AHAB in “Moby-Dick”

Although Ahab’s insanity appears to be what shuts him off from humanity, in reality it is what makes him human. Ahab desperately wants to be freed from his obsession – to not have to rely upon it to feel. It is because Ahab is no longer in control of his obsession that the reader eventually discovers that besides what the book originally seems to insinuate, Ahab is only human.

The first few times that Ahab is introduced to the reader and to his crew, he appears to be inhuman. Even his description when he first appears on deck states that he “seemed made of solid bronze” (Melville 117). To compare him to a statue is to distance him from humanity – he is not a breathing, emotional being. However, as the book continues, it becomes blatantly obvious that Ahab hates his obsession and is greatly disturbed by the fact that he is obsessed. This self-hatred makes Ahab human because he knows that he is leading himself to his death and yet he is so possessed by his obsession that he can do nothing to stop it. Every human being can relate to this feeling, for at one point or another, everyone feels like they have lost control. Though Ahab may be an extreme example, he is simply a strong representation of a characteristic human sentiment.

This sentiment, this anxiety over lack of control is most certainly connected to his leg. By losing his leg, Ahab has lost a part of himself and seeks Moby Dick to avenge this loss. He is not able to perceive that the leg is simply a physical part, he feels that by losing a part of his body he has lost a part of himself.

This frustration of being incomplete is expressed in his actions. How he acts towards his crew, for example, appears to be out of a jealously – they are whole and he is not. For this reason, he feels that he must make up for it by being stronger and more powerful than they are. He tries to control the men, for if he can control them then he is greater than they are, though they are complete and he is not.

Although Ahab may overpower the men, he cannot overpower the universe, a fact which deeply perturbs him. He refuses to accept the infinite, instead choosing to challenge it. “I’d strike the sun if it insulted me” (Melville 157). He refuses to admit that he is below anyone, or anything, because to do so would only validate the fact that he is not in control. Not only does Ahab lash out against universal objects, he is completely blasphemous. Elijah tells of how Ahab had desecrated a church and spit in some sort of sacred object, but it is through Ahab’s own words that his complete disregard towards God is shown.

This blasphemous behavior is definitely a major aspect of Ahab’s insanity and it also connects him to his biblical counterpart, King Ahab. King Ahab worshipped strange gods and always made sure to go against the God of Israel. It seems as though Ahab mirrors this behavior in the book, saying, “Who’s over me? Truth has no confines” (Melville 157). In the eyes of the deeply religious Starbuck, this blatant disregard for God demonstrates how insane Ahab is, for no man would dare to threaten God.

Ahab threatens God because he does not want to believe that he relies on anyone or anything other than himself. This necessity for self-sufficiency becomes a major theme throughout the book as Ahab tries to free himself from any limitations. He attempts to destroy anything that he relies on. One example of this is when he destroys the quadrant. The quadrant, a device used to determine latitude, must be destroyed because Ahab does not want an instrument to determine where he is or where he is going.

It is because of this refusal to rely on anything that creates the frustration over his leg. He needs his leg to move, to function. He cannot destroy it, nor can he free himself from it. It is a constant reminder that he is weak and not a whole human. Since this reminder is so painful, and he cannot get rid of it, it reinforces his obsession and thus fortifies his madness.

Though he may be physically weak, Ahab most certainly shows his strength through his madness. His insanity is strong – strong enough to overtake him. This intense insanity eventually proves to be the only form of control that Ahab has. Ahab is similar to a martyr in that his belief has completely overwhelmed him and he will do whatever it takes to achieve what he feels is right. His revenge, coupled with his genius, makes him a formidable man. Ahab has nothing to lose in life and therefore he lives life in a way most people do not. He feels that he has already lost a part of himself and therefore the only thing worth living for is to get his revenge.

Since all he seeks from life is his revenge, he is not afraid to do what he wants. While most people restrain themselves to fit societal standards or to be a norm Ahab says and does what he wants. This absolute indiscretion makes him a fascination to the reader because he is freed from typical restraints.

Ahab’s insanity is hard to fully understand because it is caused by contradicting factors. He is insane because he chooses to be and because he does not have a choice. He is freed from normal restraints but bound by his own insanity. He is a genius and he is mad. He is human and he is simply symbolic. It is for all these reasons that Ahab’s insanity proves to be the epicenter of the book and generates so many questions about life, death and everything in between.

Themes in “Bridge to Terabithia”

There are many main themes in Bridge to Terabithia. One of the most important is Jesse and Leslie’s magical kingdom in the woods called Terabithia. Terabithia is a small castle they built in the woods where they go to escape and have magical adventures. The “bridge” is a rope they use to swing over the dry creek. Another main theme is Jesse running every morning during the summer so he can be the fastest runner in fifth grade, only to be beat by Leslie, the new girl in town.

One more theme is Jesse being the only boy in his house. He has two evil older sisters, who always get their way by whining. He has a younger sister who looks up to him and a baby sister, who of course, gets all the attention. Every time the baby cries his mother assumes it’s because Jesse had something to do with it. A few main ideas are the differences between Jesse’s family and Leslie’s family. Jesse’s family is quite poor and high strung. Jesse’s mother is a housewife. She cooks; she cleans and raises the children. Jesse’s father is usually angry. He works and tries to bring home some money. Until he gets laid off but even then he doesn’t give up. He wakes up at the same time ever morning to go to the unemployment office. Jesse’s two older sisters are Brenda and Ellie.

All they do is whine to get off of doing their chores and criticize Jesse for anything. His younger sister May Belle, looks up to him but he tries to act like an older, tougher brother and doesn’t give her much thought, even though he loves her. The youngest sister, Joyce Ann isn’t really mentioned except when Jesse tries to push May Belle to her so she’ll leave him alone and when Jesse’s mother yells at him because of her. Jesse’s hobbies are his art and running. Before Leslie moved in, his best friend seemed to be Miss Bessie, the cow. She would watch him run every morning. Leslie’s family on the other hand is actually rich. Both her parents are writers and they decided to move because they felt they were getting too absorbed in their money and lifestyle.

Leslie is an only child but even though she is it seems as if she doesn’t spend much time with her father. When her father was fixing up the house and asked her to help she felt so needed and happy. It seems as if he’s always busy with his books that he barely spends time with her. Leslie calls her parents by their first names, which confuses Jesse. Leslie’s hobbies are scuba diving and making up great stories. An important message is how Jesse was always so afraid of water, mainly because he couldn’t swim and Leslie gave him the courage to swing over the creek.

It was ironic how she ended up drowning in the end. Another important message was how Jesse and May Belle “connected” in the end after Leslie died. He took her to Terabithia and over a real bridge that Jesse made. May Belle was now part of Leslie’s and Jesse’s kingdom. She was the new queen of Terabithia. I was upset when I finished the book. I wasn’t expecting Leslie to die on Jesse’s “perfect day”. The poor boy had enough problems. I don’t think his best friend should’ve died.

I really enjoyed the ending. Through out the book I felt as if May Belle was always excluded and she really needed her older brother. I was very glad to see that Jesse brought May Belle to Terabithia and made her the new queen. I hated to two older sisters, they seemed to be cold hearted. I didn’t like Janice from school either until I found out what her problem was. All in all I thought it was a great book with many characters and lots of ambition. I was happy to see that even though Leslie died, Terabithia did not.

Structure, Themes, and Motifs in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

At first glance, Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman appears to be a simple story of the tragic life of an ordinary man. Through a few flashbacks, it would seem that his whole dreary life is told and that is about it. However, this can not be the case, as we know that Arthur Miller is one of the greatest playwrights alive. After reading the play for the fourth or maybe fifth time, I became fully aware of the intricate structure, many themes, and different motifs that Miller used to make this play a classic. In the case of this work, the title would just about sum it up.

It is about a salesman, Willy Loman, who is quite ordinary and very unsuccessful. In the end, to no ones surprise he kills himself. The play takes place in the span of three days (including the funeral) and revolves around the return of Willy’s two sons who are grown up. He has worked for decades traveling all over New England selling goods for a firm and seems to think that because he is well liked (which really isn’t all that true), he is successful. He wishes that his sons too could be like him while they know that they will never be decent businessmen. This is a source of major conflict between the brothers, Biff and Hap, and Willy.

Linda, Willy’s wife, is very naive and thinks that her husband is just an innocent confused old man and faithfully loves him. She can not stand to see her sons argue against their father even thought they often are right. Through flashbacks and events in the play, it is apparent that Willy, at least subconsciously, believes his life has been terrible. He wishes he could have been as great as Uncle Ben, who made his fortunes in the African diamond mines and not on the rice patty. Willy was having an affair with another woman in Boston and Biff found out about it after his last year in high school.

Incidentally, this event probably led to Biff’s failure to complete math in summer school, which led to him not graduating high school. Willy tried numerous times to commit suicide with his car and the gas furnace. In the end, the salesman became convinced that he was worth more dead than alive and finally succeeded at something, killing himself with his car. By far the most important feature of this play is its flashbacks. They provide the viewer with crucial information that helps make sense of the disorder at the Loman household. They enabled Miller to make the action take place within three days as opposed to many years.

This ingenious method makes the play much more interesting while not sacrificing any important information. By the end, the audience is able to fully comprehend what factors have brought the Loman’s to the breaking point. The largest theme in the play is the ever-present conflict of reality vs. illusion. Of the four, Willy has the hardest time distinguishing between the two. Often, it seems he drifts back into time and relives certain defining moments in his life. This problem, of course, brought about his down fall. The illusion that he was well liked and that he was successful killed him when he saw the truth.

Another theme that is present is man’s general tendency to resist change. Willy has trouble in the modern era. This is evident in his troubles with the refrigerator and when he realizes there was a radio in the car that could be played as he was traveling. It seems he “is constantly in a race with the junkyard. ” Death of a Salesman can easily be a social commentary. Willy was obviously attempting to live his American Dream and he wished his sons would follow on the same path. However, Willy failed. After working all of his adult life, the machinery of Democracy and Free Enterprise spit him out like a spent “piece of fruit. Several motifs of reoccurring elements of the story appear in the play.

The largest would have to be the garden that Willy is always talking about. In Act One, he mentions that “The grass don’t grow anymore, you can’t raise a carrot in the back yard. ” His final act in life is planting a garden in the middle of the night with a flashlight in the backyard. Perhaps he does this as an attempt to leave a legacy after he realizes that he actually wasn’t “well liked” and a successful salesman. Other motifs would be the diamonds along with the jungle and the moon and the stars.

