Well, here, at the least, are some suggestions of novels that are very much based in historical contexts and brief explanations:
<u>Their Eyes Were Watching God</u> (Zora Neale Hurston): Hurston expands upon African American success in the United States. It follows a young black woman who is looking for love and it is written in black vernacular which, while at points hard to read, allows for a better insight into the minds of African Americans during this time period. (another good one to look into is Beloved) <u /> <u>Ghosts</u> (Henrik Ibsen) (or any other of his plays): Ibsen's one of my favorite authors at least. In his play, <u>Ghosts</u>, Ibsen writes about a mother and son relationship primarily (though there are many other attributes prevalent throughout the story). In particular, Ibsen writes about syphilis in a way that dramatically reflects the era in which he wrote. He avoids saying what the illness the character has due to the stigma that even mentioning the name brings among audiences of the time. Instead, he cleverly alludes to it. Furthermore, Ibsen contrasts the belief that women are to be owned (particularly that a women should rely on her father, and that women are unable to hold estates). Religion is also expanded upon. While these topics are brought up, many of them serve to contrast the beliefs of the time.
<u>Animal Farm/1984</u> (George Orwell): Fairly simple to talk about. Orwell talks about the nature of the Soviet Union's revolution (Animal Farm) and takes on an outside perspective as well as an internal perspective. 1984 is where the concept Big Brother came from and is another interesting and relevant read.
<u>Slaughterhouse 5</u> (Kurt Vonnegut): Vonnegut is another of my favorite authors because he tackles war with such precision. His story is not only based around the historical setting and surroundings of WWII but it talks about the way people thought about it and the way that PTSD has an effect on the people who served in the war.
<u>Great Gatsby:</u> Great Gatsby is rife with connections to the Lost Generation and to the 1920s. In particular, the way that women are portrayed in the novel and the way in which Gatsby is written as a member of the lost generation to some extent, can be expanded upon.
A. They can portray imagery via the written word through vivid descriptions from colors to smells and so on they can paint a clear picture of what the author is trying to portray.
B. He uses imagery all the time and an example would be "And here the maiden, sleeping sound, On the dank and dirty ground." He describes the ground the maid sleeps in through visual imagery.
C. An example is, "How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears. If so, my eyes are oftener wash'd than hers. No, no, I am as ugly as a bear." From the last quote and this quote, both quotes emphasizes the pitiful and pathetic state of the made. The made is sleeping on the dank and dirty ground and she is as ugly as a bear. There is a reuccuring tone here and thus, the motif is that the maid is piteous.