Analysis of ‘The Island’

The Island – Athol Fugard Background Athol Fugard was born to an English father of mixed European descent and an Afrikaner mother. He grew up in Port Elizabeth which forms the setting for most plays. He went on to study anthropology and philosophy at the University of Cape Town but dropped out a few months… Read More »

Analysis of ‘I know Why the Caged Bird Sings’

I know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou Background Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri on 4 April, 1928. She was named Marguerite but her brother Bailey Johnson who could not pronounce it, began calling her Maya. Eventually, she accepted that as her name. Maya had a very disturbed childhood. When… Read More »

Analysis of Cat’s Cradle

Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut Background Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 11, 1922, to Kurt Vonnegut Sr. who was a well known architect and Edith Sophia Vonnegut. The Depression hit the family hard reducing their income considerably forcing Kurt to attend public school unlike his siblings who went to a private… Read More »

Analysis of ‘Tears, idle tears’ by lord tennyson

Background Lord Tennyson was inspired by the Romantics like Keats and Wordsworth. He used a wide range of subjects taken from classical myths, medieval legends and commonplace domestic situations. It is in the short lyrics that his mastery for exploring the musical quality of language can be seen. He revised and polished his poems extensively… Read More »

Analysis of ‘The Old Man and the Sea’

The Old Man and The Sea – Ernest Hemingway Background Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois where his father worked as a doctor and his mother was musician. Hemingway started working with a newspaper before he was eighteen. At eighteen, at the height of the First World War, he volunteered to be an… Read More »

Analysis of Antigone

Antigone – Sophocles Background Not much is known about the life of Sophocles. Some sketchy details have survived and the rest has been gleaned from the 10th century Suda Lexicon, a Greek dictionary and the Sophocles: Life and Works, an anonymous work that was discovered in the 13th century. Sophocles was born around 496 B.C.… Read More »

Analysis of ‘The Animal Farm’

The Animal Farm – George Orwell Background Writing under the pen name George Orwell, Eric Blair was a British political novelist and essayist whose pointed criticism of totalitarian governments and British colonial ambitions made him one of the most important chroniclers of his times. He is best known for his dystopian novel, 1984 and the… Read More »

Analysis of Pygmalion

Pygmalion – George Bernard Shaw Background Pygmalion was written by George Bernard Shaw who is considered to be the second greatest English dramatist after William Shakespeare. Writing plays was, however, only one of Shaw’s many interests. He was also a music and drama critic, a socialist, a polemicist and a champion of women’s rights. One… Read More »

Analysis of Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert Background Madame Bovary, which came out in 1856, was Gustave Flaubert’s first published novel. It focuses on the life of a provincial doctor’s wife who gets into affairs and lives beyond her means in order to escape from the boredom of an imperfect life in a small provincial French town.… Read More »

Line-by-line Analysis of ‘The Planners’ by Boey Kim Cheng

The Planners By Boey Kim Cheng The poet addresses his unhappiness and anger at the rapid urbanization all around. He believes that the only people to blame are the real estate ‘planners’ whose only objective is to make money. 1) The poet says that the planners only sketch, plan and build on all spaces available.… Read More »

Line-by-line Analysis of ‘The Cockroach’ by Kevin Halligan

The Cockroach by Kevin Halligan 1) This sonnet is an extended metaphor of the poet’s life, which is revealed as he observes an insignificant insect, a cockroach closely. Halligan uses the word ‘giant’ to establish the extended metaphor and disclose how closely he was observing the creature. 2) He describes, with the use of kinaesthetic… Read More »

Line-by-line Analysis of ‘The City Planners’ by Margaret Atwood

The City Planners By Margaret Atwood Like ‘The Planners’ by Boey Kim Cheng, ‘The City Planners’ by Margaret Atwood also addresses the effects of rapid urbanization and the monopoly of the planners. 1-2) Atwood describes the sights that meet her eye as she cruises along a residential complex on a bright August Sunday. 3-4) She… Read More »

Line-by-line Analysis of ‘Pike’ by Ted Hughes

Pike by Ted Hughes Ted Hughes makes his passion for angling very evident in the poem. The poem can be divided into three distinct parts (1) the description of the fish (2) the description of its natural habitat (3) its predatory and cannibalistic nature. 1) The poet opens with a description of the fish. He… Read More »