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Book reviews for "Bloom,_Harold" sorted by average review score:

William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (Modern Critical Interpretation)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (December, 1988)
Authors: William Shakespeare, Harold Bloom, and William Golding
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Great example of Shakespearian Comedy
As always we see the "Love at first sight" theme. The nice change is the character Don John, who seems to merely have been placed into the story. The reader gets no explaination of his past, but we can conclude that he is determined to ruin the lives of the other characters. This allows the story to make many unfessable turns making it a great comedy

William Shakespeare's the Winter's Tale (Modern Critical Interpretations)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (April, 1987)
Authors: Harold Bloom and William Golding
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the winter's tale
Have been trying to get this book for a long time, so I am highly satisfied.

William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (Modern Critical Interpretations)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (August, 1987)
Authors: Harold Bloom and William Golding
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modern critical interpretations
Would not hesitate to use this bookselling team. They are courteous, caring and quick.

Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory (Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies)
Published in Paperback by Schocken Books (April, 1989)
Authors: Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Yosef Hayin Yerushalmi, Harold Bloom, and Yosef Hayim
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A classic
This book enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a classic in the field of Jewish studies. The author maintains that "Only in Israel and nowhere else is the injunction to remember felt as a religious imperative to an entire people." What follows is a brilliant discussion of the meaning and selectivity of memory in Jewish religious tradition. Yerushalmi then shows how secularization radically transformed the meaning of memory and history for Jews. Writing of the rise of Jewish historiography in early 19th century Germany, he notes: "For the first time it is not history that must prove its utility to Judaism, but Judaism that must prove its validity to history, by revealing and justifying itself historically."

Harper Lee's to Kill a Mockingbird (Bloom's Notes)
Published in Paperback by Chelsea House Publishing (March, 1996)
Authors: Harold Bloom and William Golding
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A Book Everyone Should Read
Scout, a young girl in a quiet southern town, is about to experience the dramatic events that will affect the rest of her life. She and her brother Jem are being raised by their widower father Atticus and by a strong-minded housekeeper Calpurnia. Wide-eyed Scout is fascinated with the sensitively revealed people of her small town but, from the start, there's a rumble of thunder just under the calm surface of the life here. The black people of the community have a special feeling about Scout's father and she doesn't know why. A few of her white friends are inexplicably hostile and Scout doesn't understand this either. Unpleasant things are shouted and the bewildered girl turns to her father. Atticus, a lawyer, explains that he's defending a young Negro wrongfully accused of a grave crime. Since this is causing such an upset, Scout wants to know why he's doing it. "Because if I didn't," her father replies, "I couldn't hold my head up."
Scout Finch recalls three years of her childhood during the Depression in Maycomb, Alabama, beginning the summer before her first grade. She lives with her older brother Jem and their lawyer father, Atticus, a widower. That summer they find a new friend named Dill Harris, whose interest in stirring up drama leads the children to try to entice the town bogeyman, Boo Radley, to come out. Meanwhile, a drama affecting the adults begins as Mayella Ewell, the daughter of a drunk and violent white farmer, accuses Tom Robinson, an African-American, of rape. Atticus is called on to defend the accused while Scout and Jem struggle to understand issues of prejudice and justice. The two dramas intersect as one person is killed, Jem's arm is broken, and Boo Radley does indeed come out.

A Classical Piece of American Literature
To Kill a Mockingbird is a timeless classic by Harper Lee. The book narrates the story of a young girl named Jean Louise Finch, also called ¡°Scout¡±. Lee presented this book through the eyes of Jean Louise.
The story takes place in Maycomb, Alabama, during the 1930¡¯s or so. The plot is about Scout¡¯s father, Atticus Finch (a lawyer), trying to defend Black suspect Tom Robinson for accused of raping a White girl in the Maycomb County of Alabama. The plot incorporates several issues that people were struggling during the time of the story, including racism, injustice, and prejudice. The entire novel circulates around Scout and her family. Many situational conflicts arise, from trying to make Boo Radley come out of seclusion to dealing with family and community difficulties.
Lee did a miraculous job of telling the story through the view of Scout. The characters were depicted hardly by their appearances, but by their personality traits, which showed advanced style in writing. The setting and the time periods had a great impact on the story, as people those days lived quite close to each other and knew their neighbors well. I was amazed how natural and realistic the characters were made. Scout and her older brother, Jeremy (also called Jem), reacted to situations exactly as many of the children now days would act. Almost every character in the story had a crucial role at some point of the story. The character development was beyond imagination. From Dill (Jem and Scout¡¯s best friend) coming to visit the Finch family in the summer, to Jem trying to make it past the Radley¡¯s gate, to Calpurnia (the house cook) scolding the children for not coming home, this piece of literature truly elaborated on pivotal character details. After reading this book, one would think he knows the characters quite well.
Overall, this was a fantastic novel to read and I was truly impressed with the quality of writing and development presented in this story by Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird will truly be an American Literature classic for as long as it will be remembered.

