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Monday, 27 March 2017

«The Hunchback of Notre Dame» - Infographic & Plot Summary


The Hunchback of Notre Dame opens in the middle of a public celebration called the Feast of Fools, which ends at nightfall in an election of the "Pope of Fools," where the winner with the ugliest face is chosen by the crowd and paraded through the streets of Paris. Earlier in the day, most of the citizens attend the mystery play in the great hall of the Palais de Justice (Palace of Justice). The audience heckles the actors, egged on by a student named Jehan Frollo and his rowdy friends. The play also is constantly interrupted by the arrival of visiting Flemish ambassadors, while the play's frustrated director, Pierre Gringoire, shouts at the actors to continue. The play finally stops altogether when one of the ambassadors calls for an early election of the Pope of Fools. Quasimodo, the deaf, hunchbacked bell-ringer of Notre-Dame Cathedral, wins—his face has been disfigured since birth.
After his play is a total flop, Gringoire makes his way to the public bonfire, where a large crowd is watching a beautiful gypsy girl named Esmeralda dance with her goat, Djali. The archdeacon of Notre-Dame Cathedral, Claude Frollo, interrupts Esmeralda's performance, shouting out above the noisy crowd, accusing her of practicing witchcraft. The priest spies his adopted child, Quasimodo, being paraded by and angrily ushers him back to the church. Gringoire follows Esmeralda after her performance and watches with horror as Claude Frollo and Quasimodo attempt to abduct her. The king's officers arrive just in time, arresting Quasimodo, while Claude escapes into the night. Gringoire gets lost finding his way home and finds himself in the dangerous Court of Miracles—a slum—where he is almost robbed by thieves posing as beggars. However, Gringoire doesn't have any money. The thieves bring Gringoire back to their "king of truants" who will decide whether to hang him. Gringoire barters his way out of death by agreeing to become a truant himself. But he fails the truants' pickpocket test, so they again decide to hang him. At the last minute, Esmeralda saves him by agreeing to marry him. Back in her room she makes Gringoire promise never to touch her; she only married him to save his life.
The morning after his arrest, Quasimodo is brought before the court and interrogated by an auditor who also happens to be deaf and is keeping it secret from everyone. Neither of them can understand the other, which leads to a misunderstanding and a brutal punishment. Quasimodo will be whipped on the pillories in the Place de Grève—a public square. While Quasimodo is whipped, the crowd jeers and throws stones at him. He does not resist much, quickly learning it is futile. He finally begs for water, and when none is offered, Esmeralda steps forward and gives him some. He is taken aback by her kindness. Nearby, a recluse lives alone in a small cell built for penitents. She was once known as Paquette la Chantefleurie, but she is now known as the Recluse. Long ago, she locked herself in the cell to mourn day and night after her daughter was kidnapped by gypsies, and she has harbored a hatred for gypsies ever since—particularly for Esmeralda, at whom the Recluse constantly hurls insults when she sees her dancing. All the Recluse has with her in the cell is a tiny baby shoe left behind the day the gypsies took her baby.
Phoebus, the officer who rescued Esmeralda from Quasimodo and Claude Frollo, the archdeacon of Notre-Dame who attempted to kidnap her, is set to marry Fleur-de-Lys de Gondelaurier—a prospect that does not excite him. One afternoon, Phoebus, Fleur-de-Lys, and her friends see Esmeralda performing on the street below their balcony, and they invite her up to dance for them. When Phoebus is awed by Esmeralda's natural beauty, Fleur-de-Lys and her friends grow jealous and treat her cruelly. Djali, Esmeralda's clever goat, spells P-H-O-E-B-U-S with blocks of wood—a trick Esmeralda taught the goat—and Esmeralda's secret crush on Phoebus is exposed. Esmeralda flees, and Phoebus follows her. They make arrangements to meet later. Claude Frollo overhears Phoebus telling Jehan (Claude Frollo's younger brother) about his meeting with Esmeralda. Claude Frollo follows Phoebus on his way to meet Esmeralda at a hotel, and he intimidates Phoebus into letting him watch them secretly from a nearby room. When Esmeralda and Phoebus grow intimate, Claude stabs Phoebus and flees out the window. The officers arrive and arrest Esmeralda for Phoebus's attempted murder and for practicing witchcraft. At her hearing she denies everything, but when the officials bring her into the torture chamber and threaten to crush her leg, she falsely confesses and is sentenced to death. Her goat, Djali, is sentenced to death for practicing witchcraft, too.
Claude Frollo visits Esmeralda in her dungeon cell. She recognizes him as the man who always insults her. She knows he is the one who tried to kill Phoebus. Claude confesses his love for her, and he begs her to run away with him. She refuses, choosing death. The next day, she is carried into the square at Notre-Dame Cathedral. Just before she is put to death, Quasimodo rescues her by swinging into the square on a dangling rope, scooping her up and carrying her swiftly away, yelling "asylum" as the crowd goes wild. He brings her inside the church, which was considered a sanctuary for criminals. Inside he keeps her safe, even though she is repelled by his appearance. Claude discovers she is in the church and grows enraged and jealous about Quasimodo and Esmeralda's relationship. One night he attempts to rape her, but Quasimodo comes to her rescue.
On a later night, Quasimodo notices a crowd flood into the square. It is a plan hatched by Claude Frollo to have truants attack the church so that he and Gringoire can kidnap Esmeralda. He wants to set up Gringoire and get Esmeralda out of the cathedral so she will be hanged for leaving her asylum. Quasimodo defends the church, unknowingly killing his adoptive brother, Jehan, in his fury. When Quasimodo returns to Esmeralda's room, she is gone—kidnapped by Gringoire and Claude. Gringoire chooses to save Esmeralda's goat, Djali, and abandons Esmeralda. Left alone with Esmeralda, Claude leads her to the Place de Grève, telling her she will be hanged unless she runs away with him, but she still refuses. He then brings her to the Recluse's cell to let the Recluse get revenge on all gypsies by holding Esmeralda prisoner until the king's officers return. When Esmeralda and the Recluse discover that they each carry one baby shoe from a matching pair, they realize that the Recluse is Esmeralda's long-lost mother. Before they can fully enjoy their reunion, Esmeralda is carried off to be hanged, and the Recluse is killed trying to protect her.
At Notre-Dame Cathedral, Quasimodo and Claude Frollo watch Esmeralda hanging from the rooftop. When Claude begins laughing, Quasimodo pushes him off the ledge. Quasimodo disappears after that, but his skeleton is found embracing Esmeralda's in the burial pit for victims of the gallows.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

