Category: Literature

Good reads for medical studies

As cancer causing radioactive gas, radon cannot be seen or tasted, and yet it is a problem. It can cause lung cancer. It isn’t produced as a commercial product but is naturally occurring. Medical books will tell you that harmful respiratory effects which are associated with chronic exposure to radon include emphysema, silicosis, and pulmonary fibrosis. If you’re going to medical school, you’ll get a list of medical books required to study. Whether you’re off to medical school or want to conduct your own medical studies, you’ll discover some amazing facts in books about your body, growing organs in labs, radon, cancer and other health issues.

shutterstock_260417279Novel Ways to Conquer Modern Disease

Human populations are increasing, and dreaded diseases are emerging as a result. There is now a primary drive for researchers to explore novel ways to investigate new products and treatments yielding quicker, better results. With, you’ll find all you need about biological engineering, stem cells and how some of your queries on these topics can be answered. You’ll get the names of good books that will help you understand these subject easily. Biomedical engineering is becoming more important in the 21st century with its health care needs, and studying this topic will show you how to conduct radiation and energy surveys for homes and business with radon gases.

Get an Early Start

Testing is necessary if you want to know your home’s radon levels because there aren’t any signs that will tell you radon is present. It can take years of exposure for any health problems with radon to surface. Radon is an environmental health issue, and surveys show that one home out of five has elevated radon levels. With medical studies, it’s always a great tip to read ahead so that when a lecturer addresses a subject like radon, you’ll be somewhat prepared for it and this will help with understanding it more which will ultimately lead to better retention.


Narrative in Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Narrative in Bleak House by Charles DickensOn reading the first chapters of Charles Dickens’ serialized novel Bleak House (1852-1853), the reader might, at first, be at a loss to know what to make of the narrators of the story, or, perhaps, more specifically, what to make of Esther as a narrator, who, at the same time, is also the protagonist of the novel; thus making Esther the narrator of a sort of autobiographical story, even if she is rather reluctant to admit so herself. It is, perhaps, worth noting at this point that the usual narrative technique employed by Dickens in his books until the publishing of Bleak House had been the typical third-person, omniscient point of view. In this novel, however, Dickens departs from that narrative style and adopts a rather ‘unusual’ one, using instead two different narrators.

As mentioned before, one is Esther Summerson, the first-person narrator, around whom the plotline of the novel seems to revolve. The other narrator of Bleak House falls into the same category as that of Dickens’ many other works, namely, third-person. Acid, ironic, satirical, critical and, more often than not, quick to pass judgment on every character’s appearances and ‘many’ virtues, or flaws for that matter, this alternative narrator of Bleak House shares with Esther the task of relating the chapters to the audience. Combined, they do so in a rather efficacious, “orderly

fashion” for the most part, even though the narrative may, at times, turn somewhat chaotic and

contradicting. However, this is mainly due to Esther Summerson’s subjectivity and unreliability

as a narrator. In this split narrative, Dickens seems to have achieved to convey to some readers or critics a sense of pluralism.

In any case, Esther’s narrative should, perhaps, be the one to merit more attention as a subject of analysis, given that she is the narrator of her own autobiographical story and by showing herself rather reluctant to admit so, she poses a bigger challenge or conflict to the reader.

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Ethan Frome by Edith WhartonThe tale, as Edith Wharton herself referred to her work, is set in New England in the imaginary village of Starkfield, ca. 1911. Ethan Frome was also published in the year 1911. The introduction is narrated by a visitor, an outsider, and it serves as a frame for the story contained within namely the most relevant period in the life of farmer Ethan Frome, the main character. It is soon learnt that there is more to Ethan than meets the eye. He had longed for so much more for his life but the circumstances in had somewhat forced him to remain in the farm for the most of his life.

He is, in fact more than a “mere farmer”; as initially inferred from the various remarks and accounts given by either the narrator or the townspeople. Ethan Frome is now but the somber caricature of the man he used to be. His physical appearance reflects his very soul, that of a dead man. As Mrs. Hale herself puts it, toward the end of the story, Fromes lying underneath the graveyard at the ranch are probably as dead as the ones breathing and moving about above the ground.

The constant reference to the harsh, cold winter in Starkfield and the vehemence with which it preys on the inhabitants of the town represents the suffering and the struggle they must endure, hence the taciturnity, the reticence and inarticulateness that has shaped their personalities.

The amorous yearning Ethan develops for Mattie is a sort of escape and relief from the life he was trapped in and that he so despondently abhorred. In view of Mattie’s imminent parting and subsequent loss of Ethan’s only chance at happiness, he accepts Mattie’s bold suggestion of committing double suicide, as a means of idyllic escape and possible reunion after death, although the suicide attempt goes awry and results in them being physically impaired for life.

Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon

Toni Morrison’s Song of SolomonIn Song of Solomon, the longing for flying is a very strong theme throughout the novel. It is clearly connected to the longing for freedom given that the main character’s ancestors were slaves, but also, symbolically connected to the concept of salvation. Song of Solomon is also a story about a black community, racial segregation (which are basically the dominant subjects in Morrison’s writings), isolation, and a quest for Milkman’s identity and that of his community and family. Toni Morrison besides being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2012.

In Song of Solomon, the main characters are heavily influenced and conditioned by their biblical names. So it comes as no surprise that the tone of the novel was considered somewhat mystical, since the tales used to exemplify the different quests of the characters in the book, rooted in African folklore, bear similarities with those that originate from the Bible. Frankly, why deny that the Bible is in fact a mere folkloric book upon which institutions that exert ecclesiastical power and rule over other communities have been based; just as white men have done with black communities. In this sense, it is also interesting to point out that Milkman’s father teaches his son to own things and other people; just as white men who had owned black slaves. This materialistic, despicable attitude towards other human beings was embraced by Milkman.

Towards the end of the novel however, Milkman seems to regret his attitude towards others and tries to rid himself of certain prejudices, avaricious values and customs that had prevented him from flying. Although, since Song of Solomon is a book filled with contrasts, those luxurious displays do not stop the peacock from flying.

As the story goes on, it seems that the Milkman develops a sense of social awareness and sympathy or compassion for his fellow black folks, although, since the contrasts are plastered all over the book, these changes in Milkman’s attitude are fueled by pure individualism and egoism.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Carson McCuller's The Heart is a Lonely HunterCarson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is perhaps one of her most famous representative literary work. One can find various references and, on reading further about the author, make numerous connections to her past experiences and those of her family. In this sense, the need to channel in an artistic way all the tribulations and suffering they were exposed to seems imperative.

This piece of writing looks to uncover the situation of the weak, marginal members of society and how they often become isolated from it, while at the same time offering a comparison and contrast to someone differently placed on the social scale and how they all are equally affected by misfortune and failures.

It is rather hard to avoid inferring that McCuller, to a certain extent, intends to provide a somewhat moral support to the aforementioned members of society represented in the book, by means of inspiring just as John Singer does with the characters in the novel not only them, but also those readers who can at least slightly relate to the main characters in the book. At the same time, the book raises awareness among the general public regarding the difficulties and hardships the less favored members of society, as well as people placed in better (or merely average) social positions, must go through and it even reveals a rather somber tendency of human beings to isolate themselves.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is a book that can, at times, cause a certain feeling of frustration to arise in the reader but, ultimately, it also raises several existential questions. It is a trip of sorts, down to the innermost, darkest places of the human soul that manages to shed some light on how people from all walks of life cope with the obstacles present in the path towards happiness and how, more often than not, reality acts as a dream-crusher.

J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye

J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the RyeSome very disquieting thoughts were put forward by the critics about the true inclinations that Holden Caulfield had for his younger sister Phoebe and vice versa. One of the bold suggestions that were put forward was that the feelings Holden had for his sister was of a sexual nature.

One could easily argue that statements or “hints” that were given earlier are nothing short of revolting, completely unfounded and far-fetched. It may even seem as though the evidence presented in support of these claims are nothing but a mere series of coincidences the critics make use of in order to support those claims.

On the other hand, it is possible that Phoebe does indeed kindle in Holden a unique, covert passion that he himself wasn’t even fully aware of. And though, the nature of the relationship they had was not actually sexual per se, as implied in the article, it is evident that they shared a particularly intimate bond, and that Phoebe is one of the few people in Holden’s life whom he truly cherishes and admires, as she, according to Holden, is exceptionally smart and mature for her young age of 10, and the only one that seems to “get him”. It is learnt early in the book that one of the other people towards whom Holden had similar feelings was his late younger brother, Allie.

So it can be safely said that Holden does have an exceptionally close relationship with his sister, since it is she who offers him wholehearted and innocent refuge from the rampant ruthlessness and “phoniness” of the society that, at times, mirrors his own persona and troubles him. With Phoebe and her unconditional love and frankness, he feels safe and finally manages to get a moment of peace and reflection that leads to a self-realization that there is no need to catch children before they fall to adulthood; i.e., off the cliff.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby is a story about moral decadence and the decline of the American Dream, smashed by the fast life that prevailed during the Roaring Twenties and the superfluous values, shallowness and pomposity that characterized that infamous period in the American History.