Diamonds and the jungle always come up when Willy is having his imaginary conversations with Uncle Ben. These two things are more than likely symbolic for success and life. Ben is always talking about “going into the jungle and fetching out a diamond. ” Last but not least, Willy often stares out into the night sky and comments on the beauty of the moon and the stars. Upon further reading, it became apparent how intricate and detailed Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller really was. The presence of many universal themes and common motifs would certainly lead many to read or see this wonderful play over and over again.

Themes in Siddhartha

The major theme of Siddhartha is that happiness comes from spiritual peace. Throughout the novel, the protagonist seeks such peace, which is finally achieved through several different stages of life. The first stage is that of an orthodox Brahmin’s son. In this stage, he reads the scriptures and performs ritualistic sacrifice. The second is an ascetic stage in which he practices the Samana austerity of self-denial.

In the third stage he is caught in the vortex of the material desires of the world, Samsara. The final stage is that of self-realization achieved in the presence of Vasudeva, the erryman. It is through this cycle that Siddhartha discovers the path to salvation, but what is most important is that he undertakes this path on his own. His inner, spiritual peace is singular in A minor theme is that love, both parent/child and male/female, is important.

Parental love is treated in developing the relationship between Siddhartha and his father and is later paralleled by the relationship between Siddhartha and his son. The tension which arises between these relations is also the cause of a deep, abiding love between the parent and the child. In contrast, the relationship etween Siddhartha and Kamala, the courtesan, is limited by its physical nature and is, therefore, unfulfilling, for it is not based on love.

Only when a man and woman base their relationship upon a deep, abiding love does it become permanent and rewarding. Another minor theme explored in the novel is that friendship is very important. It is seen in the early part of the novel in the friendship between Siddhartha and Govinda, his long-time friend. In the second part of the novel this theme is developed in the friendship between Siddhartha and Vasudeva, the ferryman, who nitiates him into the mysteries of spiritual life and whom Siddhartha becomes one with in thoughts and goals.

The dominant mood in Siddhartha is that of joy arising out of contemplation and fulfillment. It is a serene world that the author creates, one of thought and discovery of the mysteries of life. It also has an exalted feel to it, almost Biblical, in its tightly crafted prose and sense of timelessness. Time in the novel is compressed and extended; years may pass with no further development than that it is passing and then a moment will be extended for pages.

Lord David Cecil suggests that the theme of Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte

Bronte, is a universe of opposing forces-storm and calm. Wuthering Heights, the land of storm, is a sturdy house that is set up high on the windy moors, belonging to the Earnshaw family. The house is highly charged with emotion of hatred, cruelty, violence, and savage love. In comparison, Thrushcross Grange, the land of calm, is settled in the valley and is the residence of the genteel Lintons. The same differences exists between Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, as they do in Heathcliff and Edgar.

As Catherine points out, the contrast between the two “resembled what you see in exchanging a bleak, hilly, oal country, for a beautiful fertile valley. ” (Bronte 72) The Lintons, and the social and material advantages they stand for become Heathcliff’s rivals for Catherine’s love, which leads directly to the central conflict of the novel. Heathcliff despises them at first sight for their weakness, but Catherine, being an extremely proud girl, is tempted.

A lovers’ triangle begins to take definite shape when the aristocratic Edgar Linton falls in love with Catherine, upsetting the balance between the relationship of Catherine and Heathcliff. Edgar’s love for Catherine is sincere, but the element of great passion which is strongly characterized does not compare to Heathcliff’s love. The difference between Catherine’s feeling for Heathcliff and the one she feels for Linton is that Heathcliff is a part of her nature, while Edgar is only a part of her superficial love.

For he (Heathcliff), like her, is a child of storm; and this makes a bond between them, which interweaves itself with the very nature of their existence. (Cecil 26) Emily Bronte makes a point in the novel to mention the fact that Catherine’s affection for Heathcliff remains unchanged in spite of the Lintons’ influence over her. As Catherine confesses to Nelly that Heathcliff and her share the same soul, and also declares “I am Heathcliff. ” (Bronte 84) Her pride, yearning for the world of the Lintons, has gotten the better of her natural inclination, and she knows she has made the wrong decision by marrying Edgar.

Catherine, naturally a child of storm, is unable to develop at Thrushcross Grange, while she is married to Edgar. Her mind becomes disturbed, which is the first sign of her degeneration. The pragmatic reality at the Grange cannot fill the void that she has made for herself in leaving her furious childhood environment. As Heathcliff reappears in the story, in chapter ten, Catherine once again begins to compare him with Edgar, causing conflict between storm and calm. “But since he (Heathcliff) is an extraneous element, he is a source of discord, inevitably disrupting the working of the natural order.

Through Catherine’s delirium, she has at last faced the reality of her hopeless situation. She is trapped, married to a man she cannot respect and cut off forever from the man she deeply loves. In addition, she is stifled by the civilized atmosphere of Thrushcross Grange and longing for freedom of her natural life with Heathcliff. In chapter twelve, she throws open the window to attempt to get a “chance of life. ” (Bronte 125) Catherine could not find common ground between the elemental emotions with Heathcliff and Edgar, and it begins to destroy her.

She is departed from her beloved Heathcliff, unable to identify with him, she becomes ill at the Grange. Before her death, in chapter fifteen, Catherine says, “I’m tired of being enclosed here. I’m wearying to escape into that glorious world, and to be always there. ” (Bronte 157) Unlike Heathcliff, Edgar is unable to control the fury in Catherine’s mind, therefore there is no chance for convalesce. “He might as well plant an oak in a flower-pot, and expect it to thrive, as imagine he can restore her to vigour in the soil of his shallow cares! ” (Bronte 151)

Catherine’s fatal illness was a direct result of her realization that she has warped the natural order of things, admitting her guilt before she died. Although, even in death she tries to regain a balance between both worlds, storm and calm, with her interment site: “It was dug on a green slope, in a corner of the kirdyard, where the wall was so low that the heath and bilberry plants have climbed over from the moor;… ” (Bronte 165) Catherine has chosen a place where she may be as close to the wild moors of her youth while never leaving the confines of her new world.

How the Setting Reinforces the Theme and Characters in Araby

The setting in “Araby” reinforces the theme and the characters by using imagery of light and darkness. The experiences of the boy in James Joyce’s “Araby” illustrate how people often expect more than ordinary reality can provide and then feel disillusioned and disappointed. The author uses dark and obscure references to make the boy’s reality of living in the gloomy town of Araby more vivid. He uses dark and gloomy references to create the mood or atmosphere, then changes to bright light references when discussing Mangan’s sister.

The story expresses its theme through the setting, the characterization f the boy and his point of view as the narrator. Darkness is used throughout the story as the prevailing theme. James Joyce’s story begins at dusk and continues through the evening during the winter, in Araby Ireland. He chooses this gloomy setting to be the home of a young boy who is infatuated with his neighbors sister. The boy is young and naive and he leads a dull and boring life. Joyce uses darkness to make the boy’s reality more believable through more vivid, precise descriptions. Bright light is used to create a fairy tale world of dreams and illusions.

James Joyce uses the bright light when describing Mangan’s sister, the boy’s infatuation. The protagonist is infatuated with his neighbor’s sister and he imagines that he will heroically bring her something back from the bazaar. Joyce refers to bright light when discussing Mangan’s sister in order to give her a heavenly presence. Light is used to create a joyful atmosphere. The ending of the story is filled with images of darkness and light. James Joyce uses the lights of the bazaar to illustrate the boy’s confrontation with reality. The bazaar lights are almost all off because the bazaar is almost losed.

This is significant because the boy wants the bazaar to be bright and open, but it is dark and closed. This is when the boy finally realizes that life is not what he had dreamt it to be. He finds himself angry at life and disillusioned. James Joyce uses the setting to symbolize a key concept of the story. The dark disillusion the boy experiences is all part of growing up. The boy is no longer young and naive, he has grown up and become disillusioned with life. “Araby” shows how we all get ideas about how things will be and then feel disappointed with ourselves when things don’t work out as expected.

Gatsby: Theme and character analysis of Tom and Daisy

The characters’ search of their own identities and the struggle that ensues is the most suffusive theme throughout The Great Gatsby . The fact that we never really know the characters, and the corrupt immoral things they do, directly represent the 20’s high society lifestyle. The characters continued to cheat on their spouses, let money become their obsession, and debated the American dream for the hopes of one day obtaining happiness. But the fact remains that they have no true morals or ideals of themselves as individuals.

These are a group of people ho –no matter how cocky and self- confident they seem– have absolutely no idea of what they are doing (as many men and women of the 20’s do not). Tom and Daisy are two examples. Daisy is a hospitable character who had a love for parties and tended to lose herself in them and the drinking. Daisy once said, “What’ll we do with ourselves this afternoon, and the day after that, and the next thirty years? ” This quote not only means she lives for one day at a time never thinking of the future, but that she truly has no idea of what to do with herself.

She is like loose change loating around wandering from party to party, man to man, friend to friend, in a big house in East Egg with no sense of purpose. She once attempted to plan something when she first reunited with Nick. She said, “What’ll we plan? What do people plan? ” meaning she has never had to make decisions nor has she had much responsibility. Not only does she have no purpose, she has no morals. She literally killed a woman and went home to eat cold chicken. What more, her lover was killed and she left on a trip missing his funeral.

Show me a woman who has no morals or goals and I’ll show you woman who is searching for her own identity. Tom Buchanan is a small man hiding in a big house with an equally large ego. In fact, he once remarked that women run around too much and meet the wrong kind of people. This statement is both arrogant and ironic because he runs around with the wrong people, and women run around with him- he being the wrong people. Also, when stating this he was most likely referring to his wife, and subtly putting her down for her relationship with Gatsby in a most conceited way.

Tom is not a caring or sympathetic man. He did not attend his mistress’s- Myrtle’s- funeral. Tom cared a great deal about his image. Enough to uncover the history and truth about his wife’s lover, and openly embarass him for it. Tom is so desperately an empty man that he believes he can define himself with exterior belongings. He is trying to find his identity by looking for happiness in nice cars (his is a ridiculous yellow luxury vehicle), money and a good woman- be it he has to cheat on his wife to do so. But what about if the money runs out?

What happens if his wife finds another lover also? r one of his women kills the other? One day he will look himself in the mirror and not like what he sees, and only then can he finally forget about the image and just be. To best describe Daisy’s, Tom’s, and the 1920’s high society’s relentless quest for money and aimlessness existence is Daisy and Tom’s own relationship. They were once young lovers with a hold on the world like their hold on eachother but that too tarnished like a gilded cup and saucer. Tom once carried Daisy down from the punch owl so her feet wouldn’t get wet.