«A Tale of Two Cities» - Infographic & Plot Summary


A Tale of Two Cities is set in both London and Paris in the late 18th century, but earlier events contribute to the plot. In 1757 one of the main characters, Dr. Alexandre Manette, has been imprisoned in the Bastille by the Marquis St. Evrémonde and his brother for refusing to keep quiet about a crime they committed. At the start of the novel, he has been released and is in a garret in Paris.

Book 1: Recalled to Life

In 1775, Mr. Jarvis Lorry of Tellson's Bank is on his way from London to Dover to meet with his charge, young Lucie Manette, who has also come from London. On the way, the coach is stopped by a messenger from Tellson's, Jerry, who gives Lorry a small, folded paper. Lorry reads the paper and tells Jerry to take a message back to the bank: "Recalled to Life."
When Lorry arrives in Dover, he meets with Lucie. Lorry tells her that her father, whom she believed dead, is actually alive, has been released from prison, and is staying at the house of a former servant. Lucie is in shock.
When Lorry and Lucie arrive at the Paris wine shop of Monsieur and Madame Defarge, they are taken to see Dr. Manette, who is busy making shoes in the garret on the fifth floor of their house. When Lucie sees him, she is afraid at first, but she soon embraces him. She and Lorry take Dr. Manette out of Paris.

