” don’t go hand in hand

-        the way that the characters are talking is written exactly the way they would actually say it

-        the fight seemed so grand and “warlike” until the father came and made it seem childish and petty


Chapter 2 +3 :

-        listing the looks of people to show how bad and dirty the location of jimmie’s house was

-        the description of the family – u can already see the disorder and chaos of it

-        THE mothers name is MARY- but she sounds evil and horrible***

-        drunk mother and a family that is always fighting and yelling- Naturalism

-        neighbors could care less- they only care about their own troubles

Chapter 4-6:

-        Harsh transition into the present- baby died

-        Jimmie grew up to be cold hearted and being arrested multiple times because his family

-        they have both been shaped by the environment of violence and degradation that surrounds them

-        and experience as a young boy shaped his personality as he grew older- naturalism**

-        P.32 is example of jimmie growing up to be like his father

-        Maggie trying to escape the world she is in and finding her “ideal” man= pete a bartender “elegant” occupation p. 38- wants to live in a ROMANTIC in hopes for a better world

Chapter 7-11:

-        The bar place was a place to escape worries of the factories

-        Listing the events to show the distractions from work

-         Mother says that Maggie is going to hell….then the narrator said “ she went”-FORSHADOWING what is going to happen to her later in the story


Questions to ask about the Novel:

-        Think about the use of dialect in the novel… Crane makes an attempt to preserve this dialect.- what is the effect of using this dialogue –instead of talking in an “understandable way?

Crane wants portray the streets realistically and does this by using the rhythms of street talk and its slang. Also, at many times the readers may become confused and lost in this style of speech



DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Salma Yehia

                                     Alexander Pope: Rape of the Lock Notes

-        Belinda= Arabella Fermor; the Baron= Lord Petre;

-        A  mock epic- not to mock the form itself, but to mock his society in its very failure to rise to epic standards ( spark notes)

-        Critiques social issues

Canto 1:

-        Belinda wakes up late and the Sylph named Ariel - personal guardians ( in her dreams) warns her that something bad is going to happen

-        Whoever rejects mankind s guarded by a sylph- guards purity

-        Belinda is getting ready in the moring and is described as a goddess and many details of the rich house are described

Canto 2:

-        She is beautiful and goes on a boat with friends

-        The Baron admires Belinda’s locks, and is determined to steal them for himself.

-        Ariel gets an army of Sylph to protect Belinda

Canto 3:

-        During coffee, the Baron tries to cut her hair ..Clarissa hands him the scissors


Canto 4:

-        Secret passions- she was hiding something

-        A gnome plays with Belinda’s emotions?

-        Her beu- Umbriel tries to convince the Baron to give Belinda her hair back




Canto 5:

-        Belinda puts out an attack on the Baron

-        Clarissa makes a moralizing speech about how a womens beuty is beyond simply her her aspects

-        The lock gets lost in chaos and becomes a star

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Salma Yehia

Humanities notes


Johann Goethe- The Sorrows of Young Werther ( Book 1)

-        The book is in form of letters/journal in chronicle order to a friend named William

-        He is blissful when it comes to nature and has very vivid descriptions: ex. “My whole being is filled with a marvelous gaiety, like the sweet spring mornings that I enjoy with all my heart” (pg. 24)

-        Religious imagery: ex. “ So that it might be the mirror of my soul as my soul as my soul is the mirror of Infinite God” (pg. 25)

-        “ I know that we human beings were not created equal and cannot be, but I am of the opinion that he who keeps aloof from the so called rabble in order to preserve the respect he feels is his due is just as reprehensible as the coward who hides from his enemies because he fears to be defeated by them.” ( people not all equal, he believes that a man who tries to preserve his honor is just as disgraceful as the man who is afraid of his enemies”  (pg. 26)

-        He reads Homer much of the time and he likes being secluded from society: “Nature is infinitely rich and capable of developing a great artist” (pg. 30)

-        It’s ironic that he is such a peaceful person but he reads a lot of Homer. Homer wrote mostly about war

-        He has many analogies and “wise sayings”---he sounds like an old wise man

-        He lived in Wahlheim and he visited there often. He likes having fun with children when he visits Wahlheim. He’s also an artist and he daydreams a lot

-        Lotte and Albert: Lotte is the woman that he loves. Albert is her fiancée.

