Julia falls in love with the dashing young Hippolitus, but her father insists that she must marry the evil Duke. Julia’s brother tries to help her escape from the clutches of her ruthless father by arranging an elopement, but their plans are betrayed and Julia is caught. Julia goes through every kind of disaster and terrifying mishap, fleeing for her life and weeping along the way.
This is Gothic melodrama at its best! Julia dissolves into tears, is frozen with terror, collapses under the strain of horror, and is prostrate with grief in every single chapter. Several other ladies, not to be outdone, also fainted on several occasions. Everyone is constantly exclaiming some version of “Alas, woe is me!”
A “youth” enlists in the Union Army during the American Civil War with visions of glory in his mind, but he runs away like a coward in the first skirmish. As he moves as far as he can from the battlefield, he encounters wounded men headed toward the hospital. He hears their stories of courage, noting that they wear a “red badge” of their own blood. He is ashamed but finds ways to excuse his behavior in his own mind. He has an altercation with a fellow soldier, who gives him a minor wound on his head. At last he finds his way back to his own regiment, joining them again, pretending that he got his wound in battle. The next day when the regiment begins to move forward into battle again, the youth wonders if he will have the courage to stand and fight this second time.
I really hated the graphic descriptions of violence and dead bodies and disgusting wounds. It’s very descriptive and made me nauseated.
These short stories all feature some horrific circumstance or frightening apparition. There are terrifying nightmares, murder, ghosts, seances, dangerous exotic animals, and stolen jewels. Each story gradually leads into more and more suspicious circumstances until the hero of the tale is finally confronted with the full effect of their horrific situation.
Mr. Prendick is cast ashore on an island, where the evil scientist, Dr. Moreau, engages in animal vivisection and terrifying experiments. Gradually Mr. Prendick begins to realize that the other humans on the island are not all they seem to be. They have animal instincts and strange behavior, and Mr. Prendick has to fight for his life and find some way to escape this island of horrors.
The plot moves rather slowly, with more attention given to analyzing the morality and implications of Dr. Moreau’s work. A lot of time is spent scrutinizing different themes and ideas, like interesting explorations of what it really means to be human, but all the philosophizing does slow down the plot. However, when there IS any action, it is exciting and dramatic…. and violent. I did find the themes extremely interesting and well thought out.
Catherine and Heathcliff grow up together and learn to love each other, but Heathcliff is an orphan with no family name and no future. Catherine is the only daughter of a gentleman, and knows that she cannot marry so far below her station. The two are embroiled in a tempestuous romance that breaks more than one heart and spans over generations with far-reaching revenge and hatred.
Short Review– This isn’t a romance; it’s a revenge story. Everyone is miserable. I can recognize the genius of the writing, but the subject material is too violent and evil for me to enjoy reading it.
Extensive Review- Plot: I love this plot structure. It really keeps you guessing, and there is always something happening and some circumstance that is changing for the characters. The relationships between the characters drive the story, and every little detail in the dialogue points to some deep emotion under the surface. There is also a lot of violence, some of which made me nauseated to read about. There is a lot of verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and physical abuse. There is murder and revenge and illness and lies and betrayal and hatred and spite and conceit and every kind of evil! It’s exhausting.
Guy Montag is a fireman, burning illegal books and the homes where they are found. His world falls apart when he meets a girl with big ideas who teaches him to stop and relish life, and an old professor who teaches him about a past when people were allowed to think for themselves. Continue reading →