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Robinson Crusoe opens with an extremely quick rundown of Robinson’s family life: he was born in 1632; his parents are German, and left their hometown of Bremen to settle in Hull, in England. They are middle-class, and Robinson’s father strongly advocates a middle-class life for Robinson too, encouraging him to pursue law as a profession. Both of Robinson’s brothers are missing one was killed in battle, and the other hasn’t been heard from since he began a life of travel and adventure. Robinson wants to pursue travel as well, but is dissuaded by his father. In 1651, against his parents’ wishes, however, Robinson leaves on a series of ill-fated voyages in search of indigenous non-Western peoples with whom he can trade. On one such voyage, Robinson’s ship is captured by pirates and he is made personal slave to the pirate king. After two years, he manages to escape with a fellow prisoner — a Moor, Xury — and the two are taken in by a Portuguese trading ship and brought to Brazil. Robinson becomes quite friendly with the Captain of the ship and sells Xury to him on the condition that he free Xury in ten years (if, the Captain insists, Xury converts to Protestantism). Robinson sets up a plantation in Brazil, growing tobacco, and it quickly begins prospering. Though he could stay and continue to manage his plantation, however, Robinson is struck with the urge to take to sea again, and leaves on a voyage that will eventually lead to disaster. The ship encounters a huge storm, and Robinson is the only survivor to make it onshore a deserted island. He begins to make a life on the island, and will stay there for 28 years.

He keeps a journal early on cataloguing his activities, which include building a fort in which to sleep. He is very concerned that he will be found, either by people indigenous to the area, or by Europeans, and he does not want to surprised or caught off guard. He disguises his fort by walls and vegetation, and builds a ladder to get over the barricades. He also begins domesticating wild goats, building them an enclosure in another part of the island that he refers to as his “Country Seat.? He kills some of them for food, but also milks them and makes cheese and butter. He teaches himself how to make earthenware pots, and even fashions a makeshift kiln for firing them. He plants corn and barley. He has a pet parrot named Polly, who is the only beast with whom he speaks English for much of the time on the island.
During the course of his stay, he makes his way out to his own shipwrecked boat, as well as to other boats that are wrecked, and ransacks them for their supplies. He eventually comes to live a relatively content, comfortable life that consists for the most part in tending his flocks, occasionally hunting for food, harvesting and gathering grain, and making things like baskets and pots. Late in his stay, however, he notices a footprint in the sand on the other side of the island. This makes Robinson extremely nervous. He begins imagining what sorts of men might have come to his island. He can’t find evidence of where they might have come from, but he is nonetheless in a state of perpetual awareness, going out in the mornings to lurk and wait for visitors. After some time, however, no-one shows and Robinson begins to relax again. But just when he settles down, he finds a collection of bones and the remains of a fire on shore. He knows instantly that they are human bones, and he resolves immediately to kill the cannibals should they ever cross his path. He doesn’t see any cannibals, however, for the next year and a half, and in that time he decides that since they haven’t really done him any harm, he can’t justify killing them. Soon after this determination, he spots five canoes full of cannibals landing on shore. They have two prisoners in tow. He watches one of the prisoners run up the shore and escape his three pursuers. When Robinson comes upon the prisoner he spares his life, even though he realizes that its likely that this man is also a cannibal. The man, who Robinson begins referring to as “my Savage,? expresses extreme gratitude, and although they don’t speak the same language, Robinson understands that the man will be indebted to him for the rest of his life. Robinson names the man “Friday,? and the two live together on the island for the rest of Robinson’s stay there. Robinson teaches Friday some English, and they spend much time debating the virtues of their respective religions. Robinson is determined to make Friday accept Protestantism, however, and lectures him at length about what he believes to be its superiority over tribal customs. Robinson claims not to own Friday like a slave, but of course the issue is complicated because he does believe Friday to be under a binding contract to do whatever he wants of him. The issues of slavery and bondage are extremely complex in this novel, and it is important to pay attention in these moments to the difference between what Robinson claims to be his attitude towards Friday, and how he actually regards and treats him. Giving Friday a European name, for example, might be understood as an implicit gesture of ownership.
Friday and Robinson finally escape the island when a British trading ship lands onshore and its sailors mutiny. Robinson befriends the Captain, and organizes himself and other sympathetic sailors together to win the ship back. Robinson has much stored firepower so they overwhelm the rebel sailors and in 1687, 28 years after he arrived on the island, they take off for Europe. At this point Robinson tries to return to his plantation but finds that he is uncomfortable with a life of luxury, so he decides to return to England. He determines to travel by land because he is afraid of his luck at sea. However, en route to England, his party is attacked by a wolf pack and Robinson is lucky to escape with his life. He appears to be settled back in Hull, but the novel closes with Robinson’s wanderlust creeping up on him again. He can’t stay away from the life of trade, and has decided, at last, to return to sea.

Defoe’s preface is less than a page long, but is important to pay attention to because it lays out the “Editor’s? rationale for publishing Robinson Crusoe’s history. This “Editor,? however, is not Defoe’s real editor, but rather the first fictional character of the novel. The Preface, then, is Defoe’s method for framing the upcoming narrative in terms of issues relevant to the early eighteenth century. Since the period saw an explosion of book selling (the printing press had come into its own), as well as the first copyright law ever to be instituted, early modern culture felt overwhelmed by the availability of books to the public. With such a relative wealth of books, people wondered, how would one know which books were worth reading and which weren’t? Perhaps in response to this, Defoe’s Preface seems obsessed with justifying its own publication, even going so far as to claim that it is not a novel, and is instead a history. As a history, the Editor argues, Robinson Crusoe is worth publishing because it can provide a (negative) example to readers — showing them what not to do in order to live a satisfying and safe life. The Editor then goes on to say that this history is the most publicity-worthy of any he knows because Crusoe’s life is more filled with unbelievable adventure than any other. He is thus making two arguments: the first is that we should regard Crusoe as a true (that is, believable) history, and the second is that this history is worth telling precisely because of its unbelievability. Although the Preface seems designed to clarify the terms of the novel, then, Crusoe begins with a contradiction.

The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, & c.
Middle Class Virtues Vs. Early Wanderlust

Robinson opens the story with a brief history of his upbringing; he’s part-German, we learn, although his last name is fully British. It was changed from Kreutznauer, he tells us, when his father left Bremen for Hull, the English town where Robinson grew up. Robinson has two brothers, one killed in battle by the Spanish, and the other gone missing. Although the middle classes in eighteenth-century England traditionally taught their sons trades so that they could earn a living, Robinson is uninterested in pursuing the law — the trade for which he had been prepared. He is much more strongly inclined towards a life of adventure and travel, and he lets us know even on the first page that this tendency will end in great unhappiness.
When Robinson informs his parents about his wanderlust, they attempt to dissuade him. Robinson’s father explains to him that travel is only for the desperately poor, who have nothing to lose, or for the fabulously wealthy, who can afford to risk their fortunes on adventure. Middle class boys, he tells Robinson, must be content with a life of work. Furthermore, this is the most satisfying life, he argues, claiming that rich and poor alike are jealous of those who earn their living by their own merit, and whose pleasures — like quiet and sociability — are domestic ones. Robinson’s father pleads with him so earnestly, even sobbing openly, that Robinson decides to try to put his desires aside and continue to live at home. A year later, however, he can bear it no longer and one day while he is down at the docks, mingling amongst sailors, Robinson meets up with a friend of his who is bound for London. Without so much as a second thought, Robinson tells us, he joins him.

The Travails of Travel

Immediately, however, Robinson regrets his decision. The ship is wracked by bad weather and he becomes violently ill. He prays to God to let him make it to shore. He pledges to go home. The other sailors mock Robinson for his terror; this is but minor turbulence, they tell him. And by the next day, the storm subsides and Robinson’s promises — made in the midst of miserable nausea — fade. He begins to enjoy life at sea, watching the sunset and sunrise over the water, and thinking delightedly that it is the most beautiful sight he’s ever seen. The following day, however, a strong storm hits and Robinson is shaken once again. He again prays to God to allow him to change his mind and return to Hull. The storm wreaks havoc on the boat, and the sailors fire their guns wildly as a distress signal. Never having heard guns before, Robinson faints dead away on the deck and is kicked aside by his mates. When he wakes, he finds himself forced to abandon ship with his comrades. Rescued by a passing boat, Robinson watches over his shoulder as the ship he vacated only moments earlier plunges to the bottom of the ocean.
One would think that Robinson might turn back now. But he pushes on, obstinately attached to the idea of a wayfarers life. What’s more, he is ashamed to think of his neighbors laughing at him, and refuses to return home. He travels to London on foot instead, and stays there for two years, becoming friendly with the master of another ship, who entices Robinson on a voyage to Guinea. This is the trip that settles it for Robinson, provoking an addiction to travel and seducing him by the process of trading with indigenous peoples. Since non-Westerners did not value gold in the way that Western Europeans did at the time (indeed, Western Europe was developing a capitalist economy that depended on the gold standard during this time), traders were able to receive much more for their barter than they would on the continent. Robinson is hooked, and after he returns to London, laden with booty, he wants immediately to head out again. On his next trip, however, Robinson’s boat is raided by pirates, who capture him and make him the personal slave of their leader, a position that Robinson maintains for another two years — enough time to ingratiate himself to the pirate king.
Because his master (who Robinson refers to as his “patroon?) trusts Robinson, he eventually slips up. He had asked Robinson to serve himself and some visiting Moors while the group takes a fishing journey. Robinson prepares the boat for the guests, but when it comes time for the trip, his patroon comes on board alone, explaining that the guests are delaying their visit. He suggests that Robinson take the boat out by himself to do some fishing for the pirates, and Robinson, seeing his chance for escape, agrees. Robinson is outfitted with servants of his own — a Moor named Ismael and a young boy named Xury — and he convinces Ismael to load lots of supplies onboard the boat — gunpowder, tools, beeswax (to make candles), and twine. The three set out to sea and Robinson begins fishing as if he had nothing up his sleeve. When Ismael isn’t looking, however, he pushes him overboard, and continues out to sea with Xury, who he feels certain he can train to be loyal to him.

The Seductions of Travel

The two men set out to sea, and drop anchor off an unknown coast. Robinson is deeply apprehensive about the foreignness of this land, and describes passing a night filled with ominous noises coming from wild creatures. Robinson’s account of the animals of this land converges with his fear that it also harbors indigenous peoples, and this is one of the novel’s first lengthy amalgamations of wild animals with non-Westerners, whom he refers to as “savages.�? When they land and search for water, however, Robinson and Xury find the coast uninhabited by men. There are plenty of beasts, though, and Robinson shoots a lion, which they skin and take with them, for Robinson is becoming savvy about the possibilities for trade, and believes that the lion skin may come in handy.
The duo can find no people, though, and at this point they want to for their provisions are running low. Robinson is hoping to meet with other European trading ships, and they scan the coastline for inhabitants as they travel. When Robinson spots some Africans, he attempts to strike up an exchange with them, indicating by sign language that he and Xury are looking for food. When the Africans bring the food, Robinson worries initially that he has nothing to trade for it, but just then two leopards appear on the scene, affording Robinson the opportunity to repay the natives by shooting one and scaring the other away. This rescue sets the scene for a more extended trade between Robinson and the Africans, and he receives more food and earthenware vessels.
After eleven more days of travel, Xury spots another ship, one that Robinson identifies as Portuguese, and they set off after it. The two quickly board the friendly ship, and the Captain offers to put Robinson up for nothing in exchange. The Captain, does, however, want to buy Xury off of Robinson, who, incidentally, had not owned Xury to begin with. Robinson is hesitant at first, since he has come to value liberty after his own time as a pirate slave. But the Captain promises to give Xury his liberty in ten years on the condition that he accepts Christianity, so Robinson accedes. The ship heads for Brazil, and on arrival Robinson buys a plantation and sets up home there for two years, eventually becoming a tobacco farmer in conjunction with his neighbor, a British-born Portuguese named Wells. Robinson is not entirely satisfied with this new life, of course, since he realizes that he is now approaching the middle-class status that his father had urged him towards earlier. He is a comfortable landowner, but begins to feel confused. If he’s gone through all the hardship at sea just to end up where his father wanted him to be all along, what use was it?
His friend the Portuguese Captain offers Robinson a deal: he will procure Robinson’s holdings — whatever money and possessions he has — from London on his next visit there. When he receives his things, Robinson immediately sells them, for British goods are more valuable in Brazil. With the money, he buys a slave and a servant. Robinson is becoming very wealthy, and yet he is still drawn to a life of adventure. He begins telling his neighbors about the thrill of trading with indigenous peoples. Robinson emphasizes particularly the opportunities such trade provides to procure gold at an incredibly cheap rate, since non-Westerners do not value gold in the way the Europeans do, and are willing, Robinson explains, to accept trinkets such as shells and beads in exchange for gold. Robinson also mentions the possibility of buying slaves in Guinea. He is careful to explain to the reader that ordinarily slave-buying is only possible through the assent of the Kings of Spain, which makes it a very rare and expensive enterprise. The neighbors are especially interested in this. When they propose to Robinson that he come along and assist them in buying slaves, he hesitates only to ruminate on the fact that to leave his prosperous plantation now would be to court financial disaster. As a born adventurer, however, and as someone who dances dangerously close to self-destruction, he agrees to the trip.


Unsurprisingly, the group meets with a ferocious hurricane almost immediately after they set sail. The ship is thrown desperately off course, and they are forced to land wherever they can find a coastline. Making towards land in a lifeboat, the group is swallowed by a huge wave. Fortuitously, and only after he is tossed violently for some time, Robinson is washed up on shore. Night is coming on, and he is of course panicked, since he has no clothes save the wet ones he’s got on, no comrades (they all seem to be dead), no food, and no provisions of any kind. He is at the mercy of the elements, as well as any wild animals that come upon him. He sleeps in a tree, hoping that that will shelter him from any attack.
In the morning, Robinson finds that his ship has moved during the night, and is now stuck on a large rock. He manages to swim out to it and raids the ship for food and water. He then begins to think of building a raft to carry his booty to shore. Robinson’s description of building the raft is rather detailed, and part of the reason for this is in order to explain the surprising turn of events in Robinson’s thoughts about value. Whereas the trip itself is premised on his money-hungry desires — his urges for more gold and cheap slaves — during the building of the raft he realizes that the wood he’s found is worth more to him than any amount of gold would be. You can’t float on gold.
Robinson takes ammunition, guns, swords, water and food with him on shore. After landing — no small task considering he has no rudder to guide him or oars to propel him — he begins to seek a place to set up camp. Upon exploration of the landscape, Robinson is more dejected than ever: he is on an island. And what’s more, it’s barren. He decides to return to the ship several more times to gather supplies like tools, clothes, a hammock and a spare sail. He is also pleased to discover a vast supply of bread.
After he’s finished emptying the ship of its useful contents, Robinson builds a tent — another enterprise that is described in great detail. He even provides himself with a door. He brings his provisions inside, including the gunpowder, which he carefully separates into bags and stashes inside his dwelling, which he now refers to as his cave. Only after he explains how he is able to produce this makeshift home for himself, does Robinson describe his state of mind. He’s preoccupied, he tells us, with the conviction that he will end his days on the island — a thought that produces tears when he thinks about it. Robinson also muses on the cruelty of a divine force that would abandon him so helplessly, leaving him in such a desolate, impossible state. He finds it hard to be thankful that his life is saved. Nevertheless, Robinson always falls short of total misery when he reminds himself that the other ten sailors perished in the sea. When he considers that he alone was spared this death, and furthermore that he was able to retain much of the ship’s provisions, Robinson feels fortunate.

The Pros and Cons of Stranding

Robinson next lists things which are less obvious necessities — less obvious, that is, than the saving of his life, and the making of shelter — such as the tools he uses for keeping track of time, carving such information into a post, and cutting a notch for every day he spends on the island. He also tells us that a dog and two cats have survived the shipwreck, and cohabit the island with him. He finds pen, ink, and paper, and explains that he is interested in writing down his experiences on the island – not to leave to any spawn he may produce, for he feels sure that he is unlikely to have any heirs, but in order to give vent to the thoughts that besiege him during the day. He has no outlet, no other human beings to distract him or converse with him. He turns to writing instead. He lists the pros and cons of his situation, referring to them as the evils and the goods of his life on the island. Among the evils, he lists:

The impossibility of his recovery.
His isolation.
His lack of sufficient clothes.
His relative lack of defense against wild beasts.
His lack of another person to speak with .

Among the goods are the following:

The fact that he is alive.
The possibility that if he was saved by divine providence from the shipwreck, he may be saved from the island by divine providence as well.
That he is not starving.
That he has not seen any menacing wild beasts yet.
The fact that he was able to get supplies from the ship.

Robinson uses the list as an example for the reader that anything negative, such as his shipwreck, can also contain positive elements in it. Sufficiently cheered, Robinson sets about learning how to build things that he previously did not know how to construct, such as a chair and a table. He reflects happily that any man can learn mechanical skills, given the opportunity. He also begins to keep a journal, which he then reproduces for the reader. We should note also that Robinson reconstructs the journal as if he’d been keeping it from the beginning of his stranding, when, in fact, he has not.


September 30, 1659
He is shipwrecked.

Oct. 1
He discovers the ship’s proximity.

Oct. 1-24
He pillages the ship.

Oct. 25
It rains and the ship breaks into pieces.

Oct. 26
He searches for a place to pitch his tent

Oct. 26-30

He sets up his tent and stores his provisions inside.

Oct. 31
He kills a goat for food

Nov. 1
He spends the first night in the tent on a hammock

Nov. 4

He begins to set a schedule for himself.

Nov. 5

He kills a wild cat and preserves her skin.

Nov. 6
He makes his table

Nov. 7-12
He makes his chair.

Nov. 14-16
He makes boxes for storage

Nov. 17
He begins to dig in the rock behind his tent to make more storage room.

Nov. 18

He tries, and fails, to make a wheelbarrow.

Nov. 23
For the next 18 days, he widens and deepens his cave so that it forms a warehouse area, a kitchen, a dining-room, and a cellar. (Note that the cave is distinct from his sleeping area, which he refers to as his tent).

Dec. 10

A large amount of dirt falls in from the roof of the cave.

Dec. 11

He is busy trying to fix the cave’s ceiling.

Dec. 17-20
He begins to furnish his house and fashion a dresser. He makes another table.

Dec. 27
He kills a goat and injures another which he brings home and patches up. He begins to entertain the thought of breeding tame animals.

Jan 3
He works on building a wall to protect his living area, like a fort. He is satisfied that if visitors come to the island, they would not be able to recognize his fortification as a dwelling.

Robinson’s journal breaks off here and he begins speaking at length again of his goings-on in general. He is happy to report that he has become able to make more things that he had thought impossible to construct, such as a cask to hold water and a candle (which he makes from the tallow of a killed goat). He also notes that at one point he had shook out the contents of an old bag in which corn had been stored onto the ground. He finds, some time later, that the seeds have — through no tending of his own — begun to sprout. He takes this as another sign of divine providence.
On the 14th of April Robinson finishes his wall, furnishing it not with a door, but with a ladder for climbing over it, just to ensure that it does not appear to be the gateway to a dwelling. But just after he finishes the wall, the ceiling of the cave falls in again, and Robinson finds that he is in the middle of a large earthquake, and stands in awe of the consequent landslides he watches happening all around him. He resolves to move his dwelling from the cave to something that is out from under the earth, so that if an earthquake happens again he’ll be in a less perilous position. It will be a huge job, he realizes, and is reluctant to begin it. He makes a grindstone to help him fashion tools for the construction job. In the middle of the work, though, Robinson realizes that the late hurricane has caused the ship to run aground closer to shore. He is able to walk out to it when the tide is low. He begins dismantling it, reserving the wood, iron and lead for future projects. He works on the wreck until June 15.

June 21
Robinson falls ill and prays to God, he tells us, for the first time since the storm he experienced on leaving Hull.

June 27
In his illness, Robinson hallucinates a man coming down from a raincloud — a huge man, shaking the earth as he steps closer to Robinson. The figure threatens Robinson that because he has not repented for his wayfaring ways and his rebellion against his father, he will die. Robinson imagines the man lifts a spear to kill him. Robinson is inexpressibly horrified, and also reflects on the absolute lack of self-reflection that he’s shown up until this point. He remembers the way in which he did not feel thankful when he was rescued by the Portuguese Captain. He also notes that while when he first landed on the island, he was thankful for his rescue, these feelings subsided into a simple happiness to be alive, without a sense of the divine will by which his salvation must have been delivered. He reflects that he’s become too comfortable on the island. But his sickness, he realizes, brings on thoughts of God again. He prays to God directly now, and asks for help. The next night, when eating his dinner of turtle in the shell, Robinson notices that he says grace for the first time in his life.

A Revelation

As he languishes, Robinson decides that God must have put him on the island for a purpose. Which leads him to the question: why has God done this to him? His conscience quickly answers that this misery is payback for a life of rebellion against his father and repudiation of middle-class comfortability. Before going to bed, Robinson chews some tobacco and drinks some rum — both medicinals he’s learned from the Portuguese. He also says a prayer before bed that night — another first.
When Robinson awakes, he’s miraculously better. He continues his treatment with tobacco and alcohol. As he begins to recover, he worries that if God has thus saved him, what has he done to glorify God? He knees and thanks God out loud. The next morning he begins reading the New Testament. Robinson’s prayers begin to transform: whereas previously he prayed to be delivered from his isolation on the island, or from sickness, he now prays to be delivered from the weight of guilt that he bears for his misspent life, and ceases asking to be delivered from physical afflictions.
Robinson begins to get better and determines to get a better sense of the island’s terrain and layout. He finds meadows that he hadn’t known were there. They boast wild sugar cane and tobacco in abundance. He also locates forests, with grapes and limes growing in them. He begins stockpiling these foods in preparation for the wet season. When he forays out again, he leaves the grapes and limes back at the tent, and on his return he finds that they have been trampled and consumed by a wild animal he has not yet seen. He builds a bower, and hangs grapes from it, having gathered quite a few by the time the rains come. He also plants corn and barley, and experiments through the months of February, March and April with sowing and harvesting techniques.
With what he learns from planting, Robinson reconceptualizes his year on a non-European model. He bases this new year, instead, on the harvesting cycles, and splits it up into four sections: two rainy and two dry. He begins to refer to the bower area and its surrounding crops as his country house, or country “seat? — a term borrowed from a tradition of British landownership. He takes up wicker-work, fashioning twigs into baskets for corn. As he explores the opposite side of the island further he finds numerous turtles and fowl, and regrets building his home on the barren side, where he washed up. On one of these journeys he gets lost, and since a haze settles over the island for several days, he is unable to use the sun as a guide to find his way home. During this time, his dog injures a young goat and Robinson makes it a collar, and leads the goat to the bower, where he leaves it. He has now been absent from his tent for a full month and is anxious to get back. He resolves to go back and get the goat, though, who had had left without food, and it is so starved that it responds to him as a dog would, following him around for sustenance.