Jay Gatsby foolishly feels not only the urged to embrace the lifestyle, or at the least mimic it that many of the new rich enjoyed in the East Coast during the “Jazz Age”, but also the need to distastefully display the power and money he had rapidly and unscrupulously come to acquire. The lifestyle he indulges in, far from austere; the ostentatious house he inhabits where every week he hosts exuberant, obscene parties where excess reigns are indices to the lack of refinement Buchanan and even Nick himself attribute to Gatsby.

There is a constant feeling or sense of immorality throughout the book, embodied by Gatsby that serves as a great contrast between the good old West and the new wicked East. To Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan represents nothing more than his own thirst for prosperity which he is willing to attain at any cost; i.e., by crushing values such as integrity and honesty upon which a nearly bygone American morale is based.

Carraway, the narrator, sees himself as the proud owner of a completely open, impartial mind. One might be inclined to believe that he indeed relates the story with a certain amount of objectivity, given his tendency to observe and stand by without interfering with the course of events the story takes.

Although the audience quickly learns that Nick, almost like Dr. Eckleburg, looks down at everyone and everything from his privileged, untarnished spot at the pulpit. Towards the end of the book, however, given his undeniable involvement with Gatsby, Nick ends up covering up and denying Gatsby’s corrupt past. Nick is no longer objective, admitting so himself, he has a certain weakness for Gatsby and therefore attempts to preserve the memory of his defunct friend unblemished, by stating that Gatsby exemplified a wonderful emblem of Americanism and the unparalleled hope that goes with it.

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest: Intolerance in America

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s NestSince the time of its publication, in 1962, Ken Kesey’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest has always been the target of numerous analysis and subject of many controversies. As such, it has prompted many scholars to attempt to uncover its meaning. Over the years, many interpretations have been suggested, by different critics and scholars, as to what the real meaning of the book might mean. Some might even question if it has any meaning at all, given much speculation circulated that the book was written under the influence of hallucinogenic substances, which, as it is widely known, Kesey abused during the 1960s.

One of the many standpoints to consider when trying to assess the different aspects of the novel is that, given the alienation and ordeals suffered by the characters, it could very well serve as a starting point for building a solid critique against the set of ideologies or social molds upon which the national identity of the United States of America is built. Because of the rich history of the country, the American national identity has been affected and shaped, probably more than any other nation in the world, by an intricate process of violent convergence of different cultures and peoples. This idea of a culturally heterogeneous diversity has historically been referred to as a “melting pot”.

The concept of a melting pot was, in the past, thought of as a desirable way in which a nation would be a balance between the many different cultures that cohabited within the boundaries of one country. This osmosis-like process occurs by means of assimilation, naturally or forcibly, in which one culture, namely the dominant one (by and large white European) assimilates or absorbs the smaller, less powerful ones. As opposed to what happens in a melting pot, in a Multicultural society, ideally, ethnic and religious diversity is encouraged by promoting cultural decentralization in order to invigorate equality in terms of power, dominance, political influence, and racial privilege (particularly, white privilege).

Literature and Novels

Literature and NovelsAs mentioned before on the about us section, on this web page the reader will be able to find diverse information and different literary critical approaches to works of literature by many contemporary writers. Today, these texts are considered to be a part of the cultural heritage of America and the UK and they also constitute a small part of the literary canon of contemporary literature written in English as a whole.

The various texts that will be commented and referred to in the following pages and posts include, among others, works written by people such as Toni Morrison, JD Salinger, Scott Fitzgerald, Ken Kesey, Carson McCuller, Edith Wharton, Charles Dickens etc.

But what exactly distinguishes novels and sets them apart from other types of literature?

Novels usually have the characteristic that they give the writer the freedom to portray and interweave different elements with a complex narrative. Therefore, novels also provide the author with the opportunity to introduce stories within stories (referred to as framed narrative) and even explore the complexity of human nature and establish characters with deep, myriad personalities, (known as three-dimensional characters). A novel even gives the author the opportunity to manipulate timelines and alter the chronological order. For example, one can portray the events and development of a story or plot line in a way that it will have an inverted chronological order. The author may very well start with the events that occur later in time and finish the novel by going “back in time” and relating events that occurred prior to the rest of the plot.

In other words, novels can attain a certain depth difficult to reach with other types of literary texts. In the following pages, the reader will be able to find a list of contemporary novels and even a shorter story or novella, as well as a small summary and comments on different aspects such as narrative style etc.