Noli Me Tangere Summary

Noli Me Tangere Summary

Noli Me Tangere Summary

Noli Me Tangere by Jose Rizal


The novel is set in Manila, Philippines.

Main Characters

Juan Crisóstomo Ibarra y Magsalin (Ibarra)- is A wealthy young man of mixed Spanish and Filipino ancestry who has recently returned to the Philippines from Europe after spending seven years studying abroad.

María Clara- she is a well-regarded woman in San Diego for her high social station.

Father Dámaso- is a Spanish friar living in the Philippines who is an arrogant priest.

Elías- he is an outlaw and vagabond revolutionary who resents the power that the Catholic Church and Spanish government have over the Philippines.

Father Salví- he is a serious and committed Spanish friar who takes over Father Dámaso’s post in San Diego as the town’s priest.

Captain Tiago (Don Santiago de Los Santos) – she is a Filipino socialite and well-respected member of the country’s wealthy elite

The Ensign- he is a Spaniard in charge of the Civil Guard in San Diego.

Old Tasio (Don Anastasio) – he is an old man who used to study philosophy and who prefers secular knowledge to Catholicism.

Crispín- he is a very young boy studying to be a sexton.

Basilio- he is Crispín’s older brother, who is also training to be a sexton.

Doctor Tiburcio de Espadaña- he is a Spaniard who speaks with a stutter and looks significantly older than his thirty-five years.

La Doctora Victorina de los Reyes de Espadaña- she is a Filipina woman married to Don Tiburcio.

Doña Consolación- she is an older Filipina woman married to the ensign.

Señor Guevara- he is an elderly lieutenant of the Civil Guard who deeply respects both Ibarra and the late Don Rafael.

The Captain-General- she is an unnamed representative of Spain and the highest government official in the Philippines.

Linares- he is Doctor de Espadaña’s nephew from Spain.

The Schoolmaster- he is a teacher whom Don Rafael supported, helping him find a house and enabling him to properly do his job.

Don Filipo (Filipo Lino) – is the deputy mayor of San Diego.

The Mayor- he is the mayor of San Diego who is conservative and devoted to religion.

The Yellow Man- he is a man hired to kill Ibarra.

Társilo- he is a man whose father died at the hands of the Civil Guard.


Plot Summary

Juan Crisóstomo Ibarra y Magsalin, commonly referred to as Ibarra, has been studying in Europe for the past seven years. As he arrives back in the Philippines, his friend, Captain Tiago, hosts a reunion dinner. During dinner, Father Dámaso, who Ibarra thought was friends with his father, treats him badly, which surprises Ibarra. As Ibarra is walking home from the dinner, another family friend, Señor Guevara, follows him and tells him that his father died in prison after a campaign of slander against him and that Father Dámaso had a hand in his death. Ibarra is shocked, but unsure of what to do. He goes to visit his old lover, Maria Clara, but as Maria mentions Ibarra’s family, Ibarra is put off.

Instead of seeking revenge, Ibarra tries to follow his father’s footsteps of peace. After meeting with a schoolmaster who knew his father, he plans on establishing a public school to help his hometown. The schoolmaster warns him that Father Dámaso meddles in the school system, preventing students from learning Spanish and demanding that he beat the students. Ibarra pitches the idea of the school to town officials, pretending that he wants to work with them on it, and they agree.

Meanwhile, two young boys, Crispín and Basilio, work as sextons to support their poor mother, Sisa, who is abused by their father. When Crispín is falsely accused of theft, the brothers must work even more. Crispín protests and is severely beaten, while Basilio escapes. He returns the next day to look for his brother, but can’t find him. Sisa looks for both her sons, losing her mind as she wanders the area in search of them. Ibarra goes to his father’s grave, seeking peace. He is shocked to discover that his father’s corpse was removed and supposedly put into a Chinese cemetery at the order of the town’s curate, Father Dámaso.

During the town’s festivities, Ibarra and the officials plan to celebrate the new school, hoping to bless it after a sermon by Father Dámaso. During the sermon, a mysterious man named Elías approaches Ibarra, warning him of a plot to kill him. That night, Father Dámaso invites himself to a dinner Ibarra is hosting. He insults both indigenous Filipinos and Ibarra’s father specifically. Ibarra punches Father Dámaso, but before he can kill him, he is stopped by María Clara.

Ibarra is excommunicated, and María Clara falls ill, she is then re-engaged with a new man after her spineless father calls off her wedding to Ibarra. Meanwhile, the Captain-General manages to lift Ibarra’s ex-communication, angering the clergy. Ibarra continues working on the school, and Father Salvi, who is in love with María Clara, plots with Lucas, to frame Ibarra for a rebellion by organizing people with grievances against the colonial government and telling them that Ibarra is leading the revolt. Right before the attack happens, Father Salvi warns everyone, claiming someone told him about it in confession.

Ibarra is thrown into prison, having been found guilty based on a letter he wrote to María Clara before leaving for Europe years ago. Again, Elías rescues him, breaking him out of prison and taking him to María Clara. She apologizes to Ibarra and explains that she gave Father Salvi the letter that led to Ibarra being found guilty because he blackmailed her. Elías and Ibarra row away, but they quickly realize they’re being followed by another boat, which will soon catch up. Elías jumps off the boat to confuse their pursuers, who think he is Ibarra, and try to shoot him while the real Ibarra escapes. They appear to kill him, but they never see his body.

