About LitCharts

LitCharts aren’t just the newest series of literature guides on the web. They’re also the fastest, smartest, and free-est series of literature guides on the web.


Conventional study guides have all followed the same tired formula since the creation of CliffsNotes in 1958. No longer. LitCharts breaks the mold by introducing a number of innovations that make our guides extra-effective and easy-to-use.

Side-By-Side Summary and Analysis

In their summary and analysis sections, conventional lit guides have a bunch of paragraphs of summary followed by a bunch of paragraphs of analysis, and so on. In contrast, LitCharts summary and analysis sections are side-by-side, which:

Provides better close reading:
The key to good grades in English is a close reading of the facts, patterns, and details of the text. Side-by-side summary and analysis is perfectly suited to providing this sort of close reading, as opposed to the more general analysis offered by conventional lit guides. As a result, LitCharts analysis gives you a better handle on the details you’ll need to support any arguments you have to make in class or for tests or essays.
Is easier to follow:
No more trying to figure out just what part of the work a bit of analysis is talking about. With side-by-side summary and analysis, you know automatically.
Is shorter:
Because it doesn’t have to spend lots of words explaining what part of the work it’s discussing, LitCharts analysis can be shorter than the analysis in conventional guides without losing any detail.

Theme Bars

the LitCharts Theme Bar is a visual, color-coordinated tool that shows you when and where each theme is active in the course of the work. The tool makes it easy to:

Superstition, Fantasy, and Escape

  • Track one or more themes through the work
  • Understand how the themes develop
  • Locate examples associated with particular themes so you can always support your arguments


Compare LitCharts with conventional lit guides like SparkNotes or Cliffsnotes and you’ll notice two things:

  • LitCharts are much shorter than conventional lit guides. LitCharts are never longer than 10 printed pages. Conventional lit guides are often over 90 printed pages, and in many cases are actually longer than the works they cover!
  • LitCharts are just as detailed and helpful as the best conventional lit guides. Despite their shorter length, LitCharts give you everything you need to participate in class discussion, ace tests and quizzes, and write papers.


Other online lit guide series either charge a subscription fee before you can view their guides or charge a fee to let you download the guides. Not LitCharts.

  • Free online: Every LitChart and every feature on LitCharts is free.
  • Free PDFs: Every LitChart is available in its entirety as PDF that is absolutely free to download and print. Our PDFs are designed to be easy-to-read and extremely printer-friendly and portable.