The Weekly Word: Sept. 26th, 2012

Hey there Shmooperinos,

Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. For Jews, it’s the day that rolls around every year when God seals the deal on our spot in the Book of Life. In addition to a daylong fast, Yom Kippur also asks us to reflect on our actions and repent for those we regret.*

To all the Jewish Shmoopers out there, we hope you have an easy fast!

Featured Shmoop: Night by Elie Wiesel

In honor of the day, we’d like to take a moment to remember the great work by Elie Wiesel. Elie experienced firsthand the horrors of the Holocaust and saw the depths to which evil can take a person, a community, or even a nation.

However, Wiesel also explored the resilience of the human spirit as well as how love and respect find ways to grow in even the harshest of environments. As a part of this holy week, we hope you’ll take some time to reflect on his tale here.

Featured Shmoop Video: Why Was Jay Gatsby Great?

Was it his lavish party lifestyle? His fabulous shirts? The fact that every high school student will be forever haunted by essay prompts about the symbolism of the green light? The world may never know—but you can get a jump start with our analysis inthis video, our newest release from the Shmoopsterpiece Theater.

We want to hear your answers! Why was Gatsby great? Tweet your answers to @shmoop with the hashtag #gatsbythegreat and we’ll reward our favorite answer with a free Shmoop T-Shirt.


This Week in History: Miguel de Cervantes Born Sept. 29, 1547


It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No wait, it’s a…windmill? Best known for his classic novel Don Quixote (you might also know it from the excellent musical adaptation, Man of La Mancha), Miguel de Cervantes was a Spanish writer who changed the landscape of literature.

Before he wrote his satirical opus, Cervantes joined the Spanish navy, got captured by pirates, and was held captive for five years. During this time, he began to write; not much else to do in prison, we guess. He wrote upwards of 30 plays, along withcountless poems and short stories (not all in prison) and became known as El Principe de los Ingenios (“The Prince of Wits”).



Shmoop Shout Out: Princess Bride Movie Turns 25!

You’ve made it this far in the newsletter? Inconceivable!

Good job passing through the fire swamp, surviving torture, and rescuing the girl from Prince Humperdink. It’s no small feat. This classic film has brightened many a sick day, inspired many a young Dread Pirate Roberts, and emboldened many a young lover to respond with “As you wish.”

If you liked this one, dust off our old blog post on other movies that beat out their book counterparts.



Shmoop Shout Out: Rock the Vote!

It’s almost October, and you know what means:

Pumpkin spice lattes!

Wait, let’s try that again. We’re a month and change away from the 2012 election, and we don’t need to say how important it is for all you eligible Shmoopers to hustle down to the polling place on election day and participate in the democratic process. We said it anyway, though, and we regret nothing.

Rock the vote like you rock the proverbial casbah.



The Team at Shmoop



*Not to get too topical on everyone, but we think that this is especially appropriate after Monday night’s travesty of a football game. #cheeseheadsforever

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