But the weight of time has pulled at their ove until Tom was seen as a racist man reading The Rise of Colored Empires who depends on a mistress to fulfill his need of lust and to be apart from home life, leaving Daisy ignorant and smiling. She hoped her daughter would be a fool of a girl so nothing would hurt her, a lesson she learned from living with Tom. While their marriage seems to be falling apart Daisy finds a man from her past- Gatsby-who has a heated desperation for her love- enough so to acquire a huge home and beautiful shirts, and throw lavish parties at the hope she will attend to add to his facade.

But not even he people who gave up their own lives for Tom or Daisy could change them. For Nick. the eternal observer with his unbiased opinions once wrote, “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy–they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back to their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they made… ” Even with both spouses having affairs with a passion possibly more than the love Tom and Daisy share, they stay together for the sole purpose of money.

In conclusion, The Great Gatsby asks the ternal question: what is the purpose of our lives? and Tom and Daisy answer for the 1920’s high society, “I don’t know, but it has to do with money and lots of it. ” Throughout Daisy and Tom’s marriage they have grown and they are still growing, but the question remains: who are they and what are they here for? Until these two can think of others before themselves, not hold exterior belongings with such high repute, and stop all the reputations and images that surround them, they will just be two random, conceited, rich people in a time dependent on classes and will never be individuals.

A Doll’s House central theme

During the time in which the play took place society frowned upon women asserting themselves. Women were supposed to play a role in which they supported their husbands, took care of their children, and made sure everything was perfect around the house. Work, politics, and decisions were left to the males. Nora’s first secession from society was when she broke the law and decided to borrow money to pay for her husbands treatment. By doing this, she not only broke the law but she stepped away from the role society had placed on her of being totally dependent on her husband.

She proved herself not to be helpless like Torvald implied: “you poor helpless little creature! ” Nora’s second secession from society was shown by her decision to leave Torvald and her children. Society demanded that she take a place under her husband. This is shown in the way Torvald spoke down to her saying things like: “worries that you couldn’t possibly help me with,” and “Nora, Nora, just like a woman. ” She is almost considered to be property of his: “Mayn’t I look at my dearest treasure? At all the beauty that belongs to no one but me -that’s all my very own?

By walking out she takes a position equal to her husband and brakes society’s expectations. Nora also brakes society’s expectations of staying in a marriage since divorce was frowned upon during that era. Her decision was a secession from all expectations put on a woman and a wife by society. Nora secessions are very deliberate and thought out. She knows what society expects of her and continues to do what she feels is right despite them. Her secessions are used by Ibsen to show faults of society.

In the first secession Ibsen illustrates that despite Nora doing the right thing it is deemed wrong and not allowed by society because she is a woman. While the forgery can be considered wrong, Ibsen is critical of the fact that Nora is forced to forge. Ibsen is also critical of society’s expectations of a marriage. He illustrates this by showing how Nora is forced to play a role than be herself and the eventual deterioration of the marriage. Throughout the play Nora is looked down upon and treated as a possession by her husband. She is something to please him and used for show.

He is looked upon as the provider and the decision maker. Society would have deemed it a perfect marriage. Ibsen is critical of the fact that a marriage lacked love and understanding, as shown by Torvald becoming angry with Nora for taking the loan and saving him, would be consider as perfect. A Doll’s House’s central theme of secession from society was made to be critical of society’s view on women and marriage. Ibsen used Nora’s secessions as an example to illustrate that society’s expectations of a woman’s role in society and marriage were incorrect. Her decision to leave was the exclamation point on his critical view of society.

The Theme of Vengeance in Homer’s Odyssey

Homers epic poem The Odyssey a tale of Odysseus journey home. This is a story of a warrior named Odysseus and his 20 year expedition to his home Ithaca. A dominant theme in The Odyssey is vengeance; It is exemplified through Poseidon and his son, Polyphemus and through Odysseus and his son Telemachus battle with the suitors. To clarify, Poseidon takes revenge on Odysseus for blinding his son Polyphemus. Odysseus gets him self in to this mess by not listening to his men when they told him to take some supplies from Polyphemus cave and to leave but he wants to stay.

Also by telling Polyphemus his true identity while he is running away on there ship. Them Polyphemus know who blinds him and then he prays to his father Poseidon for vengeance on Odysseus. Furthermore Odysseus takes vengeance on the suitors. Odysseus take vengeance on the suitors for talking over his house and for trying to marry his wife. Odysseus takes vengeance on the suitors by dressing up like an old beggar. Then he goes into his house where his wife is holding a contest to see who will marry her which is to string Odysseus bow and to shot it through the whole in the axes.

Odysseus then goes to where the contest is and string the bow easily and shots Antinous. The suitors have no idea what is happening. Then Odysseus reveals his self to the suitors. They try to run but the doors are locked the Odysseus and his son kill the rest of the suitors. In summary a major theme in The Odyssey is vengeance. This theme is exemplified through Poseidon talking vengeance on Odysseus for blinding his son Polyphemus. Also through Odysseus and his son Telemachus battle with the suitors.

Themes In Lost Horizon

What is Paradise? Throughout history man has sought to create, find, or at least image a paradise on earth, a place where there is peace, harmony, and a surcease from the pain that plagues our lives. On the eve of World War II, James Hilton imagined such a place in his best-selling novel, Lost Horizon. The story itself begins when an evacuation of Westerners is ordered in the midst of revolution in Baksul, India. A plane containing four passengers is hi-jacked and flown far away into the Keun-Lun Mountains of Tibet.

The plane crashes and the passengers are welcomed to the valley of the Blue Moon, and the lamasery of Shangri-la. Here they see an isolated monastery shrouded in mystery, which combines Christianity and Buddhism with a focus on the progression of knowledge. The four passengers who land in Shangri-la are Barnard, a boisterous American, Miss Brinklow, a Christian missionary, Mallinson, a headstrong and passionate English youth, and Conway, the main character and WWI veteran who is unattached and somewhat passionless. All of the characters except Mallinson enjoy life in Shangri-la.

Conway especially finds himself at home there and eventually the High Lama of the lamasery unveils all its mysteries of to him. Conway learns that the inhabitants, thanks to the climate and a special drug, live to an extreme old age. They devote the length of their lives to the pursuits of knowledge and do everything in moderation. They believe that their hidden society will escape the destruction toward which the outside world is heading. He also learns that the lamas of Shangri-la intend to keep him and his companions there forever.

Almost immediately Conway feels he is ideally suited to their way of life. He meets other lamas who have been at Shangri-la for a long time, including Lo-Tsen, with whom he quietly falls in love with. All the newcomers desire to stay, except for Mallinson. He and Lo-Tsen fall in love with one another and makes plans to leave. Conway warns Mallinson not to take Lo-Tsen back with him, knowing her extreme old age will cause her to die immediately. Mallinson doubts Conway’s knowledge of Shangri-la, which in turn leads Conway himself to doubt and eventually consent to leave.

After their departure from Shangri-la, the story is unresolved. We are lead to believe that there was truth to the story and that Lo-Tsen rapidly ages then dies, we are never definitively told the fates of the her, Conway and Mallinson following their departure from Shangri-la. A theme found in Lost Horizon is the desire to leave and apparent utopia in favor of a former home, however flawed. This is comparable to Odysseus who wanted to leave the utopian island of Kalypso to return home to Ithaca and his wife. The British youth Mallinson is similar to Odysseus in this respect.

While Conway, Barnard and Miss Brinklow find Shangri-la a satisfying place to live, Mallinson intensely desires to leave and return home to his family, friends, and country. The other characters’ lack of connections to the outside world causes the difference in their attitudes toward a potential eternity in Shangri-la. Mallinson is the only one with strong family ties to the outside world so consequently he is the only one who wishes to return to it. This is similar to Odysseus; had Odysseus not wished to be back with his beloved wife one can guess he would have been content to remain on Ogygia with Kalypso.

The inclusion of a character like Mallinson raises many questions about what exactly makes a utopia. He despised Shangri-la as dark and unnatural and even disputes the seemingly universally sought after concept of extreme longevity. “Give me a short life and a gay one”, he says, explaining to Conway why even if the story of Shangri-la is true he wishes to leave. Through his passionate love for Lo-Tsen, he again opposes the utopian element of moderation that otherwise may have been seen as a collective essential within the book.

Because of this, Hilton presents the reader with much to ponder. Is a society founded on moderation better than one founded on the extremities of passion? Would you enjoy living a long and peaceful life filled with essentially meaningless pursuits? Or would you prefer a life filled with passion and activity that might last less than half as long? The lack of a definitive resolution of the narrative leaves these questions entirely open-ended and leaves the reader to answer the most important question.

Beloved and Don Quixote: Similarities in Themes and Characters

On reading Beloved by Toni Morrison and Don Quixote by Kathy Acker, there seem to be quite a few similarities in themes and characters contained in these texts, the most prevalent of which seems to be of love and language as a path to freedom. We see in Acker’s Don Quixote the abortion she must have before she embarks on a quest for true freedom, which is to love. Similarly, in Morrison’s Beloved, there is a kind abortion, the killing of Beloved by Sethe, which results in and from the freedom that real love provides. And in both texts, the characters are looking for answers and solutions in these “word- hapes” called language.

In Acker’s Don Quixote, the abortion with which the novel opens is a precondition for surrendering the “constructed self. ” For Acker, the woman in position on the abortion table over whom a team of doctors and nurses work represents, in an ultimate sense, woman as a constructed object. The only hope is somehow to take control, to subvert the constructed identity on order to name oneself: “She had to name herself. When a doctor sticks a steel catheter into you while you’re lying on your back and you to; finally, blessedly, you let go of your mind.

Letting go of your mind is dying. She needed a new life. She had to be named” (Don Quixote 9-10). And she must name herself for a man become a man before the nobility and the dangers of her ordeals will be esteemed. She is to be a knight on a noble quest to love “someone other than herself” and thus to right all wrongs and to be truly free. In another of Acker’s works she writes: “Having an abortion was obviously just like getting fucked. If we closed our eyes and spread our legs, we’d be taken care of. They stripped us of our clothes.

Gave us white sheets to cover our nakedness. Let us back to the pale green room. I love it when men take care of me (Blood and Guts in High School 33). In Morrison’s Beloved, Sethe has two “abortions. ” The first and most obvious is the act of infanticide in killing Beloved. The second “abortion” is Sethe “getting fucked” by the grave-digger. This abortion, like Acker’s protagonist, creates a name. The name is Beloved a “word-shape” representing true love, or freedom. For Sethe, to love also becomes a testament of freedom.

For having been owned by others (like Acker’s patriarchy) meant that her claim to love was not her own. She could not love her children, “love em proper in Kentucky because they wasn’t [hers] to love” (Beloved 162). Paul D understands that “to get a place where you could love anything you choose well now that was freedom” (Beloved 162), but he is also bound to his slave mentality to overcome his fear. He considers Sethe’s unconditional love “risky”: “For a used-to-be-slave woman to love anything that much was dangerous, especially if it was her children she had settled on to love” (Beloved 45).