María Clara tells Father Dámaso that she can’t marry Linares, the man she is now engaged to and threatens to commit suicide if she is not allowed to enter a convent. On Christmas Eve, Basilio wanders away from the cabin where he has been staying with an adoptive family and looks for Sisa, his mother. He finds her, but she doesn’t recognize him and runs away. Finally, he catches her and she faints, she dies of shock, having finally recognized him. Elías appears, telling Basilio that he is about to die, and asks Basilio to put his body with Sisa’s on a funeral pyre.


  1. Colonialism, Religion, and Power. The novel examines how Spain’s colonization of the Philippines allowed the Catholic Church to dominate and rule the region. Colonialism produced tensions that would, lead Filipino natives to revolt against Spain’s oppressive religious and governmental bodies in the Philippine Revolution.
  2. Education. Ibarra, who is a respected figure because of the fact that he studied in Europe, advocates for the importance of intellect and education by building a school in San Diego. In doing so, he seeks to give the townspeople a means of empowerment outside the context of the church.
  3. Isolation. One of the ways characters in Noli Me Tangere are disempowered is through political isolation, religious isolation, or intellectual isolation. Politically, all of the characters are isolated from Spain, the governing body that controls the Philippines. While the friars take advantage of this remoteness, the townspeople suffer. Religiously, any character who disagrees with Catholic doctrine is isolated and labeled a heretic.

Huckleberry Finn Summary

Huckleberry Finn Summary

Huckleberry Finn Summary

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain


The novel, Huckleberry Finn is set in the Mississippi River town of St. Petersburg, Missouri, and various locations along the river through Arkansas.

Main Characters

Huckleberry Finn- is the Narrator and main character of the novel.

Jim Runaway- he is a slave who joins huck in his flight down the Mississippi.

Tom Sawyer- he is Huck’s civilized best friend who enjoys extravagant stories and schemes

Pap Finn- he is Huck’s abusive, drunken father who plots to steal his son’s reward money.

The Duke- he is a River con man who claims to be the Duke of Bridgewater and takes control of Huck and Jim’s raft.

The King- he is a River con man who claims to be the disappeared heir to the French throne and takes control of Huck and Jim’s raft.

Widow Douglas- she is a Town widow who tries to civilize Huck through kindness and religion.

Miss Watson- she is Widow Douglas’s sister who tries to civilize Huck through manners and religion.

Aunt Polly- she is Tom Sawyer’s aunt and guardian.

Jo Harper, Ben Rogers, and Tommy Barnes- they are Town boys who are members of Tom Sawyer’s “band of robbers.”

Judge Thatcher- he is a Kind town judge who watches over Huck’s reward money.

Mrs. Loftus- she is a St. Petersburg town woman whom Huck visits disguised as a girl.

Jake Packard, Bill, and Jim Turner- they are a Gang of murderers whom Huck and Jim discover on the sinking steamboat the Walter Scott.

The Grangerfords- are a distinguished family who watches over Huck when Huck and Jim are separated.

Buck Grangerford- he is the Youngest Grangerford boy who befriends Huck and is subsequently killed by the Shepherdsons.

Emmeline Grangerford- she is a Grangerford daughter who wrote romantic epigraphs and died at 14.

The Shepherdsons- they are a distinguished family who feuds with the Grangerfords.

Boggs- is a Harmless Arkansas town drunkard who is shot by Colonel Sherburn.

Colonel Sherburn- he is the man who shoots Boggs and repels the lynch mob who comes after him.

Peter Wilks- he is a Deceased townsman.

William and Harvey Wilks- they are Peter Wilks’ brothers who live in England.

Mary Jane, Susan, and Joanna- they are Peter Wilks’ nieces who are tricked by the duke and the king.

Dr. Robinson and Levi Bell- these two men do not believe the duke and the king are the Wilks brothers.

Silas Phelps- he is Tom Sawyer’s uncle.

Aunt Sally Phelps- she is Tom Sawyer’s aunt.

Plot Summary

The Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson, have taken Huck into their home in order to try and teach him religion and proper manners. Instead of obeying his guardians, Huck sneaks out of the house at night to join Tom Sawyer’s gang and pretend that they are robbers and pirates. One day Huck discovers that his father, Pap Finn, has returned to town. Since Pap has a history of violence and drunkenness, Huck is worried about his intentions, especially toward his invested money. When Pap confronts Huck and warns him to quit school and stop trying to better himself, Huck continues to attend school just to spite Pap. Huck’s fears soon come to pass when Pap kidnaps him and takes him across the Mississippi River to a small cabin on the Illinois shore.

Huck becomes somehow comfortable with his life free from religion and school but Pap’s beatings become too severe. He fakes his own murder and escapes down the Mississippi. Huck lands a few miles down at Jackson’s Island, where he stumbles across Miss Watson’s slave, Jim, who has run away for fear of being sold down the river. Huck and Jim soon learn that men are coming to search Jackson’s Island, and they escape down the river on a raft. Jim’s plan is to reach the Illinois town of Cairo than from there, he can take the Ohio River up to the Free states. The plan troubles Huck and his conscience. However, Huck continues to stay with Jim as they travel, despite his belief that he is breaking all of society and religion’s doctrines

Huck and Jim encounter several characters during their flight, including a band of robbers aboard a wrecked steamboat and two Southern “genteel” families who are involved in a bloody feud. The only time that Huck and Jim feel that they are truly free is when they are aboard the raft. This freedom and tranquility are shattered by the arrival of the duke and the king, who commandeer the raft and force Huck and Jim to stop at various river towns in order to perform confidence scams on the inhabitants. The scams are harmless until the duke and the king pose as English brothers and plot to steal a family’s entire inheritance. Before the duke and the king can complete their plan, the real brothers arrive. In the subsequent confusion, Huck and Jim escape and are soon joined by the duke and the king.

