Hannah Lloyd Neall’s Short Story “Placer”

  “Placer”: a Place to Critique Christian Middle-Class Morality In Hannah Lloyd Neall’s short story “Placer”, an Indian baby is placed in the care of a middle-class Christian couple, the Hamilton’s, when John Hamilton recuses the infant from impending death. Upon bringing it home, John leaves it to Esther Hamilton to care for. Through the…

Louisa May Alcott’s “Behind a Mask”

Behind a Mask, by Louisa May Alcott, involves the thirty year old aging actress Jean Muir who’s quest to become a member of high society leads her to the wealthy Coventry family under the guise of being a nineteen year old Scottish governess needed for young Bella Coventry. In order to reach her end goal of marrying into…

Thomas Pynchon’s “Gravity’s Rainbow”

Here is some helpful info you should know while reading Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow The Author Thomas Pynchon was born in 1937 in Long Island, New York.  He studied engineering physics at Cornell University, but left after two years to join the Navy.  He later returned to Cornell in 1957 to pursue a degree in English,…

Jonathan Franzen’s “Freedom” – the Next Generation of the Great American Novel

Lawrence Buell’s essay, “The Unkillable Dream of the Great American Novel: Moby Dick as Test Case”, attempts to define the long debated definition of  “The Great American Novel” (GAN).  Buell asserts a few main qualifications for a novel to be considered part of the GAN category, a “text…that might encapsulate national experience…with fictional narratives that…