The far safer way was “to love just a little bit, so when they broke its back, or shoved it in a croaker sack, well, aybe you’d have a little love left over for the next one” (Beloved 45). It is this compromised love that even Baby Suggs accepted despite her magnificent sermon in the Clearing on loving one’s self knowing that her slave master would take her children away. And it is this “weak love” that Paul D tells Sethe she must accept (a patriarchal love, as Acker might say). When Paul D tells her love is “too thick,” however, Sethe insists that “Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t no love at all” (Beloved 164).

She believes in this pure love, the kind perhaps Acker’s protagonist is looking for. Also, like Acker’s Don Quixote, Morrison shows, through the relationship between Sethe and Beloved, the dangerous potential of “free” love. Another similarity shown in Beloved is that freedom is always perilous it has the potential to be self-consuming. This love allows Sethe to commit infanticide as well as compelling Beloved to claim possession of Sethe’s self. Despite her efforts to earn Beloved’s understanding of her action, Sethe never retreats from her insistence that the murder was justified.

She wills Beloved to return in order to hear her say “I forgive you,” yet she acknowledges no guilt. In her “unspeakable things, unspoken” narrative, she claims that though she does not “have to explain a thing,” she will: “Why I did it. How if I hadn’t killed her she would have died” (Beloved 200). The more Beloved demands of her, the more “Sethe plead[s] for forgiveness, counting, listing again and again the reasons: that Beloved was more important, meant more to her than her own live” (Beloved 241-242), “that what she had done was right because it came from true love” (Beloved 251).

But it seems to be a confession without a crime: “Sethe didn’t really want forgiveness given, she wanted it refused. And Beloved helped her out” (Beloved 252). For Sethe, forgiveness must not cancel out the justification of her act, the very love that generated it transforms infanticide into the profoundest testimony of love, signifying the reverse of what it seems. Sethe is “luxuriating” in not being forgiven, more proud than repentant, paradoxically seeking forgiveness irrespective of a crime.

The acquisition of a new life and name, and love and language are henceforth erratically and erotically pursued in both texts. The means of acquisition are outside, unavailable in a culture locked in patriarchy, or slavery. In order to constitute the self differently, the quester is required to find a different site for enunciating that self. Acker moves her protagonist toward this site through the appropriation of male texts.

These texts represent the limits of language and culture within which the female quester attempts to acquire identity. Once inside the male text, the quester, by her very posture, subverts it: “By repeating the past, I’m molding and transforming it. ” In the text, Acker explains the subversive effects of plagiarism through Arabs, who in incarnating an “other” of Western culture are comparable to women: Unlike American and Western culture (generally), the Arabs (in their culture) have no (concept of) originality.

That is, culture. They write new stories paint new pictures et cetera only by embellishing old stories pictures They write by cutting chunks out of all-ready written texts and in other ways defacing traditions: changing important names into silly ones, aking dirty jokes out of matters that should be of the utmost importance to us such as nuclear warfare. (Don Quixote 25). It seems also in Morrison’s Beloved, with subversion of words and language is apparent when the townsfolk get together at 124.

At first they try the prayers that “weren’t theirs,” but when the women’s singing prayer does not have the ability affect the “roaring” around 124, they must go all the way back to the first page of the text in their collective memory: “In the beginning was the sound, and they all knew what the sound sounded like” (Beloved 259). This familiar, original sound revitalizes Sethe’s body and allowing her to break the lock Beloved has had upon her.

For Sethe it was as though the Clearing had come to her with all its heat and simmering leaves, where the voices of women searched for the right combination, the key, the code, the sound that broke the back of words. Building voice upon voice until they found it, and when they did it was a wave of sound wide enough to sound deep water and knock the pods off chestnut trees. It broke over Sethe and she trembled like the baptized in its wash” (Beloved 261).

Unleashed, Sethe rushes toward Bodwin (mistaking him for the schoolteacher) with ice pick raised, her body partially transformed into the shape of the weapon she is holding: “The ice pick is not in her hand; it is her hand” (Beloved 262). But the reconstituted community intervenes, pulling her into what Beloved sees as a “hill of black people falling” (Beloved 262).

Now that Sethe and Denver have reentered the community, Beloved thinks that she has been left behind, “Alone. Again” (Beloved 262), and the “devil-child” (Beloved 261) vanishes. Thus Sethe’s freedom. She has loved completely. All this raises a question: Is Acker’s protagonist similar to Sethe or to Beloved? Like Sethe, the “knight-night” believes in a pure love, not excluding taboo. They both also believe that to love one must be freed from their respective slavery, and to be free is the ability to love.

However Sethe, and the whole of Morrison’s work, seems to be the incarnation of what Don Quixote is trying to reach. Sethe sees her love a true and pure, while this is the quest of Don Quixote. However, Sethe is “saved” at the end of the text by a community getting in touch with a “language of their own,” while Acker’s rotagonist is subverting texts to find or create something this “primal. ” Don Quixote is far more easily paired with the ghost of Beloved.

They both are searching for a language they can use and understand and know with the “word-shapes” that they are given. They are both on quests to find love and freedom that are not a product of “slavery. ” They both are in search of a name, an identity, that is not a product of an “abortion. ” They are both childlike yet adult, trying to understand. And neither of them are asking for, or offering, forgiveness.

Odyssey Themes Essay

When Homer wove the characters of The Odyssey into a story, he undoubtedly left room for interpretation of their actions. The characters, most of whom are dynamic, colorful, and three dimensional, are used by Homer to give a fun but truthful commentary on the Ancient Greeks and their way of life. The actions of one figure, the man-eating monster named Skylla, are particularly interesting when viewed in the context of the rest of the story. Though her contribution to the plot is minor, Skylla’s actions are important in that they are characteristic of several themes found throughout the poem.

These themes include the role of the female in Odysseus’s struggle, the hunger (figuratively and literally) of the characters in The Odyssey, and the commentary Homer makes on the individuals who live lawlessly. In The Odyssey, Homer introduces many female characters; some play significant roles, some are in the background. Regardless of their importance, distinctions can be made as to their roles in the story: that is, some put forth effort to help Odysseus and the other men–Arete, Athena, Nausikaa, and Eurykleia are examples–and others (whom he encounters on is voyages home) lead to the delay or destruction of them.

Skylla plays the role of the latter, as do Kalypso, Kirke, and the Seirenes. Although none of these women actually harm Odysseus, each poses a deadly threat to him on his voyage. Odysseus’s experience with Skylla is by far the most deadly and disturbing. Whereas the other women succeed only in enticing and delaying the crew, the encounter with Skylla has lethal consequences. Even though he decides to take the sea route that passes near her lair, it seeming to be the least dangerous of the three options, he wants nothing to do with the monster.

Yet, instead of passing unscathed, six of his men are taken (XII, 294-7) as the boat sails through the channel. Homer uses an epic simile to help the reader visualize the macabre scene. He compares Skylla to a fisherman who “will hook a fish and rip it from the surface / to dangle wriggling through the air” (XII, 303-4). The crewmen are the fish, of course, and seem helpless as Skylla whisks them from the ship. Describing the attack, Odysseus says, “and deathly pity ran me through / at that sight–far the worst I ever suffered, / questing the passes of the strange sea” (308-10).

It seems that he realizes that the losses were his responsibility and that he too could easily have been a victim of Skylla’s wrath. Earlier in the story (Book V) we see that Calypso poses a similar, though not as deadly, threat to Odysseus’s homecoming. Instead of literally grabbing for him as Skylla does, Kalypso tries to retain Odysseus by enticing him with the prospect of immortality and a life with a beautiful goddess. We are also told she has cast “spells” (198) on him to keep him docile and under her power.

Kalypso says to Zeus, “I fed him, oved him, sang that he should not die / nor grow old, ever, in all the days to come” (142-4). Despite her efforts and hospitality, Odysseus still longs for home as he sits each day by the rocky shore “with eyes wet scanning the bare horizon of the sea” (165-6). He is quite happy when the day comes that he is set free by Zeus’s will. Without Zeus’s intervention, Odysseus would have been kept indefinitely. Book X, which contains the introduction of Kirke, provides another example of near fatal attraction.

This time it is not a monstrous woman or an overly hospitable nymph that brings them near their ownfall, but an immortal who entrances her visitors so that they forget their motives. Whether or not Kirke intended to eat Odysseus’s men, as Skylla does, after she turned them to swine we do not know, though it is certainly a possibility. What is known is their flaw–they are men who fall prey to the desires of women. This fact is admitted twice by Odysseus in lines 440 and 503 and is the reason they end up “feasting long / on roasts and wine, until a year grew fat” (504-5).

Only after Odysseus is reminded of his homeland does he go to Kirke and plead for their release, to which she agrees. A point to make is that in both cases, with Kalypso and Kirke, Odysseus plays the role of the mortal lover who has little resistance; and in all three cases, the females cause only pain or delay. As already mentioned, six of Odysseus’s men were taken by Skylla as their ship passed through the channel. The incident seems particularly gruesome as Odysseus recalls it for King Alkinoos: Then Skylla made her strike, whisking six of my best men from the ship.

I happened to glance aft at ship and oarsmen and caught sight of their arms and legs, dangling high overhead. …. She ate them as they shrieked there, in her den, in the dire grapple, reaching still for me- (XII, 294-307) In another description, Kirke says that she is a horrible monster who hunts “for dolphins, dogfish, or what bigger game” and that “Amphitrite feeds in thousands” (XII, 103-4). What a murderous appetite! Without a doubt Skylla would have whisked six more men away had she the opportunity.

Though the action with Skylla is seemingly short, it is significant in that it reflects a quality found in male characters throughout the poem–a gluttonous appetite. Whether it is for aterial items or food, this is an attribute that many of the men in The Odyssey possess. Three examples of men who have great hunger for wealth and material items are King Alkinoos, King Menelaos, and Odysseus. All three have impressive palaces filled with beautiful decor. Odysseus describes the palace at Phaiakia in Book VII, lines 85-140 as being breathtaking.

The palace has “high rooms” which are “airy and luminous”, and “the posts and lintel / were silver upon silver; [with] golden handles curved on the doors”. Telemachus describes Menelaos’ home in a similar fashion in Book IV. He says “how luminous it is / with bronze, gold, amber, silver, and ivory! / This is the way the court of Zeus must be” (74-7). Odysseus’s desire for material wealth is reflected in his enormous estate, which is large enough to support a large number (100+) of suitors helping themselves for years.