Disappointed at their lack of income, the duke and the king betray Huck and Jim and sell Jim back into slavery. When Huck goes to find Jim, he discovers that Jim is being held captive on Silas and Sally Phelps’ farm. The Phelps think Huck is their visiting nephew, Tom Sawyer, and Huck easily falls into the role of Tom. Tom Sawyer soon arrives and, after Huck explains Jim’s captivity, Tom takes on the guise of his own brother, Sid. After dismissing Huck’s practical method of escape, Tom suggests they come up with an elaborate plan to free Jim. Tom’s plan is based on several of the prison and adventure novels he has read, and the simple act of freeing Jim becomes complicated with rope ladders, snakes, and mysterious messages.

When the escape finally takes place, a pursuing farmer shoots Tom in the calf. Because Jim will not leave tom injured, he is recaptured and taken back to the Phelps farm. At the farm, Tom reveals the entire scheme to Aunt Sally and Uncle Silas. Miss Watson has passed away and frees Jim in her will. Tom has been aware of Jim’s freedom the entire time. Jim is finally set free and Huck ponders his next adventure away from civilization.


  1. Freedom. Both Huck Finn and Jim are on a quest for freedom, trying to escape the rules of society. They find life most agreeable on their raft and canoe on the river, despite many mishaps along the way.
  2. Righteousness. As the story progresses, Huck develops a conscience about what is right and what is wrong and acts accordingly. He uses his moral sense to expose hypocrisy in others and to try to correct such situations when he can.

Aeneid Summary

Aeneid Summary

The novel is set in Italy.

Main Characters

Aeneas- is the protagonist of the novel and the son of Anchises and Venus.

Juno- she is a goddess, the wife of Jove and therefore queen of the gods.

Turnus- he is the king of the Rutulians, an Italian nation located about 20 miles from the eventual Rome, and Aeneas’s main mortal enemy.

Dido- he is the founder and queen of Carthage, a city in modern-day Tunisia.

Plot Summary

After the fall of Troy, Aeneas leads the remaining Trojans as they sail near Sicily on their quest to reach Latium, an Italian region where their descendants are fated to one day find the city of Rome. Juno, who hates the Trojans because it is also fated that they will one day destroy her favored city of Carthage, wants to stop them from reaching Latium. She goes to Aeolus, the god of wind, to raise a storm to destroy them. However, Neptune notices the storm and calms it, and the Trojans land at a North African city called Carthage.

As Aeneas and his friend Achates walk through the forest toward the city, Aeneas’s mother, the goddess Venus, appears in disguise and tells them the story of Dido, and how she came to be the founder and queen of Carthage. When they reach the city, Dido welcomes the Trojans and Aeneas. At the feast that night, to ensure Dido’s hospitality toward her son, Venus sends down Cupid, disguised as Ascanius, to make Dido fall in love with Aeneas. At the feast, Aeneas tells the whole story of the fall of Troy and his wanderings, resulting in a long flashback.

Aeneas describes how the Greeks tricked the Trojans with their gift of the Trojan horse, which secretly housed Greek warriors inside it. He further tells about the death of Priam, how he lost his wife Creusa while fleeing the defeated city of Troy, and then about his followers’ misadventures around the Mediterranean Sea, including encounters with the Harpies and the Cyclops, and the death of his father Anchises. Back in the present time, Dido falls madly in love with Aeneas, who only mildly returns the feeling. Juno plots to get Dido and Aeneas alone together during a trip in the forest, and then officiate a wedding for the couple, which Dido uses to justify her behavior. However, Aeneas does not even realize the wedding has occurred. When the god of Mercury reminds Aeneas that he must go and follow his fate, Aeneas leaves Carthage with his men. Dido, devastated, commits suicide.

Unaware of Dido’s death, Aeneas and the Trojans return to Anchises’s burial site and play funeral games in his honor. Some of the Trojan women, encouraged by Juno and sick of traveling, try to burn the Trojan ships. Aeneas stops them in time and leaves behind those who want to settle down. With his strongest followers, he continues to Cumae, near Naples, where Sibyl, an oracle, guides him to the Underworld. There, he encounters Anchises’s ghost and learns of the glorious city and empire his descendants will found: Rome. The Trojans continue to Latium, where they meet the king of the Latin people, Latinus, who has learned from signs that his daughter Lavinia will marry a foreigner, as opposed to the local king of the Rutulians, Turnus, who wants to marry her. The Latins and Trojans are on the verge of making peace when Juno sends down Allecto, a fury, to cause conflict.

Allecto turns Queen Amata against Aeneas, then fills Turnus with rage. The fighting and first deaths begin when Ascanius shoots a stag that was a beloved pet of some Latins. Turnus raises an army, and Aeneas, taking the advice of the god of the river Tiber, goes upriver to find allies. He encounters the Arcadians, who are enemies of the Rutulians and they agree to help him. Evander, king of the Arcadians, sends his son Pallas to fight for Aeneas and advises Aeneas to go get the Tuscans on his side as well.