Island Life

He has now been on the island for two years. On the anniversary of this occasion, he thanks God humbly for the luxuries and good fortune he has come across — the abundance of food and his ability to eke out a comfortable existence. He thanks God for making up for his isolation through His presence. He begins to feel as if his solitary existence is in fact happier than the life he had been living in society. He reflects that whereas previously he had walked about the island acutely conscious of his loneliness and his entrapment there, he now feels as if it is more possible to be happy in his solitude than it would be to be happy in civilized society. He thanks God for bringing him to the island.
Robinson embarks on this third year on the island, which he will recount in great detail, he tells us, but which consists mainly of reading the Bible in three separate sittings a day, searching for food every morning for three hours, and preserving and cooking the animals he shoots or fruits and vegetables he gathers and harvests. He works on his corn and barley crops, refining his methods of protecting them from scavenging birds. He teaches himself how to make bread — a turn of events that he is very delighted with, and remarks that he now works for his bread, thus making the idiom quite literal. Robinson is in awe of all the factors that go into something as simple as bread. He spends six months making the tools he needs to grind the grain and make the corn ready for integration into a loaf.
Robinson also acquires a parrot, who he spends time teaching how to speak his name, Poll. This is the first word he hears spoken since he’s landed on the island. He also teaches himself to make sun-baked earthenware pots, by great trial and error. He improves upon this system by fashioning a kind of ad hoc kiln, after which he has pots in abundance. He is now able to make himself a stew. He also equips himself with a mortar and pestle for pounding grains into meal.
Robinson becomes interested in finding the wreck of his boat once again. He travels up the island in search of where it is beached. He uses planks from the boat to fashion a kind of raft-like mechanism large enough to hold himself and all his possessions. Unfortunately, however, he finds himself unable to get the canoe, as he calls it, the 100 yards to the water.
He finishes his third year on the island and reflects on his absolute distance from the civilized world. He conceives himself to be so removed from it as to not even desire to return. What does he enjoy about being apart from Western society? He does not feel lust on the island, first of all. And neither does he feel pride. He covets nothing — he is envious of no-one; who would he have to be envious of? He is in competition with no-one, and must bear the laws of no sovereign. He avoids the pitfalls of luxury, since if he produces more corn than he can eat, for instance, or kills more animals than he can stomach in a reasonable period of time, the meat and vegetables will simply spoil. Robinson decides that the only good things in this world are those that we can use, as opposed to luxury items that exceed our immediate needs. This emotion, of course, is described as in direct contradistinction to the overriding attitude of the Western world.

Not Alone?

Robinson begins to notice that some of the supplies that he brought from the boat are deteriorating or have been almost entirely consumed. His ink, for instance. And his clothes are decaying, which is a problem since without them, he will be unable to bear the sun’s strength. He uses the skins of animals that he’s killed to produce makeshift apparel as well as an umbrella. After some more time passes (Robinson’s now been on the island for five years), he digs a canal from where the canoe is, to the water. He is able to launch it at last. He decides to tour the perimeter of the island on the boat, and makes a mast and sail for it, also fixing the umbrella to it for shade. He sets out on November 6th, in the 6th year of his stay on the island. His voyage quickly turns dangerous, however, as Robinson gets caught up in a current, and finds himself unable to land again on shore. He looks on his island with longing and wishes only to be on shore again. By chance, the next day, the winds change, and he is brought close into shore again, finally able to land.
Of course, Robinson has landed quite a ways from his habitation on the island, and doesn’t want to have to sail back, since the travel was perilous. He stashes the boat on shore and sets off on foot. After some searching, he finds his country house and falls into a sleepy stupor from which he is roused by someone calling his name and asking where he’s been. When he rouses himself enough to focus, he finds that Poll is calling him. He is amazed that the parrot has traveled from the tent to the country house, and welcomes the bird warmly. He spends the next year very sedately, he tells us, working on his earthenware, carpentry and wickerware. He is concerned, however, at the dwindling of his gunpowder — something that he cannot reproduce. He has been on the island for eleven years. He springs traps for goats now, so that he can capture them without wasting gunpowder. Robinson resolves to keep most of the captured goats, to breed them tame instead of shooting wild ones. He sets about enclosing a space of land to keep them in — no small task, of course. He learns to milk the goats and to make butter and cheese. He is pleased with himself, and begins to regard himself less as a prisoner of the island, and rather as its Sovereign. He also refers to his country house and his primary fortification as his two plantations. He imports terminology, in other words, from his former life and applies it to life on the island.
Robinson is determined to get his boat back to his side of the island, and goes back to fetch it. Along the way, he notices that the sea is much calmer than when he had sailed it. He attributes this to tidal flow, and determines to get a sense of when it is more safe to sail. He decides, finally, to build another canoe for the other side of the island, rather than hazard sailing the original one again.
Things proceed swimmingly until Robinson notices the footprint of a man on the shore near his boat. There’s just the one footprint, though. No other tracks coming or going. Robinson is amazed and dumbfounded. He flees home to his tent, which he begins referring to thenceforth as his Castle, since it is fortified against intruders. He decides the footprint must be the work of the Devil in human form, since he thinks it impossible that any other human would have found their way to the island. But then again, he also finds it amusing to imagine that Satan would take human form simply to leave a footprint on a deserted island. Improbable, he thinks, and begins to imagine that it must be the mark of some savage (as he calls them), having traveled by canoe, and come and gone from the island with the currents.

Anxious Preparations

These apprehensions put Robinson in the mind that someone might come and steal his crops and all his food, leaving him to die of want on the island. He begins to doubt his earlier faith in God now, too. He no longer feels confident that God will provide for him upon the island. He resolves to plant more corn than is necessary for each year, to stock up in case his provisions are pillaged. It’s strange, furthermore, he reflects, that the thing for which he had so ardently wished — that he might meet another man upon the island — is now something he is deeply averse to. In the face of such surprising turns of events, Robinson turns his faith back to God. He even begins to consider that the print might have been one of his own. He finally builds the courage to come out of his castle, which he’s been shut up in for three days.
He is determined to go back to the print and measure it against his own. But when he does so, he finds it quite a bit larger than his, which again send him into a panic, and straight back to his enclosure. He wonders if he should tear up his crops and let his cows loose, just so that this other man might not find the booty and enjoy it himself. In a panic, he builds another fortification with a double wall. He arranges muskets around the perimeter. This fortification is within a grove of trees he had planted twelve years prior, and in another five years, he tells us, this new castle is so deeply enclosed that no-one would imagine a habitation to exist beyond the trees. Bear in mind that Robinson has now spent five years, by his account, fortifying himself against possible attack from a man who has never seen. He has become depressed and anxious, constantly worrying about being at the mercy of savages or cannibals (again, his terminology). He finds that it was much easier to pray when he had peace of mind, and much more difficult when his mind is already roused and anxious.
One day, when exploring the now anxiety-producing shore, Robinson comes across a sight that leaves him aghast: the shore is littered with human skulls and bones, as well as the remains of a fire. Robinson is absorbed with thoughts of the brutality and inhumaneness of cannibalism and devotes some writing to this topic. After vomiting he feels better, and returns to his side of the island, utterly thankful for his home, and for having been spared death at the hands of these supposed cannibals. But his fear and depression about the cannibals keeps him close to his castle, his bower, and his goat-enclosure for another two years.

Meeting the Enemy

Robinson convinces himself, however, that the cannibals do not come to his side of the island — that this side is not on the route to or from wherever they travel. He cautiously moves beyond the perimeters of his fortifications once again. He is obsessed, however, with the idea of killing some of the cannibals himself and of rescuing their victims. He invents many imaginative schemes for demolishing them. He finds a suitable hiding place from which he may watch the cannibals land, and furnishes the spot with muskets. He begins touring the area every morning, searching for the cannibals. After two or three months of this routine, he has still seen nothing. With time and space, he begins to wonder if he should in fact be putting himself in the position to judge and execute the cannibals, if God has not seen to it to punish them already. He compares their killing of captives to his own killing of animals for eating. He begins to wonder if the cannibals are murderers after all. After all, he thinks, English armies kill other men in war; they just don’t eat them. He also notes that the cannibals have never done anything to personally injure him. He thinks that perhaps killing the cannibals might be like the Spaniards’ killing of indigenous Americans — for no other reason than to usurp their land, and justified, they claimed, because of the seemingly barbaric rites that the native peoples practiced. Robinson regards such colonizing efforts with skepticism now, and so too does he revise his earlier opinions about the cannibals. He resolves to simply keep away from them and leave the rest up to God.
Robinson decides to try to make as little noise as possible so as not to attract cannibals, and feels that striking a nail or hammering on wood will alert them to his presence. He leaves off his inventions and embellishments of his accommodations. During this time he also finds a natural cave. Stepping into the cave he sees a pair of eyes. Briefly he worried, he pauses and then heads in. Inside he finds a huge old goat dying on the ground. He looks around the cave further and finds it not too large — about twelve high at its highest point. The next day he returns with candles, and finds the place very pleasant — not too damp, not filled with vermin. He feels more secure in the cave, certain that no-one would think to look for a man in there, even if they could find it. He has no lived on the island for 23 years.
That December, Robinson sees a fire about two miles away from his home, on his side of the island. He prepares himself with ammunition and firearms and sets out to observe who’s made the fire. He sees nine non-European men with two canoes. They appear, he thinks, to have built the fire to eat human flesh. He sets his mind at ease, however, noticing that they must have come in with the tide, and will likely leave as soon as the tide is favorable again. Which they, in fact, do. Robinson notices, as they leave, that they are all naked, and that not all the members of the group may be men. He does not notice them visiting the island again for the next fifteen months. He is back to feeling murderous, however, and is preoccupied with thoughts of how to kill them. He sleeps very badly during this time.
One night he thinks he hears a gunshot coming from the sea. Thinking it is a distress call from a European ship, he makes a fire to attract them. In the morning, however, he sees that the ship has foundered and broken up on the rocks. Robinson feels thankful again that he’s been spared such a death. He is miserable, as well, that not one person has survived to become his companion. Robinson also resolves to go out to the boat to see if there’s anything of value to him on it. He finds a great stock of things including rice, rum, raisins, fresh water, a compass, bread, an umbrella, barley cakes, goat’s milk and cheese. He brings the booty back to shore, but is unable to land near his home. He has to wait until the tides are favorable to launch his little boat again. As he makes his way around the island he finds another wreck, with a dog still living on board. He gives the dog some food and water and boards the boat. He finds muskets, a shovel and tongs to tend a fire, shirts, sweetmeats, linen, neckcloths, and a copper pot. He leaves behind bars upon bars of gold. They are not useful to him, he says, and of course, in his condition, they’re not.
When he arrives back on land, Robinson dreams that he sees two cannibals landing their canoe with a victim in tow. The victim escapes, however, and Robinson rescues him, making him his servant and eventually guiding him off the island and to safety. On waking, Robinson decides that he must in fact save one of the cannibals’ victims. He believes that this course of action will end in his salvation.

Befriending the Enemy

One morning, a year and a half later, Robinson notices five canoes landing onshore. He sees two captives waiting to be slaughtered, and then sees that one escapes and runs up the shore, towards Robinson’s encampment. The escapee is pursued by three cannibals, who run a course near Robinson, but without perceiving him. He surprises them and inserts himself between the cannibals and their victim. He knocks one down with his gun, but doesn’t shoot him because he is afraid the others will hear the noise. He finds he has to shoot the next one, however, for he is off at a distance, preparing to fire an arrow at Robinson. He spares the victim — a gesture which the man recognizes as merciful. He kneels to Robinson and puts Robinson’s foot on his head to symbolize his bondage to him. Robinson now begins referring to this man as “my Savage.?
Robinson gives the man bread and raisins and fresh water. He also furnishes him with a mat to sleep on. He observes the man while he sleeps, deciding that he is very handsome, and about 26 years old. His hair is black and straight. His skin is lighter than black. He is, as Robinson describes him, a savage with European qualities. Robinson is careful to distinguish the man from what he calls “Negroes.? Please refer to the Historical Context and Summary Questions for more on this. (Young, how is this sort of thing normally handled? When one comes to a part of the story that obviously needs commentary? Does one make it within the body of the text summary? I’m not sure what to do. . .).
The next day, Robinson names the man “Friday,? and teaches him to call Robinson “Master.? He also teaches him “Yes? and “No.? Robinson clothes Friday the following day, since he had been up until this point entirely naked. Friday suggests that they dig up his aggressors and eat them. Robinson lets him know just how unacceptable this is to him, making vomiting gestures and angry faces. The two of them go together to the cannibals’ bonfire, where they find the bones and skulls of the other three victims — all of whom were in a struggle with their King, including Friday. Robinson has Friday gather up all the bones and burn them into ash.
Robinson makes a tent for Friday between his two encampments. He doesn’t have Friday sleep with him in his own tent, but this isn’t, he tells us, because he fears him. Rather, he finds Friday to be the most gentle and loving man he can imagine. He believes Friday to regard him as a kind of father.
Robinson decides to try to wean Friday off the hunger for human flesh by letting him taste other kinds of meat. They set out together to kill a goat, and when Robinson shoots it, Friday panics and thinks himself to be shot, stripping off his clothes and searching for a bullet hole. He doesn’t yet know how guns work, and assumes that because Robinson used one to kill his pursuer, using it at all will inevitably end in his own death. Robinson tries to demonstrate the principles of shooting to Friday by pointing at animals, and then at the gun, demonstrating that the latter will affect the former. Friday is so overwhelmed by the gun’s mechanisms that Robinson fears he will start worshipping him and his gun.
When they arrive home, Robinson makes a stew for Friday, who reacts well to the meat, but not at all to the salt that Robinson puts on the food. He spits it out dramatically. When Robinson prepares some roast lamb for Friday, he likes it so much he indicates to Robinson that he will never eat human flesh again.


Within the year, Friday begins to speak English. Robinson is quite happy with the arrangement, and says it’s the best year he’s had on the island yet. They begin to love each other quite much, according to Robinson who feels that Friday must have more affection for him than he has ever had for anyone in his life.
Friday has information about the nearest mainland, and explains to Robinson the sea routes that he and the other cannibals ordinarily took to reach the island. Robinson concludes, from Friday’s description, that they must be somewhere near the Caribbean. Friday tells him that in order to reach populated islands, Robinson must build a boat as large as two canoes.
Robinson next becomes absorbed in teaching Friday about Protestantism — the religion that Robinson subscribes to. He describes Christ’s dying for the sins of the people. He explains the importance of prayer. Friday’s responses indicate to Robinson that he does has a sense of religion, though not quite the same as a Westernized version. He believes that after death all souls go to “Benamuckee,�? who is their god, and that there are a kind of clergy called “Oowocakee.�? When Robinson learns this, he concludes that even amongst the most seemingly savage nations, there exists a sort of organized religion, even one that is recognizable to Europeans as such. He suggests to Friday, however, that this religion is fraudulent because it fails to recognize his, European, God. He suggests that perhaps this Benamuckee is in fact the Devil in disguise. Robinson draws several specious links between the savagery and “backwardness�? of the non-Western world, and the possibility that the Devil has set up camp there, holding sway over its inhabitants. Robinson finds, however, that the notion of the Devil is even harder to impress upon Friday than is the notion of a Western God. Friday, it turns out, has no concept of evil. He asks questions that in fact give Robinson pause to wonder, such as, if God is so strong, then why doesn’t he simply kill or otherwise do away with the Devil? Thrown for a loop, Robinson struggles to come up with a response. The only way he is able to explain the existence of the Devil is by making an analogy to human beings. Robinson says that if God was going to kill the Devil for his evil, He might as well kill most human beings, who daily struggle against the evil in their hearts. Instead, says Robinson, God gives everyone the chance to learn and repent. Friday is still somewhat reluctant to buy into Robinson’s scheme, at which point Robinson gives up and hastily draws the conversation to a close, concluding that nothing but divine revelation can make Friday understand. He begins to pray to God that Friday will see the light. He spends the next three years conversing with Friday on such topics. He describes this time together as utter happiness. At the end of three years, Friday, he says, is a Christian.
Robinson next embarks on explaining to Friday how it is that he came to live on the island. At hearing of the shipwreck, Friday becomes very excited, and reveals that a shipwrecked boat of white men washed up at his homeland, perhaps around the same time that Robinson describes his own wreck to have occurred. Robinson begins to wonder if perhaps the remaining men from his ship did not die, but in fact came upon a different island. Friday says that these white men are now living amongst the natives on his island more or less amicably.

More Visitors

Robinson also begins suspecting Friday of treachery at this point, wondering if when Friday returns to his homeland, he would gather his friends and arrange a group to come back to kill and eat Robinson. He tries to hide his suspicions from his friend, but wonders if Friday can discern his hesitation. He asks Friday if he wants to go home, to which Friday says that he would. He then asks if he would become a cannibal again. Friday says that he would not, that he would instead teach his comrades about Robinson’s God, to eat only animal flesh, and to drink milk. Robinson suggests that Friday’s people will kill him if he advocates this lifestyle, to which Friday replies that they will not, that they love to learn and will be willing to accept this new way of life. He adds that they already have learned much from the white men who washed up on their shore. He insists that he would keep Robinson safe from harm. Robinson begins to wonder if he might travel to Friday’s native country, and they begin to build a boat.
Friday is confused, however, and thinks that they’re building the boat so that Robinson can send him away. He protests quite a bit, saying he doesn’t want to go live in a land without his Master. He suggests that Robinson come with him and teach his countrymen. They begin to build a large boat that takes them 14 days to get drag to the water. When they set out, Robinson finds Friday to be quite able with the oars. Robinson then outfits the boat with an anchor and sail. The work takes him two months. He then asks Friday to teach him how to paddle and navigate a canoe. They practice sailing it. He has now been on the island for 27 years.
When the dry season comes, Robinson begins readying the boat for sail. As they’re getting set to go, Robinson sends Friday out to search for turtle. He comes running back, panicked. He’s seen three canoes headed for their shore. Robinson declares that they must fight the cannibals. At first, he is determined only to scare them so he gives Friday a hatchet, and outfits himself with a sword and gun. He plans to shoot the gun and scare them off with the noise. As they approach, however, Robinson becomes overwhelmed with disgust at their purpose, which is to drag victims ashore and eat them. He resolves to kill the cannibals and enlists Friday’s help for their purpose. He gives Friday a pistol and three guns. He arms himself similarly. And yet, as they set off on their errand, Robinson has another change of heart, remembering that these people intend him no harm, and so are innocent, he says, as far as he is concerned. He tells Friday to hide with him and observe.
Friday steps out of cover and gets a look at the party on shore, reporting back to Robinson that their victim is a white man. Robinson changes his mind again and decides to kill the cannibals. He and Friday shoot down from their hiding spot at the cannibals, and mayhem ensues, with the cannibals running around bloody and wounded. They run down to free the man while any cannibals who are able to do so flee in their canoes.
Robinson unties the man and learns that he is Spanish. He gives him bread and drink. He gives him a pistol and a sword and the man leaps up and sets about trying to kill any cannibals who remain on the island. The three men kill 21 cannibals — almost the entire group, save the few who escaped in the canoe. Robinson is then surprised to find, lying at the bottom of one of the beached canoes, another victim, bound but alive. It turns out to be Friday’s father, and the two have a joyful reunion. Robinson is moved and surprised, as well, to see such affectionate kinship amongst people that he still considers to be savages.

A Coup

As the two freed men are too weak to walk back to Robinson’s encampment, he brings beds of straw for them to sleep on down at the shore. Robinson is very gleeful with his visitors, and feels himself to be king of the island — a king who now has three subjects. He is pleased that all three men owe their lives to him, and so would be willing to sacrifice themselves for his sake.
The Spaniard tells Robinson the story of how he’d come to live with the cannibals, explaining that he too had been shipwrecked, but with sixteen other men. They lived in relative peace with the cannibals, but did not have sufficient provisions. Robinson wonders if it would be possible to join forces with these men, but he is hesitant because of the great animosity between the Spanish and the English. The Spaniard assures him that his comrades would be nothing but grateful for his help. Robinson makes the Spaniard agree to swear his men to be under Robinson’s command.

Within a month’s time, the two victims are rested and the four men begin planting and sowing crops together. Robinson has Friday and his father cut down trees, putting the Spaniard — unsurprisingly, considering Robinson’s Western bias — in charge of their work. Now that they have a supply of food for their potential visitors, Robinson orders the Spaniard to go back to the mainland and bring his fellow men back with him. Friday’s father goes with him. He waits for their return. But instead of seeing a canoe approaching, Friday and Robinson see an English boat, called a long-boat. Robinson is excited at the possibility of seeing fellow countrymen, but he is apprehensive that these may be murderers or pirates, since the English don’t have much trade established in that part of the world.