It is also seen in the treasure he brings home from the Phaiakians. They sent him home “with gifts untold / of bronze and gold, and fine cloth to his shoulder. / Never from Troy had he borne off such booty” (XIII, 155-7). I suppose it is only fitting that a great warrior and ruler as Odysseus should esire to return home with such a treasure, after all; he and his men paid for it in blood. Not surprisingly, great feasts and sacrifices accompany the wealth these men have.

Although women aren’t seen eating meat in the poem, the men have exorbitant feasts of swine, steer, and wine in nearly every scene. The most obvious and outright example of man’s over indulgence of this kind is found in the suitors, who are slowly devouring Odysseus’s wealth. A typical feast of the suitors in Odysseus’s hall is described in Book XX: [the men] made a ritual slaughter, knifing sheep, fat goats and pigs, knifing the grass-fed steer. … Melanthios poured wine, and all their hands went out upon the feast. 255-61)

In saying that it was a ritual slaughter, the fact that the act has happened many times before is reinforced to the reader. Homer also reinforces this idea by introducing and destroying the suitors while in the act of feasting. A final example of hunger in the poem reflects on the darker side of men. It is seen when Odysseus’s fleet comes upon Ismaros. Here, his men prove themselves not to be a group of poor souls lost at sea, but rather a tyrannical army of pirates in a bloodthirsty rage.

The theme of The Odyssey

The theme of The Odyssey is one of homecoming and reunion with loved ones. Though the proem of the epic states that Odysseus own purpose is simply the fight to save his own life and return his shipmates home safely, the gods of Olympus are the unknown captains of this journey. It is an epic story of the making of men, mainly Odysseus and Telemakhos. Homer methodically details the struggles set forth by the gods. The contests of Odysseus wisdom, honor, piety and prudence. These tests of will prove Odysseus master mariner and soldier, truly virtuous and capable.

He becomes not only the last hope of those still true and loyal, but he is the only one who can discern the proper course of action in the re-ordering of his house and his household. In the opening of the epic, the gods, at home upon great Olympus, sit in conversation reflecting upon the pride of men. One example being Agisthos, who is run amuck with greed and pride. Zeus remark that Greed and folly will double suffering in the lot of man… is indeed the standard by which men are judged to be the Shepherd or the wolf.

It is greed and folly, which are the marks of impious men, men who engage in improper feasting. Worse still are those who give into temptation after long suffering, for it denies them the knowledge of the good; namely virtue. Of improper feasting there are numerous examples, from the gluttonous behavior of the suitors and the cannibalism of the Kyklops, to Odysseus own shipmates who kill and feast on the cattle of Lord Helios, the Sun. As illustrated by the text, improper feasting is a sin against the order of Zeus and thus the order of men.

Telemakhos recognizes the wrong done against him and his household. The youth of Telemakhos prevents him from doing more than sitting by in mute fury, but it is the visitation of Athena that unlocks his silent disgust. He reveals to the goddess that the feast of the suitors is plunder, and their acts rapine. He tells Menthos (Athena in disguise) that the suitors lives are easy and scot-free. At the assembly, Telemakhos remarks are quick and to the point. My home and all I have are being ruined… like a pack they came… ese men [that] spend their days around our house killing our beeves and sheep and fatted goats, carousing, soaking up our good dark wine, not caring what they do.

They squandered everything. In response to this, Antinoos gives a brash reply, claiming that it is Telemakhos that judges them wrongly. He mislays the blame upon Penelope, who has contrived all these years to deceive the suitors and avoid a match. Antinoos betrays his own impious nature when he says that Penelopes deception at the loom was a plan some god put into her mind.

He does not recognize the weight of his own admission. If a god was the author of that scheme, would it not be the obligation of any sensible man to leave off his courtship? Eurymakos too scorns the god when he insults the auger. This is a sign of overweening pride and impiety. It is hubris. Polyphemos, son of the great earth-shaker, Poseidon, embodies supreme horror. He is hubris personified and his actions are indisputably grotesque, blasphemous, and extreme. He is described as a caveman, primitive and barbarous, unaccustomed to the polite ways of the world of men.

According to Zeus laws of hospitality, it is an egregious error to turn strangers from your feast, and worse still is it to murder a guest, but to eat a guest or six is a trespass without parallel. Thus, cannibalism is one of the greatest acts of atrocious impiety; not only is it contrary to Zeus holy laws, but it is against the natural order. For truly if the house of Atreus was ever cursed by the gods for Tantalus insidious act of deceit, so much greater the offense of the Kyklopes. Son of Poseidon flaunts a smite-me sign.

Further, he scoffs at the gods in bliss, particularly Zeus, Lord of Olympus: We Kyklopes care not a whistle for your thundering Zeus or all the gods in bliss; we have more force by far. It is significant that this ruthless, brutish creature defies the gods of Olympus, though his own Aquarian father, Poseidon, admits in The Iliad that not for all the strength of the gods could Zeus be overthrown. The anagogical meaning of this is of course is that the Will of Zeus will ultimately prevail. Other images of improper feasting are Polyphemos drunkenness, which enables Nohbdy, Odysseus, to blind him, and the profusion of dung in the cave.

Dung is a sign of disorder and neglect. Recall the image of Argos, Odysseus ever loyal puppy, now attenuated with age and neglect. Before the gates of the formerly great house of Odysseus lies once treasured Argos upon a hill of manure, half-destroyed with flies, and treated as rubbish. The resplendent home of Menelaos presents a counter image to Polyphemos rank cave. Even Telemakhos remarks that his hall must be more beautiful than the gods. King Menelaos is the embodiment of the just and gracious host (the complete antithesis of the Kyklopes), for he scolds Eteoneus for his lack of hospitality.

Another example of a good host is that of Nausikaa, daughter of Prince Alkinoos. She too gives a reprieve to her maids for fleeing the stranger, Odysseus, and says, this man is a castaway… we must take care of him. Strangers and beggars come from Zeus. It is the case of every well ruled society that Zeus laws are abided by, but in the absence their king the people become unruly like children and are guided by an underdeveloped sense of justice to their own imminent destruction, as are the suitors of Penelope and the shipmates of Odysseus.

Greed and folly, the all-consuming qualities of disordered souls, entangle men in sorrow, leaving them forever unsatiated on a sea of inordinate desire. Such is the case of the avaricious sailors and the plight of unfortunate Odysseus who is stuck with them. It must be noted that the covetousness of Odysseus shipmates buffets the poor exiled king further from home; a journey nearly at its end prolonged seven years more by the King Aiolos bag of winds and the sailors excessive greed. In another instance, Odysseus heeds the bitter cries of Eurylokhos to land upon Thrinakia, the island of the Sun.

In the same manner, King Saul heeds the threats of the people and sacrifices without Samuel. Like Moses before his accession Sinais summit, Odysseus warns his crew, Fierce the god is who cherishes these heifers and these sheep: Helios; and no man avoids his eye. And like the stiff-necked children of Israel who did prefer to bend their knees to the golden calf fashioned by Aaron than reverence their covenant with God, the sailors too disobey their captain in his absence and slaughter Helios sacred flock. The fame of Odysseus is that of perseverance and hard-wrought, high priced victory.

The man of woe struggles for the sake of his shipmates, for his crew he strives homeward, but for all this, his travail is fruitless as he describes the death of his precious friends: No more seafaring homeward for these, no sweet day of return; the god had turned his face from them. Their just reward for their pernicious persistence is death. Two themes consistant with The Odyssey are comic delay and engulfment. Many examples of comic delay exist within Odysseus long, suffering journey homeward. Time proves all things. It is this time, this delay, that makes it possible for Telemakhos to overcome the shyness and uncertainty of his age.

Penelope delays a marriage with the suitors with her weaving; and Athena delays the waking of Dawn in order that Odysseus has his fill of plesure and sleep. Odysseus nine years of exile are fraught with many trials and struggles that only deepened his hunger for home and wife. The majority of his adversity can be characterized as an avoidance of engulfment. As in all Homeric literature, the purchase of engulfment is anonymity or an obscure death in exile. To be swallowed by the sea or the Kyklopes or to be caught in the gullet of one of great Skyllas nightmarish heads, these are the horrors that poor Odysseus faces.

Another image of engulfment is the island and the goddess, Kalypso. Though is probably the only pleasant variation of this image, Kalypsos name means engulfment. Kalypso herself describes Odysseus time on her island as consumption: O forlorn man, be still. Here you need grieve no more; you need not feel your life consumed here. The most significant image of engulfment in The Odyssey is that of the realm of Persephone and her Lord, Hades. Odysseus himself ironically enough often inspires his crew with courage and fortitude by saying, Come friends, though hard beset, well not go down into the House of Death before our time.

The Lord of Ithaka thought himself to mean that they would not go down into the House of Death until they themselves were dead, but Odysseus time comes quite sometime before his own death. Hades is the only consummate image of the engulfment, for Odysseus emerges a man reborn, and called twice mortal by Kirke. The Odysseus of old and his deep heart at sea are forever forgotten and exiled by Odysseus the King. His commission to visit the land of the dead comes from the subtle goddess Kirke. She is the first to address the great captain with his true (and well earned) epithet, son of Laertes and the gods of old, master mariner and soldier.

She commands Odysseus to seek out the blind prophet, Teiresias, so that he might discover his new purpose. Thus begins his transformation, but in order to fulfill his destiny as the true king of Ithaka he must go down into that gentle night, realm of bitter Persephone. Teiresias warns Odysseus of the things yet to be endured, as he alludes to Skylla and Kharybdis. In his infinite wisdom, the dead seer, tells the man of woe that he must deny himself, in order to survive the wrath of Poseidon. Great captain, a fair wind and the honey lights of home are all you seek. But anguish lies ahead.

In this way, Teiresias prepares Odysseus for new trials and the sufferings of his household. He tells him that he will survive alone, bereft of his companions, to find his home filled with insolent men, courting his wife, slaughtering his cattle, and drinking his good, dark wine. Furthermore, Teiresias charges the master mariner to go overland on foot with an oar, to seek men who know nothing of the sea and to plant said oar into the ground and make a fair sacrifice to Polyphemus father and avenger, Poseidon. This is important for several reasons. First and foremost, to appease the wrath of Poseidon and to increase the reverence of the god.

Secondly, Odysseus must formally give up his sea-ways in order to achieve peaceful death. Other noteworthy shades relative to Odysseus are his mother, Antikleia, who asks of her son have you not gone at all to Ithaka? ; his dead shipmate, Elpenor, who, having fallen off the roof of the palace of Kirke, asks Odysseus for proper burial upon his return to the world of light; Agamemnon, angered at his murder and forever bitter at his wife, Klytaimnestra; and miserable Akhilleus. Through the testimony of Agamemnon and Antikleia, Odysseus learns of his cattish wife, Penelopes own unendurable trials and loyalty and undying love.