-        Pg. 59 – foreshadowing his suicide

-        This book has a limited point of view because you only know his side of the story. William is responding to his letters but you cannot see what William is writing back. Also, William might be a poet

-        Albert’s conversations and actions are often left out, so the story is extremely one-sided

-        Werther seems desperate in his love for Lotte

-        Lotte speaks in a poetic manner all the time


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Salma Yehia

John Donne- Notes

  • Donne turns even the least likely images into elaborate symbols of love and romance.
  • John Donne was persecuted for being a Catholic in a country that was predominately Protestant
  • He talks about spheres, discovering, and nature

"The Flea"

-        The poem speaks of  a couple who see a fly

-        The flea has sucked first his blood, then her blood and now they are together

-        Being together can’t be a sin because the flea has joined them together in a way more than they would do

-        The speaker then tells his lover not to kill the flee because it has 3 lives within it

-        She kills the flea anyway and the speaker says that she is “cruel and sudden” killing the “blood of innocence”

-        The speaker asks her what the flea’s sin was, other than having sucked from each of them a drop of blood.

-        The lover says that neither of them is less honorable for having killed the flea. He says that if that’s true then If she were to sleep with him  she wouldn’t lose anymore honor than by killing the flea

"The Sun Rising"

-        The speaker is asking the sun why it bothers him and his lover- he tells it to go bother schoolboys or call ants to their harvest

-        The speaker says he can ellipse the sun by closing his eyes except he wants to keep looking at his lover

-        He is saying that all of the world is contained within the bedroom, and that this love affair is so grand that the kings copy it

-        By the end of the poem, the speaker almost takes pity on the sun and tells it to shine on him and his lover


 "Air and Angels"

-        Love is being represented as something greater than human comprehension

-        It says how love is not just about the outside beauty of a person but about affection on a spiritual level

-        Air is the purest of all elements, and that’s how the angels transcend themselves to humans

-        Donne is saying that love needs a way to transcend itself as well, and so he trys to think of different possibilities- one such way might be the physical women body..but this doesn’t work so he uses an analogy to a ship- the women’s body is so overloaded that it sinks

-        The right medium is through the woman's love itself. Just as air is not as pure as the angel it manifests, neither is the woman's love as pure as his (supposedly) , but it is the only way for it to show itself- maybe its saying that both people need to be mutually fully in love??

"The Bait"

-        There is an extended metaphor  which compares a pretty woman to fish bait and men to fish, who are desperately hoping to be caught by the woman (fish bait)

-        The women has the qualities of the sun- a “paradise” land is described @ the beginning

-        The poem describes how the men betray one another and themselves in their pursuit for the “winning” the love of the women. They don’t actually care about receiving the love of the women

-        5th stanza: “freeze with angling reeds, /and cut their legs with shells and weeds”. The fish are struggling and are getting hurt in their pursuit for love. There is imagery of loss of ability to move and escape… talks about how the women may not be as wonderful as was shown in previous stanzas

-        The women is her own bait and she has caught herself in her own trap and that the wiser of the fish are those who have stood clear of all allurement= the speaker

-        The poem explains how people ( like fish) can lose all sense of direction and swim desperately  & how people are easily manipulated and thus find themselves enchanted/trapped


 "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning"

-        The speaker has to be apart from his lover for some time, but he tells her not to cry or be sad b/c they shouldn’t “broadcast” their love in such a way

-        Even though he has to go, their souls are one and so they are not enduring a breach, they are experiencing an “expansion”- ex. = “Like gold to aery thinness beat”.

-         If their souls are separate then they are like the feet of a compass: His lover’s soul is the fixed foot in the center, and his is the foot that moves around it. :“Thy firmness makes my circle just, / And makes me end, where I begun.”


"To His Mistress Going to Bed”

-        The man is trying to get the women get into bed with him by telling her to shed off all her layers and take his nakedness as an example of how she should be naked like him

-        The cloth being described sound fancy and luxurious, and they seem to be plentiful with layers

-        Donne uses a twist on blazon (listing a women’s virtues) to describe the women’s many layers of clothing. Instead of speaking of the women’s virtues, Donne's focuses solely on her appearance.


 Holy Sonnets 1, 5, 9, 10, 11, and 14


-        he is speaking directly to God, asking God to hurry up and fix him before death/sinful life takes hold of his soul

-         He sees life flashing before him, and is afraid he won’t be able to go to heaven


-        This sonnet is about Donne living in conflict/misery after his separation from the Catholic Church to the Protestant church


-        Donne is angry when he was told he should be a minister against his wishes

-        “Why should intent or reason, born in me, make sins, else equal, in me more heinous?” He doesn’t think that he should be punished for his desires and personal beliefs.

-        However, he does decide to accept the fact that he is good at being a minister and that he will still be punished for his actions.

-         After he accepts his future, he tries to make a deal with god; God can punish him for his sins, but he asks that when he dies, they be forgotten.