The boat lands. Prisoners are brought onto the shore. Then the men begin to explore the island. And although the prisoners are not bound, and could also run about the island, Robinson observes them simply sitting on the ground in despair. He concludes that the prisoners are so bewildered by having landed on what they believe to be a deserted island that they have simply given up. The other seamen continue to run around the place, screaming about their predicament — they are unable to dislodge the boat until the next tide. Robinson waits until dark to make his move. He wakes up the prisoners — who are set apart from the rest of the crew — and asks what sort of men they are. The men believe Robinson to be an angel, and cry with relief at the sight of him. But he corrects them, insisting that he is an Englishman and asks if he can help them.

One man speaks, telling Robinson that he was captain of the ship but that his men mutinied against him. And instead of killing him, they have determined to leave him on this island to perish. Robinson asks where the men are, and it is revealed that they are in a thicket nearby. Robinson offers to strike a deal: he says that if he wages battle against the crew, the Captain and his two supporters must pledge allegiance to him, to do his bidding, as well as give him free passage to England on board their ship if he can win it back. They agree to the conditions. Robinson provides the men with muskets, though the Captain says he is reluctant to kill all but two of the men. Robinson disagrees with this line of action, pressing the Captain to go through with the killing. The battle begins, and they bind any men who are simply wounded, indeed sparing some lives. But they haven’t captured all of them — the rest of the sailors are scattered throughout the island.

Leaving the Island

The Captain and Robinson tell each other their stories. They decide to take any crewmen who aren’t completely wedded to the idea of mutiny on the ship with them, to assist in sailing it. The Captain is worried that because his crewmen have pledged to live a life outside of the law, if he brings them back to England they will rise up against him again, since they know that they will be hung in Europe. Robinson concludes that they must lure them on board the ship and surprise them into the journey. They strip the boat of all provisions and make a hole in its bottom so as to make it unseaworthy. Now the men cannot take the boat away from Robinson’s party. They bring the boat up onto the beach. Another boat of rogue men approaches and lands. They make an effort to steal back their boat, but finding it with a gaping hole, are unable to do so. They set up a search party to look for their fellow flauters of the law. There are ten men in this party — seven who come on shore and three who stay with their boat. They won’t find their comrades, though, since Robinson has bound them and stashed them at his encampment. As the group is getting ready to set off again, Robinson, Friday and the Captain attack them. Robinson takes three prisoners of war and wins them over to his side. He now has an 8-man army: himself, Friday, the Captain and his two supporters, and the three prisoners of war. They vanquish the rogue sailors who lay down their arms in surrender and Robinson et al bind them up and send them either to Robinson’s cave or to his bower. Once the Captain and his men secure the boat back from the three still left on board, he tells Robinson that the boat and his men are his to command. Robinson is overcome with gratitude. He cannot believe his good fortune. The Captain gives Robinson the best clothes he has on board, and other presents such as liquor, lime juice, lemons, and tobacco. Robinson then sets the rest of the prisoners free upon the island, after having given them the choice to return with him to England where they will likely be hanged, or to remain there. He tells the men who will stay on the island some of his secrets for survival, and leaves some of his guns with them. He also shows them how to work with the goats, and how to make butter and cheese. The following day he boards the ship.

On leaving the island, Robinson takes the following souvenirs with him: a cap he’s made of goatskin, the umbrella he made, his parrot, and any money he had salvaged from his wreck and from the wreck of the Spanish ship. He leaves the island on December 19, 1686 — 28 years, 2 months, and 19 days after he landed there.

He arrives in England June 11, 1687 after having been gone from his native country for 35 years. He finds that his parents are dead and all of his relations except for two sisters and the two children of one of his brothers. He has little money and decides to go to Lisbon to see if his plantation still exists. Friday accompanies him. He finds his old friend the Portuguese Captain. He reports that Robinson’s partner at the plantation has been receiving Robinson’s share of the profits for all the time that he’s been gone. He says that this partner is now quite rich. The Captain says that he’s also received some part of the profits, and he calculates how much he owes Robinson, offering to pay him back in gold. Robinson is quite moved by the man’s honesty on this account. He weeps with emotion. Robinson now plans to take over the plantation, which he does with surprising ease. He also finds that the heirs to his trustees are willing to pay him back. They send lots of supplies to him, such as tobacco and sugar, as well as gold. Strangely, though, Robinson’s relief and gratitude turns to sickness and he falls ill with joy. He continues to be ill for some time until his blood is let under orders of a physician, and he begins to recover himself.

Uncomfortable Origins

Robinson now has an estate to direct, but he’s uncomfortable. He’s become used to only wanting enough to subsist on, but now he’s experiencing overwhelming luxury. He doesn’t know what to do with himself. He doesn’t trust other people, thinking they might be out to get money from him. He will only trust the old Portuguese captain. He decides to return to England, but is reluctant to go by ship. This is not surprising, given the hardship that sea travel has led him into. He decides to travel by land. He refrains from discussing his trip in detail, but does note that he witnesses an attack by a wolf — which is broken up by Friday — in France. His party is also tracked by a bear in these same parts, though here too Friday disposes of the wild beast. The entire party is attacked by a wolf pack, as well, before the end of the trip, although they are able to scare them off with pistol reports, wounding some twenty to thirty of them in the process.
After arriving in England, Robinson decides to sell his plantation because he realizes that moving back to Brazil would mean giving up his Protestantism (Brazil is a Catholic country), and reaps great profit from it. The novel comes to a quick close after this. He marries, has three children, and then his wife dies. He is seduced into trade again, however, this time in the East Indies. The novel closes with Robinson’s return to a life of adventure.


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Romeo and Juliet (ingilizce Kitap Özeti)

The play begins with a large fight between the Capulets and the Montagues, two prestigious families in Verona, Italy. These families have been fighting for quite some time, and the Prince declares that their next public brawl will be punished by death. When the fight is over, Romeo’s cousin Benvolio tries to cheer him of his melancholy. Romeo reveals that he is in love with a woman named Rosaline, but she has chosen to live a life of chastity. Romeo and Benvolio are accidentally invited to their enemy’s party; Benvolio convinces Romeo to go.

At the party, Romeo locks eyes with a young woman named Juliet. They instantly fall in love, but they do not realize that their families are mortal enemies. When they realize each other’s identities, they are devastated, but they cannot help the way that they feel. Romeo sneaks into Juliet’s yard after the party and proclaims his love for her. She returns his sentiments and the two decide to marry. The next day, Romeo and Juliet are married by Friar Lawrence; an event witnessed by Juliet’s Nurse and Romeo’s loyal servant, Balthasar. They plan to meet in Juliet’s chambers that night.

Romeo visits his best friend Mercutio and his cousin Benvolio but his good mood is cutailed. Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, starts a verbal quarrel with Romeo, which soon turns into a duel with Mercutio. Romeo tries to stop the fight but it is too late: Tybalt kills Mercutio. Romeo, enraged, retaliates by killing Tybalt. Once Romeo realizes the consequences of his actions, he hides at Friar Lawrence’s cell.

Friar Lawrence informs Romeo that he has been banished from Verona and will be killed if he stays. The Friar suggests Romeo spend the night with Juliet, then leave for Mantua in the morning. He tells Romeo that he will attempt to settle the Capulet and Montague dispute so Romeo can later return to a united family. Romeo takes his advice, spending one night with Juliet before fleeing Verona.

Juliet’s mother, completely unaware of her daughter’s secret marriage to Romeo, informs Juliet that she will marry a man named Paris in a few days. Juliet, outraged, refuses to comply. Her parents tell her that she must marry Paris and the Nurse agrees with them. Juliet asks Friar Lawrence for advice, insisting she would rather die than marry Paris. Fr. Lawrence gives Juliet a potion which will make her appear dead and tells her to take it the night before the wedding. He promises to send word to Romeo – intending the two lovers be reunited in the Capulet vault.

Juliet drinks the potion and everybody assumes that she is dead — including Balthasar, who immediately tells Romeo. Friar Lawrence’s letter fails to reach Romeo, so he assumes that his wife is dead. He rushes to Juliet’s tomb and, in deep grief, drinks a vial of poison. Moments later, Juliet wakes to find Romeo dead and kills herself due to grief. Once the families discover what happened, they finally end their bitter feud. Thus the youngsters’ deaths bring the families together. Romeo And Juliet is a true tragedy in the literary sense because the families gather sufficient self-knowledge to correct their behaviour but not until it is too late to save the situation.

Romeo and Juliet characters

* Romeo — sole heir to the Montague fortune
* Lord Montague — Romeo’s father
* Lady Montague — Romeo’s mother
* Benvolio — Romeo’s cousin
* Balthasar — Romeo’s faithful servant
* Abraham — Montague servant


* Juliet — sole heir to the Capulet fortune
* Lord Capulet — Juliet’s father
* Lady Capulet — Juliet’s mother
* Tybalt — Juliet’s cousin
* The Nurse — Juliet’s faithful Nurse
* Peter — Capulet servant
* Sampson — Capulet servant
* Gregory — Capulet servant

Peripheral characters

* Friar Lawrence — friend and advisor to Romeo and Juliet
* Mercutio — Romeo’s best friend; Prince’s kinsman
* Prince Escalus — Prince of Verona; kinsman to Mercutio and Paris
* Paris — Loves Juliet
* Rosaline — Romeo’s first love who never actually appears in the play
* Friar John — Friar Lawrence’s friend
* Apothecary — Romeo’s acquaintance in Mantua

Scene summaries

The prologue to this play essentially summarizes the entire story. Two prominent families (the Montagues and the Capulets) from the city of Verona are at war with one another. These families have battled against each other for quite some time, but things have recently become even worse. From these households, two people will fall in love, but their “star-cross’d” relationship will end in death. Once these two people die, the families will finally end their bitter feud. The familial grudge, the lovers, and their untimely death will be the topic of this two hour play.
Act I, Scene i

Sampson and Gregory, two Capulet servants, discuss how much they despise the Montague family. The two make puns about how they would like to defeat the Montague men and sexually conquer the Montague women. Their banter is interrupted when they spot two Montague servants. Gregory and Sampson try to determine the best way to begin a fight without being held accountable, and Sampson decides to bite his thumb at the Montagues. As this is considered a strong insult, Abraham and Balthasar, the two Montague men, take offense and begin a verbal quarrel. Benvolio from the Montague side sees this fight and draws his sword to force peace upon both parties. When Tybalt from the Capulet side sees this, he draws his own sword and informs Benvolio that he hates peace as much as he hates all Montagues. A widespread fight breaks out and Lords Capulet and Montague attempt to enter the fray. Their wives force them to stay out of the brawl, a command which is soon reinforced by Prince Escalus. The Prince decrees that the Montagues and Capulets have disturbed the peace too many times, and future disturbances will be punished by death. With that, everybody leaves, except for Montague, Lady Montague, and their nephew, Benvolio.

Montague demands to know how the fight began, and Benvolio explains what happened. Lady Montague is less concerned with the fight than she is with her melancholy son, Romeo. She asks Benvolio if he has seen Romeo, and Benvolio says that he has seen his depressed cousin wandering among the sycamores outside the city. The Montagues are distressed over their son’s sadness and they confide that Romeo will not explain the source of his misery. When Benvolio sees his cousin approaching, he tells Lord and Lady Montague that he will find the source of Romeo’s problems. Romeo’s parents quickly leave, and Romeo approaches Benvolio. He informs Benvolio that he is miserable because he is in love with a woman named Rosaline who does not return his affection. Furthermore, she does not return any man’s affection because she wants to live a life of chastity. Benvolio encourages Romeo to forget about Rosaline by focusing on other beautiful women. Romeo insists that there are no other women for him, and Benvolio vows to prove him wrong.
Act I, Scene ii

Capulet and Paris, one of the Prince’s kinsmen, walk together and discuss Paris’ desire to marry Juliet. Capulet is happy about this request, but he insists that Paris should wait two years because Juliet is not even 14 years old yet. Capulet tries to console Paris by saying that he is throwing a party that would serve as the perfect place for Paris to woo Juliet. Capulet gives a guest list to a servant named Peter and tells him to invite the guests. As Paris and Capulet walk away, Peter reveals that this will not be an easy task because he cannot read. Fortunately, Romeo and Benvolio wander by at that moment and Romeo reads the list aloud. Peter feels relieved and invites Romeo and Mercutio to the masquerade feast, provided that they are not Montagues. Benvolio persuades Romeo to go to the party to get his mind off Rosaline. Romeo agrees, but only because he saw Rosaline’s name on the list.
Act I, Scene iii

At the Capulet house, Lady Capulet tells the Nurse to find Juliet. When Juliet enters the room, Lady Capulet tells the Nurse to leave so she can speak in privacy. She quickly thinks better and tells the Nurse to stay so she can help her. The Nurse immediately reminisces back to Juliet’s youth and states that Juliet is the most beautiful child the Nurse has taken care of. She says that she hopes she will see Juliet married some day, at which point Lady Capulet brings up her subject. She asks Juliet if she wants to get married, and Juliet replies that she hasn’t given the subject much thought. Lady Capulet tells Juliet that Paris will be at the party tonight, and that he would make a fine husband. Juliet succumbs to her mother’s will and says that she will see whether or not she could love him. The conversation is cut short when a servant tells them that the feast is ready.
Act I, Scene iv

Romeo, Benvolio, and their friend Mercutio gather with other guests and walk towards the Capulet’s feast. Romeo wonders how they will get into the feast without being recognized, despite the fact that they are all wearing masks. Mercutio tries to cheer Romeo up by telling him that he must dance at the party. Ever the melancholy one, Romeo replies that he is too depressed to dance. Mercutio then begins one of the most famous speeches from any Shakespeare play when he begins speaking about Queen Mab. At first, Mercutio is lighthearted, but he soon becomes angry. Romeo calms Mercutio down and reveals one final bit of depressing news. He says that he has a terrible feeling about this party, and he fears that death is in the stars. Still, Romeo and his friends make their way into the feast.
Act I, Scene v

The feast begins and all is well. Capulet greets all his guests and everybody is having a wonderful time. Romeo spots Juliet from across the room and he immediately forgets about Rosaline. Tybalt hears Romeo’s voice and becomes enraged. He attempts to start a fight, but Capulet refuses to have any blood shed in his home. Tybalt vows that he will get his revenge at a later time. Meanwhile, Romeo is so smitten by Juliet’s beauty that he asks her to kiss him. The two speak in metaphors that proclaim Romeo as a pilgrim and Juliet as the saint who can redeem him. Juliet agrees to stand still while Romeo eliminates his sin through her lips, but Juliet then realizes that his sin is now in her mouth. Romeo happily takes his sin back by kissing her again. The Nurse interrupts them and sends Juliet to speak with her mother. Romeo learns that Juliet is the daughter of his mortal enemy just as Benvolio tells him it is time to leave. As everybody departs, Juliet nonchalantly asks the Nurse to name certain people. When the Nurse labels Romeo as a Montague, Juliet is devastated.

Act II, Scene i

Romeo feels compelled to stay at Juliet’s house because that is where his heart belongs. He climbs over the wall and into the orchard while his friends taunt him from the other side. Mercutio mocks Romeo’s feelings for Rosaline, but when Romeo does not surface, he and Benvolio go home.
Act II, Scene ii

Romeo hides in the Capulet’s orchard and sees Juliet in her window. Romeo quietly professes his love for her and compares her to various beautiful elements in the world. He remains hidden while Juliet laments over her predicament. Once Romeo is certain that Juliet is as distraught as he is, he makes his presence known. At first, Juliet is startled and slightly angry to know that he invaded her private lamentations. Juliet demands to know why he is there and how he got there. Romeo tells her that the power of his love helped him climb the high walls, and Juliet’s demeanor softens. Romeo and Juliet proclaim their love to one another, and it is clear that they are both serious. However, Juliet wants more proof. After the Nurse calls her inside, Juliet tells Romeo that if he is serious about his vow that he will have word of their marriage tomorrow. He tells Juliet to send somebody to him at 9:00 so they may discuss the subject of marriage. Romeo and Juliet regretfully part for the night, but both are excited about what the day will bring.
Act II, Scene iii

Friar Lawrence is introduced into the play while he tends to his garden. He explains that some plants and flowers have medicinal qualities while others can lead to horrible things. He turns this into a metaphor for the actions of people by stating that a similar battle of good and evil rages within the hearts of men. Friar Lawrence is interrupted when Romeo enters the scene. At first, Friar Lawrence thinks that Romeo spent his night sinning with Rosaline. Romeo informs him that he has “forgot that name and that name’s woe.” Friar Lawrence is happy to hear this until Romeo informs him that he spent the night with his enemy. He tells Friar Lawrence that he is in love with Juliet, and Friar Lawrence is astonished. He justifies Romeo’s change of heart by saying that young men love with their eyes, not with their hearts. Romeo convinces him that his love is true, and that he and Juliet wish to be married immediately. Though reluctant at first, Friar Lawrence gives his consent in hope that this marriage will end the rivalry between Montague and Capulet. Before Romeo leaves, Friar Lawrence advises him to slow down because “they stumble that run fast.”
Act II, Scene iv

Benvolio and Mercutio want to know where Romeo was last night. He never returned to his father’s house, where Tybalt sent him a letter challenging him to a duel. Mercutio and Benvolio are concerned with Romeo’s ability to fight in a duel with his recent melancholic state. Before they can speculate further, Romeo enters the scene. The three banter back and forth and Romeo is clearly in a better mood than he was the last time he saw them. Their playful banter is cut short when the Nurse and Peter enter the scene. Mercutio pokes fun at the Nurse until she asks to speak to Romeo in privacy. Mercutio and Benvolio exit, reminding Romeo to meet them at his father’s house for dinner.

The Nurse is angry at Mercutio’s behavior, which initially makes her suspicious of Romeo’s intentions. She is relieved to hear that Romeo fully plans to marry Juliet. He tells the Nurse that Juliet must find a way to go to church that evening because that is when they will be wed. Romeo also tells the Nurse that he will send his servant to the Capulet house with a rope ladder so Romeo can climb up to Juliet’s window that night.
Act II, Scene v

Juliet impatiently awaits news from the Nurse because she is eager to hear what Romeo said of their marriage. When the Nurse arrives, she procrastinates and avoids giving Juliet the good news. She complains of her aching bones and the incredible heat, and Juliet humors her with mock sympathy. Finally, the Nurse tells Juliet what she has been waiting to hear: she and Romeo will be wed tonight.
Act II, Scene vi

Friar Lawrence and Romeo wait for Juliet in Friar Lawrence’s cell. Friar Lawrence hopes that this wedding is a good idea and that it will not end with sorrow. Romeo is convinced that nothing could end in sorrow because Juliet fills him with so much joy. Juliet enters the cell, where she and Romeo exchange their vows of love. Friar Lawrence sees that the two do indeed love one another, and he performs the wedding ceremony.

Act III, Scene i

Benvolio and Mercutio walk through the streets of Verona and Benvolio suggests that they should go home for the day. He says that if they stay out they are bound to run into the Capulets and a quarrel will be inevitable. Mercutio does not care if they encounter the Capulets; in fact, he wishes they would. His wishes are soon granted because Tybalt and his men enter the scene. Mercutio spurs Tybalt on with a battle of words, while Benvolio tries to convince Tybalt to settle this matter peacefully.

Before Tybalt can respond, Romeo approaches the group. Tybalt tells Romeo that he is a villain, and it is clear that Tybalt wants to fight. However, Romeo wishes to keep the peace because he is now married to Juliet. He tells Tybalt that he has no quarrel with the Capulets and that he considers their name as important as his own. Mercutio is outraged at Romeo’s attempts at peace, and he draws his sword. Tybalt draws his sword and the two begin to duel. Romeo attempts to stop their fight and Tybalt takes that opportunity to stab Mercutio from under Romeo’s arm.

While Tybalt and his men flee, Mercutio reveals the true nature of his wound. He curses the houses of Montague and Capulet before he dies. Romeo immediately realizes that his love for Juliet softened him to the point where he lost his honor and his friend. He vows vengeance and is consumed with rage by the time Tybalt returns. He tells Tybalt that Mercutio’s soul has not gone far and that one of their souls must join him. Romeo and Tybalt engage in a sword fight, and Tybalt falls down dead. Benvolio convinces Romeo to flee because he will surely be killed for this offense. Romeo shouts “I am fortune’s fool” and hastily exits the scene.

The citizens of Verona, the Prince, the Montagues, and the Capulets enter the scene, demanding to know what happened. Benvolio explains that Romeo had good intentions, but he is responsible for Tybalt’s death. Lady Capulet demands justice, but the Prince angrily interrupts her. He says that two people have already died and there is no need to make more men join them. The Prince banishes Romeo from Verona and proclaims that if Romeo is found within Verona’s walls, he shall be killed.
Act III, Scene ii

Juliet impatiently waits for nighttime to fall so she can be with Romeo. The Nurse enters her room with the ladder from Romeo, and Juliet can see that something is wrong. At first, Juliet misunderstands and she thinks that Romeo and Tybalt are both dead. The Nurse clarifies the situation and says that Romeo killed Tybalt and is now banished. Juliet feels betrayed and she cannot believe her misfortune. She soon forgives Romeo, and gives the Nurse her ring to give to Romeo. Despite all that has happened, Juliet still wants to spend a first and final night with her husband.
Act III, Scene iii

Romeo hides in Friar Lawrence’s cell, waiting to learn of his punishment. When Friar Lawrence tells him that he will live, but he has been banished, Romeo is devastated. He claims that there is no life outside of Verona and away from Juliet. Friar Lawrence tries to talk some sense into Romeo by reminding him that he could have been murdered for his actions. However, Romeo is too consumed by his grief to listen to logic, and he continues to throw a near temper tantrum until the Nurse arrives.