A Complex And Beautifully Written Novel
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee belongs in the pantheon of great American novels like Huck Fin. Indeed both stories are about children peering beneath the veneer of Southern life and coming face to face the ugly secrets of class distinction and racism. The discoveries of such secrets always lead children ultimately to the loss of their own innocence. However, unlike Huck Fin, Jem and Scout have Atticus Finch, their father, to guide them. Atticus is aware he can't keep the world away from his children forever. Perhaps it is for this reason that Atticus, a lawyer, decides to represent a black man wrongly accused of rape. Atticus is that rarest of people, a man who is willing to lead by example. It is the example Atticus sets for his children during this trial which will stay with Jem and Scout for the rest of their lives. I read To Kill A Mockingbird first in middle school and again years later during college. Upon my second read I was stunned by how much of the book I didn't understand during the first read. Everyone should be forced to read To Kill a Mockingbird twice. Full of profound and deeply moving truths regarding human nature, To Kill A Mockingbird is a complex and beautifully written novel.

Preston McClear...

George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (Bloom's Notes)
Published in Paperback by Chelsea House Publishing (May, 1996)
Authors: Harold Bloom and William Golding
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Still a relevant warning...
Although I have generally found Orwell to be a politically confused thinker, 1984 stands out as one of the best and most forward thinking works I have ever read. The amount of relevance this book has today is overwhelming, considering modern government propaganda techniques and the double edged sword of technology. This story serves as a warning to all who trust the government, especially in regards to privacy issues.

Winston Smith, while not the ideal romantic protagonist, is still compelling in his own right with his inspiring (and finally tragic) fight against Big Brother. The struggle that takes place between Winston and the government in 1984 is psychologically thrilling and intense, and it is still difficult for me to put the book down each time I read it. I am particularly drawn to the character of O'Brien, who represents to me the culmination of a path that all seasoned politicians and government officials travel down.

The year 1984 has come and past, but an extreme statist government similar to the one portrayed in the novel still may haunt us in the future.

One of the Best Books Ever Written
1984 is unquestionably one of the greatest books in the history of English literature. A terrifying look at the dangers of totalitarian government, it is ingeniously written and scarily realistic. George Orwell is meticulously thorough in his depiction of a world that is bleak, hopeless, and horrifying--and perhaps not as distant as we think. The writing style is factual and almost impersonal, reflecting not only the government but the people themselves, who have been reduced to unthinking robots. Protagonist Winston Smith's resistance against Big Brother (the symbolic leader of the Party) and ultimate complete acceptance and execution demonstrate the debility and irresolution of the human mind and spirit. The authoritarian government itself is eerily familiar, complete with conspiracies, cover-ups, and double-dealing politicians. While the year 1984 is long past, the book is still a relevant and potent warning of what the future may bring if we let it. The concept of 1984 is brilliant, the writing is brilliant, and it is nearly impossible not to love this book. 1984 is a definite must-read for anyone. Enthusiastically recommended; 5 stars.

The Most Frightening Book I've Ever Read
This book vividly portrays the most extreme end of socialism's slippery slope. The book is terrifying to read because the eery science fiction-like society which Orwell describes is not so inconceivable. I lived in Russia a few years ago and was struck by the cold impersonal drabness of everything. In the blank, hollow, empty eyes of many of Russia's elderly I saw how tyranny had literally erased personality. The spark of humanity which puts light in the eyes had been doused, and all that was left was a shell of a human being who was no longer a person, but merely a function with no independent thought. George Orwell's 1984 has existed to a large degree in totalitarian regimes of the past, and its radical egalitarian roots exist in society today. They seem to be an integral part of human nature's dark side.