In regards to Penelope there is much to write. Penelope, Odysseus ever-faithful queen, must tirelessly endure the roguish suitors until the time her husband returns home. Unlike Klytaimnestra, Penelope awaits her lord in grief, rather than revenge. Though her suffering is long and arduous and the torment of the suitors intolerable, wily Penelope, rather than acquiesce and take another husband (as does Agamemnons traitorous wife), devises against the brutes. She tells them that she must weave a death shroud for Lord Laertes before she marries, and the suitors being men and not entirely possessed by ignominy, give in.

They had to give in to so pious a purpose. So Penelope weaves and unweaves as the years pass, weaving and unweaving the death of old Laertes. Weaving is an image that is generally associated with dubious intentions. Such are the cases of Kalypso, who seemingly weaves a net to ensnare Odysseus for all time, and Kirke, whos weaving is a matter of guile ([l]ow she sang in her beguiling voice, while on her loom she wove ambrosial fabric sheer and bright, by the craft known to the goddesses of heaven ). Also, Odysseus asks Athena to weave him a way to repay the suitors disloyalty. Penelope is the embodiment of forbearance.

She is also the perfect companion for Odysseus. Just as Odysseus must, Penelope survives the long years by her wisdom and wits. Her final stroke of genius is the test of the bow (though later she tests Odysseus to discover if he is her true lord). Telemakhos own journey is equally significant to the trials of his mother and father. Athena personally takes up the oar of responsibility for Royal Odysseus only son in his absence. His mother beset by grief and crazed suitors, his father lost at sea, Telemakhos has no one to teach him the value of virtue, particularly: prudence, piety, and patience. This is the value of the feminine role model.

The grey-eyed goddess intent for Telemakhos journey was that he earn respect for his filial devotion to his father and to observe the condition of house better ordered than his. The last topics of import are those of the faithful and unfaithful servants, and the re-ordering of Odysseus house and household. The swineherder, Eumaios, is the best example present in the work of the true and faithful servant. Eumaios provides us with a basis with which to judge all other servants and subjects, as he is not only dutifully awaiting the return of his master, but also continuing in his charge of the swine of his master.

Eumaios selflessly and humbly serves his master both in his absence and after his return, bearing the taunts and slieghts of the suitors and weak-hearted servants. It is Eumaios who offers the hospitality of the House of Laertes to Odysseus, as is required by the law of Zeus, before the identity of the beggar had been revealed to him. Melanthios, the goatherder, on the other hand, provides perhaps the most striking image of the ill-intentioned, small-minded servant. At his first encounter with the beggar that is his lord, for instance, Melanthios is violent and beligerent.

He even goes so far as to later kick this down-trodden king, a clear and vicious offence against Zeus and his law of hospitality. It is Melanthios who is drunk upon the stolen wine of his master, while Eumaios offers it graciously to his master in disguise. Melanthios inordinate pride in his wealth causes him to strive above his station, just as Eumaios humility allows him to seek and fulfill his telos as the good and faithful servant, forever dear to the hearts of both Zeus and his grateful master, Odysseus.

Eumaios pride is in his master and his masters family, while Melanthios pride is hubris and based in his own possesions. Ironically though Melanthios has the gift of blind intuition (a gift without understanding or insight, in this case), when he says, [h]ere comes one scurvy type leading another! God pairs them off together every time. Melanthios, of course, is followed by a herd of goats. In the end, all is set aright, for it is Eumaios who lives on to serve his master while Melanthios and all his attempts to win the favor of the suitors are laid to waste, slain in the righteous wrath of his master.

The re-ordering of Odysseus house and household can be likened to the Christian notion of Gods Judgement. Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It is become a dwelling place of demons, A haunt of every foul spirit, A haunt of every foul and hateful bird; for all nations have drunk the wine of her impure passion, and the kings of earth have commited fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich with the wealth of her wantoness. One could re-write this passage to say (this could be playing with fire, literally! ): Fallen, fallen are the sons of great Ithaka!

The House of Odysseus is become a dwelling place for impious men, A haunt of every foul spirit, A haunt of every foul and hateful wolf; for the suitors have drunk the wine of their own impure passion, and the kings of earth have squandered the virtue of maids, and the merchants of the earth have grown fat on the stores of others. Odysseus rewards each individual for their service. This includes the suitors, whose reward is obscure and violent death. He spares the life of the poet and minstrel because of their divine gifts of posy and song.

On the other hand, he kills the diviner for his lying augery and evil intentions. After he punishes all that deserve punishing, he cleanses the great hall with fire and brimstone. Thus, Odysseus returns hearth and home to its proper order and is united with his true family. Odysseus himself achieves the fullness of his idenity (Royal Odysseus, master mariner and soldier, master of landways and seaways, great captain, Laertiades) with all the grandeur due to a man so long suffering and honorable.

And in this way he sets out overland to the place where no one knows his name, nor the vast expanse of the sea; a place where seaways and oars are utterly unknown and it is here he will plant his oar and make fair hecatombs to Poseidon of the waters, when asked, What winnowing fan is that upon your shoulder? Once accomplished Odysseus will go on into rich old age, and surrounded by his country folks, a seaborne death soft as mist will take him down into the House of Death, Persephones gentle realm of eternal night.

The Expression of Themes in Winesburg, Ohio

Winesburg, Ohio is a compilation of short tales written by Sherwood Anderson and published as a whole in 1919. The short tales formulate the common themes for the novel as follows: isolation and loneliness, discovery, inhibition, and cultural failure. In order to examine these themes, Anderson’s history must be understood and examined to provide illumination upon why Anderson came to such beliefs about human life. Sherwood Anderson was born on September 13, 1876, in Camden, Ohio.

In 1884, Anderson and his family moved to the small town of Clyde, Ohio. Clyde, Ohio, is the model for the town of Winesburg. Anderson hated his father because of the lack of love shown to his mother and resented his father because of the humiliation and poverty that his father caused. Two major events shaped the feelings of Anderson about life. First, when he was only nineteen years old, Anderson’s mother died, and his family pursued to split apart. Second, after marrying and moving to Elyria, Ohio, Anderson had a mental breakdown due to two things.

The pressures of trying to succeed in business and writing and the conflict between his yearning to leave his unhappy marriage to Cornelia and his commitment to his family caused a breakdown that doctors diagnosed as nerve exhaustion. During the mental breakdown, Anderson walked the streets for three days before being hospitalized in Cleveland. Another reason for his beliefs is that he lived in places that contrasted in size. The size of the city overwhelmed him at times, which gave him a feeling of isolation.

Anderson, also, despised industrialism because industrialism emitted a more impersonal atmosphere (White). In “Adventure,” Alice Hindman is destroyed by industrialization and the city. The city and the search for money steal her only true love and her only chance at happiness. At the end of the story “Adventure,” Anderson writes “began trying to force herself to face bravely the fact that many people must live and die alone, even in Winesburg (Anderson, Sherwood). ” The themes of loneliness and isolation are expressed by describing the characters as grotesques.

The grotesques are the people who have become obsessed with an idea or mannerism, such that, they have lost contact with their fellow Man. Anderson sets the course for the theme of isolation in the first three chapters, excluding “The Book of the Grotesque. ” The first chapter is called “Hands” and involves the sad story of Wing Biddlebaum. Because Biddlebaum is accused of having molested students that he taught, his hands embody the shame that he carries. Fearing that the presence of his hands will be misinterpreted, Biddlebaum hides his expressive hands.

By creating the symbol of hands in this chapter, Anderson creates an effective symbol to express the theme of isolation in the novel. Because a person’s physical hands are used to communicate feeling, “Hands” is a tale about one of the sources of isolation, the inability to communicate feeling. “Paper Pills” is the second chapter of the novel and deals with another cause of isolation, the inability to communicate thought. Because Doctor Reefy is afraid of communicating directly to another person, he writes his thoughts on little pieces of paper to prevent his thoughts from being misinterpreted.

Because Doctor Reefy cannot find an appropriated avenue of communication, he allows these repressed thoughts to become products of his hands by throwing the pieces of paper, which have hardened into little “paper pills,” at his friends. The intensity of his isolation is magnified through the absence of isolation in brief periods. For example, the short moments of embrace shared between him and Elizabeth Willard. “Mother” is the third chapter of the novel and deals with another cause of isolation, the inability to communicate feelings.

In this chapter, Elizabeth Willard is resented by her husband and has lost all affection from him. The only presence of love in her at this time is focused on her beloved son, George Willard. Anderson writes “She wanted to cry out with joy because of the words that had come from the lips of her son. ” This happens when George Willard tells his mother that he is going to leave Winesburg. Elizabeth is unable to articulate her feelings of interest and love to her son, and perpetuates the barrier of communication between them.

The reason that Anderson expresses this type of relationship is because Anderson had the same unarticulate relationship with his mother (Anderson, David 155-170). Anderson conveys isolation and loneliness through other ways. In some of the tales, there is a prevalent sexual atmosphere. Anderson thought of sex both as the beginning and end to love. When George Willard takes Louise Trunnion’s hand in his own in “Nobody Knows,” George is anticipating sexual conduct. Although George thinks that it is just sex, Anderson is conveying that there is an opportunity for love.

This opportunity for love could eliminate loneliness and isolation. The theme of inhibition is expressed through the youth in Winesburg. Inhibition has three major areas of cause and experience that are listed as follows: the problem of growing up, the frustration that comes when people try to express themselves and are responded to with harshness, and the problem of social opportunity. These problems are the causes of the presence of the grotesques in the novel. The people became grotesques when a disastrous experience happened at the exact moment that they were trying to express love and feeling.

In “Respectability,” Wash Williams faces the frustration of inhibition when the mother of his unfaithful wife sends his wife into the room naked. Wash Williams is destroyed by this action and becomes a grotesque. When Kate Swift flirts with George Willard in the teacher, her actions prevent her from expressing what she truly wants George to know because her emotions are inhibited. George Willard is the main character through which Anderson conveys the theme of inhibition. Because George is proceeding through the process of maturity, the problems that he encounters reflect upon inhibition.

All the grotesques in the novel feel comfortable and see George Willard as a communication to the world because he is innocent to the perils that they have experienced, and he is also a reporter. His mother senses great strength when she is in his presence. Because George makes Wing Biddlebaum feel confident and comfortable, Biddlebaum will walk through the middle of town with George, although his presence is scorned there. Another theme of the novel is discovery. In “The Untold Lie,” Ray Pearson gets Nell Gunther pregnant and is having conflicting feelings whether to leave her or marry her.

