CliffsNotes on Melville's Billy Budd & Typee, Revised Edition

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Explore two lively classic tales of adventure on the high seas with CliffsNotes Billy Budd & Typee, the study guide that can raise your insight as well as your test scores! Meet Billy Budd, the sailor that everyone likes . . . or do they? And then set sail through the wild side of the South Seas in Typee. You’ll be up to speed on all the plot details and more with in-depth character analysis, critical essays, and insight into the novel's literary devices. You'll also discover background information on the life of Herman Melville and his place in American literature.
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About the author

MARY ELLEN SNODGRASS is an award-winning author of textbooks and general reference works, and a former columnist for the Charlotte Observer. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Appalachian State University, and holds degrees in English, Latin, psychology, and the education of gifted children.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Published on
Sep 10, 2004
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Pages
91
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ISBN
9780544179943
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / American / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Sea-Brothers offers the most extensive analysis to date of the sea and its meaning in American literature. On the basis of his study of Melville, Crane, London, Hemingway, Matthiessen, and ten lesser-known sea-writers, Bert Bender argues that the tradition of American sea fiction did not end with the opening of the western frontier and the replacement of sailing ships by steamers. Rather, he demonstrates its continuity and vitality, identifying a central vision within the tradition and showing how particular authors draw from, transform, and contribute to it.

What is most distinctive about American sea fiction, Bender contends, is its visionary, often mystical, response to the biological world and to man's perceived place in the larger universe. When Melville envisioned the sea as the essential element of life, indeed as life itself, he changed the course of American sea fiction by introducing the relevance of biological thought. But his meditations on the whale and "the ungraspable phantom of life" project a different reality from that envisioned by his successors. In American sea fiction after Melville, the influence of Origin of Species is as powerful as that of Moby Dick or the theme of sailing ships being displaced by steam.

The ideal of brotherhood so central to American sea fiction was severely compromised by the biological reality of a competitive, warring nature. Twentieth-century sea fiction has continued to center on the biological world and address the possibility of democratic brotherhood, but the issues were fundamentally changed by Darwin's theories.

This book will be a valuable source for students and scholars of American literature and will interest readers of sea fiction.

Award-winning African-American playwright August Wilson created a cultural chronicle of black America through such works as Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, and Two Trains Running. The authentic ring of wit, anecdote, homily, and plaint proved that a self-educated Pittsburgh ghetto native can grow into a revered conduit for a century of black achievement. He forced readers and audiences to examine the despair generated by poverty and racism by exploring African-American heritage and experiences over the course of the twentieth century. This literary companion provides the reader with a source of basic data and analysis of characters, dates, events, allusions, staging strategies and themes from the work of one of America’s finest playwrights. The text opens with an annotated chronology of Wilson’s life and works, followed by his family tree. Each of the 166 encyclopedic entries that make up the body of the work combines insights from a variety of sources along with generous citations; each concludes with a selected bibliography on such relevant subjects as the blues, Malcolm X, irony, roosters, and Gothic mode. Charts elucidate the genealogies of Wilson’s characters, the Charles, Hedley, and Maxson families, and account for weaknesses in Wilson’s female characters. Two appendices complete the generously cross-referenced work: a timeline of events in Wilson’s life and those of his characters, and a list of 40 topics for projects, composition, and oral analysis.
A landmark American drama that inspired a classic film and a Broadway revival—featuring an introduction by David Mamet

A blistering character study and an examination of the American melting pot and the judicial system that keeps it in check, Twelve Angry Men holds at its core a deeply patriotic faith in the U.S. legal system. The play centers on Juror Eight, who is at first the sole holdout in an 11-1 guilty vote. Eight sets his sights not on proving the other jurors wrong but rather on getting them to look at the situation in a clear-eyed way not affected by their personal prejudices or biases. Reginald Rose deliberately and carefully peels away the layers of artifice from the men and allows a fuller picture to form of them—and of America, at its best and worst.
 
After the critically acclaimed teleplay aired in 1954, this landmark American drama went on to become a cinematic masterpiece in 1957 starring Henry Fonda, for which Rose wrote the adaptation. More recently, Twelve Angry Men had a successful, and award-winning, run on Broadway.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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