Two things in this book were especially profound for me. First was Orwell's exposition of the social conflicts between the highs, the middles, and the lows, which Winston Smith read about in Goldstein's book. George Orwell understood totalitarianism well enough to see that equality is not socialism's end, but merely the propagandistic means for replacing the highs. Self-serving tyrants inevitably usurp socialism's ideals and use them to become the highs themselves, indulging themselves in privilege at the expense of the rest of society. After reading Goldstein's book, Winston understood the how, and O'Brien explained to him the why when he declared, chillingly, that power was an end in and of itself.

The second thing which struck me as profound was Orwell's exposition of Newspeak, the official language of Oceania which robbed people of their ability to think by robbing them of their ability to express thoughts in words. Rudimentary examples of doublethink, crimethink, and the thought police can be seen in various political groups within our society today.

This book is brilliant and prophetic, a must read for all those socialist utopians who have forgotten the dark realities of human nature.

Joseph Heller's Catch-22 (Modern Critical Interpretations)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (May, 2001)
Authors: Harold Bloom and Joseph Heller
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War is hilarious!
To be honest with all you gentle readers, I don't much admire War novels, nor do I stand by the title of my review. Generally, I believe War is truly Hell.

But last Winter, in the grips of a bout of quasi-depression-for-teens following a move to the most FLAT province in Canada, I truly thought I was in Hell. An e-mail friend suggested Catch-22 to use up edgy cabin-fever time. Now, let it be known that my attention span for most novels dwindles quickly, especially if the book is slow to pick up. While significantly slower to get 'into' than most of the writing I chase, Catch-22 sucked me in, like Alice down the rabbit hole. It is sharply funny, engaging, and chock full of delightful characters. The main character is a thinker; a young man disheartened by war and his own mortality. His name is Yossarian, and since reading this novel, he has stood out in my mind as being one of the most...sculpted... characters in the history of literature.

Put simply, this book is a satire about World War 2. Coming from a kid sickened by the very idea of war, I can say that this book is worth whatever bills you have to fork over for it. It's not about war, per se, but more about the human condition. In addition, it made me laugh a few times, something that only a few other works of fiction have ever been successful in accomplishing. I finished this book feeling oddly... renewed. If you're looking for something 'new' (or, so old it's new) and engaging, I heartily recommend 'Catch-22' by Joseph Heller.

Can we laugh about war? Just try not laughing.
This book is savagely funny and deadly serious all in one breath. There's the Texan that kills the soldier in white through unrelenting conviviality, the cat that sleeps on Hungry Joe's face and maybe eventually killing him, the soldier who see everything twice, Major Major Major Major, the atheist chaplain's assistants who run God's service so much better than the believing Chaplain ever could, and then there is the war and the desperate unfunny catch-22 to stay alive in a business that's bound to kill you.

I read this book in High School and have finished it off since then about 4 times. It solidified my love for literature. It taught me that to keep our sometimes feeble hold on sanity we have to find the ludicrous and humor in the dead seriousness of reality. It is pacifist's plea to find some sanity to end the state of things where we legally go out to kill each other, trading blows with the enemy underneath the bombardier's sites and the enemies among us. I wonder if Joseph Heller could find Peace quite as tragically funny.

"The only thing going on was a war, and no one seemed to notice...Yossarian had proof, because strangers he didn't know shot at him with cannons every time he flew up into the air to drop bombs on them, and it wasn't funny at all. And if that wasn't funny, there were lots of things that weren't even funnier." It's the humor amid the tragedy that in war people die and when people die, there is little laughter and to hold on to your sanity you must laugh. That's a catch isn't it? I'll close this in the words of Jimmy Buffet and thank you Joseph Heller for teaching us well, "If we didn't laugh we'd all go insane."

