Fine's say Book Summaries

Book Summaries

The Glass Menagerie Summary - Scene 1-2 The play takes place in the apartment of the Wingfield family, which is in an over-crowded, lower middle-class housing complex in St. Louis. In a case in the living room is a collection of transparent glass animals. A photograph of the father hangs...
The Chosen Summary - Chapter 1 The Chosen begins in 1944. The protagonist is a fifteen-year-old Jewish boy named Reuven, who lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The area is heavily Jewish, and there are several Hasidic sects in the neighborhood. These are very conservative Jews, some from Russia and others from...
Jane Eyre Summary - Chapter 1 Chapter one introduces Jane, the narrator of the story, her aunt Mrs. Reed, and her cousins, Eliza, John and Georgiana Reed.  Ten-year old Jane lives at the Reed's Gateshead Hall. It becomes obvious that Jane's place in the household is not a comfortable one,...
The Bluest Eye Summary - Prologue The Bluest Eye begins with two untitled, one-page prologues. The first paragraph of the first section reads like a 1940s first grade children's reader. In simple sentences, it describes the house and family of a girl from a typical white, middle-class family. The second...
The Bell Jar Summary - Chapter 1-2 The Bell Jar begins in the summer of 1953 in New York City. Esther Greenwood is working for a month as a guest editor at a women's magazine, one of twelve college girls chosen for this honor in a national competition. She admits...
The Bean Trees Summary - Chapter 1 The protagonist grew up in rural Kentucky. Her name is Marietta, but everyone calls her Missy because when she was three she insisted upon being called "Miss," just like the rich children for whom her mother worked. However, she does not keep this...
The Awakening Summary - Part 1 The first image readers encounter in The Awakening is a bird in a cage: a colorful ("green and yellow") parrot who is repeatedly screeching, in French, "Go away, for heaven's sake!" We learn that the bird can also speak Spanish, as well as "a...
King Lear Summary - Act 1 Scene 1 King Lear in his old age decides it is time to divide up his kingdom among his daughters.  In order to decide how much each girl and her husband gets, he makes them each publicly declare their love.  The oldest daughter Goneril...
Heart of Darkness Summary - Part 1 Heart of Darkness is the tale of Charlie Marlow's journey into the heart of the African Congo, where he encounters the extraordinary Mr. Kurtz.  It is an expedition that has a tremendous impact on Marlow.  This short novel is divided into three sections. ...
Fahrenheit 451 Summary - Part 1A Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 begins with a description of the main character, Guy Montag, a fireman trained not to put out fires, but to set them.  The number on his helmet reads 451.  Coincidentally, this is also the temperature at which he and the other...
When Socrates and Euthyphro meet, Socrates clarifies for Euthyphro the charges that the state has brought against him and Euthyphro is disturbed to hear about the trouble of his friend. He says that he too has been involved in a rather unpleasant set of charges, namely his own accusation...
Ethan Frome Summary - Chapter 1 We flash back to twenty-four years ago. It is midnight and once again, the village is under snow. Ethan Frome is walking along the quiet streets. Four or five years earlier he had taken a course at a technical college, but his studies had...
East of Eden Summary - Part I Chapter 1-4 In the beginning of East of Eden, before introducing his characters, John Steinbeck carefully establishes the setting with a description of the Salinas Valley in Northern California. As a youngster, the narrator learns to tell east from the bright Gabilan Mountains...
Death of A Salesman Summary - Act 1, Scene 1 Miller begins his play with a bedtime dialogue between Willy and his wife, Linda.  Willy, an aging salesman, has just returned late from a business trip.  Linda is very concerned, asking her husband if he had a car accident.  Willy...
Cry, the Beloved Country Summary - Book I Chapters 1-4 Cry, the Beloved Country begins in the tribal village of Ndotsheni, in the province of Natal. Ndotsheni is an impoverished village in a valley, where the soil is so poor it can barely support the people who live there. All...
Crito Summary - Chapter 1 In 399 B.C., Athens sought someone to blame for its humiliating defeat in the Peloponnesian War with Sparta and its allies. This scapegoat, through default more than anything, became Socrates, the legendary Athenian philosopher. Since Socrates often questioned the intentions of Athens' politicians, he was...