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Literature

The Best Literature Review: Essential Questions, Standards-Alignment, Activities, and More!

Explore our collection of Literature 101 articles to help with teaching and reading literature. Our easy-to-follow guides are perfect for use at home or in your classroom!

Subjects

The Great Gatsby

Explore all aspects of this classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Lurching from one lavish event to the next, the careless sybarites of Gatsby's world make their home in the space between parties.

How do each night's festivities serve to advance the plot, and what is Nick's role — as watcher, chronicler, enabler, and ultimately friend — in the hedonistic mess of East Egg and its aspirational foil, West Egg? In his confrontations with "careless people" of dubious morality, how does Nick change? More importantly, do his interlocutors change, even in small ways? By the final chapter, what case can you make for the stunting and anesthetizing effects of wealth? Explore these questions and more with our comprehensive review guides.

Fahrenheit 451

Explore all aspects of this dystopian work by Ray Bradbury.​​

Explore the meaning and importance of literacy with questions on dystopian conventions and the upper bounds of human endurance.

Bursting with symbolism, Fahrenheit 451 has a lot to say about grand ideas like death, pleasure, intellectualism, and censorship. In what ways is Bradbury's world an exaggeration of our own? Consider the characters' hedonism, anti-intellectualism, and refusal to engage with painful events.

Hamlet

Explore all aspects of this classic play by William Shakespeare.

Madness. Loyalty. Political upheaval. Social anxiety. Though written over 400 years ago, Hamlet reflects timeless concerns.

How does Shakespeare use the play within a play to propel the action? Is the ghost real, or just in our protagonist's head? And what does Hamlet's disdain for his uncle and his mother suggest about his concept of family and his view of women? What does it mean for Hamlet "to be?" Explore these questions and more in our comprehensive review guides.

1984

Explore all aspects of this dystopian work by George Orwell.​

Redefine your understanding of "government control", focusing on themes on surveillance, censorship, fear, and compliance.

Pay close attention to the way Orwell uses language to create an atmosphere of dread and suspense as Big Brother's stranglehold on its citizens grows ever tighter. This novel should inspire you to ask yourself about each person's complicity in their own oppression — and to fully understand what it means to rebel against a highly regimented society that controls and represses its citizens by any means "necessary." Explore these questions and more with our comprehensive review guides.​

Frankenstein​

Explore all aspects of this classic novel by Mary Shelley.​

Delve into questions of morality, Gothic conventions, and what it really means to be human with this classic novel.

How does Frankenstein function as a representation of the Romantic genre, and how can it be read as a polemic against the events of the day? How does Shelley utilize traditional narrative structure to illustrate her protagonist's change, and what comment does she make about the importance of humility, anchoring relationships, and kindness — both to ourselves and to the things that we create? Explore these questions and more with our comprehensive review guides.​

Content coming soon!

Romeo and Juliet

Explore all aspects of this classic play by William Shakespeare.

Review timeless themes of love and anguish with questions on character motivation and figurative language.

Arranged marriages. Family feuds. Rigid social conventions. Lavish parties. "Thumb-biting." Careless murder. Exile. A priest, a Prince, and a feverish plot. Discover for yourself the world of "fair Verona" — and the fissures on its surface that allowed two teenagers to hijack the fate of a city. Explore these topics and more with our comprehensive review guides.​

Content coming soon!

Macbeth

Explore all aspects of this classic play by William Shakespeare.

Explore questions of ambition, gender, literary theory, and dramatic convention.

Macbeth is famous for its masterful interweaving of political machination and madness. Contemplate how Shakespeare manages to set up a prophecy, start a war, reverse the power dynamics of Scotland, push his characters towards madness, and flip the power dynamics back again — all in five short acts. How does the structure of the play propel the action? Explore these questions and more with our comprehensive review guides.​

Content coming soon!

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Need help teaching literature to your students?

Albert has thousands of free, standards-aligned practice questions that focus on canon classics as well as contemporary, engaging texts. Each question features a detailed explanation ideal for general plot review and analysis of the specific concepts. Questions are all aligned to the Common Core, Regents, LAFS (with B.E.S.T. coming soon!), and TEKS standards.