by Neshma Mattu
What struck me the most, after reading Silent Spring, was that it did not feel as if I noticed the notion of connectedness in an explicit way, but instead, I was convinced that it was inherent within her text. As a result of her literary style, it was not something that readers had to be reminded of so frequently, and this is because the idea is so deeply woven into her words.
On Carter’s The Bloody Chamber
By Elizabeth Staudacher
Through exploring the relationship between sex and violence, Angela Carter presents the stereotypical masculine and feminine traits as interchangeable in her writing. By presenting different types of heterosexual relationships and roles, Carter legitimizes the desires of women and encourages them to pursue those desires, while deconstructing gender stereotypes.
On DeLillo’s White Noise
By Saakshi Patel
Death is the most prominent theme in Don DeLillo’s White Noise, manifested in the lives of Jack and Babette, primarily in the form of constant noise in the background. This continuous ‘white’ noise is representative of the couple’s constant thoughts about dying. All the important characters in the book contribute to this noise, with the exception of one – Wilder.
On Sayers’ Gaudy Night
by Mindy Gan
Within the context of Gaudy Night, the academic women’s failure to catch Annie is attributed to their steadfast intellectual stances and their feelings of bias, two seemingly antithetical states of mind. Gaudy Night proposes that in order to be a successful academic, it is necessary to maintain equilibrium between intellectual honor and human compassion within oneself.
On Dorothy Sayers’ Gaudy Night
by Kelly Chan
Being able to take power over one’s inner demons is an essential aspect of feminism according to bell hooks in All About Love. All About Love, in turn, can be used to critique the extent to which Gaudy Night is a feminist novel, as hooks herself discusses the impacts the feminist movement has on these inner demons.
On Carter’s The Bloody Chamber
By Henrike Scholz
Carter combines the fairy tale, that most basic and innocent form of moral education, with pornography; material that also occupies the realm of fantasy, but for the antithetical purpose of eliciting erotic excitement. In doing so, she challenges the lessons about identity, gender and sexuality disseminated through both genres.
On Shakespeare’s The Tempest
by Mabon Foo
The trio of Miranda, Caliban and Ariel, despite the differing individual relationships with Prospero, are relegated to positions of inferiority in part due to their connections with femininity. While both Miranda and Caliban are belittled in response to their uneasy symbolism with potential female power and authority, for Ariel, forced femininity is instead used to neutralize his potential threat.
On Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau
by Brandon Forys
To most, vivisection would certainly seem at odds with a humanizing process like personifying animals in our imagination. In the Island of Dr. Moreau, Wells portrays vivisection as a way to, in a sense, literally humanize animals, by physically and psychologically shaping them into humanoid forms through reshaping their bodies and conditioning them to follow laws.
On Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience
by Caleb Verma
In both of his “The Chimney Sweeper” poems in Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Blake exposes the horror and corruption behind the culture that produces these young chimney sweeps, and delivers a critical commentary on how and why such atrocities and injustices are allowed to take place.
On Machiavelli’s The Prince
by Kate Tandberg
Any discussion of The Prince inevitably runs into the problem of Machiavelli’s true intention and beliefs. The purpose of this essay is not to understand why The Prince was written, but to understand what the role of the People is within it, whatever Machiavelli’s personal conviction may have been.