Book 2: The Golden Thread

Five years later in London, Charles Darnay is being tried for treason. John Barsad and Roger Cly, two spies, testify against Darnay. Lucie and Dr. Manette also testify against Darnay, albeit unwillingly. Mr. Stryver, Darnay's lawyer, points out that Sydney Carton, his associate, looks exactly like Charles Darnay, and Darnay is acquitted.
In Paris, the Marquis has his carriage drive through the streets so fast that he kills the peasant Gaspard's child. The Marquis flips him a coin and drives on. That evening, he meets with Charles Darnay, who is his nephew, and Darnay gives up his inheritance. That night, someone stabs the Marquis to death.
A year later, Darnay tells Dr. Manette he wants to marry Lucie. Meanwhile, Sydney Carton tells Lucie that he will do anything for the people she loves.
Jerry Cruncher sees the funeral procession of Roger Cly and decides to rob his grave to sell the body. Meanwhile, Gaspard has been caught and hanged for the death of the Marquis. Madame Defarge adds John Barsad and the Marquis's family to her "register"—the list of people to be guillotined recorded in her knitting.
Lucie marries Darnay. After a private meeting with Darnay, the doctor reverts to his old shoemaking habit, but he recovers ten days later. Miss Pross and Lorry destroy his shoemaking tools.
Over the next few years, Lucie and Darnay have a daughter, little Lucie, and a son, who dies young. In 1789. the Paris revolutionaries storm the Bastille, led by the Defarges. Later that month, revolutionaries burn down the Marquis's mansion. In 1792, Darnay learns that Gabelle, his uncle's former servant, has been imprisoned and goes to France to save him.

Book 3: The Track of a Storm

When Charles Darnay arrives in France, he is imprisoned as an emigrant and an aristocrat. Lucie, Miss Pross, and Dr. Manette go to Paris, find Mr. Lorry at Tellson's Bank, and tell him Darnay is in prison. Dr. Manette tries to get him out, but he is unsuccessful. It is a year and three months before Darnay is released. However, that evening, he is arrested again, denounced by the Defarges and another person.
Miss Pross sees her long-lost brother, Solomon Pross, who uses the alias John Barsad. Jerry recognizes him, and so does Sydney Carton. Carton blackmails Barsad to get him into the prison to see Darnay.


In court, the third person to denounce Darnay is Dr. Manette, through a letter found in his old cell. The letter says the Marquis raped and killed a peasant woman and, with Darnay's father, killed the woman's father and husband as well as her brother, who hid their younger sister before he died. Dr. Manette had tried to report the crime but had been captured and imprisoned by the Marquis before he could do so. After hearing this, the jury condemns Charles Darnay to death.

Sydney Carton discovers Madame Defarge is that younger sister and that she plans to denounce Lucie, and little Lucie as well. Carton tells Lorry to get the doctor, Lucie, and little Lucie out of Paris. He goes to the prison with Barsad, exchanges clothes with Darnay, and drugs Darnay. Barsad takes Darnay out of the prison and leads his family to escape. Carton stays in the cell.
Madame Defarge tries to find Lucie and her daughter. She finds Miss Pross and struggles with her, pulling a gun. The gun goes off in the struggle, killing Madame Defarge and permanently deafening Miss Pross. Sydney Carton is guillotined in Darnay's place.

