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Released in 1853, "Bartleby the Scrivener" is one of American author Herman Melville's most often-read and studied works (that is really saying a whole lot, considering that the man also penned several classics, such as Moby-Dick and Billy Budd). "Bartleby" is really a departure from the sea-faring adventures that Melville frequently presented to readers; in reality, this can be a story where the most fascinating thing that happens is in fact the simple fact that nothing really happens. The......Read More
In England, at the middle of the nineteenth century (a.k.a. Victorian times) Charles Dickens was totally fed up with Utilitarianism and Political Economy. Whoa, don't panic! Shmoop to the what-on-earth-is-that-big-capitalized-word rescue! Political Economy is exactly what they predicted economics back in the day, and Utilitarianism is the idea that we ought to put up society to do the greatest good for the most number of individuals. It sounds great when we say it like this, but how can anyone......Read More
George Lucas wasn't the first one to start a franchise in the middle of things--or at medias res, if you want to get all fancy about it. Star Wars was so popular that Lucas just had to go back and give us the prequel for the original 3 films. Some critics think Shakespeare did the identical thing: he wrote Henry VI, Parts two and 3 first, and after they were such crowd pleasers, he moved back and did a Part 1. Nowadays, we group Henry VI, Part 3 with other history plays known as the "first......Read More
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