The poem ‘A Far Cry from Africa’ by Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott was born in 1930 in Saint Lucia. Belonging to both Anglo-European and Afro-Caribbean heritage, the duality in origin gave birth to a sort of identity crisis within the poet. The main theme of the poem is split identity and anxiety faced by the poet, caused due to mixed heritage. therefore the poem highlights … Read more

Sleep and Death in Homer’s Odyssey

In the Odyssey, Homer uses the idea of sleep to represent the idea of death, which makes the struggle to remain conscious and the struggle to remain alive one in the same struggle. Odysseus is constantly fighting to remain alert, to avoid monotony. It is this metaphorical insomnia that enables Odysseus to return to his … Read more

Lonesome Landscapes; Environment and Alienation in Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ and Elizabeth Bowen’s ‘Mysterious Kor’

Cormac McCarthy has created a tradition in American literature of violence and desolation, his work dismembering American myth and replacing it with a brutal, epic and often uncomfortable reality. In The Road McCarthy maintains the hallmarks of his previous work but shifts his focus from nihilistic violence to post-climate change concerns, exploring the landscape of … Read more

Christian Obligation and Religious Uncertainty in the Song of Roland and the Canterbury Tales

The Middle Ages were marked by religious upheaval in Europe. Two new major world religions were coming to power: Islam and Christianity. The rapid success of Christianity led the Roman Catholic Church to become the dominant religious force in most of the western world, and as with any powerful institution, it became increasingly corrupt (Swanson … Read more

Sadness through Symbols and Imagery

In Coleridge’s ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, a range of interesting narrative techniques are used to explore the fundamental core of man, the relationship between man and nature and how our actions leave an irreversible mark on the universe. Published in 1798 in the collection titles Lyrical Ballads, Coleridge’s presentation of the Mariner’s physical … Read more

The Road: Hope for an Obliterated World?

The post-apocalyptical novel, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, explores the perseverance of a man and his son to survive in an obliterated world. The novel is a modern quest demonstrating faith in man’s power to rejuvenate himself through trust and perseverance. The bitter, hostile setting of the novel is set in a gray world without … Read more

Climax and Anti-climax in The Road, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and The Great Gatsby

Climaxes are moments of increased tension which signify a central turning point within a text. Anti-climaxes can be defined as moments which subvert expectations as they provide a plot twist which are marked by decreased intensity. This essay reviews climaxes in several works. In Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, the shooting of the road rat early … Read more

Chaucer’s Description of Medieval Feudalism

The Canterbury Tales is an estates satire, that not only points out the shortcomings and inequalities, but also the inauthenticity, that exist under feudalism’s code of social stratification. Examples of these characterizations of the estates are found widely throughout the general prologue and the pilgrims’ tales. The first example of inequality in The Canterbury Tales … Read more

The Illusion of Sovereignty in the Wife of Bath’s Tale

Long before enlightened women of the 1960’s enthusiastically shed their bras, in an age when anti-feminist and misogynistic attitudes prevailed, lived Geoffrey Chaucer. Whether Chaucer was indeed a feminist living long before his time, or whether he simply conveyed an alternate and unpopular point of view, is inconsequential. His portrayal of the Wife of Bath … Read more

The Clear Value of Romantic Love: “Soeur Louise de la Misericorde,” “Twice,” and Other Poems

The idea of romantic love being presented as invariably negative in 19th century literature is questionable to some extent. Romantic love is often characterised as being damaging and hurtful in Rossetti’s poetry through the contrast with divine love in poems such as ‘Soeur Louise de la Misericorde’ and ‘Twice’, supported by her religious devotion and … Read more

Genre Analysis of the Canterbury Tales: The Reeve and the Miller

The Miller and Reeve’s Tales of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, while being intricately crafted examples of the French genre fabliaux, differ significantly in both progression, resolution, as well as the tales’ overall connotation and voice. While the Miller’s tale seems to follow the more traditional, “good humored” nature of the fabliaux, the Reeve creates a raunchy … Read more

Culture Clash

Generalizations and associations seem to permeate the culture of every human society. If this were not the case, there would be no need for the sociological study of ethnocentricity. The Odyssey of Homer strongly exhibits this quality of judging cultures and other peoples based on criteria defined by its own ancient Greek civilization. In this … Read more

William Blake’s Interpretation of the Effects of Unsolved Problems as Illustrated in His Poem, A Poison Tree

In Williams Blake’s “A Poison Tree” from his wildly popular work Songs of Innocence and Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul (1794), Blake addresses the “poisonous” results of issues gone unresolved. The poem’s title is entirely fitting in that it provides a metaphor for the results of anger. In this work, … Read more

"The Odyssey" Analysis

An epic poem over 400 pages long. Yep a poem. The plot line details the return journey of Odysseus, a Greek warrior, and his encounters with civilizations and Greek Gods through his travels.Composed in 700BC, it is one of the earliest poems to ever exist. So why would this text be worthy of appropriation? Well … Read more

Coleridge’s Use of Precise Observations of the Natural World to Convey Wider Thematic Ideas in His Poetry

Coleridge, in common with other romantic artists such as Wordsworth and Keats revolted against the artificial eighteenth century philosophy of a dislocation between man and nature. Coleridge developed an extremely analytical, passionate and spiritual interest in nature and the idea of ‘the one life’. His belief that nature is “the eternal language which… God utters” … Read more

The Challenge of Survival in The Road and I Am Legend

When exploring the challenges and toils of survival, we can easily make a series of comparisons between the design of Francis Lawrence’s and Cormac McCarthy’s post apocalyptic worlds in I Am Legend and The Road, respectively. Both plots involve the main character as one of very few people left in this world, and each protagonist … Read more

Comparing John Milton’s Lycias And Sonnet 7

In the journey of life Man will often question his or her position in the universe. Questioning ones worth and purpose in the universe will harbor the attention of Man until the end of time. The antidote for the majority of the world comes in maintaining a religion. In Sonnet 7 and Lycidas, John Milton … Read more

How Heroism Originates: Telemachus in the Odyssey

The first four books of Homer’s The Odyssey depict Telemachus’ transformation from an immature, frightened child into an intelligent adult as he comes to encompass qualities that the ancient Greeks sought in heroes: an adherence to the rules of xenia, a loyalty to one’s family, and wisdom gained from travelling. First, the young prince offers … Read more