Can you solve these real 'Jeopardy!' clues about literature?
More than a hit game show, “Jeopardy!” endures as a perennial cornerstone of what might one day soon become a bygone era. Over 26 years and more than 8,000 episodes, host Alex Trebek and a rotating panel of three contestants have provided a certain tier of predictable comfort for millions of viewers around the country. Even those who don’t watch the show regularly can take refuge in the fact that it will be there (more or less) every weekday night.
It was then understandably shocking when Trebek announced he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March 2019. Just a few months later, contestant James Holzhauer kicked off a legendary winning streak. As if viewers had been taking the show for granted, “Jeopardy!” was suddenly back in the proverbial spotlight with a ratings boost to boot. One can safely assume that a fair amount of viewers were shouting answers (or questions, rather) to their TV screens at home. It is a tradition, after all.
In January of 2020, Trebek told the press that he has no plans to retire “in the near future.” Should he ever decide to retire, it will mark the end of a veritable institution and one that will be difficult to replace. Meanwhile, the experience of playing at home lives on and will continue to do so even after the show has run its course.
To keep the tradition alive, Stacker scoured all the questions memorialized in the J! Archive, last updated February 2020, to compile the following list of 25 "Jeopardy!" clues about literature. Expect to find well-known names such as James Joyce and Charles Dickens, along with some of literature’s most iconic characters and locations.
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- Clue: Or, “The Parish Boy's Progress," which included picking a pocket or two.
- Category: LITERATURE: THE SUBTITLE
- Value: $1,200
- Date episode aired: Jan. 20, 2020
Answer #1: What is ‘Oliver Twist’?
Charles Dickens’ second novel was first published in serialized form, appearing in semi-regular installments over the course of two years. Its lesser-known subtitle makes reference to John Bunyan’s 1678 novel “The Pilgrim's Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come,” as well as 18th-century works by William Hogarth. Numerous adaptations of “Oliver Twist” have appeared on stage and screen.
- Clue: In this Steinbeck work, George kills his friend Lennie to spare him from a lynch mob.
- Category: LITERATURE
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Dec. 23, 2019
Answer #2: What is ‘Of Mice and Men’?
John Steinbeck’s harrowing novella centers on two migrant workers, one of whom has a learning disability. Set during the Great Depression, the story grapples with themes of loneliness and despair. A fixture in school classrooms, the frank use of racist language in “Of Mice and Men” occasionally draws scrutiny from concerned parents and educators.
- Clue: This book with a lamb-free title marked the first appearance of Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
- Category: POPULAR LITERATURE
- Value: $1,000
- Date episode aired: Jan. 23, 2019
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Answer #3: What is ‘Red Dragon’?
Lecter was more of a supporting character in Thomas Harris’ 1981 crime thriller, which follows FBI profiler Will Graham on his hunt for a serial killer. A big-screen adaptation called “Manhunter” similarly featured brief appearances from Lecter, as portrayed by actor Brian Cox. Anthony Hopkins later immortalized the character in the 1991 film “The Silence of the Lambs,” which was based on Harris’ follow-up novel.
- Clue: 1949's "The Kingdom of This World," an early work in this style blending naturalism and fantasy, includes a manifesto of it.
- Category: LITERATURE IN SPANISH
- Value: $1,200
- Date episode aired: May 9, 2018
Answer #4: What is magical realism?
Telling the story of the Haitian Revolution from multiple perspectives, “The Kingdom of This World” introduces themes of voodoo and magic rituals. In the preface, Cuban author Alejo Carpentier refers to his distinct style as “the marvelous real.” It helped lay the groundwork for the magic realism genre and iconic novels such as “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez.
- Clue: In St. Petersburg, it's not far from Raskolnikov's murder spree in this book to the bridge where he considers suicide.
- Category: LITERATURE ON THE MAP
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: April 24, 2018
Answer #5: What is ‘Crime and Punishment’?
Famous Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote this epochal novel following his return from 10 years in exile, forced labor, and military service. The story first appeared in serialized form and features a former law student named Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, who tries to emulate powerful historical figures by performing a vicious murder. Even as he evades the law, Raskolnikov receives punishment in the form of guilt and desperation.
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