The Nurse convinces him to stand up and “be a man” for Juliet’s sake. Once he hears her name, Romeo comes to and inquires about his wife. The Nurse informs him that she weeps for her banished husband and for her murdered cousin. Romeo grabs his sword and attempts to cut out the part of him where his vile name lies. Friar Lawrence stops him and tells him to stop acting “womanish.” Friar Lawrence suggests that Romeo spend the night with Juliet, just as he intended. At the light of day, Romeo is to flee to Mantua, where he will wait until Friar Lawrence can put an end to the familial feuds. Friar Lawrence tells Romeo that he will send his servant to Mantua to update Romeo on his progress. The Nurse and Romeo both agree with this plan, and she gives Romeo Juliet’s ring. Romeo says ‘good-bye’ and prepares to leave.
Act III, Scene iv

Paris returns to the Capulet’s house late on Monday night to see what Juliet said of their potential marriage. Capulet tells Paris that he and his wife have not yet spoken to Juliet regarding that matter because of the deaths that occurred earlier that day. Capulet assumes that Juliet will obey him, and he tells Paris that they will be married on Thursday. Capulet tells Lady Capulet to tell Juliet the good news before she goes to sleep.
Act III, Scene v

It is early Tuesday morning and Romeo and Juliet awake from their night together. Juliet tells Romeo that it is not time for him to leave yet, but he insists that he must go. His maturity rapidly fades and he tells Juliet that he would rather stay with her. She takes on the mature role and tells him that he must leave. The Nurse enters and tells Juliet that her mother is on her way to her chambers. Romeo and Juliet share a final kiss before he escapes through her window. As he leaves, she has a vision of him lying in a tomb.

Lady Capulet enters the room and thinks that Juliet’s distress is over Tybalt’s death. She tries to console her by saying that they will send somebody to avenge Tybalt’s death by killing Romeo. Lady Capulet then switches to the ‘happy’ news of her visit and informs Juliet that she will marry Paris on Thursday. To her mother’s astonishment, Juliet adamantly refuses to have anything to do with that plan. Lord Capulet enters the room and learns of his daughter’s refusal. He threatens her and tells her that she will marry Paris, whether she likes it or not. He storms out of the room.

Juliet tries to plea with her mother, but Lady Capulet will not listen. Juliet turns to the Nurse and begs for her help. The Nurse tells Juliet that Romeo is banished and Paris is a fine young man. She recommends that Juliet go to confession and move on with her life. Juliet realizes that the Nurse is no longer on her side and she agrees to go to confession. Once the Nurse leaves, Juliet reveals that she is going to ask Friar Lawrence for his advice. If he cannot help her, she will resort to suicide.

Act IV, Scene i

Friar Lawrence and Paris discuss the upcoming wedding and Friar Lawrence tries to convince him that Thursday is too soon. Paris reveals that Juliet has been devastated by Tybalt’s death and Lord Capulet thinks this wedding will revive her spirits. Juliet enters the room and tries to avoid Paris’ talk of love and marriage. She asks Friar Lawrence if she can make confession and Paris exits. Once they are alone, Juliet begs Friar Lawrence to help her. She says that if she cannot avoid this marriage, she will certainly kill herself.

Friar Lawrence realizes how dire this situation is and tells Juliet that he has a plan. Juliet will pretend to agree with the marriage to make her family happy. On Wednesday night, she will drink a potion that will induce a sleep that is so deep that she will appear dead. Thursday morning, her family will find her and think she is dead. They will put her in the Capulet tomb, where she will sleep for 42 hours. Friar Lawrence will send word to Romeo about his plan, and Romeo will be waiting in the tomb when Juliet awakens. Then the two can live out the rest of their days together in Mantua.
Act IV, Scene ii

Despite Juliet’s initial disapproval, Lord Capulet, the Nurse, and several servants prepare for the wedding that is to take place in two days. Juliet returns from ‘confession’ and begs her father’s forgiveness. He is thrilled to see that Juliet has returned to her obedient ways and he forgives her immediately. He is so happy by Juliet’s transformation that he decides to hold the wedding on Wednesday instead of Thursday. Juliet asks the Nurse to help her prepare for her wedding and they exit together. Lady Capulet tells her husband that it is late, but he says that he will stay and make sure that everything is perfectly prepared for tomorrow.
Act IV, Scene iii

Juliet tells her mother and the Nurse that she does not need any more help and that she wishes to be left alone. Unaware of what is about to happen, they exit. Juliet is afraid to drink the potion because she has many concerns. At first, she is scared that the potion will not work and that she will have to marry Paris in the morning. Then she becomes scared that Friar Lawrence gave her poison to ensure that she could not tell anybody about his role in her and Romeo’s marriage. Juliet also worries that she might die in the tomb, either by suffocation or by fear. Finally, Juliet imagines that Tybalt’s spirit is going after Romeo and she dismisses her fears. She drinks the potion and falls down as if dead.
Act IV, Scene iv

Capulet, Lady Capulet, the Nurse, and the servants make the last minute preparations for the wedding. While they happily celebrate, they are unaware that Juliet would rather feign death than participate in this occasion. Capulet announces that Paris has arrived and sends the Nurse to Juliet’s room to prepare her for the wedding.
Act IV, Scene v

The Nurse cheerfully enters Juliet’s chambers and tries to wake her. At first, she thinks that Juliet is heavily asleep, but she soon comes to the conclusion that Juliet is dead. Soon after, Lady Capulet rushes into the room and screams for help upon her realization. Capulet, Paris, Friar Lawrence, and the musicians enter the room, and chaos ensues. The true depth of the Capulet’s love for their daughter is revealed as they mourn their terrible loss. Friar Lawrence tries to console them by saying that Juliet is in Heaven now. Capulet states that their happy wedding celebration will now be transformed into a mournful funeral. Everybody leaves except for the musicians, who are not at all concerned with what just took place.
Act V, Scene i

It is Thursday morning and Romeo is waiting to hear news from Verona. Balthasar, Romeo’s servant, enters and tells Romeo that Juliet is dead; he saw her corpse in the Capulet vault. Balthasar does not have any news from Friar Lawrence, so Romeo tells him to return with fast horses, a pen, and paper. Overcome with grief, Romeo remembers that there is an impoverished apothecary in Mantua. Despite the fact that it is illegal to buy poison there, the apothecary grudgingly sells Romeo some poison because he is desperate for money. Romeo exits with the poison, determined to leave this world with his wife.
Act V, Scene ii

Friar Lawrence meets with his friend, Friar John, and asks for the letter Romeo sent. Friar John delivers the terrible news that he was unable to go to Mantua due to the threat of plague. Therefore, he could not deliver Friar Lawrence’s letter to Romeo, so Romeo could not know anything of Friar Lawrence’s new plan. Friar Lawrence asks for a crowbar and attempts to sneak into the Capulet tomb, where Juliet will awaken shortly.
Act V, Scene iii

Outside of the Capulet monument, Paris and a page keep watch for intruders. Romeo and Balthasar approach the tomb, and Romeo bids Balthasar to deliver a letter to Montague. Romeo tells Balthasar that he is just going inside to retrieve Juliet’s ring, and Romeo tells him to leave lest he be killed. Dubious of Romeo’s intentions, Balthasar hides in the churchyard. When Romeo approaches the tomb, Paris recognizes him as the man who murdered Tybalt. He tries to keep Romeo from entering, and they engage in a duel. Romeo kills Paris and the page flees from the scene. Once Romeo realizes who he murdered, he drags Paris inside the vault to bury him with the rest of the deceased Capulets.

Romeo stands next to Juliet and marvels at how beautiful she is, even in death. He kisses her for the last time, drinks his poison, and dies by his wife’s side. Meanwhile, Friar Lawrence arrives and asks Balthasar to enter the tomb with him. Balthasar declines and Friar Lawrence enters alone. He sees that Paris is dead, as is Romeo. To Friar Lawrence’s horror, he can hear people approaching and Juliet awakens. He bids her to leave with him, but she will not go. He flees before his role in the tragedy can be revealed.

Juliet sees that Romeo is dead and he did not leave any poison for her. She kisses him for the last time and plunges a dagger into her heart. Just as she dies, help arrives in the form of a watch and Paris’ page. They discover the three dead bodies and immediately call for help. The Prince arrives, along with the Capulets and the Montagues, and all suspects are called in. Montague reveals that his wife died over the grief she felt over her son’s banishment. The Prince demands to know what happened, and Friar Lawrence relates the entire story. He asks to receive his rightful blame, but the Prince says that they cannot condemn a holy man. Balthasar and the page give their sides of the story, and the truth is revealed when the Prince reads Romeo’s letter to his father. Capulet and Montague shake hands and end the feud that caused so many innocent people to die.

Summary of major Romeo and Juliet characters
Romeo Montague

Romeo is the only son of Lord and Lady Montague. He is young, impulsive, and above all else, passionate. Once Romeo sets his heart on something—or someone—he is convinced that there are no other alternatives. At the beginning of the play, Romeo is so heartbroken over Rosaline that he can barely function. He devotes every waking breath and thought to the woman he cannot have, but he forgets about her as soon as he lays his eyes upon Juliet. Once he meets her, his ideas of love mature with him. While he can finally grasp the true meaning of love, he is still unable to control his impulsive behaviors. As a result, Romeo acts before he thinks, and he often suffers consequences that could have otherwise been avoided. The most obvious case of this type of behavior is when Romeo drinks poison because he believes his wife is dead. If he had thought about the ramifications of his plans before he acted upon them, Romeo could have potentially lived a long life with his Juliet.
Juliet Capulet

Though she is not yet 14 years old, Juliet’s maturity far exceeds that of Romeo. At first, she seems to be merely obedient and her actions strive to please those she cares about. As the play progresses and Juliet falls in love with Romeo, she becomes rational, strong, and mature. She chooses her words wisely and rarely acts on impulse. When Romeo was banished from Verona, Juliet could have easily packed her bags and left with him. Instead, she chose to do the logical thing and wait for a time when they could be peacefully reunited. Unfortunately, there would never be a time for them to reunite. When Juliet realizes this, she chooses death over life without her husband. However, it is important to note that she kills herself over her pure grief, not because she needs a man to survive.
Friar Lawrence

Though he is a kind and religious man who often gives good advice, Friar Lawrence is also responsible for a great deal of conflict in this play. He frequently comes up with good-intentioned schemes that make situations worse than they need to be. It is quite possible that if he didn’t secretly marry Romeo and Juliet, the Capulets and Montagues could have ended their quarrel. If he did not allow Romeo to sneak into Juliet’s room before fleeing for Mantua, there is a good chance that the lovers would have felt less passionate about each other. If he did not concoct a mystical potion to make Juliet appear dead, two lives could have been saved. Of course, Friar Lawrence cannot be blamed for all that happened. Romeo and Juliet’s largest downfall was fate—Father Lawrence simply lent fate a helping hand.
The Nurse

Juliet’s Nurse is a kind, funny woman who loves Juliet as if she were her own child. She has nursed Juliet since infancy and the two of them are extremely close to one another. She goes out of her way to make Juliet happy, and she only wants what is best for her. The Nurse is Juliet’s only friend and confidante until she gives Juliet advice that she doesn’t want to hear.

Mercutio is Romeo’s best friend and the Prince’s kinsman. He is a clever, witty character who loves to make puns. His cold logic is the foil to Romeo’s love-crazed personality. Mercutio is a good friend to Romeo, Benvolio, and nearly everybody he meets—so long as they are not Capulets. Mercutio strongly believes in honor and self-respect, which is why he becomes so enraged when Romeo allows Tybalt to verbally attack him.

Tybalt is Juliet’s cousin and he is deeply loved by his family. He typically thinks with his sword, not with his head. He is easily angered and it does not take much persuasion for him to draw his sword. He takes great joy in fighting, especially when he fights with the hated Montagues and of course Romeo.
Study questions and discussion items

1. Compare and contrast Romeo and Juliet. Do you think they complement each other’s personalities, or do you think they bring out each other’s negative qualities?
2. Compare and contrast Mercutio and Tybalt. Do you think they hate each other because of the familial feud, or do you think there is a larger reason?
3. Compare and contrast the Montagues and Capulets. Do you think either family’s actions are more justified than the other?
4. Consider the accelerated timeline of this play. Do you think Shakespeare condensed the events into five days for a reason?
5. Consider the way that Juliet’s family reacted when she refused to marry Paris in comparison to the way they acted when they thought she died. Do you think their outrage at Juliet’s death was genuine?
6. Discuss Mercutio’s role in the play. Aside from his death, what made his character important?
7. Discuss the role of the servants in the play. Aside from serving the main characters, what is their ultimate purpose?
8. Discuss the role of Paris in the play. Why do you think Shakespeare included him?
9. Discuss Juliet’s relationship with the Nurse. Why do you think the two of them are so close?
10. Discuss Shakespeare’s use of humor. Do you think it lightened the overall tone of this play?

Romeo and Juliet Essay topics

1. Describe Romeo and Juliet’s relationship. Given the short amount of time that they knew each other, do you think they could have really loved one another? Give examples to support your position.
2. Discuss Friar Lawrence’s role in the tragic ending of this play. Consider his involvement in Romeo and Juliet’s marriage, Romeo’s banishment, and Juliet’s mystical potion while you form your answer.
3. What is Romeo’s idea of love? Is his love real, or is it merely puppy love? Compare his feelings for Rosaline with his feelings for Juliet while you answer these questions.
4. What is the purpose of the Prologue? Why did Shakespeare forewarn his audience of the events that take place throughout the rest of the play?
5. Describe the relationships between parents and their children. Consider how Romeo’s parents treat him compared to how Juliet’s parents treat her. Also consider how the Capulets and Montagues react upon hearing of Romeo and Juliet’s deaths.

Romeo and Juliet quotes

Tybalt: “What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word.
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.”

Benvolio: ‘Alas, that love so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof.’

Nurse: ‘Why, he’s a man of wax.’

Lady Capulet: ‘Verona’s summer hath not such a flower.’

Romeo: ‘O she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night.’

Mercutio: ‘Romeo! Humors! Madman! Passion! Lover!
Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh.
Speak but one rhyme and I am satisfied.
Cry but “Ay me,” pronounce but “love” and “dove”.’

Romeo: ‘He jests at scars that never felt a wound.’

Juliet: ‘O Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore art thou Romeo?’

Juliet: ‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet.’

Juliet: ‘My bounty is as boundless as the sea.
My love as deep. The more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.’

Romeo: ‘Then I defy you stars!’

Friar Lawrence: ‘And here I stand, both to impeach and purge
Myself condemned and myself excused.’

Prince: ‘For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.’
External inks

* Wikipedia’s Article
* Complete Text on Wikisource
* Romeo and Juliet Summary and Study Guide
* Romeo and Juliet Text with Translation


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SELFISH GIANT – OSCAR WILDE kısa ingilizce öykü hikaye

EVERY afternoon, as they were coming from school, the children used to go and play in the Giant’s garden.
It was a large lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars, and there were twelve peach-trees that in the spring-time broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games in order to listen to them. “How happy we are here!” they cried to each other.
One day the Giant came back. He had been to visit his friend the Cornish ogre, and had stayed with him for seven years. After the seven years were over he had said all that he had to say, for his conversation was limited, and he determined to return to his own castle. When he arrived he saw the children playing in the garden.
“What are you doing here?” he cried in a very gruff voice, and the children ran away.
“My own garden is my own garden,” said the Giant; “any one can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself.” So he built a high wall all round it, and put up a notice-board.


He was a very selfish Giant.
The poor children had now nowhere to play. They tried to play on the road, but the road was very dusty and full of hard stones, and they did not like it. They used to wander round the high wall when their lessons were over, and talk about the beautiful garden inside. “How happy we were there,” they said to each other.
Then the Spring came, and all over the country there were little blossoms and little birds. Only in the garden of the Selfish Giant it was still winter. The birds did not care to sing in it as there were no children, and the trees forgot to blossom. Once a beautiful flower put its head out from the grass, but when it saw the notice-board it was so sorry for the children that it slipped back into the ground again, and went off to sleep. The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost. “Spring has forgotten this garden,” they cried, “so we will live here all the year round.” The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He was wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden, and blew the chimney-pots down. “This is a delightful spot,” he said, “we must ask the Hail on a visit.” So the Hail came. Every day for three hours he rattled on the roof of the castle till he broke most of the slates, and then he ran round and round the garden as fast as he could go. He was dressed in grey, and his breath was like ice.
“I cannot understand why the Spring is so late in coming,” said the Selfish Giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold white garden; “I hope there will be a change in the weather.”
But the Spring never came, nor the Summer. The Autumn gave golden fruit to every garden, but to the Giant’s garden she gave none. “He is too selfish,” she said. So it was always Winter there, and the North Wind, and the Hail, and the Frost, and the Snow danced about through the trees.
One morning the Giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely music. It sounded so sweet to his ears that he thought it must be the King’s musicians passing by. It was really only a little linnet singing outside his window, but it was so long since he had heard a bird sing in his garden that it seemed to him to be the most beautiful music in the world. Then the Hail stopped dancing over his head, and the North Wind ceased roaring, and a delicious perfume came to him through the open casement. “I believe the Spring has come at last,” said the Giant; and he jumped out of bed and looked out.
What did he see?
He saw a most wonderful sight. Through a little hole in the wall the children had crept in, and they were sitting in the branches of the trees. In every tree that he could see there was a little child. And the trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms, and were waving their arms gently above the children’s heads. The birds were flying about and twittering with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing. It was a lovely scene, only in one corner it was still winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was standing a little boy. He was so small that he could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was wandering all round it, crying bitterly. The poor tree was still quite covered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it. “Climb up! little boy,” said the Tree, and it bent its branches down as low as it could; but the boy was too tiny.
And the Giant’s heart melted as he looked out. “How selfish I have been!” he said; “now I know why the Spring would not come here. I will put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children’s playground for ever and ever.” He was really very sorry for what he had done.
So he crept downstairs and opened the front door quite softly, and went out into the garden. But when the children saw him they were so frightened that they all ran away, and the garden became winter again. Only the little boy did not run, for his eyes were so full of tears that he did not see the Giant coming. And the Giant stole up behind him and took him gently in his hand, and put him up into the tree. And the tree broke at once into blossom, and the birds came and sang on it, and the little boy stretched out his two arms and flung them round the Giant’s neck, and kissed him. And the other children, when they saw that the Giant was not wicked any longer, came running back, and with them came the Spring. “It is your garden now, little children,” said the Giant, and he took a great axe and knocked down the wall. And when the people were going to market at twelve o’clock they found the Giant playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they had ever seen.
All day long they played, and in the evening they came to the Giant to bid him good-bye.
“But where is your little companion?” he said: “the boy I put into the tree.” The Giant loved him the best because he had kissed him.
“We don’t know,” answered the children; “he has gone away.”
“You must tell him to be sure and come here tomorrow,” said the Giant. But the children said that they did not know where he lived, and had never seen him before; and the Giant felt very sad.
Every afternoon, when school was over, the children came and played with the Giant. But the little boy whom the Giant loved was never seen again. The Giant was very kind to all the children, yet he longed for his first little friend, and often spoke of him. “How I would like to see him!” he used to say.
Years went over, and the Giant grew very old and feeble. He could not play about any more, so he sat in a huge armchair, and watched the children at their games, and admired his garden. “I have many beautiful flowers,” he said; “but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all.”
One winter morning he looked out of his window as he was dressing. He did not hate the Winter now, for he knew that it was merely the Spring asleep, and that the flowers were resting.
Suddenly he rubbed his eyes in wonder, and looked and looked. It certainly was a marvellous sight. In the farthest corner of the garden was a tree quite covered with lovely white blossoms. Its branches were all golden, and silver fruit hung down from them, and underneath it stood the little boy he had loved.
Downstairs ran the Giant in great joy, and out into the garden. He hastened across the grass, and came near to the child. And when he came quite close his face grew red with anger, and he said, “Who hath dared to wound thee?” For on the palms of the child’s hands were the prints of two nails, and the prints of two nails were on the little feet.
“Who hath dared to wound thee?” cried the Giant; “tell me, that I may take my big sword and slay him.”
“Nay!” answered the child; “but these are the wounds of Love.”
“Who art thou?” said the Giant, and a strange awe fell on him, and he knelt before the little child.
And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, “You let me play once in your garden, today you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise.”
And when the children ran in that afternoon, they found the Giant lying dead under the tree, all covered with white blossoms.