Absolutely indispensible
Catch-22 is one of those rare books that absolutely everyone should read; I reccommend it unceasingly to anyone and everyone. Though it is long, it is very readable, and you'll probably go through it quickly because it's so entertaining. Aside from its sheer fun and humor however, is the true message behind the book. It is often cited as being one of the great ant-war novels - and, indeed, it is just about flawless in this respect - but it goes much deeper than that. Catch-22 is really a book about paradoxes, and the sheer (necessary) insanity of modern life. The title itself is now a common - and oft-heard - refrain in the English language, and many might be unaware of its original source. The dictionary defines "Catch-22" as "a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule" - and that is exactly what the novel presents: situations showing the sheer necessary insanity of modern life. (War is one such - perhaps the most obvious - instance, but there are many others. This book offers satire on other subjects as well - i.e., federal aid for farmers.) And could life as we know it exist without this inherent madness? The question might be a lot more difficult to answer than you think. The premise of this book can also be summed up in a phrase from another great author, Fyodor Dostoevsky, "If everything on earth were rational, nothing would happen." That is what the book tries to say. It is not merely a simple anti-war book, despite what some shallow-headed readers and reviewers might say. I suggest that you read the book with an open mind: it's well worth it. The book is quite hilarous as well - the satire being very sharp-toothed. The book does not have a plot - indeed, it does not even attempt to tell a story, at least not in the usual sense. (Nearly) every chapter is named for a character in the book, and that chapter gradually portrays some of that particular character's crazy antics. Little bits of plot are glimpsed here and there, and then revealed gradually. The book is very non-linear and quite scattershot. It's similar to the way Kurt Vonnegut writes. I reccommend that everyone read this book. Quite aside from its near universal praise and the fact that an everyday word has sprung from it, it was in the Top 10 (#6, I believe) on New Modern Library's Top 100 Books of the 20th century. Put it on your reading list.

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Published in Paperback by Chelsea House Publishing (December, 1999)
Author: Harold Bloom
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Perfect for first time Austen Readers/A Must for Austen Fans
I have always loved the style and social politics of the Regency period (the time of Jane Austen.) But when I read "Sense and Sensibility" in 7th grade I found the first few chapters lifeless, dull and hard to read. Two years later I was encouraged by a friend to give "Pride and Prejudice" a try. I did and have since become a complete Janeite. I am now able to peruse joyfully through "Sense and Sensibility" with a new understanding and appreciation of Jane Austen. The reason? "Pride and Prejudice" is fresh, witty and is a great introduction to Jane Austen's writing style without the formality of some of her other novels (unlike S&S and Persuasion Austen does not give us a 10 page history of each family and their fortune.) If you have never read Jane Austen or have read her other novels and found them boring, read Pride and Prejudice. The characters, and the situations Austen presents to them, are hysterical and reveal a lot about Regency society and morality. This book perfectly compliments a great writer like Jane Austen and is essential to every reader's library. The Penguin Edition of the book is stellar and I personally recommend it not only for the in-depth and indispensable footnotes, but also for the cover that is non-suggestive of any of the characters' appearances. In summary "Pride and Prejudice" is a great book for beginner Austen readers and seasoned fans, and Penguin Classics is a great edition for fully enjoying and understanding the book.

A True Love Story
Pride And Prejudice, written by Jane Austen, is an amazing work on the nature of love. Austen uses beautiful language and intriguing characters to tell this story of courtship in a time when reputation was everything. The main character, Elizabeth Bennet, is a clever-witted woman who manages to gracefully glide through the lines set up by society. Although she does not always come off as lady-like, her charm and confidence demand the reader's respect. She is surrounded by a cast of diverse characters, creating a riveting plotline. Her mother is a rather quirky character who wants nothing more than to see her daughters wed. Her father, on the other hand, is a sarcastic and intelligent man who favors Elizabeth for her wit. These characters are brought together with the Bingley's when Elizabeth's older sister, Jane, falls for Mr. Bingley. Here, we are introduced to the stubborn and proud character of Mr. Darcy. He seems to be above everyone else and completely opposed to the idea of love.
When Elizabeth Bennet catches Darcy's eye, however, a battle between the mind and the heart begins. These two chracters are faced with the obstacles set up by a strict, Victorian society. Their largest obstacle, however, will be to overcome their own pride and prejudice, and discover their love for one another. Is this a battle that the heart can win?