While Aeneas is traveling, two Trojans, Nisus and Euryalus, make a brave night raid through the Latin camp, but Euryalus is captured and they both die when Nisus tries to free him. The next day, the Latins attack the Trojan fortress and Ascanius makes his first kill. Up in the heavens, Venus and Juno argue their sides to Jove, who decrees that the war’s outcome should be left to fate. Aeneas returns to the battle with Tuscan troops to help him. Pallas fights Lausus, a youth his age on the Latin side and the son of the captain Mezentius. But Turnus intervenes and kills Pallas, taking his belt as a trophy. Aeneas, hearing of Pallas’s death, goes on a killing spree, but Juno removes Turnus from the battle by tricking him to get on a boat. Aeneas kills Lausus and Mezentius. Aeneas plans a huge funeral for Pallas, and Evander mourns his son. Both sides agree on a twelve-day truce.

Among themselves, the Latins discuss how they want to make peace, but Turnus stirs up the fighting again. Camilla, Queen of the Volscians, comes to help Turnus in his fight, but a Trojan ally named Arruns kills her. Turnus decides he must duel Aeneas directly in a fight to the death. Amata and Latinus try to convince Turnus not to, but he knows he must. Juno sends down Juturna, Turnus’s sister, to help him. Juturna sees that Turnus is weaker than Aeneas and stirs up the war again. Aeneas is injured but Venus heals him. Amata, seeing the Trojans attack Lavinium, believes that Turnus has died and commits suicide. Aeneas and Turnus duel, but Turnus realizes he’s missing his sword, which was made by the god Vulcan. He tries desperately to find it. Meanwhile, Jove asks Juno when she’ll give up fighting fate and she finally does. Aeneas wounds Turnus, who begs for mercy. Aeneas almost spares him, but then he sees that Turnus is wearing Pallas’s belt. Aeneas kills Turnus.


  1. Fate. In the novel, fate is an all-powerful force. What fate decrees will happen must happen. It is Aeneas’s fate to found a city in Italy, and so that he will do. Characters can, and do, have the free will to resist fate. But ultimately, such resistance is futile. Juno can delay Aeneas reaching Latium for a while, but not forever.
  2. The Gods and Divine Intervention. The gods actively intervene in the lives of the mortals, often using the characters like chess pieces to carry out their own power struggles. Juno hates the Trojans and does her best to stop Aeneas from fulfilling his destiny, even setting up the war that fills the second half of the poem. Venus tries to protect and help her son.
  3. War. The Trojan War begins Aeneas’s journey by forcing him from Troy, and war concludes his journey on the fields of Italy. The characters constantly contend with the possibility of violence, giving gifts and forming alliances to try to avert it, or proving their bravery by rushing into it.

Charlotte’s Web Summary

Charlotte’s Web Summary

Charlotte’s web has three settings; fern’s house, her uncle’s barn, and the country fair. The main setting is on fern’s uncle’s farm.

Main Characters

Wilbur- Wilbur the pig is the novel’s main protagonist. He is rescued from slaughter when Fern Arable insists that her father let him live.

Charlotte- charlotte is a common barn spider with a number of extraordinary gifts.

Fern Arable- she is an eight-year-old girl with an intense love of nature and animals

Homer Zuckerman- he is Fern’s uncle and Wilbur’s second owner. Homer Zuckerman is a kind and practical man who runs a thriving farm and barnyard.

Dr. Dorian- He is The local doctor who advises Mrs. Arable when she comes to him out of concern for Fern, who has been spending all of her time at the Zuckerman farm “talking” with the animals.

Plot Summary

Eight-year-old Fern Arable is devastated when she hears that her father is going to kill the runt of his pig’s new litter. Persuading him that the piglet has a right to life and promising to look after it, she saves the animal and names him, Wilbur. When Wilbur becomes too large, Fern is forced to sell him to her uncle, Homer Zuckerman, whose barn is filled with animals who shun the newcomer.

When Wilbur discovers that he will soon be slaughtered for Christmas dinner, he is horribly distraught. He sits in the corner of the barn crying, “I don’t want to die.” Charlotte, the hairy barn spider who lives in the rafters above his sty decides to help him. With the assistance of a sneaky rat named Templeton and some of the other animals in the barn, she writes a message on her web: “Some Pig.” More strange messages appear on the web, sparking people from miles around to visit these “divine” manifestations and the pig that inspired them. Charlotte accompanies Wilbur to the county fair, where she spins her last note: “Humble.” Wilbur wins a special prize, and his survival is ensured.

It becomes apparent, however, that Charlotte is unwell. After laying hundreds of eggs, she is too weak to return to the Zuckerman’s farm. A saddened Wilbur takes the egg sac, leaving the dying Charlotte behind. Once home, he keeps a watchful eye on the eggs. Although most leave after hatching, three stay behind in the barn, and they and subsequent generations of Charlotte’s offspring comfort Wilbur for many years to come.


  1. Friendship and Sacrifice. The novel centers around the tender, the life-changing friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte. The book’s main theme is friendship, specifically the ways in which true friendship often involves self-sacrifice.
  2. Mortality and Rebirth. The author infuses the novel with happy moments of friendship, play, and the beauty of the natural world, while also communicating frightening lessons about sacrifice, growing up, and, most acutely, the idea of death as a necessary, normal part of life.

To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 2 Summary

To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 2 Summary

To kill a mockingbird chapter two is set in Maycomb School.