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T Lcott Parsons – An Outline of the Social System

T Lcott Parsons ”An Outline of the Social System”
Parsons is a FUNCTIONALIST, as big and nasty as they come. Also, everything in this article, including all of the systems typologies and process schemas, are meant in the ”analytic” sense. Parsons is primarily interested in how a social scientist can analyze a social system.
I. General Outline
This essay is an attempt by Parsons to outline an action frame of reference. This attempt is based on the conviction that there are two essential reference points for this type of systematic analysis; a classification of the functional requirements of a system and the arrangement of these with reference to processes of control in the cybernetic sense. Parsons posits that the most empirically significant sociological theory must be concerned with complex systems, that is, systems composed of many subsystems. The primary empirical type-reference is to society, which is highly complex. The basic functional classification underlying the whole scheme involves the discrimination of 4 primary categories: pattern maintenance, integration, goal-attainment, and adaptation, placed in that order in the series of control-relations. More generally, Parsons is also interested in making a fundamental distinction between the morphological analysis of the morphological structure of systems and the ”dynamic” analysis of process. Neither has special priority over the other except that, at a particular level, stable structural reference points are necessary for determining generalizations about process.
The old battle o f theory versus empiricism may be considered to be over. There is no longer a question as to the study of human behavior as a scientific endeavor. Parsons theory is one of action, which goes beyond the old reductionist theories of social theory.
The concept of a social system is important for Parsons. To be clear, we must delineate the place of social systems within the action frame of reference. One aspect of this distinction, which can be taken for granted, is between the analytically defined individual and the systems generated by the process of social interaction. Social and cultural systems are also important for this discussion, but the two, however empirically intertwined, must be kept analytically distinct. Parallel to the social/cultural distinction, is that of nature/nurture in regards to developing the individual. This can be conceived of the distinction between the individual organism and the organization of his behavior. Finally, distinctions should be made between the functional subsystems of economy and polity within a society, even though they have often overlapped in the past. All of these distinctions can be seen as questions of boundaries for both the individual and for systems.
With all of the above considerations in hand, Parsons moves on to offer a paradigm for the analysis of social systems. Parsons is a firm believer in interpenetration and mutual influence. This means, that however important logical closure may be for a theoretical ideal, empirically, social systems are conceived as open systems, engaged in complicated processes of interchange with environing systems. This concept of open systems implies, again, boundaries and their maintenance. A boundary means simply that a theoretically and empirically significant difference between structures and processes internal to the system and those external to it exists and tends to be maintained. Because of all of this, we need to define a set of interdependent phenomena as a system, so as not to confuse a statistical sample of the population with a true system.
Besides identifying a system in terms of its patterns and boundaries, a social system can and should be analyzed in terms of three logically independent- i.e. crosscutting – but also interdependent, bases or axes of variability, or as they may be called, bases of selective abstraction.
1. The first of these is involves a distinction between the structural and the functional. The concept of structure designates the features of the system, which can be treated as constants over certain ranges of variation in the behavior of other significant elements of the theoretical problem. The functional reference diverges from the structural in the dynamic direction. Its primary purpose is integrative, mediating between the system’s structure and that imposed by environing systems.
2. A fundamental distinction must also be made between the two dynamic processes of maintaining system equilibrium, and structural change in the system.
3. The hierarchy of relations of control. The basic subsystems of the general systems of action constitute a hierarchical series of such agencies of control of the behavior of individuals or organisms.
Parsons returns to the 4 functional imperatives of any system of action, given in order of significance from the point of view of cybernetic control of action processes in the system under consideration.
L – The function of pattern maintenance. The function of pattern maintenance refers to the imperative of maintaining the stability of patterns of institutionalized culture defining the structure of the system. There are two distinct aspects of this function. The first concerns the character of the normative pattern itself; the focus lies in the structural category of values. The second concerns its state of institutionalization, which concerns the motivational commitment of the individual. A very central problem here is that of the socialization of the individual, taken as the processes by which the values of the society are internalized in an individual personality. Overall, systems do show a tendency to maintain themselves (inertia).
G – The function of goal-attainment. Goal-attainment becomes a problem in so far as there arises some discrepancy between the inertial tendencies of the system and its needs resulting from interchange with the situation. A goal is therefore defined in terms of equilibrium, and directional changes will tend to minimize the discrepancy between the two systems. Goal -attainment, or goal- orientation is thus, by contrast with pattern maintenance, tied to a specific situation. Systems often have a plurality of goals. For the social system as such, goal-orientation concerns, therefore, not commitment to the values of the society, but motivation to contribute what is necessary for the functioning of the system.
A – The function of adaptation. Adaptation is another consequence of goal plurality. A system has only so many set, scarce resources, and when goals are many, often one goal must be sacrificed so the resources may be used to attain another goal. This means that the system loses the benefits of the sacrificed goal. The sacrificed goal is chosen through the function of goal-attainment. Adaptation is concerned with providing additional disposable facilities independent of their relevance to any particular goal. More generally, at the macroscopic level, goal-attainment is the focus of political organization, and adaptation is the focus economic organization. Within a given system, goal-attainment is a more important control then is adaptation.
I – The function of integration. In the control hierarchy, integration stands between the functions of pattern-maintenance and goal-attainment. The functional problem of integration concerns the mutual adjustments of segmented units or subsystems from the point of view of their contributions to the effective functioning of the system as a whole. In a highly differentiated society, the primary focus of the integrative mechanism is found in the system of legal norms and the associated legal system. The system as a whole is concerned most with the allocation of rights and obligations. For any given social system, the integrative function is the focus of its most distinctive properties and processes.
II. Categories of Social Structure
Parsons conceives of social interaction as a structured affair. He provides a series of structural categories, given in ascending order as role, collectivity, norm, and value. These roughly cover the social structure from individual to social system.
Role is the essential starting point for individual interaction ( 2 or more people ) which occurs in such a way as to constitute an interdependent system (as distinguished from a social system). IN order for interaction to be stable, roles and actions must have meanings and be governed by understood, shared rules. Rules define goals and the consequences of ant given move by one player for the situation in which the other must make his choice. Thus, there is a temporal element to interaction. However, rules do not determine or prescribe any specific act. Facilities are provided, but they are generalized, and their allocation between players depends upon each player’s capacities to take advantage of opportunities. The essential property is mutuality of orientation defined in terms of shared patterns of normative culture, known as values. When two individuals interact in the above ways, sharing a normative culture, and in so far as their behavior is distinguishable from others by their participation and not others, they form a collectivity.
A role may now be defined as the structures, i.e. normatively regulated, participation of a person in a concrete process of social interaction with specified, concrete role-partners. Performing a role within a collectivity defined the category of membership, i.e. the assumption of obligations of performance in that concrete interaction system. Obligations correlatively imply rights. For any individual, there are many roles, and one role is only a sector in his behavioral system, and hence of his personality. In addition, in any given system, the concepts of role and collectivity are particularistic.
Norms and values, in contrast with role and collectivity, are universalistic concepts. It may cut across all concrete collectivities in a given universe and apply to all roles of a given type. The universalistic aspect of values implies that they are neither situation-specific, nor function-specific.
To sum up: Structurally speaking, then, the role component is the normative component which governs the participation of individual persons in given collectivities. The collectivity component is the normative culture which defines the values, norms, goal-orientations, and ordering of roles for a concrete system of interaction of specifiable persons; the component of norms which define expectations for the performance of classes of differentiated units within the system – collectivities, or roles, as the case may be; and values are the normative patterns defining, in universalistic terms, the patterns of desirable orientation for the system as a whole, independent of the specification of situation or of differentiated function within the system.
We now have enough to outline a schematic ideal type for a complex social system. the main guiding line of the analysis is the concept that a complex social system consists of a network of interdependent and interpenetrating subsystems, each of which, seen as the appropriate level of reference, is a social system in its own right. (The infinitely repressible thing). The starting point is the concept of a society, taken to be relatively self-sufficient collectivity which cannot be said to be a differentiated subsystem of a high-order collectivity oriented to most of the functional exigencies of a social system. (All of these classifications are subjective, used and applied by an analyst.). The functional exigencies take shape in three distinct manners: differentiation, segmentation and specification.
There are several different modes of differentiation within societies. The most common, even universal, is differentiation among kinship lines. Kinship is essentially the point of articulation, i.e. interpenetration, between the structure of social systems and the relations involved in the biological process of reproduction. Biologically, there are 3 crucial structural components, (1) differences between sexes, (2) differences between old and young, mature and immature, and (3) the fact hat the sexual union of two specific individuals of opposite sexes is necessary to, and likely to result in, pregnancy and reproduction. These 3 factors set up the nuclear family unit, and other diversified family forms, around the conjugal bond of 2 people and its resultant offspring. Kinship structures are also clearly subject to important processes of functional differentiation, and have often become the locus for political and economic activities.
Because of the connection of paramount societal collectivity organization and political function outlined, the functional differentiation of political from other structures also tends to come near the top of the social hierarchy. There are two preliminary steps. The first is to differentiate kinship units which carry high political responsibility, royals or aristocrats, from common kinship units. The other the differentiation of the political from the pattern-maintenance and integrative functions of the high-level units. Lower down, an important problem here concerns the restrictions on the mobility of resources imposed by the astrictive aspect of kinship and its differentiation from political function. Even when bureaucracy and systems not directly ties to kinship are instituted, higher-level kinship units usually have an edge of advantage or resources. This imposes frustrating limits on lower units.
Parsons perceives the intertwining of political and economic functions as an ongoing problem, buried in many empirical examples. One must look closely, e.g. the function of a business firm is primarily economic; its goal is production, but its internal organization must be analyzed first in political terms. Economic function, as distinguished from the political, involves the production and allocation of disposable resources.
Traditionally, one of the main criterion of the values of economic resources is relative scarcity. The other most important one is general utility. The possibilities of generalizing about physical commodities and human resources is thus inherently limited. The utilization of scarce resources is dependent on the institutionalization of mechanisms which, independent of any prior knowledge or commitment, make it possible to gain access to wide ranges of different facilities as need for them develops. In known societies, there are in particular two highly generalized mechanisms of this type, namely political power and money. Both require the institutionalization of the disposability of facilities.
Money is not a commodity here, but a very special mode of institutionalization of expectations and commitments through communication. The usefulness of money as a much more generalized facility is dependent on a system of markets and adequate rules governing the continual flow of transactions through markets. Money has the primacy of economic function.
Power is defined as the generalized capacity, independent of specific conditions prescribed in advance, to influence the allocation of resources for the goals of the collectivity through invoking the institutionalized obligations of member units, utilizing such sanctions as are legitimized through these obligations and institutionalized roles involved in the power system. Power is necessitated by the effectiveness which is required for the political function. the mechanism of power are not nearly as structured as those of money. Power is a mechanism regulating the process of making actual commitments. Authority, on the other hand, comprises the general rules which govern the making of specific binding decisions.
As used here, political and economic categories are generalized functional categories that permeate the entire structure of the social system. But it is a two-way street. Just as constraints on the commercial or competitive structure of markets are imposed by impinging non-economic factors, so in many collectivities there are constraints on the political primacy of their organization and orientation to situations.
No society can accept economic rationality as its most general societal value-orientation, though it can place the economic highest among its functional priorities. This statement also holds for other differentiated functional value-systems.
The same basic principles of the relations between structure and function, apply to pattern-maintenance and the integrative functions, to the relations of the relevant structures to each other and to the economic and political. First, societies will differ in so far as structures with clear primacy of these functions have come to be differentiated from those whose functions are more diffuse. Second, relevant structures will be located at different levels on the scales of segmentation and specification, and may thus not be directly comparable with each other.
With respect to pattern-maintenance, as a functional category, it is not meant to have empirically static connotations. Analytically, specialization in both maintenance and change in values should be placed in this category. the primary area of concern here is the religion, placed within the realm of the cultural. Societal variance is great here, but even when a specific religion is not institutionalized, religious values will be. Also a primary component of pattern-maintenance is socialization of the individual, placed within the realm of personality. Socialization universally involves at least one kinship unit, usually the nuclear family, as the primary collective agent of early socialization. All more highly differentiated societies have developed non-kinship structures centering about the functions of formal education in which the higher-level patterns of normative culture and systems of objects are internalized in the personality.
Structures with integrative primacy must follow some normative code. Norms must be defined, interpreted, and implemented. The first imperative of a system of norms is internal consistency. Second, there is the specification of higher-order norms to levels where they can guide the action of the society’s lower level structural units by defining the situation for them. A major functional problem of a normative system concerns the adjustments which occur because a social system is always involved in processes of interchange with a changing environment. There seem to be three basic types of processes of adjustment in these cases. 1. Keeping the regulatory norms at a sufficiently high level of generality so that much of the adjustment can be left to the spontaneous, unprescribed, action of the units themselves.
2. Altering the content of normative patterns to meet the varying functional needs without threatening the stability of higher-level systems.
3. A third process which operates, short of major structural changes, in the areas where the other two are inadequate. ( It is unspecified.)
A final aspect of social structure is stratification. Here, the focus of institutionalized stratification is legitimizing differential power and wealth, and more generally, access to valued objects and statuses. Social class is the most common basis of stratification.
III. The Dynamics of Social Equilibrium
The analysis of dynamic processes at the equilibration level must center around two categories of the system’s components. The first are the resources which, starting from outside the system, go through various phases as they pass through the system, and at certain points are used in the system’s functioning. The second are the types of mechanisms which mediate these processes of generation and utilization of resources and regulate their rates of flow, direction of use, etc. Money and power, as previously discussed, are the prototypes of these mechanisms.
Parsons borrows the theoretical model of resources from economics because it is capable of generalization. In this model, there are four factors of production, namely, land, labor, capital, and organization. He is most concerned with applying the model’s logical structure, because level of specification of resources and qualitative differences in resources make it difficult to apply the model directly to social systems theory.
None of the socially ultimate inputs consists in either actual physical objects or the physical behavior of organisms. In an economic exchange, involving a physical commodity, what changes hands is not the commodity, but property rights in the commodity. Analytically, physical transfer of possession is a technological process, not a social systems process. Like a feeder chain, the ultimate resources of a society should comprise the ultimate outputs of the subsystems of the general system of action. Land is a special case because it is neither consumed in the production process, nor is it produced.
In the society as a system, the analog of land is the institutionalized normative culture. According to the paradigm, the inputs should be three: inputs respectively from the personality – capacity to socialize motivational commitments, the behavioral organism – plasticity which can be built into patterns of purposive response, and the cultural system – information . Generally, output corresponding too the input if institutionalized normative culture in the maintenance of the structure intact. The primary outputs of the other inputs are as follows: personality system: goal-gratification, behavioral organism: patterning of responses at the level of behavior, and cultural system: validation.
The resources complete this system as the thruput. They are consumed. Resource processing occurs in three phases: generation, allocation and utilization.
Parsons shows some heavy Freudian influences here when he speaks of the socialization of motivational capacity as an example of resource generation. He outlines the whole process of developing sexuality, complete with Oedipal complex. But then, its back to functionalism.
Allocation is made to operative units of the system, to which resources are committed for use. The prototype for an allocative mechanism again comes from economics, it is the market. The market makes possible a relatively functional allocation without much centralized decision-making. It also allows for much differentiation. Another example can be seen in the power mechanism’s allocation of power in a politically differentiated society.
Utilization is essentially a process of successively more particularized decision-making; action-opportunities, facilities, and responsibilities are allocated more specifically at each step. The most broadly defined stages are the allocation to the collectivity, to the role, and to the task. The function of the collectivity is to define what is to be done; that of the role, to define who is to do it; and that of the task level, how it is to be done.
Mechanisms controlling resource processes. Parsons again refers to power and money, the two most studied of the mechanisms. Money is simultaneously both a measure of value and a medium of exchange and it can function as both a facility and a reward. Power is a step above money in the hierarchy of control mechanisms because power can be used to control power, i.e. a government controlling its monetary system. Power allows for greater flexibility and effectiveness without prior knowledge or specifications. He also discusses real commitments, which I believe to be institutionalized role commitments, but I’m not sure. They seem to have a lot to do with contracts and legal agreements. Finally, there is integrative communication, which is also at the top of the hierarchy of control mechanisms. The operational focus of this type of mechanism is the motivational commitment of units of the system to the fulfillment of institutionalized expectations.
In a broad sense then, the problem of the dynamics of social systems is not so much a problem of transformation of energy as of the processing of information. Analyses of these processes are in an early stage right now.
IV. The Problem of Structural Change
The processes of structural change may be considered the obverse of equilibrating process; the distinction is made in terms of boundary maintenance. The control resources of the system are adequate for its maintenance up to a well-defined set of points in one direction: beyond that set of points, there is a tendency for a cumulative process of change to begin, producing states progressively farther from the institutionalized patterns. As observed, structural change in subsystems is an inevitable part of the equilibrating process in larger system. Within this frame of reference, the problem of structural change can be considered under three headings: (1) sources of tendencies towards change, (2) the impact of these tendencies on the affected structural components, (3) possible generalizations about trends and patterns of change.
Sources of change can be either exogenous or endogenous. Exogenous sources of change are changes in the environment or environing social systems. Their impact is made felt only through the endogenous tendencies to change which already exists in the units or subsystems of the social system in question. Endogenous change itself is often perceived as strain. A strain is a tendency to dis-equilibrium in the input-output balance between two or more units of the system. Strain can be relieved by being fully resolved, by being isolated or arrested, or by changing the structure itself. Since strain usually falls on relations between units of the system, structural change to relieve the strain is defined as alteration in normative culture defining the expectations governing that relation. Given structural inertial tendencies, strain should occur only when lower-level control mechanisms have failed. Sources of change may be myriad or multi-causal.
Disturbance in the system may result from the balance of inputs and outputs being thrown off. The impact of these forces for change will vary in accordance with their magnitude, proportion of system units affected, the strategic character of the affected unit(s), the degree to which the forces affect functionally different units or sectors, and resistance of system units. Empirically, it is hard to pinpoint these forces for change because they are diffuse and seldom operate discreetly. By present definition, a change in the structure of a social system is a change in its normative culture. At the most general level, it is a change in the paramount value system.
Change can also affect the interaction of different levels of the social system, e.g. normative culture and the personality system. However, symptoms of disturbance are common to processes which do and do not cause change. Structural change is only one possible outcome of strain.
The socialization of the child actually constitutes a process of structural change in one set of structural components of social systems, namely, the role-patterns of the individual – indeed, much of the foregoing paradigm has been derived from this source. The socialization of the individual does not, however, comprise change in the social system of society. This is a good illustration of Parsons’ nested systems approach.
TALCOTT PARSONS: Talcott Parsons on Institutions and Social Evolution
Chapter 1: The Role of Theory in Social Research
In this short chapter, Parsons expresses his concern for what appears to be the complete divorce between the empirically-minded and the theoretically minded in which each does their type of research while degrading the work of the other. For instance, Parsons says, ”certain of the empirically minded are not merely not interested in attempting to contribute to theory themselves, they are actively anti-theoretical”. He makes the same point of the theoretically minded. Although he is very sympathetic toward empiricists who do not like to structure their research on firm theoretical grounds, he argues the whether they would like to admit it or not, scientific endeavors cannot and do not make much contribution to scientific knowledge unless they are ”guided by the logical structure of a theoretical scheme.” Parsons sees the principle functions of analytical theory in research in the following four ways:
1) it provides a basis of selection for the important facts from the unimportant, given the wealth of miscellaneous facts we have
2) it provides a basis for organization of the facts
3) it reveals the gaps in the existing knowledge and their importance
4) it provides a source of ”cross fertilization” of related fields
Chapter 2: The Place of Ultimate Values in Sociological Theory
Basically what Parsons says in this chapter is that people strive to achieve ends and they do so given the opportunities or means that are available to them (means-ends chain). However, people’s ”ultimate ends” as well as how they achieve them are not chosen randomly. Instead, the means by which people achieve their goals, etc., are defined and established by the group of which they are a part. Parsons calls this a ”common system of ultimate ends.” Actions are governed by normative rules of the group or institution. In other words, Parsons’ concept of action is grounded in a normative framework.
Chapter 3: The Action Frame of Reference
A frame of reference is the starting point for analysis and is determined by the particular vantage point and purposes. Mayhew says that ”the grounding of the normative in the very concept of action as a necessary element of an action frame of reference, gives the study of norms a solid theoretical foundation”. Norms have special importance in social life; they provide an action frame of reference for analyzing social structure and its functions.
Chapter 4: Hobbes and the Problem of Order
Hobbes believed that people are guided by their passions. The good is simply what man desires. However, there are many limitations on the extent to which these desires can be realized. Therefore, in order to ”control” people’s desires, society has created a social contract that exists between members of society. Through this contract men agree to give up some liberties to the sovereign power and in return they receive security, or immunity, from aggression by the force or fraud of others. Through this authority, the desires and passions are held in check and order and security are maintained. Without it, men will attempt to achieve their ends in the most efficient means available, in other words, force or fraud. This will eventually lead to a state of war.
It is this social contract of Hobbes that is most interesting to Parsons. Hobbes’ social contract is synonymous with Parson’s normative framework. He says that an ordered social life cannot be founded on rational calculation alone; there must be a normative framework to establish criteria of choice that will provide for social control of disruptive conduct.
Chapter 5: Pattern Variables
Pattern variables are ”the principle tools of structural analysis outlining the derivation of these categories from the intrinsic logic of social action — the inherent dilemmas of choice facing actors”. In this chapter Parsons argues that there are a strictly limited and defined set of alternatives or choices that can be made, and the relative primacies given to choices constitute the ”patterning of relational institutions.” These choices or alternatives are called orientation-selection.
There are five pattern variables of role-definition that Parsons discusses, although he says that there are many more possibilities. The first is the gratification-discipline dilemma: affectivity vs. affective-neutrality. The dilemma here is in deciding whether one expresses their orientation in terms of immediate gratification (affectivity) or whether they renounce immediate gratification in favor of moral interests (affective-neutrality).
Parsons says, ”no actor can subsist without gratifications, while at the same time no action system can be organized or integrated without the renunciation of some gratifications which are available in the given situation”.
The second set of pattern variables of role-definition is the private vs. collective interest dilemma: self-orientation vs. collectivity orientation. In this case, one’s role orientation is either in terms of her private interests or in terms of the interests of the collectivity. Parsons explains, ”a role, then, may define certain areas of pursuit of private interests as legitimate, and in other areas obligate the actor to pursuit of the common interests of the collectivity. The primacy of the former alternative may be called ”self-orientation,” that of the latter, ”collectivity-orientation”.
The third pair of pattern variables are the choice between types of value-orientation standard: universalism vs. particularism. Simply put, ”in the former case the standard is derived from the validity of a set of existential ideas, or the generality of a normative rule, in the latter from the particularity of … an object or of the status of the object in a relational system. Example: the obligation to fulfill contractual agreements vs. helping someone because she is your friend.
The fourth pair of pattern variables are achievement vs. ascriptive role behavior: the choice between modalities of the social object. Achievement-orientation roles are those which place an emphasis on the performances of the people, whereas ascribed roles, the qualities or attributes of people are emphasized independently of specific expected performances.
The final pair of pattern variables are specificity vs. diffuseness: the definition of scope of interest in the object. If one adopts an orientation of specificity towards an object, it means that the definition of the role as orienting to the social object in specific terms. In contrast, in a diffuse orientation, the mode of orientation is outside the range of obligations defined by the role-expectation.
Chapter 7: Integration and Institutionalization in the Social System
Institutionalization: By institutionalization Parsons meant the integration of roles and sanctions with a generalized value system or normative framework which all members share. He states, ”institutionalization is an articulation or integration of the actions of a plurality of actors in a specific type of situation in which the various actors accept jointly a set of harmonious rules regarding goals and procedures” (118).
Institutionalizing Roles: Parsons says that the social system of the institution must contain an allocative process by which the problem of who is to get what, who is to do what, and the manner and conditions under which it is to be done is made explicit. If this is not done, the social system will fail and will make way for another system. If it does occur, integration will be achieved. The function of allocation of roles, facilities, and rewards, therefore, must be established within the social system. Access to roles is determined by qualifications. Access to facilities is determined by position. One is given facilities to help to achieve the goals set forth by the duties of the position they occupy. The purpose of facilities is the fulfillment of role-expectations. Rewards have the function of maintaining or modifying motivations. Therefore, access to rewards is determined by achievement or how well one does her work.
The Integration of the Social System: Social integration of the social system takes place when members are governed by a common value-orientation, when the common values are motivationally integrated in action as a collectivity, and when the people are given and take responsibility for their role-expectation in that they take responsibility for the definition and enforcement of the norms governing the allocative processes and take responsibility for the conduct of communal affairs.
Chapter 9: Illness and the Role of the Physician
Parsons defines illness as a deviant behavior because, as a sick person, whether mentally or physically, one is not able to perform the functions or obligations to society. He states, ”behavior which is defined in sociological terms as failing in some way to fulfill the institutionally defined expectations of one or more of the roles in which the individual is implicated in the society’. He deals with four issues here: the processes of genesis of illness, the role of the sick person as a social role, aspects of the role of the physician and their relation to the therapeutic process, and the way in which both roles fit into the general equilibrium of the social system.
In the first issue, that of the processes of genesis of the illness, mental illness is assumed. Parsons suggests that the genesis of illnesses results from something that has gone wrong in a person’s relationships to others during the process of social interaction. The support a person receives from those surrounding her in which she is made to feel a member of the group as well as the upholding of values of the group may be lacking resulting in the person becoming pathological.
In the second issue, the role of the sick person is considered a social role. First, the sick person is made exempt from normal social obligations. Then she is exempted from certain responsibilities of her own state. Third, given the role of the sick relinquishes one from the claim to full legitimacy. Fourth, being sick is defined as needing help; the sick person makes the transition to the additional role of patient and as such has certain obligations to fulfill.
The third issue, the aspects of the role of the physician and their relation to the therapeutic process are discussed. Parsons says that there are four main conditions of successful psychotherapy. The first is support which signifies the acceptance of the sick person as a member of a social group. The second is a special permissiveness to express wishes and fantasies which would ordinarily not be permitted in normal social relationships. The third is that the therapist does not reciprocate the expectations of the patient. The fourth is the conditional manipulation of sanctions by the therapist — the giving and withholding of approval.
The final issue that Parsons discusses is how the illness/sick person, the physician, and well as the psychotherapy are built into the structure of society.
Chapter 15: On the Concept of Influence
Ways of Getting Results in Interaction: Parsons argues that there are at least four ways of getting results in interaction. The first is through inducement of offering someone something that they want so that they will comply. The second is through deterrence of suggesting that by not complying something bad will happen to the person. The third means is through activation of commitment or suggesting to the person why it would be wrong, in the person’s viewpoint, to refuse to comply. The fourth means is through persuasion or offering reasons why it would be a good thing for him or her to comply, independent of situational advantages. Parsons presents the following diagram to illustrate his point:

SANCTION Intentional Situational

Positive persuasion inducement

Negative activation deterrence
This he calls his paradigm of modes of gaining ends.
Parsons defines influence as ”a means of persuasion. It is bringing about a decision on alter’s part to act in a certain way because it is felt to be a ‘good thing’ for him, on the one hand independently of contingent or otherwise imposed changes in his situation, on the other hand for positive reasons, not because of the obligations he would violate through noncompliance”. In other words, one has influence because of who they are, because they hold some title, etc., that makes people believe in them. Parsons states, ”the same statement will carry more weight if made by someone with a high reputation for competence, for reliability, for good judgment, etc., than by someone without this reputation … It is not what he is saying … but what ‘right’ he has to expect to be taken seriously.”. Persuasion is done in common interest. It is not in the interest of the persuader, but in the interest of the person being persuaded that the outcome would benefit. An example of this is a doctor and a patient. The doctor has influence because of who she is. She has a degree and training that gives credibility, and the aim she has is for the good of the patient.
Types of Influence. There are four types of influence: political, fiduciary, influence through appear to different loyalties, and influence oriented to the interpretation of norms. In political influence, there is a directly significant relation between influence and power. Fiduciary influence refers to the ability to allocate resources in a system where both collectivities and their goals are plural and justification of each among the plural goals is problematic. Influence through appeal to differential loyalties refers to commitments grounded in institutionalized values. It is a matter of justifying assuming particular responsibilities in the context of a particular collectivity. The final type of influence, that of influence oriented to the interpretation of norms, refers to the interpretation of legal norms of the judicial process.
Chapter 19: Evolutionary Universals in Society
Four features of human societies at the level of culture and social organization were cited as having universal and major significance as prerequisites for socio-cultural development: technology, kinship organization based on an incest taboo, communication based on language, and religion. Primary attention, however, was given to six organizational complexes that develop mainly at the level of social structure. The first two, particularly important for the emergence of societies for primitiveness, are stratification, involving a primary break with primitive break with primitive kinship ascription, and cultural legitimation, with institutionalized agencies that are independent of a diffuse religious tradition.
Fundamental to the structure of modern societies are, taken together, the other four complexes: bureaucratic organization of collective goal-attainment, money and market systems, generalized universalistic legal systems, and the democratic association with elective leadership and mediated membership support for policy orientations. Although these have developed very unevenly, some of them going back a very long time, all are clearly much more than simple inventions of particular societies.
Perhaps a single theme tying them together is that differentiation and attendant reduction in ascription has caused the initial two-class system to give way to more complex structures at the levels social of stratification and the relation between social structure and its cultural legitimation. First, this more complex system is characterized by a highly generalized universalistic normative structure in all fields. Second, subunits under such normative orders have greater autonomy both in pursuing their own goals and interests and in serving others instrumentally. Third, this autonomy is linked with the probability that structural units will develop greater diversity of interests and subgoals. Finally, this diversity results in pluralization of scales of prestige and therefore of differential access to economic resources, power, and influence.
TALCOTT PARSONS: ”Suggestions for a Sociological Approach to the Theory of Organizations”
Parson’s version of sociological explanation of organizational theory. He attempted to define organization by locating it systematically in the structure of the society in relation to other categories of social structure. He defines an organization as ”a social system oriented to the attainment of a relatively specific type of goal, which contributes to a major function of a more comprehensive system, usually the society”.
He referred to his basic classification of the functional problem of social systems (AGIL). This classification distinguished four main categories:
-the value system – which defines and legitimized the goals of the organization (L)
-the adaptive mechanisms – which concern mobilization of resources (A)
-the operative code – mechanisms of the direct process of goal implementation (G)
-the integrative mechanisms (I)
1) – (L) Its value system defining the societal commitments of which its functioning depends. This value system must be a sub value system of a higher-order one, since the organization is always defined as a subsystem of a more comprehensive social system. From this concept, Parsons maintained two conclusions. First, the value system of the organization must imply basic acceptance of the more generalized values of the super ordinate system. Secondly, on the requisite level of generality, the most essential feature of the value system of an organization is the valuative legitimation of its place or role in the super ordinate system.
2) – (A) Its mechanisms of resource procurement. The problem of mobilizing fluid resources concerns one major aspect of the external relations of the organization to the situation in which it operates. The resources which the organization must utilize are the factors of production as these concepts are used in economic theory; land, labor, capital and organizations (refers to the function of combining the factors of production in such ways as to facilitate the effective attainment of the organization’s goal).
3) – (G) Its operative mechanism centering about decision making in the fields of policy, allocation, and integration. The policy decision meant decisions which relatively directly commit the organization as a whole and which stand in relatively direct relation to its primary functions. Parsons noted that the critical feature of policy decisions is the fact that they commit the organization to a whole to carry out their implications. The allocative decisions relate to the distribution of resources within the organization and the delegations of authority. From these points, there are two main aspects of the allocative decision process; one concerns mainly personnel, the other financial and physical facilities. The coordination decisions concern with the integration of the organization as a system.
4) – (I) Its institutional patterns which link the structure of the organization with the structure of the society as a whole. The problem concern rather the compatibility of the institutional order under which the organization operates with other organizations and social units, as related to integrative exigencies of the society as a whole. This integrative problem can be generalized to both human agents and interorganizational integration.
Conclusion: The same basic classification of the functional problems of social systems was used to establish point of reference for a classification of types of organization, and broadest outline of a proposed classification was sketched. Then, Parsons suggested some illustrative cases by a rapid survey of some of the principal business, military, and academic organizations.
TALCOTT PARSONS: The Professions and Social Structure
This chapter and the piece on age and sex can be seen as attempts to apply Parsons’ theories to real life situations. In the case of business and the professions, he’s looking at how our ”society” as an organism, maintains itself. Two of Parsons’ four functional needs of society – integration (coordinating system parts) and latency (managing tensions between parts and generating new parts) – are solved in this article by what he calls ”functional specificity”. (compare to Durkheim).
Parsons begins by wondering why the professions are so highly developed, and why there is such a highly refined division of labor nowadays. (He rejects the idea that it is simply individuals’ utilitarian self-interest. He says it is part of society, institutional. **He wants to prove that ”the acquisitiveness of moderns business is institutional rather than motivational.” Here institutional = cultural = given part of social structure.)
Three important elements distinguish our society from others and contribute to the unique importance of professions in our society.
1. In our society, scientific rationality – that is, not accepting traditional explanations just because they are traditional, and therefore searching for better ways and explanations – is ”institutional, a part of a normative pattern.” This is to say, scientific rationality is not just something that comes natural to all human beings.
2. Furthermore, certain people have authority in certain realms but in no others. For instance, regardless of their financial backgrounds or upbringing, doctors are given authority in the field of medicine because it is their specialty. This is what Parsons calls the ”functional specificity” of technical competence or authority. In contrast to commercial relations, which are functionally specific, kin relations are functionally diffuse. Your grandma has authority because she’s your grandma, not because of their technical expertise. (Liken functional specificity to Weber on bureaucracy – office-holders can give orders because of authority of the office.) Parsons calls for a thorough study of functional specificity, since it is a product of our unique modern D of L.
3. Related to the last thing, there are two kinds of relations among people, universalistic and particularistic. The more contexts in which you know someone, like a relative or a friend, the less possible it is to abstract that person’s personality from the particular role they play at one time. For instance, a person who has her elderly parent living with her will treat the parent much differently than she would treat a tenant who is a stranger. The mother is regarded as a particular individual, mom. The other tenant is regarded as any other tenant would be, by a ”universalistic” rule for how landlords treat tenants. (Think of Simmel, content and form of relations – parent relations have more content because of different contexts, not a purely formal relation.)
But are professions and business really all that different? No, if we think of them both as having the goal of ”success.” People wish to succeed at whatever vocation their talent brings them to, be they doctors, scientists, painters or financial analysts.
But this is only the case in the normal condition of society, a ”well-integrated” situation. If achievement fails to bring recognition, or if you get recognition for doing nothing or the wrong thing, this causes strain. (Think of Merton) Strain leads to profiteering in the professions and shady practices in business.
It is not accurate to say that business folks are purely egoistic nor that professionals are purely altruistic. Both have the same sorts f motivation, and differences in normative behaviors are institutionally defined definitions of the situation. System is maintained by a complex balance of diverse social forces.
TALCOTT PARSONS: Age and Sex in the Social Structure of the United States
This is another attempt to make Parsons’ theories relevant. This piece deals mostly with the functional needs of integration and latency, where different age and sex groups can be seen as the different elements of an organism. To some extent, it deals with the question of how to reconcile individual with social needs.
Parsons asserts that our society is unique in that our children of both sexes are treated alike, relative to other societies. The main reason for this similarity is that children are given education that focuses mostly on liberal arts rather than vocations.
In spite of the ”conspicuous” exception that in the job world, men and women in this society share an underlying structural equality. (I’m just telling you what he says.) Education through college is merit-based and there is little discrimination until you get to postgrad, where the strict focus on vocation leads to more sex-based discrimination.
Elsewhere Parsons asserts that it is functional to have a woman at home raising the children and making the man’s home life run smoothly, so he can dedicate himself to his career. Women need to be educated, he implies, because they need to life up to expectations which come with being the wife of a man of a certain status. He is where she gets her status.
If she isn’t smart enough to find ways to entertain herself by following the ”good companion” pattern, a women may choose to follow the glamour gal routine, going for clothes and makeup. Striving for success in these two realms is functional because these patterns keep women from competing with men. However, since these women have liberal arts educations, they may undergo such strain that it is no surprise that they often exhibit neurotic behavior. This sex-based differentiation comes from adolescent ”youth culture,” where boys value things counter to ….. male responsibility (like sport, booze, and girlies) and girls go for the glamour gal look. The girls’ role is counter to their ….. expectation of becoming mommies, but nonetheless prepares them to accept their place relative to the men’s world.
As people age, women whose children are grown get bored and either shop more or work for benefit organizations. Men and women both romanticize the days when their options were open to them, so men may drink and hang out with younger, attractive women. Women may get neurotic.
All this is an example of how society tries to regulate its functions, in spite of strain. Here we find problems of latency, where tensions arise between parts, such as women who are smart and educated enough to have ”men’s” jobs but would then force too much competition. There are also problems of integration or coordinating the parts of the system, especially in the case of preparing boys for the ….. world in a society where their role models are absent (’cause they’re at work all the time). I don’t think I need to spend much time briefing you all on potential criticisms of this particular little chapter (Don’t men themselves have anything to do with keeping women out? Since when has there been gender equality in the schools? Why is this system functional anyway!?!). Let’s say, in the unlikely chance we get asked about it, we’ll have a field day. A

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Ten Steps – On Basamak – Robert Littell (ingilizce-türkçe özeti)

Ten Steps
Robert Littell

I put on a clean collar. I was in our room on the second floor where I could see into the Hubbel’s yard , and the ring on the stone post where they tie up their dog. The dog wasn’t there. The collar which I took off had two kinds of laundry mark on the inside, one mark from the laundry where I used to take my shirts and a second mark from the present laundry. Then I washed my hands.
The soap was worn down so that there was almost none left. It was as soap that smelled like salad. I turned off the water, but the water still went drip- drip from the faucet. I dried my hands. I hung the towel on the left end of the rod. The right end of the rod is for Mae. The rod is glass and some day it will come loose and fall down and break. I shut the bathroom door so that I would not hear the drip-drip of the water from the faucet.
I went into the room again which is for Mae and mine. On her bed in the day time she keeps a French doll with big eyes. Where the back of the bed hits the wall there is a mark. I moved out the bed, and I saw the mark. It is black and a yard long. The doll fell of and I put it back on the bed so it could not look at me when I went out. Then I went out.
I was is the hall , and I shut my eyes. I didn’t know what kind of wallpaper there was in the hall. I thought that it would be green, but when I opened my eyes again it was more blue than green, with a woman , with a basket, and a lamp. Around the door the wallpaper was cut off, and there was only the lamp; eight times from ceiling to the flour , no woman , and no basket but only the lamp. I could touch to the ceiling when I stood on my toes.
Next to our room is the extra room, which we do not use. I went into that. The back of the mirror was peeling off , and both windows were closed.

On Basamak
Robert Littell

Temiz bir kazak giydim.Hubbel’in bahçesini ve köpeklerini bağladıkları kaya üzerine çakılı halkayı görebildiğim ikinci kattaki odamdaydım.Köpek orada değildi.Çıkardığım kazağın iç tarafında iki çeşit çamaşırhane etiketi vardı,bir tanesi şimdiki diğeri ise daha önce gömleklerimi götürdüğüm çamaşırhanenindi. Sonra ellerimi yıkadım.
Sabun eridi gitti ve neredeyse hiç kalmadı. Salata gibi kokan bir sabundu.Suyu kapattım fakat su hala musluktan damlıyordu.Ellerimi kuruladım.Havluyu çubuğun sol ucuna astım .Çubuğun sağ uç tarafı Mae içindi.Çubuk camdandı,zamanla gevşedi ve düşerek kırıldı.Musluktan damlayan suyun sesini duymamak için banyo kapısını kapattım.
Tekrar Mae ve bana ait olan odaya girdim . Gün içinde yatağının üzerinde büyük gözlü Fransız yapımı oyuncak bir bebek bulundururdu. Yatağın arka tarafında duvara vurduğu yerde iz oluşmuştu. Yataktan çıktım ve ize baktım. Siyah ve 1 yard uzunluğundaydı. Oyuncak düştü. Onu tekrar yatağın üzerine geri koydum. Odadan çıkarken oyuncak bana bakamıyordu. Sonra dışarı çıktım.
Koridordaydım,gözlerimi kapadım. Koridorda ne çeşit bir duvar kağıdı olduğunu bilmiyordum. Yeşil olabileceğini düşündüm, fakat gözlerimi tekrar açtığımda yeşilden çok maviydi;kadınlı,sepetli,lambalı. Kapı civarında kağıt kesilmişti ;yerden tavana kadar sekiz tane lamba vardı, sadece lamba kalmıştı kadın ve sepet yoktu. Parmak uçlarımda yükseldiğimde tavana dokunabiliyordum.
Odamızın bitişiğinde kullanmadığımız ekstra bir oda vardı. O odaya girdim. Aynanın arkası soyulmuştu ve iki pencerede kapalıydı.

On the window there was a large fly, and I opened the window and drove him out and he flew away. And in the window frame there was a long nail ;and I took off my shoe and drove in the nail with the heel of my shoe. Then I put on my shoe again. I measured the room by walking across in each direction from one wall to other . It is ten by fourteen.
I came into the parlor from the door across from the desk. The desk has three drawers down one side. I took out an envelope from the bottom drawer and put some money in it and wrote “ For Mae “ on it and put it on the top of the desk. The curtains in the parlor were red. Where the sun hits them there is a part that is not red , but pink. There was a magazine on the table called Movieland, and I started to read it, but I did not read it. I went over the fireplace and looked at the rest of the room from there , and I saw the table and the carpet and how two chairs were facing right towards each other. I sat down on one of them and one of it’s legs was shorter than the others, and I got up and went into the kitchen.
In the kitchen I saw Mae shelling peas. She forces the peas out of the shell with her thump and they fell into the bowl. There were three peas on the floor and I picked them up and put them in my pocket. The kitchen floor was laid in linoleum with blue and white squares two inches squares. Mae was sitting on a stool, reading a paper placed in front of her. She did not turn around when I came in. She said, ‘’When you come back bring some stove polish with you.’’
I said I was going now.
I went out through the back door into the yard. There I saw my kid playing with some sand and toy truck, and then running the truck back and forth through sand. The sand was wet, and I could see the print of his hand on it. It was his left hand. I said,’ ’so long, son,‘’ to him, but he didn’t say anything. He was too busy with his truck and the sand.

Camın üzerinde büyük bir böcek vardı. Pencereyi açtım,böceği defettim, uçtu gitti. Pencerenin çerçevesinde uzun bir çivi vardı. Ayakkabımı çıkardım , topuğu ile çiviyi çaktım; tekrar giydim. Odayı bütün yönlerden yürüyerek duvardan duvara ölçtüm. 10 x 14 ‘tü. Masadan başlayıp kapıdan geçerek salona girdim. Masanın bir tarafında üç çekmecesi vardı. En alttaki çekmeceden bir zarf aldım, içine biraz para koydum,üzerine “Mae için” yazdım ve masanın üzerine bıraktım. Salondaki perdeler kırmızıydı. Güneşin vurduğu perdelerde kırmızı olmayan, pembe olan bir kısım vardı. Masanın üzerinde Movieland adında bir dergi vardı. Dergiyi okumaya başladın fakat okumadım. Şöminenin üzerine çıktım ve odanın geri kalanına oradan baktım. Masayı, halıyı ve tama olarak biri birine bakan iki koltuğu gördüm. Bir tanesinin üzerine oturdum; bir bacağı diğerlerinden kısaydı. Kalktım ve mutfağa gittim.
Mea yı bezelyeleri soyarken gördüm. Baş parmağıyla bezelyeleri kabuklarından çıkmaya zorluyordu ve bezelyeler kasenin içine düşüyordu. Zeminde üç bezelye tanesi vardı. Onları topladım ve cebime koydum. Mutfağın tabanı mavi-beyaz renkli,2 inch lik kareli muşambayla döşenmişti. Mae taburenin üzerinde oturuyor ve önündeki gazeteyi okuyordu. İçeri girdiğimde bana dönmedi. “Geri döndüğünde biraz fırın cilası getir” dedi.
“şimdi gidiyorum” dedim.
Bahçedeki arka kapıdan çıktım. Orada kum ve oyuncaklarla oynayan çocuğumu gördüm. Kumu oyuncak kamyona koyuyor, kamyonu itiyor boşaltıyordu. Kum nemliydi, üzerinde çocuğun el izini görebiliyordum. sol elinin iziydi. “Hoşça kal evlat” dedim. O hiçbir şey demedi. Kum ve kamyonu ile çok meşguldü.

Then I went to the garage, and unlock the door. I ran a cloth over the windshield of the car, and it was scratched in a half circle where the windshield wiper wipes it. And I stood there a couple minutes, and then I closed the doors and walked alongside of the house to the frond and looked at my watch. It was twenty minutes to ten.
Then I walked down the wooden steps to the sidewalk, and I counted the steps. I counted ten steps, I thought I counted the last step, but perhaps I didn’t . I walked down the street, and I looked back, and saw the house , and there was one window with a shade halfway down, and I wanted to go back and count the steps again to make sure, but I didn’t. I walked down to the corner and took the bus and got off at the police station and found Captain Rogers and told him that if they were looking for the man who killed Sam Mathews they should arrest me because I had done it.
Captain Rogers asked me if I want to write out a confession and I said that I would, but before I tell them how I killed Mathews I want to write down the last things which I saw in my house and how I remember them, because now I will want always to be able to remember about all those things that I won’t ever see again.