Pride & Prejudice: Surprising Passion in a Novel of Manners
It is unfortunate that most first time readers of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE see it merely as one more book to be endured in 11th grade English. However, most soon enough catch the magic of an author (Jane Austen) who can weave a spellbinding tale of love, romance, satire, and passion while all the while poking a not so gentle thrust at the social mores of the early 19th century. This book is no frilly ancestor of a Harlequin romance, even if it shares with the dim-witted heroines of Harlequin a time-honored plot of lovers who meet and find an instant dislike that later morphs into enduring love. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE starts off with that basic premise, but what sets it off as classic is what goes on behind the lovers, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. A careful reader usually notes the society in which Elizabeth and Darcy play out their little games of cross-purpose verbal repartee. The world of Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is a society ruled by conniving and single-minded women who see men only in terms of the size of their wallets. Whenever a new bachelor appears on the scene, the women of the novel (with the exception of Elizabeth, of course) immediately try to guess his income so that they can decide if one wishes to marry him. His age, his looks, his habits are much less significant than his income. A fat purse compensates for a fat head.

Modern readers typically call such schemers 'golddiggers,' and according to modern values, perhaps they are, but these readers ought to judge the book's morality against the age in which it was written. Austen (1775 - 1817) lived in an England that prized manners and breeding over all else. It is no surprise, then, that since the reclusive author felt most comfortable only in the company of women, that she would limit her book only to the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and habits of women. In PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, men are never permitted to occupy center stage, nor are they shown interacting independently with other men. If a man is present in any scene, so must a woman to control and observe his actions. Men--even the eventually triumphant Darcy--are generally portrayed as vain, sycophantic, sarcastic, and totally aware that they they are prized only for their money.

The world of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, especially if one has seen the fine film version starring Greer Garson, is one that seems to have been built for women to inhabit. All the women wear flouncy, bouncy dresses with huge flowered hats that Scarlet O'Hara might have worn in GONE WITH THE WIND. Even those ladies that complain of poverty never lack the funds to afford those outrageous outfits. Further, Miss Austen stages a ball in just about every third chapter that permits single women to size up eligible men. As these dandefied women and uniformed men speak to each other, the modern reader probably will be surprised at the excessive politeness and deference tossed unerringly about. This strict adherence to a surface morality ought not to fool the reader into assuming that the characters are as inwardly noble as they are outwardly polite. In fact, behind this massive wall of formal phrasing and good manners lies the same fears, jealousies, and general backstabbing that pervade a modern disco. What gives PRIDE AND PREJUDICE its perpetual charm is the biting irony that causes the reader to wonder: 'Did that character say what I think he (or she) just said?' The modern reader can best appreciate Austen's wit if she can read between the lines to sense the tone of the moment. If such a reader can see that this book is a polite if powerful indictment of a way of life that even Austen wished to poke fun of, then perhaps this reader can appreciate the charm of a book that grows with each successive reading.

Animal Farm (Modern Critical Interpretations)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (January, 1999)
Authors: Harold Bloom and George Orwell
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Animal Farm
George Orwell's Animal Farm is a superb animation of the Russian Revolutioon. The book is amusing and interesting; it includes a comic element as it synonymously demonstrates the evolution from the proletariat revolution to a totalitarian government led by the swine of the society. Orwell successfully simplified the not-so-simple theory of class stratification and Karl Marx's proposed solution of communism. Orwell's method of conveyance is incredibly inventive. He uses satire in the form of a fairy tale to share his indignation for ideological doctrines that would, if allowed, lead to the eventual destruction of a society. Each character in the story is representative of someone who was involved in the Russian Revolution. Old Major is Marx, and inspires the proletariat revolution by motivating the over-worked animals and educating them on the ways of the human beings, who represent the bourgeoisie. Orwell's creativity convinces the reader that the animals on the farm are intellectual beings, revolting against the tyranny of the humans. Animal Farm offers itself as an example of a responsible criticism of Marxism. The story gives us a peek at the Utopian vision, and then offers a long look at what results from using a Marxist approach at achieving it. I strongly reccomend this book, as it is entertaining and educational. Orwell succeeded in creating a fairy tale that evokes both sadness and laughter, while causing us to feel sympathy and even empathy for the working class animals. The book escapes complexity, but its message does not.