Main Characters

Dill- he is also known as Charles Baker Harris and is the six-year-old nephew of Rachel Haverford, the next-door neighbor of the finches’.

Scout- she is originally known as jean Louise finch but uses the nickname scout. Scout is the daughter of Atticus finch and is nearly six years old when the story begins. She is a tomboy, eager, inquisitive and observant.

Jem- Jeremy Atticus finch, also known as Jem is scout’s older brother who is 10 as the novel begins. He is wildly imaginative and as curious as a scout.

Atticus – Atticus finch is a lawyer in Maycomb, Alabama. He is a widowed father to Jem and scout.

Calpurnia – she has been a cook at the finch house since Jem was born. She becomes a mother figure to Jem and scout after the death of their mother.

Plot Summary

Dill returns home to Mississippi in early September. Scout is miserable until she remembers that she starts school in a week. Jem agrees to take Scout to school and explains that she cannot bother him at all because things are different at school. Scout learns that Jem is right almost immediately. Her teacher, Miss Caroline, is from Winston County, a peculiar place. After reading the class a silly story about talking cats, Miss Caroline prints the alphabet on the board. Nearly every student can read it since many failed first grade last year, but Miss Caroline asks Scout to read it aloud. Scout then reads most of her reading book and part of the newspaper. Miss Caroline is upset that Scout can read and tells her to tell Atticus to not teach her anymore. Scout is not sure what she did wrong, she cannot remember not knowing how to read.

At recess, Jem finds Scout, and Scout explains her predicament. Jem assures her that Miss Caroline is introducing a new teaching method called the Dewey Decimal System, which Scout does not question. Back in class, Miss Caroline waves cards printed with “cat,” “rat,” and other words. Scout is bored, so she begins a letter to Dill. Miss Caroline scolds Scout for writing in cursive, which she is not supposed to learn until the third grade. Scout explains that Calpurnia taught her cursive on rainy days to keep Scout out of her hair.

Miss Caroline prepares the class for lunch by taking stock of who will go home to eat and who brought lunch. She notices that Walter Cunningham is not going home and does not have any lunch. Walter quietly agrees that he forgot his lunch but refuses Miss Caroline’s offer of a quarter to eat downtown, to be paid back later. Scout notices that despite his poverty, Walter is clean and tidy. Someone hisses for Scout to explain the situation, so Scout raises her hand and announces that Walter is a Cunningham. She believes her meaning is clear. Everyone knows that the Cunninghams have no money or extra food. At Miss Caroline’s prodding, Scout explains the Cunninghams will not accept anything if they cannot pay people back.

Atticus explained to Scout then that Mr. Cunningham was hit hard by the stock market crash but does not want a WPA job since it will mean nobody will be around to work his land. Not being able to explain this as well as Atticus, Scout tells Miss Caroline that she is shaming Walter since he cannot pay her back. Miss Caroline hauls Scout to the front of the room and asks her to hold out her hand. Scout is confused when Miss Caroline lightly taps Scout’s hand with a ruler. Children laugh when they realize Miss Caroline “whipped” Scout.


  1. Growth. Scout, Dill, and Jem grow up both physically and mentally. They begin the novel with a firm and uncomplicated idea of what’s good and what’s bad, but by the end of the novel, they’ve all lost their innocence and have come to a more complex understanding of how people and the world work.
  2. Prejudice. Prejudice is shown in this chapter by the many people living in Maycomb being racists and prejudiced against black people.

Everything I Never Told You Summary

Everything I Never Told You Summary

Everything I Never Told You Summary

Everything I Never Told You Summary By Celeste Ng


The novel is set in Ohio

Main characters

Lydia Lee- she is the middle daughter of James and Marilyn.

Marilyn Lee- she is the daughter of Doris Walker and was born and raised in Virginia.

James Lee- he is the son of Chinese immigrants who worked in the cafeteria of Lloyd Academy before their deaths.

Nath Lee- is the eldest son of James and Marilyn.

Hannah Lee- she is James and Marilyn’s youngest daughter who is extremely quiet.

Doris Walker- she is Marilyn’s mother.

Jack Wolff- is a boy who lives on the same street as the Lee family.

Officer Fiske- he is the police officer charged with investigating Lydia’s death

Plot Summary

On May 3, 1977, Lydia Lee does not show up at the breakfast table. After a few days, Lydia’s lifeless body is found in the town’s lake. While the police investigate the criminal nature of Lydia’s death, Lydia’s parents, James, and Marilyn Lee begin to realize that they did not know the true identity of their daughter. Although Lydia gave the impression that she was well-adjusted in her academic and social life, she was actually dealing with a great amount of pressure and insecurity.

The novel then switches to a series of flashbacks. These flashbacks provide context for Lydia’s emotional condition prior to her death. The Lee family is comprised of Marilyn, a Caucasian woman from Virginia, and James, a first-generation Chinese immigrant. Marilyn has always dreamed of being a doctor, and her enrollment at Radcliffe College is met with disgust by her mother, a home-ec teacher at the local high school. While enrolled in a history class, Marilyn falls in love with her professor, James Lee. The two begin to have a relationship, and Marilyn is forced to drop out of class when she becomes pregnant with Nath. Marilyn’s decision to drop out of college haunts her for the rest of her life.

