The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Twain¡¦s masterpiece is a picaresque romp, a series of
outlandish episodes involving the boy who would become literature¡¦s
favorite runaway. Yet it also grapples with one of the most powerful themes
in our nation¡¦s history¡Xslavery.
Yossarian didn¡¦t want to fly any more missions, so he
pleaded insanity. But his desire not to fly proved he was sane. The Army¡¦s
name for this inescapable dilemma? Catch-22. Meet Joseph Heller, who based
this satirical classic on his own war experiences.
The image of Don Quixote tilting at windmills is one of the most enduring
in literature. Through this addled protagonist and his pudgy sidekick,
Sancho Panza, Cervantes skewers the courtly romances of his day and explores
the line between fantasy and reality.
Before Freud, dreams were seen as messages from the world of the spirits.
His extraordinary book revolutionized the way we look at ourselves¡Xour
hopes, fears and fantasies. Using a unique series of dream sequence reenactments,
experts and artists escort viewers down the dark road of the unconscious
and into a deeper understanding of the inner life of humans.
Witness the clash between egotistical visionary and Catholic Church,
as faith and reason again conflict. The most controversial book of its
time, Galileo¡¦s promotion of a heliocentric universe landed
him in jail for heresy until his death.
Part fairy tale and part horror story, Great Expectations is a harsh
tableau of London¡¦s stratified Victorian society. Follow
the life of the boy called Pip, whose dreams begin to unravel as he learns
the true cost of becoming a gentleman.
||The Great Gatsby
The most widely read American novel of this century, The Great Gatsby
explores the uniquely American possibilities for remaking oneself. You¡¦ll
learn how Fitzgerald, through Gatsby, defined for millions the era known
as the Jazz Age.
Jonathan Swift¡¦s satirical masterwork, Gulliver¡¦s
Travels, was a blockbuster bestseller in its time. England in the 18th
century was a country ripe with social ironies, and Swift mined them all
to give bite to this fantastic narrative. Discover how Swift¡¦s
prickly prose remains on-target even today.
More than just an adventure, Moby-Dick is an epic morality play, an
allegory of good and evil and of man¡¦s relationship to nature.
Enjoy a visual feast of historic images and clips from the classic film,
plus a compelling portrait of the author.
The journey of Trojan War hero Odysseus back to his kingdom in Ithaca
is one of the world¡¦s greatest epic adventures. Homer¡¦s
poem has been plundered for images and phrases by creative artists for
centuries. Join experts, scholars, and actors as they explore the timeless
appeal of this great story.
Give your students an excellent introduction to Plato and to the philosophical
questions he raised that still resonate today. The video dramatizes many
of the scenes from the text, including the famous allegory of the cave.
Machiavelli¡¦s masterpiece of manipulation and political
intrigue was written more than 500 years ago, but its principles still
live. Politician Gary Hart and statesman Henry Kissinger, among other experts,
discuss how The Prince has influenced world leaders and the course of history
from medieval times until the present.
||The Scarlet Letter
The story of Hester Prynne explores questions still asked today: What
is moral? And what is good? The video re-creates the strict world of Puritan
New England and draws parallels with our seemingly more licentious modern
Emphasizing spirituality over materialism, this classic of American
Transcendentalism urges people to free themselves from the ¡§quiet
desperation¡¨ of their lives. You¡¦ll visit Walden,
where Thoreau conducted his experiment in simple living.
From bedrock to blight, see how cities live and die from the ground
up. Explore the water and sewer systems as well as architectural landmarks
of five great cities. And hear insights from historians, urban planners,
architects and social scientists as they assess the past, present and future
of these crowded, crowning symbols of civilization.
Knights in shining armor, tales of valor and bravery, magnificent
castles rising out of the mist—they’re all here in this four-part
video that looks at the Age of Chivalry.