The Moral Vision of Atticus Finch

In To Kill a Mockingbird what does Atticus Finch’s relationship with the minor but important character Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose suggest about the quality of his moral vision?

Jack London

“To Build a Fire”: An Environmentalist Interpretation

How can we read “To Build a Fire” as a cautionary tale about the exploitation of nature?

Hester’s A: The Red Badge of Wisdom

What does the scarlet A do for Hester Prynne?

Thoreau’s Critique of Democracy in “Civil Disobedience”

What criticisms of representative democracy does Thoreau raise in “Civil Disobedience”?

Aylmer’s Motivation in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark”

In “The Birthmark” how does Nathaniel Hawthorne use symbolism to reveal the motivation of Aylmer, the story’s protagonist?

Individualism in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance”

In his essay “Self-Reliance,” how does Ralph Waldo Emerson define individualism, and how, in his view, can it affect society?

Citizen Leadership in the Young Republic

What qualities of citizen leadership did John Adams consider essential to sustain and nurture the new republic?

Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, 1776

How did Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense convince reluctant Americans to abandon the goal of reconciliation with Britain and accept that separation from Britain — independence — was the only option for preserving their liberty?

Benjamin Franklin’s Satire of Witch Hunting

How does Benjamin Franklin’s satire of a witch trial argue that human affairs should be guided by reason?