Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews October 3, 2023
September 26, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
*See discount terms and conditions.
Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, and literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.
The date August 4 functions in the novel to provide what appears to be order in a chaotic life. Every important event in Florence's life happens on August 4: her birth, the beginning of her trip around the world, her first love affair, her marriage, meeting the Ashburnhams, and finally her death. Many critics speculate as to the exact meaning of August 4. Some claim that it refers to the date on which England entered World War I; others suggest that it refers to Augustus Egg's 1859 painting of adultery entitled "Past and Present." Regardless of the author's inspiration, the recurring pattern of August 4 is ironic. Florence's superstition with regards to that date suggests the foolishness of reading meaning into what is chaotic.
Characters with heart conditions, real and feigned, are a recurring motif in the novel. The motif draws attention to the "heart," which represents the intention behind action. Both Florence and Edward pretend to have a heart condition in order to get what they want. Florence uses the excuse to betray her husband and keep him subdued, and Edward uses it to escape from his duty in the army in order to bring Mrs. Maidan and Leonora to Nauheim. Ford uses the "heart condition" to draw a distinction between those with literal and figurative hearts. Unlike Maisie Maidan, who has a real heart problem, Florence and Edward merely use their "hearts" to cover their deceit.
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Good Soldier!