Sonra garaja gittim ve kapı kilidini açtım.Arabanın ön camındaki örtüyü kaldırdım,cam sileceklerinin sildiği yerlerde yarım daireler oluşmuştu.Bir iki dakika orada kaldım ,kapıları kapattımevin yanından ön tarafa doğru yürüdüm ve saatime baktım. Saat ona yirmi vardı.
Ahşap basamaklardan kaldırıma doğru yürüdüm ve bu basamakları saydım. On basamak saydım, son basamağı saydığımı düşündüm ama belki de saymadım.
Sokaktan aşağı doğru yürüdüm ,geriye baktım ve evi gördüm, yarı açık gölge li bir pencere vardı.Geriye dönüp emin olmak için basamakları tekrar saymak istedim.Fakat gitmedim.Köşeye kadar yürüdüm ,otobüse bindim polis karakolunda indim ve yüzbaşı Ragers’ı buldum.Sam Matthews’ü öldüren adamı arayorsanız beni tutuklayabilirsiniz çünkü onu ben öldürdüm dedim.
Yüzbaşı Ragers itirafımı yazmak isteyip istemediğimi sordu,yazabileceğimi söyledim fakat önce onlara Matthews’ü nasıl öldürdüğümü anlattım.Yazmak istediğim son şeyler evimde gördüklerim ve onları şimdi nasıl hatırladığımdı.Çünkü şimdi, bir daha asla göremeeceğim bütün o şeyleri her zaman hatırlayabilmek istiyorum


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the Alchemist – Simyacı (ingilizce Kitap Özeti)

When Santiago, a young shepherd boy from the Spanish countryside of Andalusia , has a dream that reveals the location of a hidden treasure buried at the Egyptian Pyramids his simple life is suddenly torn in two. Part of him wants to take the chance to go searching for it and the other part of him wants to continue his easy life as a shepherd.

A mysterious king named the king of Salem in Tarifa convinces Santiago that he has succeeded in discovering his Personal Legend. The old king tells Santiago that following his Personal Legend to its conclusion is a person’s only real obligation in life.

Santiago listens to his heart and decides to go on a dangerous search for the treasure. He sells his flock of sheep and heads to Africa, where he is quickly robbed of all his gold and left despondent on the streets. He decides that he was foolish to believe in his dreams and quickly gets a job with a crystal merchant in order to save up enough money to go back home.

After almost a year working for the merchant, Santiago has made a success of the shop and has plenty of money to do whatever he wants. As he’s walking the streets to go back home he suddenly decides to take a chance and continue his search for the buried treasure.

He joins a caravan to make the dangerous crossing across the desert and as he rides the long, slow days away he begins to listen to his heart and to the desert. He begins to understand what the Soul of the World is, and how he fits in.

When the caravan makes it to the oasis, Santiago meets a girl he falls in love with the moment he sees her. The local alchemist, a mysterious man who reminds Santiago of the old king, helps Santiago continue his journey across the desert and teaches him more important life lessons along the way. Although Santiago does not know it, he is becoming wise, and a master in the art of living to the fullest no matter what. Although he has left his true love back at the oasis, he is resolved to follow his dream to its end.

After many adventures, dangers, and important life lessons Santiago finally reaches the Pyramids. His joy at finally being at journey’s end overwhelms him, and he is grateful that he got the chance to follow his dream.

He begins to dig deep into the sand looking for treasure, but before he can get far a pack of thieves shows up, beating and robbing him. They force him to continue digging, and then leave when no treasure is found. One of the thieves, as destiny would have it, tells Santiago an important clue and when they’re gone Santiago can’t help but laugh, because now he knows where his treasure truly lies.

It ends up being right back where his journey began, under the very tree where he had the prophetic dream years before. He digs and finds a beautiful chest full of gold and gems. His next and last journey will be back to the desert to be reunited with the woman he loves.

The Alchemist Character List

Santiago- Santiago is the main character in “The Alchemist”. He is a young sheperd boy who has a dream about buried treasure in Egypt. Instead of passing it off as “just a dream” Santiago decides to follow his heart and go in search of the treasure. Along the way he begins to grow up and become wise in the ways of the world.

Melchizedek, the old king- The old king comes to Santiago the day after his prophetic dream, and tells him that he has succeeded in discovering his Personal Legend. He assists Santiago in making the decision to go searching for his treasure, and although Santiago does not know it the old king is a god.

The Crystal Merchant- The Crystal Merchant hires Santiago after he is robbed in Africa. Santiago has given up on his treasure and begins to transform the crystal shop. The merchant is a kindly man who is fair to Santiago, and even though he is afraid of change he takes Santiago’s advice about the shop. The money begins pouring in, and the shopkeeper is very grateful to Santiago.

The Englishman- Santiago meets the Englishman on the caravan across the desert. The Englishman has spent many years and many fortunes in pursuit of his own Personal Legend to learn alchemy, and is not on his way to find an alchemist at an oasis in the desert. He and Santiago strike up a friendship on the way.

Fatima- Fatima is a young girl at the oasis. She is very beautiful, and as soon as Santiago sees her he loves her, and never wants to leave the oasis. She loves Santiago as well, and convinces him that he needs to go searching for his treasure, that she will wait for him to come back.

The Alchemist- The Alchemist is a wizard at the oasis who helps Santiago on the second-half of his journey across the desert. He helps teach Santiago about the Soul of the World, and also tells the boy that right before he’s about to discover his treasure he will be tested hardest. He also performs alchemy for Santiago just to show him it’s possible to turn minerals into gold.
Part 1

Santiago lives a life many would envy. As a sheperd, he roams the countryside with his flock, traveling on new roads and seeing new things. It’s the life he always wanted, and he is happy.

Sleeping under the stars one night with his flock he has a dream that a child transports him to the Egyptian Pyramids and tells him he’ll find a buried treasure there. Santiago is willing to take a chance and decides to pay a Gypsy in the next town to interpret his dream. She tells him that his dream is in the language of the world, and if he goes to the Pyramids he’ll find a great treasure there.

The boy is irritated and decides he’s not going to believe in dreams anymore. He didn’t need to waste his time on the Gypsy with a lousy interpretation. Later that day he’s in town reading and trying to forget he even had a dream when an old man begins to speak with him. Santiago tries to ignore him but the man just won’t let up. Finally the man tells him that if the boy will give him 1/10 of his sheep, he’ll tell him how to find the hidden treasure.

Of course Santiago is amazed at this, since he never mentioned his dream to the man. The man tells Santiago that he has succeeded in discovering his Personal Legend, and he must decide if he’s brave enough to follow through on it. The man tells him that discovering one’s true purpose is a person’s only real obligation in this world.

Santiago has a real decision on his hands. Does he give up his flock, his life of stability, to go searching for his treasure? It seems like a crazy thing to do, but in his heart Santiago wants to go on this adventure.

Taking the biggest risk of his life, he decides to do it. He gives 1/10 of his sheep to the man and sells the rest. The man, who is a king, tells him he must follow the omens to find his treasure. He gives Santiago two rocks, Urim and Thumim, which will help him make decisions when he’s really stuck while on his path. The king wishes him luck, and then Santiago is on his way.

When Santiago gets to Africa he’s surprised he forgot that only Arabic is spoken. The city is strange, and the boy is a bit afraid of all the new people. He’s relieved when he meets a man in a bar that speaks his language, and the man quickly promises to help him cross the Sahara. In no time the man has disappeared with all of Santiago’s money and he is left penniless. Santiago wants to cry he’s so upset, but he quickly decides to look at the situation differently. Yes, he’s left penniless, but he’s on a quest for his Personal Legend. He can do this.

As Santiago is walking around the city he happens across a crystal merchant who has a shop at the top of a large hill. Needing food, he offers to clean up the crystal glasses for the merchant so that people will want to buy them. As he’s cleaning them, the merchant sells two glasses, and perceives that as a good omen. He offers Santiago a job, and the boy tells the merchant about going to find his treasure in the desert. He says he can only work for today because he has to cross the desert the next day.

The merchant laughs, and tells him it would take years for the boy to save up enough to cross the desert because it’s thousands of kilometers away. Santiago’s world falls completely silent, and then he agrees to go to work for the man. He tells him he has to use the money to buy some sheep.
Part 2

The boy has been working in the crystal shop for a month, and he’s not very happy. He tries very hard not to think of his treasure, or the Pyramids, at all. He’s only working to save enough money to get back home and buy some sheep.

Santiago gets an idea to build a display case outside to attract more customers. The merchant is not sure he wants to change the way things are, but the boy’s presence in the shop has been a good omen thus far. As they’re talking about dreams over lunch one day, the merchant reveals to the boy that he’s had a dream since childhood to travel to the holy city of Mecca. The merchant is different from the boy, he says, because he doesn’t want to really realize his dream. It’s the thought of going to Mecca that keeps him alive, and he wants to keep it a dream. The dream helps him get through his days at the crystal shop.

The merchant is selling more crystal than ever, and he decides to take a risk with the display case.

Two months go by and Santiago feels better about his situation. Money is pouring into the shop and he estimates than in 6 more months he can go home with enough money to double the size of his flock. He has learned to speak Arabic, and deal with crystal. He could be a rich man with all his new skills and all because he met up with a thief, which led him to the merchant. He feels this is his path now, to become an even bigger sheperd than before.

One day he gets another idea, and that is to sell tea to people in crystal glasses when they climb to the top of the hill, hot and thirsty. When he broaches the idea to the merchant, again the man is afraid. Already he’s making more money than he ever has, and if they start to sell the tea the man will have to expand and change his way of life. This, he says, he is afraid to do. After some careful thought, however, the merchant decides to sell the tea in the crystal glasses. He muses that sometimes you just can’t hold back the river.

The shop begins to get more business than ever as word gets around about their new idea. Their refreshing mint tea in crystal glasses is a hit with customers, and the merchant has to hire 2 more employees to handle the business.

It has been 11 months, and Santiago decides it is time to go. He has enough money to buy 120 sheep, and as he leaves he asks the merchant to give him his blessing. Santiago tells the man that now he has enough to realize his dream to go to Mecca, just as he has enough now to buy some sheep. The man looks at him knowingly and tells him that he’s not going to go to Mecca any more than the boy is going to go home and buy some sheep.

As the boy walks through town he thinks a long time about his future, and what his true path is. He decides to risk his journey again and go looking for his treasure. He reasons that if he fails again, he can always make more money to go back home. When he finally reaches this decision he’s tremendously happy, and goes off in search of a caravan to take him across the desert.

An Englishman sits in a dirty corral, flipping through a book on chemicals and thinking about his life. He’s spent fortunes and years of his life searching for the language of the universe, and the mysterious Philosopher’s Stone. He has studied and risked everything to find the answers behind his questions. He’s now heard tell of an alchemist who may have the answers he’s looking for, and has decided to cross the desert to seek him out.

When Santiago enters the corral, the Englishman seems unfriendly so they don’t strike up a conversation at first. When the boy takes out Urim and Thummim, however, the Englishman explodes with excitement and pulls out two stones identical to the boy’s. The king had been to visit him as well. They quickly strike up a friendship and begin talking about their Personal Legends.

There are over 200 people in the caravan crossing the desert. As they make their way through the vast emptiness day by day, the boy begins to understand that realizing his Personal Legend is his only real reason for being, and it is the same with the Englishman and everyone else in the world. When you are on your true Path, the entire universe conspires to help you succeed.

The rumor of tribal wars elsewhere in the desert causes the caravan to move faster and quieter. The boy spends his days observing the people, and thinking about the desert and what it can teach him about life. The caravan travels day and night, and the silence of the desert grows deeper as time passes. Before he knows it, they’ve made it to the oasis.

The boy can’t believe how big the oasis is. He’s very disappointed, however, when the caravan leader informs them all that they must stay here until the tribal wars are over. The boy is frustrated by the delay but resolves to have patience and not be hasty. He knows if he pushes forward impulsively he’ll miss the omens leading to his treasure. When it’s time to move, it will be time to move, and that’s all there is to it.

The next day the Englishman enlists his help to find the alchemist that lives at the oasis. The boy, who speaks better Arabic than the Englishman, begins asking the villagers where the alchemist lives. No one wants to tell him, and finally he sees a young girl at the well who might help him. He hurries over to ask her, and it’s all over after that. One look into her eyes and the boy is lost. She smiles and he knows that it’s the omen he’s been looking for his entire life. There would never be anyone else after her, and as he looks at her he is amazed to realize she understands the same thing. Without speaking a word to each other, they have spoken the truest Language of the World.

The Englishman shakes him out of his reverie, and the boy finds out her name is Fatima. When he asks her about the alchemist, she points towards the south and then leaves.

The next day Santiago waits at the well for Fatima, and when she comes he tells her he loves her and wants to marry her. She has become more important to him than his treasure.

As the days pass he meets her at the well everyday and tells her all about being a sheperd, about the king, and the crystal shop, and his quest.

Fatima tells him one day that she wants him to continue on his quest to find his treasure. She wants him to wander free, and says that if she is truly part of his Personal Legend he will come back to her one day. She will wait proudly for him.

Santiago goes to find the Englishman so he can tell him all about Fatima, and he is surprised when he finds out the Englishman has built a furnace outside his tent. The alchemist told him that he must begin the process of separating the sulfur, so that is what he’s trying to do. He’s lost his fear of failure, and really believes that this time he will succeed.

As the boy wanders in the desert later that day he sees two hawks in the sky. Something about their movement intrigues him, and as he watches one of the hawks attacks the other. As soon as this happens Santiago sees a vision of an army riding into the oasis. He tries to forget about the vision after it’s gone but his heart won’t let him. He’s troubled, and goes to see the tribal chiefs.

He has to wait hours to see the chiefs. After much discussion, they tell them that they will heed his warning of an attack, but if it doesn’t happen then the boy will be killed at sunset the next day.

As he’s walking back to his tent he’s nearly attacked by a man in black on a gigantic white horse. The man demands to know how he read the flight of the hawks. Santiago tells him that the same hand that wrote the armies also wrote the birds, and that he was simply seeing what Allah wanted him to know. Santiago is calm, even though he knows that the man might kill him. He bows his head, waiting for the blow to fall. He realizes that if he has to die tonight, he can die happy knowing he risked everything to follow his dream, and that he got to love the desert and Fatima.

Suddenly the man withdraws his sword, and tells him that he had to test the boy’s courage. The man says that if the boy is still alive after sunset to come see him. As he rides away, the boy realizes that he just met the alchemist.

The next morning every man at the oasis is armed for battle. Before noon an army of 500 had tried to attack the oasis, and all but one were killed by the men. The chief of the oasis is very happy that so many lives were saved, and he asks the boy to become the counselor of the oasis.

That night Santiago heads to the desert for his meeting with the alchemist. As they talk in his tent, the alchemist says that he’s there to help the boy find his Personal Legend. The alchemist tells him that he must continue his search for the Pyramids, and instructs him to sell his camel and buy a horse.

The next night the alchemist presents a challenge to the boy. He tells him to go find life in the desert, because only those who can find life in the emptiness can find treasure. The boy doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t know how to find life, and the alchemist finally gives him a hint, telling him that life attracts life. The boy understands and lets the reins loose, allowing his horse to run freely through the desert. His horse leads him directly to a cobra snake.

The alchemist tells Santiago that this was the omen he needed and that he will lead him across the desert. Santiago’s heart is heavy because he does not want to leave Fatima. The alchemist tells him that she is a woman of the desert and understands that if she wants him to come back, she has to let him leave. The boy decides to go with the alchemist in search of his treasure, and his heart is at peace to finally be on the way again.

That night Santiago goes to find Fatima. He tells her that he loves her and is going to search for his treasure. She understands, and says that she will wait for him to return. The oasis is now an empty place for her, and she’ll look out to the desert for him everyday.

They ride deep into the desert’s silence for a week, speaking very little. Santiago finally tells the alchemist that he has told him nothing along the way, and the alchemist tells him that the only way to learn is through action. He tells Santiago that in order to understand the world he must listen to his heart, always. The heart came from the Soul of the World, and speaks the truth.

They continue on for two more days, being cautious because of the tribal wars. As they ride the boy tries to listen to his heart and learn its ways. He realizes that his heart is afraid of failing and wants to go back to the woman he loves. They ride for many more days and Santiago begins to learn the ways of his heart, its dodges and tricks and moods. He finally realizes one day that he is completely happy, and that the longing and fear has disappeared. He learns from the alchemist that every second of his search for his Personal Legend is a second spent in the company of God and eternity. The alchemist then teaches him the most important lesson of all: that the Soul of the World will test everything right before it’s time for Santiago to realize his dream. It doesn’t do this because it’s evil, only so that all the lessons that were learned along the way can be mastered. He warns the boy that it’s at this point that most people give up, when they’re so close. The proverb “the darkest hour of night comes just before dawn” rings true for the boy, and he resolves not to give up when he’s tested.

That evening Santiago’s heart warns him that they are in danger and suddenly over one hundred horsemen surround them. They’re taken to a nearby military camp, where the alchemist informs the tribe leader that he is merely a guide for his friend, who is an alchemist. The alchemist says that the boy could destroy the camp by simply turning himself into the wind. The chief laughs, and grants them 3 days to perform this feat. If they cannot do it, their lives are forfeit.

Santiago is terrified. He has no idea how to turn himself into the wind, and quickly starts to panic. The alchemist gently tells him not to be afraid, that his heart has the answers he needs to do this.

The first day the boy wanders around camp, and comes no closer to figuring out how to turn himself into the wind. That night as he’s talking to the alchemist, he asks him why he is even bothering to feed his falcon when they might die. The alchemist smiles, and tells him “You might die. I already know how to turn myself into the wind.”

The second day the boy climbs to the top of a cliff, and listens to his heart. He does not learn how to turn himself into the wind.

On the third day, the chief and his men all gather on the cliff to watch the boy. He warns the crowd that it may take awhile, and they all say they are in no hurry. They sit down and wait. And then the desert begins to speak to Santiago.

He tells the desert that it’s holding the woman he loves, and the desert wants to know what love is. As the boy explains it, the desert says it can lend its sand to help the wind blow, but if he wants to know how to turn himself into the wind he must ask the wind itself. A breeze begins to kick up, and the alchemist smiles to himself.

The wind already knows of the boy’s conversation because the wind knows everything. It asks the boy how he knows the language of the world, and Santiago says he learned it from his heart. The wind tells him that he can’t turn himself into the wind no matter how much he wants to, because a boy and the wind are two very different things.

Santiago tells the wind that they were both written by the same hand, and that they’re really not that different. If the wind will only transform him for a little bit, they could have a wonderful conversation about all of this.

The wind’s curiosity is aroused, which has never really happened before. It begins to blow, but then quickly acknowledges that it doesn’t know how to transform the boy. The wind tells him that maybe he should ask heaven, and so Santiago asks the wind to blot out the sun so he can look towards heaven without blinding himself. The wind howls, kicking up sand so the boy can look upwards to ask his question.

The boy turns his head upwards, and asks the sun if it knows about love and the Soul of the World. The sun says it does, because it loves the earth and everything on it. As they talk, the boy tells the sun that when things strive to become better then everything around them becomes better too. He realizes that the sun doesn’t really know about love, or how to turn him into the wind, and he asks the sun who he can talk to so his question can be answered. The sun tells him that he needs to speak to the hand that wrote it all. The wind, who is enjoying the conversation, screams in delight and blows even harder. On the ground, the men are trying not to be blown away.

The boy turns to the hand that wrote it all and falls silent. In his heart he begins to pray without words. He begins to understand that the wind and the sun and the desert are all also trying to find their way and understand the signs that are written by the one hand. He begins to realize that his soul is the Soul of the World, which is the Soul of God. He sees that his soul is one and the same as God’s soul, and that he can perform miracles.

When the wind ceases to blow, the boy is standing next to the chief, who realizes he just witnessed a miracle. The next day, he allows the boy and the alchemist to go free.

The next day they stop at a monastery. The alchemist tells Santiago that he is only 3 hours from the Pyramids and that he will be going the rest of the way alone. Before they part, however, the alchemist shows the boy that lead can indeed be turned into gold.

Hours later Santiago climbs a dune and beholds the Egyptian Pyramids. He weeps with happiness because he finally achieved his Personal Legend and saw it through to the end. As he looks down to where his tears hit the sand he sees a Scarab beetle, which in Egypt is a sign of God. He begins to dig deep into the sand, and is convinced this is where his treasure lies.

He digs all day, but suddenly is surrounded by a group of men who steal his money and then beat him severely. They force him to keep digging, and then when there’s no gold to be found in the ground they leave him. Before they go the leader tells Santiago that he’s not going to die, even though he feels like he might. He tells him that he shouldn’t be so stupid to follow his dreams, however. The thief says that 2 years ago right at this very spot he had a dream of his own, that he should travel to a ruined church in Spain where sheperds slept and dig deep at the roots of a big sycamore tree to find a treasure. The thief says that he didn’t do it because he’s not stupid enough to cross an entire desert over a recurrent dream.

After that, Santiago stands up and begins to laugh, because now he knows where his treasure is.

Santiago reaches the church just as night is falling. As he begins to dig, he remembers everything that led him to this very moment. Hours later, he has before him a chest of gold Spanish coins and precious gemstones. He remembers he has to get to Tarifa so he can give 1/10 of his treasure to the old gypsy woman.

Suddenly the wind begins to blow from Africa and brings him the scent of a perfume he knows well, and the touch of a kiss.

He knows it is Fatima and he tells her he is coming.


