A Room With a View is the story of Lucy Honeychurch, a young Edwardian woman on holiday in Florence with her overbearing older cousin. While there, Lucy falls in love with an Englishman named George Emerson and the two rapidly begin growing closer. The novel is mainly concerned with the restrictions placed on young women by Edwardian society, a set of social rules exemplified by Lucy's hotel room with its beautiful view and the constant presence of her nosy and oppressive cousin.
"A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" is a magical realist short story about Pelayo and Elisenda, who discover a sick old man with wings. A wise woman tells them he is an angel, though a priest refutes this claim. Pelayo locks him in the chicken coop and charges admission to see the freak. Eventually people lose interest in the man and in the spring he regains his strength and flies away. The story portrays and satirizes religious dogma, mass spectacle and opportunism while retaining themes of redemption and rebirth.
Gone with the Wind explores the transformation that occurred in the Southern United States during and after the Civil War. Scarlet O'Hara is the spoiled daughter of a wealthy plantation owner. Her life changes drastically as the war breaks out, reducing her to poverty. With a strong will and commitment to Tara, her family's property, Scarlet is able to pull herself out of adversity. Though she ends up losing her marriage and her pregnancy by the end of the book, she still has her land.
I Will Bear Witness is the first volume of a diary kept by a Jewish man, Victor Klemperer, during Hitler's rule of Germany, 1933 to 1941. Since Klemperer was married to a non-Jewish woman, he was not sent to the camps and remained in the city. Over the course of the diary's entries, the spread of the Nazi regime and the increasing restrictions on Jewish people in the country is tangible. Klemperer tries to remain true to his country but becomes disillusioned by the actions of the Nazis.