After Nath’s birth, Marilyn becomes pregnant again with Lydia. While raising her two young children, Marilyn becomes the housewife that her mother always wanted her to be. When Marilyn’s mother passes away unexpectedly, Marilyn vows to resume her studies. That summer, she abandons her family and moves, unannounced, to Toledo, Ohio. James is left alone with his children, and his insecurities surrounding his race, identity, and relationship are exacerbated.

When Marilyn learns she is pregnant with Hannah, she leaves school in Toledo and returns home. During the summer that Marilyn leaves, Nath takes out his frustration and pushes Lydia into the local lake. Lydia, unable to swim, begins to drown. Nath rescues her, and he realizes his sister’s emotional vulnerability.

Marilyn and James displace their insecurities and individual aspirations onto Lydia. Marilyn forces her daughter to enroll in a plethora of quantitative courses. Meanwhile, James insists that Lydia conform to her environment and try to fit in with the popular girls at school. At the same time, Nath is accepted to Harvard University. His moving from home worries Lydia, as she fears she is losing her sole confidant. As a result, Lydia begins to act out. She begins to befriend Jack Wolff, the “bad boy” at school. This change heightens Nath’s frustration. After Jack confides in Lydia that he has a crush on Nath, Lydia feels an inescapable amount of pressure. She is ultimately prompted to go to the local lake, where she vows to “conquer her fears” and swim back to shore. However, she drowns in the process of the challenge.

The novel switches to the present day, where Marilyn realizes that James has been involved in an affair with Louisa, his Chinese teaching assistant. After Marilyn confronts James, he flees, feeling guilty for his behavior and insecure about his Asian identity. While he is on his way to Ohio, he realizes that he cannot abandon his family. Instead, he returns home and begins to rebuild his relationship with Marilyn.

The Secret Garden Summary

The Secret Garden Summary


The Secret Garden Summary

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett


The novel is set in England

Main Characters

Mary Lennox- she is the novel’s ten-year-old protagonist.

Colin Craven- is the young master of Misselthwaite Manor. Mary meets him after hearing cries from somewhere in the manor house several times.

Dickon- he is Martha’s twelve-year-old brother.

Ben Weatherstaff- he is the elderly and cantankerous gardener at Misselthwaite Manor

Susan Sowerby / Mother- she is Martha and Dickon’s mother.

Martha- she is a young maid at Misselthwaite Manor who is put in charge of caring for Mary when she arrives.

Mr. Archibald Craven- he is Colin’s father and the owner of Misselthwaite Manor.

Mrs. Craven- she is Colin’s mother, who died about the time of his birth after a tree branch in the secret garden broke, and she fell.

The Robin- he is a young male robin that was born in a tree in the secret garden, but as a fledgling was unable to make it back to the nest.

Dr. Craven- he is Mr. Craven’s cousin and the doctor who, for the last several years, has been caring for Colin.

Mrs. Medlock- she is a formidable woman who works for Mr. Craven.

The London Doctor- he is a doctor that saw Colin several years ago and prescribed nothing but fresh air, recognizing that there was nothing wrong with Colin.

Mary’s Ayah- she is Mary’s Indian nursemaid.

Plot Summary

The novel focuses on Mary Lennox, who is living in India with her wealthy British family. She is a selfish and disagreeable 10-year-old girl who has been spoiled by her servants and neglected by her unloving parents. When a cholera epidemic kills her parents and the servants, Mary is orphaned. After a brief stay with the family of an English clergyman, she is sent to England to live with a widowed uncle, Archibald Craven, at his huge Yorkshire estate, Misselthwaite Manor. However, her uncle is rarely at Misselthwaite. Mary is brought to the estate by the head housekeeper, the fastidious Mrs. Medlock, who shuts her into a room and tells her not to explore the house.

Mary is put off when she finds that the chambermaid, Martha, is not as servile as the servants in India. But she is intrigued by Martha’s stories about her own family, particularly those about her 12-year-old brother, Dickon, who has a nearly magical way with animals. When Martha mentions the late Mrs. Craven’s walled garden, which was locked 10 years earlier by the uncle upon his wife’s death, Mary is determined to find it. She spends the next few weeks wandering the grounds and talking to the elderly gardener, Ben Weatherstaff. One day, while following a friendly robin, Mary discovers an old key that she thinks may open the locked garden. Shortly thereafter, she spots the door in the garden wall, and she lets herself into the secret garden. She finds that it is overgrown with dormant rose bushes and vines, but spots some green shoots, and she begins clearing and weeding in that area.

Mary continues to tend the garden. Her interaction with nature spurs a transformation: she becomes kinder, more considerate, and outgoing. One day she encounters Dickon, and he begins helping her in the secret garden. Mary later uncovers the source of the strange sounds she has been hearing in the mansion; they are the cries of her supposedly sick and crippled 10-year-old cousin, her uncle’s son Colin, who has been confined to the house and tended to by servants. He and Mary become friends, and she discovers that Colin does not have a spinal deformation, as he has believed. Dickon and Mary take Colin to see the garden, and there he discovers that he is able to stand.

The three children explore the garden together and plant seeds to revitalize it, and through their friendship and interactions with nature, they grow healthier and happier. When her uncle returns and sees the amazing transformation that has occurred to his son and his formerly abandoned garden now in bloom, he embraces his family, as well as their rejuvenated outlook on life.

Slaughterhouse-Five Summary

Slaughterhouse-Five Summary

The novel has five settings which include; Germany, Luxembourg, Ilium, New York, and Tralfamadore.

