The Women’s Question in Major Barbara

What would make a person with a rigid set of principles suddenly change? The presence of Andrew Undershaft, apparently. The women in George Bernard Shaw’s play, Major Barbara are first introduced as strong women who are a force to be reckoned with. However, Shaw makes the women less powerful as the play goes on. We…

The Gypsy Woman in The Monk

The Bible tells us “do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them” (Leviticus 19:31). Ironically, the medium, or gypsy woman, in Matthew Lewis’s The Monk is one of the most honest characters, as compared to other devout characters of the Christian faith, who should…

The Etymology of Conlang

An introduction to the word conlang Merriam-Webster: CONLANG, N. an invented language intended for human communication that has planned and cohesive phonological, grammatical, and syntactical system. The word conlang serves as a compound of the words constructed and language; it was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in February of 2017. A conlang is an artificial…

Kenneth Koch’s parody of “This is Just to Say”

Occasionally, we befriend a person we should not have—the kind that borrows a shirt and never returns it, never seems to remember to bring a wallet to dinner, or never offers to drive or give gas money. This type of friend resembles the speaker of Kenneth Koch’s “Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams.”…

The History of the Word Pants

A brief introduction to the word pants Oxford English Dictionary: PANTS, N. Originally (colloq.): pantaloons. Later: trousers of any kind (in early use applied to men’s trousers, but in the 20th cent. extended to include those worn by both men and women).