In Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt tells the story of his troubled childhood. Plagued by poverty and hunger, Frank's mother Angela struggles to care for her children with little help from her alcoholic husband Malachy. Besides poor living conditions and constant hunger, Frank must also grapple with difficult concepts like morality and the role of religion. As he grows up, Frank remains resilient in the face of his family's hardships, and grows up to be his own man with hope for the future.
Brideshead Revisited is the story of Charles Ryder, an Oxford history student befriended by Lord Sebastian Flyte. Flyte is the wealthy scion of the declining Marchmain family, once a powerful member of the British peerage. Charles flirts with the life of a nobleman, creating problems for himself and the Marchmains when he dallies with Sebastian's younger sister, Julia. The novel dwells on Roman Catholicism, class, nostalgia, and the history of the peerage.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is set on a dying, post-war Earth from which most people have already emigrated. Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter, is assigned to hunt down six escaped androids, who are all the latest model and nearly impossible to detect. The only way to tell a human from an android is to administer an empathy test; empathy is highly valued as the only characteristic separating man from machine. As Deckard finds and brutally destroys the "andys," he is faced with uncomfortable questions about his own humanity.
She Stoops to Conquer is a 1773 play by Oliver Goldsmith about a wealthy young lady named Kate attempting to marry a nervous man named Marlow. After realizing that Marlow is unable to interact with upper-class women but can easily associate with the lower class, Kate pretends to be a maid and eventually tricks Marlow into falling in love with and marrying her. The comedy revolves around misunderstandings, satire and romance.
The Fall of the House of Usher is a macabre story about the final fate of the titular family. Madeline and Roderick Usher, the last of their once-proud line, live in squalor in a dilapidated manor house. An unnamed guest visits the Ushers, witnessing their descent into madness and poverty. After Roderick prematurely buries Madeline, themes of incest are addressed before Madeline's apparent return from the grave occasions Roderick's total collapse and the destruction of the manor house.