Friday, 24 March 2017

«Lord of the Flies» - Infographic & Plot Summary

Set on a deserted island in the Pacific during an imagined destructive war, Lord of the Flies focuses on a group of British schoolboys. Their plane has been shot down and the pilot killed, leaving the boys without adult supervision. The first two boys introduced are Ralph, the protagonist, and Piggy, a wise, chubby boy.
Ralph discovers a conch shell, and Piggy suggests blowing it to call out to other survivors. After Ralph does so, the boys gather and meet. Ralph is elected as leader of the group. Jack, who led the choir, is put in charge of the hunters. At the end of the meeting Ralph, Jack, and Simon explore the setting, leaving Piggy in charge of the others. Ralph expresses the hope that they are not on an island, thinking that might make rescue more difficult. The search proves they are indeed on an island, and it is deserted. As the explorers return, Jack and the others see a pig. Jack draws a knife to kill the pig but hesitates at the last minute.
Upon returning, Ralph confirms the island is deserted. He tells the others they should keep a signal fire burning on the top of the mountain in the hope that a ship will see it and rescue them. The boys use Piggy's glasses to start the fire. Once the fire is started the boys get excited and the fire rages out of control, killing one of the younger boys, known collectively as the littluns. Piggy thinks the boys should have built shelters first, but he is ignored.
As time passes, only Ralph and Simon work on building huts. Many of the children, and all the littluns, spend their days swimming and searching for fruit. Jack becomes preoccupied with hunting and spends all his time in pursuit of pigs. The boys disagree on which activity is more important.
Piggy and Ralph see a ship passing by the island and realize the signal fire has gone out. They rush to the mountaintop to try to restart it, but they arrive too late. Jack and his hunters return with their first kill. They are ready to celebrate and reenact the hunt. Ralph, however, is furious, and Piggy rebukes Jack. Jack smacks Piggy, and one of the lenses of his glasses breaks.
During the subsequent feast, Ralph blows the conch shell and calls a meeting.The boys meet at the bottom of the mountain. At the meeting, Ralph reiterates that the boys need to work together toward the common goal of rescue. Some of the littluns say there is a beast that stalks the island at night. The older boys try to calm them, but instead their fear spreads to the others. Jack claims to not believe in the beast but says even if it did exist, he and his hunters could protect them. Eventually, Jack says he has no use for the rules and leaves the meeting, the other hunters following him.
That night while the boys are asleep, military planes fight a battle in the air over the island. A pilot parachutes out of his plane and lands dead on the island. The next morning Samneric, who had been tending to the signal fire, see the dead pilot and his parachute, though they don't see clearly enough to identify either. Instead they mistake what they see as the beast. They run away screaming, and another meeting is called.
Piggy wants to avoid that part of the island, but Jack says he and his hunters will get the beast. Jack and Ralph lead an expedition to search out the beast. The boys come across a pig and begin their bloodlust chant. Ralph gets caught up in it as well. Later they see the parachute and come to the same false conclusion as the twins did.
At the next meeting, the boys report there is a beast, though Piggy remains skeptical. Jack tries to seize power from Ralph, but he is voted down. Jack runs away angrily and asks the hunters to join him. Piggy suggests that they build the signal fire down on the beach and avoid the mountain. Ralph concurs. When the work begins, the other boys disappear and join Jack.
Jack and his tribe paint their faces and spend their time hunting. They kill a pig and mount its head on a long stick as a tribute to the beast. Simon, while wandering around the island, comes across the pig's head. Simon declares it to be the Lord of the Flies. He has a vision, and it talks to him, saying the beast cannot be gotten rid of because it is within. Simon faints. When he awakens, he goes to find the others and discovers the truth about the parachute.
Simon comes to all of the boys, including Ralph and Piggy, in the middle of a feast and frenzy. They do not recognize Simon and mistake him for the beast. They pounce on Simon and kill him.
The next morning, Piggy and Ralph feel guilt and try to deny their parts in what occurred. The two of them, along with Samneric, are the only boys (other than the littluns) left who have not joined Jack's group. That night Jack and the hunters sneak into Ralph's camp, stealing Piggy's glasses so they can make a fire. Piggy decides he must have his glasses back and says he will reason with Jack's crew.
The four boys go to Jack's group. When they arrive, Ralph blows the conch. Jack does not want to hear what Ralph has to say. Piggy takes the conch and tries to appeal to Jack and the hunters. While Piggy is talking, Roger dislodges a large rock that rolls down a slope, killing Piggy and smashing the conch. Samneric are taken prisoner, and Ralph flees for his life.
The next day Ralph sneaks up to talk to Samneric, who give him meat and let him know that Jack is after him. Ralph tells Samneric he will hide close by and hope the hunters pass over him, but Samneric betray his presence to Jack. Jack and his hunters set the forest on fire to smoke out Ralph from his hiding place. Ralph runs away and ends up on the beach. When he arrives, he falls down exhausted. He looks up and sees a British naval officer. When asked to explain what happened on the island, Ralph begins to weep. The other boys have the same reaction.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