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The Big Chance – Büyük Şans – Frederick Lang (ingilizce-türkçe özeti)

The Big Chance
Frederick Lang

He wasn’t the kind to pick a secretary by the color of her hair. Not Bill Hargrave. Both Paula and Nancy had been smart enough to know that. And for some time everyone in the office had known that one of them, Paula or Nancy, was going to get the job. In fact, the decision would probably be made this afternoon. Hargrave was leaving town and wanted to settle the matter before he left.
The two girls could see him from their desks outside his office. Maybe it was only some correspondence that he was looking at with cool, keen eyes. But for a moment his finger seemed to pause above those two efficient little pushbuttons. If he pressed the left one, it would be Paula’s pulse which would begin to beat faster.
Paula couldn’t keep her eyes off that light on her desk. She kept making mistakes in her typing and nervously taking the sheets of paper out in order to start all over again.
She leaned across her typewriter and said to Nancy, “The boss is all dressed up today. He must be going on a special trip.”
She was just talking to relieve her nervousness. Nancy took her time about answering. She wasn’t used to having Paula talk to her in such an intimate tone. Not since they’d learned a month ago that they were both in line for a promotion, for the important job as Bill Hargrave’s secretary.
“He does look nice.”
Hargrave was young and outside of office hours he was said to be human. But that wasn’t why he’d gotten to be one of the important officials of the company until they saw him one day in one of the top executive positions.

Büyük Fırsat
Frederick Lang

O bir sekreteri saçının rengine bakarak seçecek tipte biri değildi. En azından Bill Hargrave böyle değildi. Hem Paula, hem de Nancy bunu bilecek kadar zekiydiler. Ve bir süredir de bürodaki herkesin bildiği gibi içlerinden biri, Paula veya Nancy, işi alacaktı. Aslında, karar muhtemelen bu öğleden sonra verilecekti. Hargrave kasabadan ayrılıyordu ve gitmeden önce meseleyi halletmek istiyordu.
Kızların ikisi de, çalışma odasının dışındaki masalarından onu görebiliyorlardı. Belki de patronlarının sakin, keskin gözlerle baktığı sadece bir mektuptu. Ama bir an için parmağı, o iki küçük işlek çağrı düğmesinin üzerinde durur gibi oldu. Eğer soldakine basarsa, daha hızlı atmaya başlayacak olan nabız Paula’nınki olacaktı.
Paula gözlerini masasının üzerindeki ışıktan ayıramıyordu. Daktiloda hata yapmaya ve herşeye baştan başlamak için gergin bir şekilde kağıtları çıkarmaya devam etti.
Daktilosunun üzerinden eğildi ve Nancy’ye, “Patron bugün baştan aşağıya iyi giyinmiş. Özel bir geziye gidiyor olmalı” dedi.
Sadece gerginliğini yatıştırmak için konuşuyordu. Nancy cevap vermekte acele etmedi. Paula’nın, kendisiyle böyle samimi bir ses tonuyla konuşmasına alışkın değildi. Özellikle de, bir ay önce her ikisinin de Bill Hargrave’in sekreterliği gibi önemli bir işe terfi etmek için aday olduklarını öğrenmiş olmalarından beridir.
“Hoş görünüyor.”
Hargrave gençti ve mesai saatlerinin dışında insancıl olduğu söylenirdi. Ama onu, bir gün şirketin üst yönetici mevkilerinde birinde görene kadar şirkette önemli biri olması gerektiğinin sebebi bu değildi.

The two girls saw him get up from his desk and walk to the doorway of his office. He stood there with one hand in a pocket of his blue flannel suit. There was a small white flower in his buttonhole and the usual keen, unrevealing smile on his face.
“Did you send for the tickets?” he asked Nancy.
“I got the tickets all right,” she answered, “but…and she tried to smile in the same hard way the boss did. She looked about as hardboiled as a white kitten. “But there just aren’t any staterooms to be had,” she told him. “Not for love or money.”
The boss was certainly disappointed. Anybody could see that.
“Suppose I try it?” Paula suggested quickly.
And for the next ten minutes, half the office employees could hear Paula telling the ticket agent exactly what she thought of him.
“Listen,” she said, “I don’t care whose reservations you have to cancel…”
Well, the job was worth going after. There was the salary, for one thing. And there was the prestige. The boss’s secretary knew a great deal about the business. And there were the interesting people she got to talk to. The important people. And the boxes of perfume, flowers, and candy they often left on her desk.
And there was Bill Hargrave for a boss. Young and clever and attractive. That was a factor, too. Because in the advertising business you called the boss “Bill,” and he called his secretary “Nancy” or “Paula” and took her to dinner on the company expense account.

Kızların ikisi de onun masasından kalktığını ve çalışma odasının girişine doğru ilerlediğini gördü. Orada, bir elini mavi kadife takım elbisesinin ceplerinden birine sokmuş olarak ayakta durdu. Ceketinin yakalarından birinde küçük, beyaz bir çiçek ve yüzünde her zamanki zeki, kendini açığa vurmaz gülümsemesi vardı.
“Biletleri istettiniz mi? diye sordu Nancy’ye.
“Biletleri hallettim,” diye yanıtladı Nancy, “ama… ve patron gibi aynı ciddi ifadeyle gülümsemeye çalıştı. Beyaz bir kedi yavrusu kadar çaresiz göründü o an. “Ama ayırtabileceğimiz hiç özel kompartman kalmamış,” diye açıkladı ona. “Mümkünatı yok.”
Patron kesinlikle hayal kırıklığına uğramıştı. Bunu herkes farkedebilirdi.
“Bir de ben deneyim mi?” diye çabucak bir teklifte bulundu Paula.
Ve sonraki on dakika boyunca ofis çalışanlarının yarısı, Paula’nın bilet satış görevlisine kendisi hakkında ne düşündüğünü söylemesini duyoyorlardı.
“Dinleyin,” diyordu, “Kimin rezervasyonlarını iptal etmek zorunda kaldığınız hiç umurumda değil…”
Eee, iş peşinden koşmaya değerdi. Bir kere, maaşı iyiydi. Ve saygınlığı vardı. Patronun sekreteri, işler hakkında oldukça fazla bilgiye sahip olurdu. Ve konuşmak durumunda kaldığı ilginç
insanlar vardı. Önemli kişiler. Ve bu kişilerin sık sık masasının üstüne bıraktığı kutular dolusu parfüm, çiçek ve şekerler.
Ve Bill Hargrave vardı patron olarak. Genç ve zeki ve çekici. Bu da bir etkendi. Çünkü, reklamcılık işinde patronuna “Bill” diye seslenirdin, ve o da sekreterine “Nancy” veya “Paula” derdi ve onu şirket giderleri hesabından ödenen akşam yemeklerine götürürdü.

It was all strictly business, but it seemed intimate and informal.
Both Paula and Nancy knew about those dinners. Bill had tried to be fair. He would ask Paula to stay one night, and it would be Nancy’s turn the next night.
But Paula had been smart. She had soon learned how impersonal Bill Hargrave could be, even at those intimate dinners. About as personal as one of those advertisements that says, “This means you.” And she saw how much harder to please he was during the overtime hours- more irritable, more inclined to be critical in his manner.
So when Nancy had said, “I don’t mind staying nights, really. I know Paula usually has a date. She’s popular with the men…” well, Paula had been glad to let it go at that. She’d been quick enough to see that neither of them was going to get the job simply on a basis of physical attractiveness, and she was right.
Paula didn’t need any lessons when it came to office politics. She was the one who was always busy when someone of little importance in the office wanted his material typed. “Sorry, but it’s impossible, Jack. Why not ask Nancy?”
And they did ask Nancy. It left Paula free to do Bill Hargrave’s work in a hurry. She was never too busy for Mr. Bill’s work.
When Hargrave finally pressed one of those buttons it was at Paula’s desk that the light went on. She started to make a grab for her notebook, but she quickly took out her mirror first. Then she grabbed up her notebook and an envelope that was on her desk.

Bu mutlak suretle, tamamen işin bir parçasıydı, ancak biraz samimi ve gayri resmi görünürdü.
Hem Paula, hem de Nancy bu akşam yemeklerini iyi biliyorlardı. Bill adil olmaya çalışmıştı. Bir akşam Paula’dan kalmasını rica ederdi, ve sonraki akşam yemek sırası Nancy’ye gelirdi.
Ama Paula akıllı hareket etmişti. Bill Hargrave’in o samimi akşam yemeklerinde bile ne kadar mesafeli olabildiğini hemen öğrenmişti. Şu içlerinden birinde aşağı yukarı “Bu sen demeksin” diyen reklam kadar mesafeliydi. Ve onu fazla mesai sırasında memnun etmenin nasıl daha da zor olduğunu gördü_ daha asabi, hareketlerinde eleştirici olmaya daha fazla eğilimli.
Ve tabii Nancy “Akşamları ben kalabilirim, gerçekten. Paula’nın genellikle bir randevusu olduğunu biliyorum. Erkekler arasında oldukça meşhur…” dediğinde, Paula olayın böyle gelişmesine izin vermekten hoşnut olmuştu. Paula, ikisinin de bu işi sadece fiziksel çekicilikleri ile elde edemeyeceklerini görmekte gecikmemişti, ve haklıydı.
İş, büro politikalarına geldiğinde, Paula’nın hiç bir derse ihtiyacı yoktu. Büroda fazla önemli olmayan biri notlarını daktilo ettirmek istediğinde her zaman meşgul olan hep oydu. “Üzgünüm, ama imkansız Jack. Neden Nancy’den istemiyorsun?”
Ve onlar da Nancy’ye rica ederlerdi. Bu Paula’ya, Bill Hargrave’in işlerini daha acele yapma özgürlüğünü getirdi. O, Bay Bill’in işleri için asla çok meşgul değildi.
Hargrave en sonunda şu düğmelerden birine bastığında, ışığı yanan Paula’nın masasıydı. Not defterini kapmak için hareketlendi, ama daha önce çabucak aynasını çıkardı. Sonra defterini ve masasının üzerindeki bir zarfı aldı hemen.

As for Nancy, what else could she do but sit there with her pretty blonde head bent over her typewriter? Nancy was a natural blonde, and that seemed the best way to describe her.
She just didn’t seem to know any tricks such as Paula did for making herself more popular with the boss.
The moment Paula got inside Hargrave’s office he asked about that stateroom.
“Any luck, Paula?”
Paula wasn’t dumb. It was the little things that would count with Mr. Bill. Orchestra seats at the theater when an important client was in the town and the show was sold out. Or a stateroom when there were “no staterooms to be had for love or money.”
She handed him the envelope. It contained the two sets of tickets. “That’s your stateroom number on the outside,” she said in a businesslike way.
She had on a blue flannel suit something like Bill’s, and it was clear he thought she looked pretty smart in it.
“Don’t forget the time,” she added, “eight-fifteen.”
Hargrave smiled. “So there were no staterooms for love or money, eh?”
He looked again at the number of his stateroom and he put the envelope carefully in his inside pocket.
Then he told her. She was going to have a new job. He mentioned the salary, too. He didn’t neglect to mention the salary.
She took it just right- in a very businesslike manner. Just enough of gratitude.

Nancy’ye gelince, sapsarı kafası daktilosunun üzerine bükülmüş bir şekilde orada öylece oturmaktan başka ne gelirdi elinden? Nancy doğal bir sarışındı, ve bu onu tanımlayabilecek en iyi ifadeydi.
Sadece, Paula’nın kendini patrona daha da yakınlaştırmak için başvurduğu hilelerin hiç birini biliyor gibi görünmüyordu.
Paula patronun çalışma odasına girdiği anda, Hargrave şu kompartman konusunu açtı.
“Hiç şansımız var mı, Paula?”
Paula aptal değildi. Mr. Bill için önemli olan Ufak ayrıntılardı. Önemli bir müşteri kasabadayken, tüm biletlerin satıldığı bir tiyatro salonunda orkestra gösterisi için yer bulabilmek gibi. Veya “ayarlanmasının mümkün olmadığı” bir zamanda bir kompartman.
Ona zarfı uzattı. İçinde iki kişilik bilet vardı. “Bu salonun kenarındaki kompartmanınızın numarası,” dedi ciddi bir ifadeyle.
Üzerine Bill’inkine benzer mavi kadife bir takım elbise giymişti, ve bu elbise içinde patronun onun çok güzel göründüğünü düşündüğü aşikardı.
“Saatini unutmayın” diye ekledi, “sekiz-onbeş.”
Hargrave gülümsedi. “Güya kompartman ayarlamak mümkün değildi, ha?”
Kompartmanının numarasına tekrar baktı ve zarfı dikkatli bir şekilde iç cebine koydu.
Sonra ona söyledi. Yeni işi o alacaktı. Maaştan da bahsetti. Maaştan bahsetmeyi ihmal etmedi.
Paula bunu tam anlamıyla uygun bir şekilde-çok ciddi bir tavırla- kabul etti. Sadece yetecek kadar bir minnettarlıkla.

And then, the old sportsmanship. How sorry she felt about Nancy. She didn’t look sorry
And neither did Bill. He told her it was okay, that she shouldn’t worry about Nancy, that Nancy wasn’t made for the job anyway, and that besides, he and Nancy were leaving on their honeymoon tonight. Tonight at eight-fifteen.

Ve sonra, şu eski sportmenlik. Nancy için ne kadar da üzülüyordu. Aslında pek de üzgün görünmüyordu.
Ve Bill de üzgün görünmüyordu. Ona her şeyin yolunda olduğunu, Nancy için endişelenmemesi gerektiğini, nihayetinde Nancy’nin bu işe uygun olmadığını, ve bunun yanısıra, o ve Nancy’nin bu akşam balayına çıkacaklarını söyledi. Bu akşam, saat sekiz-onbeşteki trenle.


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the Bride Price [özet] (ingilizce Kitap Özeti)


Aku-nna turned the key and pushed open the door of her family’s one-room apartment in Lagos,Nigeria.Aku-nna and her brother Nna-nndo were surprised too see their father at home. Because it was work time,he should be at work.Their mother went on a journey to Ibuza to ask the river goddess to send her a baby.Their father was very sad at this night.And children were trying to understand why.Her father spoke and said he was going to hospital for a check-up. Because he had a painful foot.It is an effect of the war.It was swelling up everytime but their father was very sad this time.Aku-nna made him a hot soup and yams.He ate them.He smiled his children.He said them:”Always remember that you are mine”.He was speaking as he would never return again.Children watched their father going.They began to feel hungry and decided to go in and eat something.

The evening meal was ready but their father Ezekiel didn’t come.She sat on the veranda watching outside.Then she saw Uncle Uche and Uncle Joseph.Ezekiel didn’t like them.They told Aku-nna that her father wouldn’t come this evening.
Three weeks went by but Ezekiel didn’t return to home.Aku-nna missed both of his parents.In the morning Aku-nna went to the kitchen where all people were cooking their meals.But there everybody were behaving her different.Dick,one of the houseboys,wasn’t kind her but that day he was very kind.Aunt Uzo came to kitchen she was very sad as everbody.Aku-nna understood that they have lost their father.Nna-nndo said they have lost their father but Aku-na said they have lost everthing.In Nigeria a fatherless family is a family without a head.Because your mother is only a woman.

Most ceremonies in Nigeria combine European customs with native ones.Ezekiel Odia himself was a Christian and a church-goager,but he always called in a native medicine man when he wanted one.Ezekiel’s funeral was like that too,with both native and Christian ceremonies.
In the funeral everybody cried.Because death will come to everybody.So they
cried for themselves too.Aku-nna and Nna-nndo cried for their fathers.They didn’t call their mother from Ibuza.After long mournings they buried their father.Aku-nna took her brother’s hand and they walked together out of the graveyard.

After they father died they moved to Ibuza from Lagos.After a long journey they arrived Ibuza.According to traditions in Nigeria,Aku-nna’s mother,Ma blackie,would be married to Ezekiel’s brother,Okonkwo.Aku-nna greeted her cousin-or his half-sister-,Ogugua.According to another tradition Ma Blackie had to stay in a hut for nine full moons and mourn for her death husband.During this period she wasn’t allowed to leave the hut or have a bath.

Ma Blackie finished his mourning and she became Okonkwo’s fourth wife. Okonkwo was planning to be the chief.For this he needed money.He was planning to get this money from Aku-nna’s and Ogugua’s bride prices.
Okonkwo’s first wife,Ngbeke,was jealous of Ma Blackie.Because she wasn’t obeying her and she was proud and intelligent.
At the same time in the school Aku-nna was becoming very special to the teacher, Chike Ofulue.But Chike was the son of a slave and surely nobody would approve this love.Because according to traditions the son of a slave family can’t marry to the daughter of a free family.

Chike’s father called him for a talk and warned him about Aku-nna.He wanted Chike to leave Aku-nna alone.They say that forbidden fruit tastes sweet.Because Aku-nna was forbidden,Chide wanted her more than ever.
The day after this meeting in the school Aku-nna was very unhappy.She didn’t answer any questions.Chike let her to go out.After the bell rang,Chike went to Aku-nna’s near.He noticed that there was blood on her dress.They thought she injured herself.But soon they understood Aku-nna became a real woman.Aku-nna wanted Chike to keep this secret. Because if Okonkwo learnt this he would make Aku-nna to marry.Aku-nna went to home. Chike came after some time.He kissed her,Aku-nna wanted him to marry her.But Chike thought that was impossible.Ma Blackie came from shopping.They said her Aku-nna had a terrible headache.Chike gave Ma Blackie some headache tablets.Then he returned to his own house.

Chike’s father warned Chike several times about Aku-nna.But Chike said he would marry to her.And his father said when she became a woman he would go to her family and ask for her.Chike told this news to Aku-nna and promised to come her hut in three days’ time.
Three days later Chike was expected,Aku-nna and her friends all went out to look for firewood.While Aku-nna was trying to pull a wood it suddenly broke and she fell to the ground.She felt a pain in her back third time.But this time she couldn’t hide it and everybody learnt that she became a woman.Ogugua said her a lot of men wanted him(esp.Okoboshi-Aku-nna knows him from school and doesn’t like him-). She doesn’t want to marry but Okonkwo would make her marry quickly.Aku-nna was alone without her mother’s support because she was expecting a baby from Okonkwo. And she could never refuse anything to the father of her baby.

That evening they made a party for Aku-nna.And after the party all boys were allowed to visit her in the hut.After a short time Chike came.When he came nobody greeted him.Okoboshi came nearer to Aku-nna and put his hand into her shirt.Chike hit Okoboshi in the face.The boys went after this event.
The fifteen-year old girls were practising the Christmas dance.This was very important.Their teacher’s name was Zik.One evening they were going to learn dance and they saw Chike.Chike said that Aku-nna had passed her exams and she could be a teacher.The girls clapped and they hurried not to be late for dancing.
They started to practise.But all the lights went out and heavy footsteps heard.Some men kidnapped Aku-nna.Aku-nna thought that this was end of her dreams.Because according to a tradition if someone cuts a girl’s hair he will be her husband forever.

Chike heard some gun shots on the way of home.He thought it must be a wedding.And he heard some cryings from Aku-nna but he thought that his imagination played with him.At home he realised the shots were coming from Obidi family’s hut.He understood this was Aku-nna’s wedding.
In the village all men tried to find Aku-nna but they couldn’t.Obidis came to Okonkwo’s hut and they agreed on a small bride price.If Okoboshi cut a piece of hair from Aku-nna he would be her husband.
Nna-nndo wanted help from Chike and he promised to save Aku-nna.

Aku-nna was carried to her new home.At night Okoboshi came to their hut.Aku-nna said Okoboshi that she wasn’t a virgin.She said she had slept with Chike many times. Okoboshi believed this.But this was not true.Okoboshi hit her in the face and told this to his relatives.
Aku-nna was being kept in the hut of Okoboshi’s mother.Nna-nndo came to visit her and he brought a letter from Chike.In the letter he said”I will whistle after dark,when you go to the toilet.I love you.Chike.”
Later,Okoboshi’s mother came in and said her to go to Okoboshi’s hut and maybe he could forgive her.Aku-nna wanted permission to go to toilet.As they planned Chike came and they ran through the Asaba.Chike’s driver was living there and he would take them to Ughelli in the morning.

In Ughelli Chike and Aku-nna were staying in the hut of Ben Adegor,an old friend of Chike.They bought new furnitures with the money Chike’s father gave them.Chike started a job in the oil company.Aku-nna told Chike that she was still a virgin.Chike became very happy after this.They bought a bed and they christened the bed “Joy”.
Aku-nna thought everything were so easy to them.She begged the God not to let anything happen to destroy their joy.

In the village Okoboshi got angry with Aku-nna.So he lied about her.She said he became her husband.Everyone believed in this story.And Ofulue family became more hated.Chike’s father offered a bride price to Okonkwo but he refused.Okonkwo took his revenge from Ma Blackie by divorcing her.
In Ibuza if you wanted to destroy someone,you made a little doll exactly like that person.Then you pushed a sharp needle into doll’s heart.Okonkwo made a little doll that had Aku-nna’s face.Chike’s father heard about this doll and told Chike this.And warned him not to tell this to Aku-nna.Nna-nndo was sent to Ughelli to live with Aku-nna and Chike.Ofulue family was sending two whole pounds to Ma Blackie every month.
One day Aku-nna had a terrible headache and they went to doctor.They learnt that Aku-nna was pregnant.The doctor said that Aku-nna had to stop work and eat plenty of good food.

The baby was giving Aku-nna a lot of pain.Chike’s brother,who is a doctor,was coming and examining Aku-nna.He said she was too small and needed an operation for childbirth.
In Ibuza Ofulue offered a bride price to Okonkwo but he refused again.Okonkwo’s little doll was stolen and he paid a medicine man a lot of money to make a new doll.He said “This will call Aku-nna back in the wind”
Many times Aku-nna woke up and said that her uncle was calling her back.One night she suddenly screamed and they understood that the baby was coming.They went to hospital.The doctor told him that she had to have an operation.
The operation was unsuccesful for Aku-nna,she died.But they had a girl.Before she died she wanted Chike to be very happy and to call their girl “Joy”.

Afterwards every girl in Ibuza was told the sad story of Aku-nna.”If you want to live long” they were told”You must accept the husband that your people choose for you.And your bride price must be paid.”
Of course,that is all nonsense.But even today no girl wants to risk it.


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