Main Characters

Billy Pilgrim- he is the novel’s protagonist. Billy is a former chaplain’s assistant in the US Army who can travel between moments in his life.

Kurt Vonnegut- he is the author of the novel.

Bernard O’Hare- he is Vonnegut’s friend from World War II, who also hid in the slaughterhouse during the bombing,

Roland Weary- he is an antisocial, bullying young soldier from Pittsburgh,

Tralfamadorians- they are Small aliens with one hand and an eye in the palm,

Edgar Derby- is a middle-aged English teacher from Indianapolis. Edgar Derby is a passionate, upright, and courageous soldier who cares for Billy when he falls ill in the German POW camp.

Kilgore Trout- he is an obscure science fiction writer,

Bertram C. Rumfoord- he is a 70-year-old Harvard professor and the official Air Force Historian.

Wild Bob- he is a colonel in the Army who is taken prisoner and placed in a railcar,

Plot Summary

Kurt Vonnegut wishes to write a novel about the firebombing of Dresden, which he witnessed as an American POW and survived by hiding in a slaughterhouse. Vonnegut contacts his friend Bernard O’Hare, but he cannot remember much about the bombing. They later visit Dresden and walk through the reconstructed city together. Vonnegut begins the story of Billy Pilgrim, a man who has “come unstuck in time” and who was also captured in the Battle of the Bulge, taken prisoner by the Germans, and kept in a slaughterhouse during the Dresden bombings.

Two narratives emerge the first details Billy’s meeting of Roland Weary, an unruly fellow soldier, their farcical capture by the Germans, transfer via railcar to a POW camp, and later transfer to Dresden, a city that appears safe from Allied bombing because it has no war industry. Along the way, Weary, who has sustained foot injuries from poor shoes given to him by the Germans, dies and blames Billy. Paul Lazzaro, another soldier, overhears weary calling for vengeance against Billy and vows to kill Billy. Billy also meets Edgar Derby, a kind, middle-aged soldier who cares for him in the POW camp and is later executed for stealing a teapot from the rubble of Dresden.

In the second narrative, Billy travels through time, from his war experience to his youth to his post-war life and alien abduction. He has trained as an optometrist, married the daughter of another wealthy optometrist, and become successful in business. He and Valencia, his wife, have two children, Robert and Barbara. But in the 1960s Billy nearly dies in a plane crash in Vermont, and Valencia, coming to his aid, dies of carbon monoxide poisoning from a car wreck. After his plane crash, Billy announces he was abducted by Tralfamadorians, small, one-eyed, one-handed aliens with a particular philosophy of time. Tralfamadorians claim to see all events, past, present, and future, at the same time.

While recovering during a mental breakdown in his last year of optometry school just after the war, Billy meets Eliot Rosewater, a fellow patient, who introduces him to the science fiction of Kilgore Trout. These books present many radical ideas about the future, time, Jesus, and history, some of which are repeated by the Tralfamadorians and by Vonnegut himself. During another hospital stay, this time after his plane crash, Billy meets Rumfoord, a historian and professor who is putting together a book on World War II but has trouble believing that Billy was really present during the firebombing of Dresden.

A barbershop quartet at Billy’s 18th wedding anniversary party reminds him of the four German soldiers who stayed with the Americans in Slaughterhouse-Five. Shortly after the war ends Billy is shipped back to America. However, before he goes Billy and other POWs take turns digging out and later incinerating bodies in the rubble, including the body of Edgar Derby. Vonnegut and O’Hare were also present, and in relating this story Vonnegut has managed to recall details from the war and satisfy the novel’s initial aim: to describe the horrors of Dresden’s bombings and of war generally.


  1. War and Death. The novel is an attempt by the author to come to terms with the firebombing of Dresden, which killed over 100,000 Germans, mostly civilians, and destroyed one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. He does this through the description of his own war experience, and through the narrative of Billy Pilgrim, a fictional character whose path occasionally intersects Vonnegut’s.
  2. Science Fiction and Aliens. The author uses science fiction and aliens as a means of knitting together events in Billy Pilgrim’s life and enabling philosophical discussions about the nature of time and death. Vonnegut was a science fiction writer early in his career, and Kilgore Trout, a character in the novel who is an obscure and crude writer of wildly imaginative science fiction, might be seen as a sketch of Vonnegut.

Hunger Games Summary

Hunger Games Summary

The hunger games take place in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, located in North America.

Main Characters

Katniss Everdeen- she is a sixteen-year-old and the protagonist of the story. The hunger games are told from her perspective.

Peeta Mellark- is the male tribute from District 12. Peeta has quietly loved Katniss for years and is willing to sacrifice himself for her.

Gale- he is Katniss’s hunting companion at home. Gale also lives in the Seam and is responsible for keeping his younger brothers from going hungry.

Primrose Everdeen- she is Katniss’s little sister with blonde hair and blue eyes. Primrose is young, innocent, and not as strong or independent as Katniss.

Katniss’s mother- she is Katniss and Prim’s mother who is from a wealthier merchant class within District 12 but moved to the Seam to marry their father for love.

Haymitch Abernathy- he is the only surviving winner of the Hunger Games from District 12, which makes him the mentor for Peeta and Katniss.

Cinna- he is Katniss’s stylist for the games, earning her the nickname “girl on fire” with the costumes he designs. Cinna becomes Katniss’s friend, instructing her to be herself for the interviews.