«Alice in Wonderland» - Infographic and Plot Summary

On a May afternoon, seven-year-old Alice is dozing on a sunny riverbank. Suddenly, a big white rabbit carrying a pocket watch rushes by. Alice impetuously follows him down a rabbit hole that turns into a long tunnel. When she finally lands, she is in a dark hallway, and the White Rabbit is nowhere to be seen.
Alice's first challenge in Wonderland is figuring out what size to be. The same sense of adventure that led her down the rabbit hole causes her to eat and drink several mysterious substances that change her size from tiny to huge and back again. At nine feet tall, she cries a pool of tears; at three inches tall, she's forced to swim through the pool with a crowd of talking animals—including a dodo. She grows so big that she fills the White Rabbit's house; she shrinks so fast that her chin hits her foot. Finally, she meets a caterpillar sitting on a mushroom who tells her that she can control her size depending on which side of the mushroom she eats.
Alice begins to explore Wonderland, hoping to reach a garden she spied through a door in the tunnel. On her way, she meets an increasingly strange cast of characters, beginning with the Duchess, who hands over a screaming baby. A few minutes later, the baby turns into a pig and walks away. Next comes the Cheshire Cat, who can appear and vanish at will. "We're all mad here," the Cheshire Cat tells Alice.
The next characters Alice meets—the Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse—certainly fit that category. When Alice joins their tea party, they treat her so rudely that she leaves. Alice finds a way into the garden, but it turns out to be more bizarre than beautiful, with gardeners painting a white rosebush red. The garden belong to the King and Queen of Hearts, animated playing cards who have just arrived for a croquet game along with the rest of the deck of cards.
Alice joins the game, which is difficult to play because flamingos are used as mallets and hedgehogs as croquet balls. Even more disruptive is the Queen of Hearts, who keeps demanding that one or another character be beheaded. Finally, the only players left are the King and the Queen of Hearts, Alice, and the Duchess.
The Queen orders the Gryphon to introduce Alice to the Mock Turtle, a morose creature who recounts a long story about his school days. The Gryphon and the Mock Turtle teach Alice an intricate dance called the Lobster Quadrille. Alice, in turn, tries to recite some poems, but—as always happens in Wonderland—she keeps getting the words wrong. She is describing her adventures to the Gryphon and Mock Turtle when a voice calls from the distance, "The trial is starting!"
Alice goes back to the croquet ground, where a trial has been set up. The Knave of Hearts is charged with stealing the Queen's tarts. Alice watches as the jurors write down their own names to keep from forgetting them. The King of Hearts, as presiding judge, tells the witnesses not to be nervous "or I'll have you executed on the spot."
Just before she is called as a witness, Alice realizes she's growing again. Startled, she knocks over the jury box, and all the jurors topple out. When Alice has righted them, her questioning begins. None of the proceedings make any sense, and Alice points this out. After all, she's now so tall that she's not afraid of anyone in the court. When the Queen orders that the Knave be sentenced before a verdict is given, Alice says loudly, "Stuff and nonsense!" The Queen calls for her execution, and Alice exclaims, "You're nothing but a pack of cards!"
The entire pack rises into the air and flies down on her. Screaming, Alice tries to beat them off—and wakes to find that she's lying on the riverbank and that her big sister is brushing some leaves off her face. She tells her sister about her odd dream. Her sister sends Alice in to have her tea, but the older girl lingers on the bank, dreaming about Alice's adventures.
Alice in Wonderland Plot Diagram
Climax123456789Rising ActionFalling ActionResolutionIntroduction