He asks Hal Winters what he should do about his situation. When Hal is about to tell him to not marry because marriage is like a noose, Ray looks at Hal and tells Hal that he wants to marry Nell Gunther. At this point, Ray has a moment of discovery. George Willard is the main character that conveys the theme of discovery. Throughout the book, different people try to help George Willard. George finally has his moment of discovery while he is at the fairgrounds with Helen White. The significance of this discovery that human emotions and feelings are the most important concept is silent, not articulated (Walcutt 158-164).

The final theme of the novel is cultural failure. This theme is less directly stated or emphasized as the others, but is portrayed through decayed background images. For example, the town’s moralism is slowly ebbing toward absence, and the streets are filled with rubbish and glass. One scene that sticks out is the scene when the baker is throwing sticks and objects at a lurking cat hiding behind trash cans. This scene seems misplaced and unnecessary, but it is used to create an atmosphere of deterioration and decay.

This dilapidating atmosphere that the background portrays invades and desecrates the lives of the grotesques (Burbank 73-77). Through the use of short tales combined to create a novel, Anderson is able to communicate many themes. The rough personal history of Anderson relating to humiliation, loneliness, cultural failure and unhappiness help formulate his ideas of people. Anderson was not writing about society in Winesburg, Ohio, but he was writing about people. Anderson conveys the theme of isolation, discovery, inhibition, and cultural failure to manifest the importance of humans, collectively and individually.

Willa Cather Works Themes

Sara Orne Jewett, a local colorist from Maine, once suggested that Willa Cather write from her own background. Cather followed that advice and became famous for her stories of the American frontier; especially those about heroic women who struggled to tame the prairies of Nebraska and the Southwest. Cather’s first novel was published in 1912 and was called Alexander’s Bridge. In 1913 came O Pioneers! which took its title from a poem by Walt Whitman. My Antonia, published in 1918, is probably her best known work, and features the hardy, sensitive women who led courageous, simple lives of endurance in the harshly eautiful wilderness.

These immigrants would become the mothers of a new race of Americans, and the book spans the few generations that saw the prairie transformed into modern farmland and cities. In 1927, Willa Cather wrote what is considered her best work, Death Comes for the Archbishop, about missionary priests in New Mexico. In 1923, she won the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours, the story of an American farmer who dies in battle in World War I. Like the narrator in My Antonia, Willa Cather was born in Virginia, the oldest child in an Irish family, and moved to Nebraska with her family when she was eleven.

It was 1883. In the book, the boy, Jim Burden, compares the gentler land of Virginia to the wild beauty of the prairies. Like him, Willa lived with her grandparents, and like Jim’s grandparents, her family emphasized intellect, morality and ladylike behavior. Like her protagonist, Cather grew up among European immigrants and enjoyed the simple pleasures of a rural childhood, like giving plays. Willa Cather had an interest in medicine and a lifelong love of music and theater. One of her books, Song of the Lark, was about a frontier girl who becomes a great opera singer.

Cather never married, and according to one source, she sometimes wore men’s clothes and passed as a male doctor, in order to avoid the prejudice against women that was common in society in those days. Though she chose a man as her narrator, My Antonia is more concerned with the lives of the immigrant girls who grew up strong on prairie farms, worked in town to earn their way, and then made lives for themselves in their new country. The author seems especially sympathetic to the women when Lena faces a double standard, and is blamed for the attention her beauty arouses in a married admirer.

Antonia also suffers rejection when her fianc gets her pregnant before he abandons her. The author’s preference for the openhearted farmers and sensitive women over the town snobs is similar to Sinclair Lewis’s judgments in Main Street. Not only is farming the land hard on these women, but marriage and small town society are too. But in America, the hired girls can decide to leave or stay and build new lives. Like many artists, Willa Cather may not have felt fully accepted in small rural towns because the theme of the misunderstood artist recurs in her work.

In My Antonia, the heroine’s father is the transplanted artist, a musician who is unprepared for prairie life. He has been taken advantage of by the man who sells him the farm. He is not respected as he was in his homeland, and his skills do not help him in farming. He is obviously depressed by the changes in his life, and when his premature death is suspected of being a suicide, he is even punished in death. No local cemetery will bury him in their hallowed ground, so he is buried under a future crossroads according to a brutal custom.

Again, like er narrator in My Antonia, Willa Cather graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1895 and went east. She taught English and Latin in high school in Pittsburg while writing poetry and short stories from 1901 to 1906. Later, in New York, she joined the staff of “McClure’s Magazine” and became an editor. In 1912, she first visited the Southwest, where she “discovered herself” and was especially impressed with the Anasazi cliff dwellings. On later travels west, Willa Cather revisited Nebraska and became reacquainted with Annie Sadilek Pavelka, the childhood friend who inspired the character of Antonia.

In 1917, Cather wrote My Antonia in New Hampshire and published it the following year. Willa Cather traveled to Europe and visited the original homes of her immigrant characters. She was especially fond of Czechoslovakia, which is where the fictional family, the Shimerdas, came from. She spent her last years in New York and New England, where she became a very private person. To the end of her life, she was devoted to the arts and books. When she died in 1947, she was buried in New Hampshire. Like many of her characters, she had seen America develop from frontier to a modern country in her lifetime.

The Theme of Love – Othello

In William Shakespeare’s Othello the Theme of Love is very important.  The main themes conveyed are: Love can be used against you/ love can be manipulated, and love is blinding (unconditional love).  The theme of love can be used against you is best shown in Othello and Desdemona, Cassio and Bianca, Roderigo and Desdemona, and Iago, Roderigo, and Brabantio. The theme of love is blinding is best shown in Desdemona and Othello, Emilia and Iago, and Brabantio and Desdemona.

Love can be used against you/ Love can be manipulated.

Iago uses Othello’s love for Desdemona against him. Iago hints to Othello that she deceived her father so she could deceive him. \”She did deceive her father, marrying you, and when she seemed to shake, and fear your looks,     She loved them most.\” (III,iii, 204-206) Like human nature is Othello goes through events which now have answers, \”She’s gone: I am abused, and my relief must be loathe her. O curse of marriage, That we can call these delicate creatures ours And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad And live upon the vapour of a dungeon Than keep a corner in the thing I love For other’s uses.\” (III,iii, 264 – 270)

Othello is getting angry: \”Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore; Be sure of it: give me the ocular proof,\” (III, iii, 356-357)

Othello hears Iago’s predictions: \”All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven: Tis gone. Arise black vengeance, from the hollow hell!\” (III, iii, 442 – 443)

Othello believing Iago: \”Damn her, lewd minx! O damn her, damn her! Come go with me apart.\” (III, iii, 472 – 473) She then tells him she is a virgin. \”No, as I am a Christian. To preserve this vessel for my lord From any other foul unlawful touch, Be not to be a strumpet, I am none.\” (IV, ii, 82 – 84)

Desdemona then turns to Iago. \”O good Iago, What shall I do to win my lord again? Good friend, go to him; for, by this light of heaven, I know not how I lost him.\” (IV, ii, 148 – 150)

Othello feels guilty because he found out she was innocent. \”Soft you; a word or two before you go. I have done the state some service and they know it: No more of that. I pray you in your letters When you shall these unlucky deeds relate Speak of me as I am: nothing extenuate, Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you speak of one that loved not wisely, but too well; of one not easily jealous but, being wrought, …. (V, ii, 334 – 352)

Iago uses Cassio’s love for Bianca against him. He tells Othello that he will question Cassio about Desdemona, when, in fact, he is questioning Cassio about Bianca. This further pushes Othello to insanity and wanting Cassio killed.

\”Now will I question Cassio of Bianca, … He, when he hears of her, cannot refrain/From the excess of laughter…/As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad …\” (IV, i, 93-100)

Iago and Roderigo use Brabantio’s love to serve their own means. Brabantio’s love for his daughter, Desdemona, is used by Iago and Roderigo in the hopes of getting Othello in trouble and winning Roderigo favour.

\”I am one, sir, that comes to tell you, your daughter/and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs…. O heaven/ How got she out? O treason of the blood!\” (I, i, 115 – 170)

\”Call up my brother – O would you had had  her -/some one way or another.\” (I, i, 176 – 177)

Iago uses/manipulates Roderigo’s love for Desdemona. Iago consistently tells Roderigo that Desdemona will fall in love with him if he continues to do as Iago tells him to. Iago manipulates Roderigo’s love to get him to do Iago’s dirty work and to leech money off Roderigo.

\”I say,/put money in thy purse. It cannot be that Desdemona/should long continue her love to the Moor – / put money in thy purse – nor he his to her … She must change for youth: when she is sated with his body she will find the error of her choice … thou shalt enjoy her ….\” (I, iii, 138 – 153)

\”Very nature will instruct her in it and compel her to some second/choice. Now, sir, this granted – as it is a most pregnant and unforced position – who stands so eminently/ in the degree of this fortune as Cassio does? … / Besides, the knave is handsome, young, and hath all those requisites in him that folly and green minds look / after. A pestilent complete knave; and the woman hath found him already.\” (II, i, 227 – 242)

Quote for Iago using Roderigo’s love for Desdemona to make him do his dirty work: \”But, Roderigo, if/ thou hast in thee indeed, which I have greater/reason to believe now than ever – I mean purpose/courage, and valour – this night show it. If thou the/next night following enjoy not Desdemona, take me/from this world with treachery …\” (IV, ii, 209 -214)

Quote for Iago taking money from Roderigo by manipulating his love of Desdemona: \”Live Roderigo/He calls me to a restitution large/Of gold and jewels, that I bobbed from him/ As gifts to Desdemona.\” (V, i, 14 – 17)

Love is blinding (unconditional Love)

Othello loves Desdemona so much he risks his life for her: \”Send for the lady to the Sagittary, And let her speak of me before her father, If you do find me foul in her report, The trust, the office I do hold you Not only take away, but let your sentence Even fall upon my life.\” (I, iii, 115 – 120)

Desdemona wants to go with Othello. \”I saw Othello’s visage in his mind And to his honours and his valiant parts Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate. So that, dear lords, if I be left behind A mouth of peace, and he go to the war, The rites for which I love him are bereft me, And I a heavy interim shall support By his clear absence. Let me go with him.\” (I, iii, 249 – 256)

Othello does not give in to what Iago says at first. \”Excellent wretch! Perclition catch my soul, But I do love thee! And when I love thee not, Chaos is come again.\” (III, iii, 90 -92)