Effie Trinket- she is the escort of the tributes from District 12, meaning she steers the tributes through the rituals of the Games.

Plot Summary

When Katniss wakes up on Prim’s first reaping day, she heads to the woods to hunt with Gale, her best friend, and hunting partner. She brings home a feast that will serve as a celebratory dinner after the reaping. At the reaping, the mayor reads a speech about the history of the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games are meant as a punishment for the districts that once rebelled against the Capitol. As punishment, one girl and one boy are taken from each of the twelve districts every year and forced to fight to the death until there is only one winner left.

Prim’s name is called despite the odds against it as the female tribute for District 12 to Katniss’s shock. However, Katniss rushes out and volunteers in prim’s place before Prim can mount the stage. Peeta Mellark is called the male tribute, and Katniss is upset because she’s indebted to Peeta from years ago. When Katniss’s father died in a mining accident, Peeta for some reason snuck some bread to her, and this generosity prevented her family from starving.

When it’s time to say goodbye to her family, Katniss promises Prim that she will try hard to win the Games and return. Peeta’s father, the mayor’s daughter Madge, and Gale also come to say goodbye. Madge gives Katniss a mocking jay pin to wear in the arena. Katniss and Peeta take a train to the Capitol, amazed by the luxury of their compartments. They team up to get Haymitch, their drunken mentor, to stay sober enough to give them advice.

When Katniss arrives at the Capitol, she is surprised by how normal-looking her stylist, Cinna, is, in comparison to the other very “artificial” citizens of the Capitol. He designs a remarkable costume made out of fake flames for Katniss to wear in the opening ceremony. Peeta confesses his love for Katniss in a nationally televised interview the day before they enter the arena and Katniss angrily believes that it is all part of his strategy to win the Games.

When they enter the arena the next day, Katniss is able to survive in the woods fairly easily, but soon the Game makers engineer a number of obstacles to bring the competitors together. First, a wall of fire drives everyone away from the edge of the arena, and then a series of fireballs target Katniss. One catches her on the calf, and she is badly burned. When Katniss is cornered by the Career tributes at the top of a tree, Rue helps her locate a trucker jacket nest, and Katniss sets it loose upon the Careers. However, Katniss also gets stung and begins hallucinating, and she vaguely remembers that Peeta who seemed to be allied with the Careers put himself in danger and ends up saving her life and telling her to run.

Rue and Katniss team up, but their alliance is short-lived, as Rue is soon killed. Katniss weaves a wreath for Rue and sings to Rue in her last moments, and Rue’s district sends Katniss a loaf of bread in thanks. The Gamemakers who run the Game announce that the rules have been changed so that there can be two winners from the same district, likely to ratchet up the tension of the Games for the viewing audience by getting Katniss to go and try to help Peeta, who was injured by Cato when he saved Katniss. Katniss immediately sets off to find Peeta. After she finds him, badly injured and not far from death, Katniss realizes that Haymitch wants her to play up the romance for the audience, so she does so, while Peeta is happy just to be with her, he does not seem to be acting at all.

The Game makers announce that all remaining contestants can get something they badly need at the Cornucopia where the games began. Katniss is nearly killed by the career tribute Clover from District 2 but is saved by Thresh who then lets Katniss go to repay her for the kindness she showed to Rue. Thresh then runs off with his package and Cato’s. Katniss returns to Peeta with her package, which turns out to be medicine that soon returns him back to health.

Cognitive Psychology And Research Methods:

Cognitive Psychology And Research Methods:

 Outline each of the three models of memory (approx 500 – 700 words per model – does not have to be an even split):

·  MSM:

o  Describe (briefly) key structures/processes (SM, STM, LTM)

o  Briefly explain how model works & it’s main claims (3 separate, unitary stores, emphasis on rehearsal)

o  Use evidence to illustrate/support (eg, studies showing differences between stores, eg, capacity, duration, encoding)

o  Evaluate using evidence, eg, Clive Wearing – shows multiple LTM stores, so cannot be unitary; flashbulb memories don’t require rehearsal; LTM used in STM tasks

o  Overly simplistic; doesn’t explain how different types of info might be processed, eg, visual/acoustic (see WMM); provides good foundation for other models/research; chunking useful technique.

·  WMM:

o  Link to MSM – challenges notion of unitary, passive STM

o  Describe each component (briefly)

o  Provide evidence to support model & illustrate components, eg, dual-tasking, articulatory suppression tasks, evidence for central executive

o  Evaluate using evidence, eg, EVR good with reasoning, bad with decision-making, so more than one central executive?  Reliance on case studies (unique – not generalisable); brain damaged patients – no before/after comparison, brain trauma may influence performance; doesn’t really explain processes; but has good application, eg, dyslexia; advancement over STM

·  LoP:

o  Link to previous models – agrees that memory is active (like WMM), but disagrees with structural models; challenges the MSM’s reliance on maintenance rehearsal

o  Offers alternative view – memory as by-product of processing (therefore long/short-term retention, rather than long/short-term memory stores)

o  Explain levels – shallow vs deep processing

o  Illustrate using evidence, eg, Hyde & Jenkins, Perfetti & Elias, Palmere, et al.

o  Evaluate – no independent measurement of depth – eg, Tyler – depth vs effort; circularity of argument; criticism by Eysenck that model only describes what’s happening, but recent studies explain that elaborative rehearsal enriches memory by linking it into pre-existing network of semantic association.