Failed Utopia
George Orwell writes about a society that parallels the Soviet Union in his satirical novel, Animal Farm, where the animals revolt against their cruel master and form a new society based on the same principles as communism.
After the animals' revolt and the formation of Animal Farm, the animals' name for their society, things start to look up. But as with the real Soviet Union, the leadership begins to become corrupt, conditions deteriorate, and freedoms slowly slip away. By the time anyone outside the leadership realizes what is happening, it may be too late.
This interesting and easy to read book provides fascinating political commentary on Orwell's time-period and the failures of communism (specifically the USSR). The reader's ability to see where things are going and the ability to spot the parallels of the characters from the novel in history only enhances the book and George Orwell gets his point across without mentioning the Soviet Union, its leaders, or communism even once. His warnings on the dangers of any form of totalitarianism show through in his writing, and this book almost reads like 1984 (another Orwell classic) in parts.
Those who read this looking for a happy fairy tale where a bunch of talking animals live in an utopia of their making will probably not be satisfied, nor will the story be rewarding if the reader ignores the historical context of the novel. But if you're looking for an interesting novel and don't mind the constant reminder that this was meant as a political commentary, you will probably enjoy this book.

Four legs good, two legs bad, this book good!
Taking a Russian history class and learning in detail about Joseph Stalin's rule would help one understand Animal Farm much better, as well as the characters. George Orwell's hatred of totalitarianism, especially that of the Stalinist USSR, formed the basis for this short satirical fiction.

A band of oppressed farm animals oust Jones, their cruel human owner and take over the farm. Led by two pigs, Napoleon and Snowball, the animals proceed to run the farm by themselves so they are no longer exploited.

Napoleon is clearly Stalin, while Snowball is based on Leon Trotsky, and the Old Major is Lenin. Squealer may be Molotov or Kaganovich, but I'm not sure. The first attack on the Farm by Jones and his men is based on the Russian Civil War (1918-1921), where disorganized factions of anti-communists attacked the Soviet Union from all sides, and lost. However, things don't always go in parallel, as the Old Major dies before the Revolution. Lenin of course precipitated the Revolution in 1917. And note the date of the liberation of Manor Farm: 12 October. That is close to 24 October, the date of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Other items: Boxer the horse is the epitome of the hard worker whose two sayings are "Napoleon is always right" and "I will work harder." In fact he may be Stakhanov, the worker whose team so efficiently met their quota in one of Stalin's 5-Year Plans, that the word Stakhanovite became synonymous with an A-One Soviet worker. And the inability of most animals to read only the first two letters of the alphabet hint at their being lowly, illiterate subjects blindly obedient to the State.

The Seven Commandments--ironic for a Biblical reference in an atheist system-- plays an important key to the book, as they keep changing during Napoleon's reign. They are: "Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy, 2) Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend, 3) No animal shall wear clothes, 4) No animal shall sleep in a bed, 5) No animal shall drink alcohol, 6) No animal shall kill any other animal, and 7) All animals are equal." However, as Napoleon consolidates his rule, the Commandments become slightly altered. For example, after the animal executions, analogous to Stalin's purges, the sixth Commandment has the words "without cause" appended. And talk about irony in using the name of Napoleon for the Stalin character when in fact Napoleon invaded Russia, the result of which increased distrust of the West by Russians.

Orwell's portrait of the totalitarian state would be finalized in his masterpiece 1984. Animal Farm was a preview for that grand work, but the final thing that comes through in this book is that the Stalinist regime was just as oppressive as the czarist regime, with the ordinary animals on the receiving end-i.e. "but some animals are more equal than others."