-        Donne personifies death, and believes that death is not the "Mighty and dreadful" entity that people fear

-        He shows morality of death by speaking “with it” and he says that death is not scary but might actually be a peaceful escape from life by comparing death to sleep


-        Donne is asking himself why he got off easily with his sins when the Jesus, the sinless man received the ultimate punishment

-         ??



-        Donne wishes for a violent, overwhelming encounter with God to renew his faith

-        Ironically, instead of shining on him, the speaker wants God to burn him

-        Donne uses double meaning at the end of the sonnet: The speaker can never be free unless God "enthralls" him (enslave or to charm)




DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

The ODYSSEY (books I, II, IV (495-830), V, VIII)


Book I:  Muse ( daughter of Zeus)  tells a story of a man-

                   This “man” was-

-        like a “diamond in the rough”

-         was harassed and not treated rightly

-         nor commended for his humble and honest behavior; he was wise

-        He was a warrior

-         and listened more than he talked  ( his shipmates were the opposite of him)

-        This man was “Lord Odysseus”- whom Poseidon hated

-        The gods afflict things on the mortals, and they warn these mortals of their wrong doings, but their own failings are their own faults

-        Kalypso ( a nymph, immortal) daughter of Atlas will not let go of Odysseus

-        The gods in the stories seem humanlike mortals because they complain and show their emotions

-        Athena cares a lot about Odysseus as she talks to Zeus about her worries for him

-        Repetitive theme of lust and desire= corruptive to the mortals minds

-        If people had met this man who was good, but now lost, they would care less for the “wealth”

-        Its rare to find sensible men who’s minds go farther than the simple desires that rot the mind (p. 231…lines 260-267)

-        Athena brought Odysseus spirits up, an gave him hope

-        The son (Telemakhos)  finally tells the suitors to get out of the house; although this is a VERY old story, the moral still holds that people take advantage of each other; and that if you want to get rid of someone you have to stand up for yourself like Athena told the son to do. (p. 234- 406-419 & 237-50-69[ book 2])


Book II:

-        The son gives a speech to the people and becomes angry, because he has been taken advantage of and will not stand it any longer

-        the men blame his mother- this shows the ranking of women in the society of that decade

-        women were thought of as evil, sly

-        the son does justice to this silly talk and says he could never ban the women that had raised him and gave birth to him (p.239)

-        Zeus sent  a warning but the men who were “modern” did not believe in such things no longer

-        Whenever the son talks, the narration describes him as “ clear-headed”,  “no confusion”, “seeing all clear”

-        Athena got him a ship with a crew so that he may find news of his father

Book IV (495-830) :

-        Son of Atreus told “the son” a story of what happened to hime: learned about 3 men who were stranded on his journey: 1st is alive- a castaway at sea; the 2nd Aias, perished but not after first being tortured by Poisidon?  The 3rd is Odysseous  whom the nymph has, and he has no boat to escape…then son of Atreus had to pray to the gods and thank them to be able to go any farther

-        The son of Atreus wanted to keep “the son” for a year and give him presents”- he refused bc he needs to find info on his father

-        Men became suspicious of “the son” and of his whereabouts and the way in which  he left

-        They decided to find him at sea, to go after him, and make him disappear like his father

-        They decide to put the “ keen bronze” through him when we comes home

-        Lady Penelope ( the maid who helped the son pack for his trip) finally told the mother



Book V:


-        Athena talks before Zeus asking him to help Odysseus get back home

-        Zeus decides his fate my telling Hermes to bring him back home, but only after building himself a raft, being alone, then getting gifts

-        After hermes told her to release Odysseus, she said that – its not fair that the gods hate it when mortals and immortals are together, she is the one who saved him, fed, him, loved him..but after warning from hermes, she let him go.

-        Odysseus thinks that she is being crule and putting more spells bc he thinks its impposible to cross the sea with simply a raft.

-        As he was at sea, Posiden gave him a hard time with hurricaine winds- he thought he was going to die

-        Ino- Kadmos’ daughter, saved him and gave him his cloak & he finally found land

-        Athena was with him the whole time helping him


In all the books, there is a grand question of, WHY have the gods chosen Odysseus, his son, and a very select group of mortals to save


Book VIII:


-        Alkinoos helps Odysseus get a ship and crewsman & he welcomes the whole village to feast with them

-        The people challenge him in games; even though he is wiser than them and doesn’t want to “play” and deal with these silly games since he has had enough at sea and in trying to be alive. But he does anyway and wins

-        People in the village are very materialistic vs. Odysseus who thinks about the value of life and family

-        The song that the minstrel sang- a story of cheating..???

-        Don’t understand pages 317-319….?????



DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.