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre (Bloom's Notes)
Published in Paperback by Chelsea House Publishing (May, 1996)
Authors: Harold Bloom and William Golding
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A Timeless Love Story For All Hopeless Romantics
Set in England of the 1600's Jane Eyre's life story is told through her own perspective, aging throughout the novel. Her thoughts and feelings from early childhood through where she is in life writing the book are told with a grace that comes only from life experience. Jane Eyre is from the time of her earliest memories an orphan. In this book she finds love, acceptance, and herself. Charlotte Bronte's talent for bringing out all sides of a character is shown well in this book, she leaves nothing to be desired as far as rounding out her characters. Such characters as Mr. Rochester who first shows Jane true love, Mrs. Fairfax who helps her to understand her equality to others, and Adele Varens who helps her remember childlike wonder as she goes through her life changing experiences, all play a part in Jane coming into herself. This book is an inspiration and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good story.
Attention was drawn to the dramatic separation of the classes during the time the book was set it. Jane Eyre is an orphan, and therefore frowned upon by all as a dependent and a burden, almost no one expects her to do anything valuable with her life. This remearkable young woman pushed for the right to be sent to school, then ater her graduation stayed on as a teacher, after a mentor and only tie to the school left she advertised herself out as a governess. This was by no uncertain terms a grand achievement for someone born of such a position in the world. Although a governess was not the highest position during her time, she made due with the job and eventually found another window of opportunity. She fell in love with the master of the house and was asked for her hand in marriage. Certain events delay this already unseemly arrangement before true happiness is found.
Many readers and critics alike have compared this story very closely to Cinderella. The plots are similar, however, they are not quite the same. Jane Eyre, born an orphan, falls in love with her version of "Prince Charming," coming to her in the form of an employer. This idea of romance found in hte most unlikely of places with the most unattainable of people is a common thread through many modern works. This kind of fairy tale is appealing to a broad audience and almost any age. However, the level of reading that Jane Eyre is written for would suggest an age group of 12 through adults.
This novel left me both uplifted and very impressed with the style of writing that Chalotte Bronte has. The novel's use of separation in social classes to cause a stir and engage the reader's attention to the romance of Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester is brilliant. Most people would say that the book is a basic take off of the age old tale of Cinderella, but in all actuality it is a beautifully mastered knowledge of the romantic ideals of many young women. I would remcommend this book to the age group of 12 through adults, this novel is also geared mainly towards women, although it would be a wonderful read for those men in the world who have a taste for this genre. Over all the book was a success, a literary masterpiece that has forever more left it's mark on our society as a classic.

A true gothic romance.
A true classic, I found an old copy in my mothers house and devoured this book one hot summer. It has been made into several motion pictures, the most recent of which being in 1996 starring William Hurt.

The heroine of the novel, Jane Eyre, ends up in a strict boarding school after her parents die and her only living relative, and aunt, can no longer stand her 'wickedness'. She endures hardships at school, and the school mistress tries to dampen her passion and opinions.

Jane does not lose her spirit, she merely hides it behind her plain face and grows into a proper lady of her station. She graduates from school and takes on a position as a tutor for a young French girl, the ward of a Mr. Rochester. She is given a room in his large house the likes of which she has never seen in her former spartan existance. She falls in love with the little girl as well as Mr. Rochster.

Rochester is hiding a tragic secret however. One that he kept from Jane and everyone else for many years. The truth is finally exposed and Jane is heartbroken. This, however is not the end of our tale. Their love does not die, and the end of the novel is poignant and romantic. I guarantee it will have you in tears.

Charlotte's writing is beautiful, moving, and descriptive. She is unmatched as a mistress of character development.

I cheered and cried all at the same time...
To be honest, I haven't read many classics, but this is by far my favorite book ever. I was assigned to read it for school and am now completely obsessed. I have three different copies of the story, but my first copy was this cover.

What makes this book endurable and able to plow through for the first one-hundred-thirty pages and then keep reading for the next three-hundred-forty-one is the characterization. You love Jane, you hate Mr. Brocklehurst, and I don't know about anybody else, but I loved Mr. Rochester, Helen Burns, and Diana and hated St. John Rivers and Mrs. Reed. All characters stir feelings of either love or hate in you. This truly is the first, and the best, soap opera in the world!

I was told by some that they thought the ending lacked - ha ha! The ending couldn't have been better in my opinion. I, personally, didn't see it coming. When Jane was actually contemplating marrying St. John Rivers, I openly yelled "No! No! You can't marry him! You love Mr. Rochester whether he's married to a lunatic or not! Don't marry the moron! He's forcing you into it!"

This book evoked emotions from me I've never gotten before while reading a book. It evoked emotions I never even got watching a movie. Well, maybe it did, only they were excrutiatingly amplified. It was painful to read of Jane leaving Thornfield, even more painful to watch this self-respecting woman beg for food, and yet uplifting to read of her scorning St. John's idea of love and Mrs. Fairfax's label of "beggar."

All in all, whether you're assigned to read it or not, "Jane Eyre" is overly well worth its 461 pages.

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