\”Think’st  thou I’d make a life of jealousy, To follow still the changes of the moon with fresh suspicions? No, to be once in doubt Is once to be resolved. Exchange me for a goat. When I shall turn the business of my soul To such exsufflicate and blown surmises, Matching thy interence. Tis not to make me jealous. To say my wife is fair, loves company, Is free of speech, sings, plays, and dances well: Where virtue is, these are more virtuous. Not from mine own weakness will I draw The smallest fear of doubt of her revolt, For she had eyes and chose me. No, Iago, I’ll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove; And on the proof, there is no more but this: Away at once with love or jealousy!\” (III, iii, 175 – 190)

Desdemona lost the handkerchief: \”I ne’er saw this before. Sure, there’s some wonder in this handkerchief: I am most unhappy in the loss of it.\” (III, iii, 93 – 94)

Othello strikes her: \”Devil!\” He strikes her (IV, i, 236) After, Desdemona says: \”I will not stay to offend you.\” (IV, i, 244)

She then asks what is wrong. \”Upon my knees, what doth your speech impart? I understand a fury in your words, But not the words.\” (IV, ii, 30 -32) and then again: \”To whom, my lord? With whom? How am I false?\” (IV, ii, 39)

She stays with him and wants to help: \”Alas, the heavy day! Why do you weep? Am I the motive of these tears, my lord? If haply you my father do suspect An instrument of this your calling back, Lay not your blame on me. If you have lost him, I have lost him too.\” (IV, ii, 41 – 46)

She obeys his orders (out of love) \”It was his bidding: therefore, good Emilia, Give me my nightly wearing, and adieu. We must not now displease him.\” (IV, iii, 14 – 16)

She feels she can learn from suffering: \”Good night, good night, God me such uses send, Not to pick bad from bad, but from bad mend!\” (IV, iii, 102 – 103)

Desdemona is scared that Othello will kill her, but she still trusts him. \”And yet I fear you: for you’re fatal than When your eyes roll so. Why I should fear I know not, Since guiltiness I know not; but yet I feel I fear.\” (V, ii, 37 – 39)

Desdemona asks Othello not to kill her but she dies anyway. \”O banish me, my lord, but kill me not!\” (V, ii, 79) \”Kill me tomorrow: let me live tonight!\” (V, ii, 81) \”O Lord, Lord, Lord!\” (V, ii, 84) \”Nobody – I myself – farewell. Commend me to my kind lord – O farewell!\” (V, ii, 125 – 126)

Emilia is blinded by love for her husband Iago; this love causes her to disregard her morals and do things she knows are wrong for him. Emilia gives Iago Desdemona’s handkerchief even though she knows how important it is to Desdemona.

\”I am glad I have found this napkin:/ This was her first remembrance from the Moor./ My wayward husband hath a hundred times/ Wooed me to steal it; … I’ll have the work taken out, / And give’t Iago. / What he will do with it, heaven knows, not I: / I nothing, but to please his fantasy.\” (III, iii, 287 – 296)

Emilia’s love blinds her from Iago’s true nature. She disregards his vulgarness towards women. She also disregards how badly he treats her.

\”A good wench! Give it me.\” (III, iii, 311)

\”You rise to play and go to bed to work.\” (II, i, 114)

Brabantio is blinded by love for his daughter. He believes that she is an innocent child and would never marry the Moor’/Othello of her own free will. He is so angered by the imagery that Iago gave him, he wants Othello killed.

\”Damned as thou art, thou hast enchanted her./ For I’ll refer me to all things of sense,/ If she in chains of magic were not bound …/ So opposite to marriage that she shunned/ the wealthy curled darlings of our nation, / Would over have …/ Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom? Of such a thing … to fear not to delight.\” (I, ii, 63 – 71)

Emily Dickinson and Death as a Theme in her Poetry

Although she lived a seemingly secluded life, Emily Dickinsons many encounters with death influenced many of her poems and letters. Perhaps one of the most ground breaking and inventive poets in American history, Dickinson has become as well known for her  bizarre and eccentric life as for her incredible poems and letters. Numbering over 1,700, her poems highlight the many moments in a 19th century New Englander womans life, including the deaths of some of her most beloved friends and family, most of which occurred in a short period of time (Benfey 6-25).

Several biographers of Dickinson point out her methods of exploring several topics in  circumference, as she says in her own words. Death is perhaps one of the best examples of this exploration and examination. Other than one trip to Washington and Philadelphia, several excursions to Boston to see a doctor, and a few short years in school, Emily never left her home town of Amherst, Massachusetts. In the latter part of her life she rarely left her  large brick house, and communicated even to her beloved sister through a door rarely left slightly ajar.

This seclusion gave her a reputation for eccentricity to the local towns people, and perhaps increased her interest in death (Whicher 26). Dressing in white every day Dickinson was know in Amherst as, the New England mystic, by some. Her only contact to her few friends and correspondents was through a series of letters, seen as some critics to be equal not only in number to her poetic works, but in literary genius as well (Sewall 98).

Explored thoroughly in her works, death seems to be a dominating theme through out Dickinsons life. Dickinson, although secluded and isolated had a few encounters with love, two perhaps serious  affairs  were documented in her letters and poems. But, since Emilys life was so self kept and private the exact identity of these people remains unsure. What is known, is during the Civil War , worried for her friends and families lives, death increased in frequency to be a dominant theme in her writings.

After 1878, the year of her influential fathers death, (a treasurer of Amherst college, and a member of the Congress),  this theme increased with each passing of friend or family,  peeking perhaps with the death of the two men she loved (Waugh 100). But, as documented by several critics, Dickinson viewed death, as she did  most ideas, in circumference. She was careful to high light and explore all the paradoxes and emotional extremes involved with death. One poem expresses her depression after discovering her two loves had passed away.

She wrote,  I never lost as much as twice, and that was in the sod; Twice I have stood a beggar, Before the door of God, (Porter 170). Some critics believe it was the suggestion of death which spawned Dickinsons greatest output of Poetry in 1862. After hearing from Charles Wadsworth, her mentor, and perhaps secret love, that he was ill, and would be leaving the land,  Dickinson made her withdrawal from society  more apparent and her writing more frequent and intense.

By then Dickinson was already in her mid thirties, and simply progressed from there to become more reserved and write more of death and loss, than of nature and love, as had been common in her earlier years (Whicher 39). In the poem, My life Had Stood- A Loaded Gun, (since most of Dickinsons poems were unnamed, many are known by the first line of the poem, as in this case) Dickinson writes in the last stanza,  Though I than He (the owner of the gun in the analogy) – may longer live- He longer must- than I- For I have but the power to kill, Without-the power to die-.

Critics state that here Dickinson, (writing during the Civil War, 1863 specifically) speaks of the importance of mortality and death, and highlights the pure foolishness behind killing (Griffith 188). As stated above, Dickinson is known for encompassing  many perspectives on a single topic. In, I could not stop for Death,  also written in 1863, Dickinson writes of immortality and eternity, and although death does not come in haste, his eventual coming is inevitable since death in eternal,  Since then-tis Centuries-and yet, Feels shorter than the day, I first surmised the Horses Head, Were toward Eternity-.

Over all Dickinsons works can be seen as a study into the thoughts and emotions of people, especially in her exploration death. From its inevitable coming to its eternal existence, Dickinson explains her feelings and thoughts toward death in the full, circumference of  its philosophy. As she edged towards the end of her life, Dickinson gave the world new poetic perspectives into the human mind and its dealing and avoidance of death (Whicher 30).

The Scarlet Letter – Themes

Nathaniel Hawthorne was a truly outstanding author. His detailed descriptions and imagery will surely keep people interested in reading The Scarlet Letter for years to come. In writing this book he used themes evident throughout the entirety of the novel. These themes are illustrated in what happens to the characters and how they react. By examining how these themes affect the main characters, Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth, one can obtain a better understanding of what Hawthorne was trying to impress upon his readers.

The first theme expressed in The Scarlet Letter is that even well meaning deceptions and secrets can lead to destruction. Dimmesdale is a prime example of this; he meant well by concealing his secret relationship with Hester, however, keeping it bound up was deteriorating his health. Over the course of the book this fact is made to stand out by Dimmesdales changing appearance. Over the course of the novel Dimmesdale becomes more pale, and emaciated. Hester prevents herself from suffer the same fate.

She is open about her sin but stays loyal to her lover by not telling who is the father of Pearl. Hester matures in the book; becomes a stronger character. The fact that revenge destroys both the victim and the seeker is another theme presented in the Scarlet Letter. Dimmesdale is the victim of Chillingworths revenge upon Hester and whoever her lover happened to be. Dimmesdale, beside his self-inflicted harm was also not helped by the fact Chillingworth enjoyed watching him waste away.

However, Chillingworth is also subject to this destiny as evidence by his change in the novel. Chillingworth was considered wise and aged in the beginning of the novel, although, later he is seen as being dusky and evil. Lastly Nathaniel Hawthorne brings out that we absolutely must accept responsibility for our actions or suffer the consequences come with them. Hester is the prime example for this here because she was smart and freed herself of this great weight quickly so that it wouldnt drag her down.

This theme was not as applicable to Dimmesdale, however, who decided to hide his wrongful actions and was bearing this secret upon his heart and mind at all times. Dimmesdale did not get better as a character until he opened up to Hester in the forest by confessing his love for her. Themes are an excellent method for tying in a complex storys plot. Hawthorne executes this with perfection, which is shown by how well the characters written compare to each other. With this knowledge we can better understand how Hawthorne wanted these characters to be viewed and interpreted.

The Grapes of Wrath: Symbols and the Theme of Man vs. A Hostile Environment

The Grapes of Wrath is a novel by John Steinbeck that exposes the desperate conditions under which the migratory farm families of America during the 1930’s live under. The novel tells of one families migration west to California through the great economic depression of the 1930’s. The Joad family had to abandon their home and their livelihoods. They had to uproot and set adrift because tractors were rapidly industrializing their farms. The bank took possession of their land because the owners could not pay off their loan. The novel shows how the Joad family deals with moving to California.

How they urvive the cruelty of the land owners that take advantage of them, their poverty and willingness to work. The Grapes of Wrath combines Steinbeck adoration of the land, his simple hatred of corruption resulting from materialism (money) and his abiding faith in the common people to overcome the hostile environment. The novel opens with a retaining picture of nature on rampage. The novel shows the men and women that are unbroken by nature. The theme is one of man verses a hostile environment. His body destroyed but his spirit is not broken.

The method used to develop the theme of the novel is through the use of symbolism. There are several uses of symbols in the novel from the turtle at the beginning to the rain at the end. As each symbol is presented through the novel they show examples of the good and the bad things that exist within the novel. The opening chapter paints a vivid picture of the situation facing the drought-stricken farmers of Oklahoma. Dust is described a covering everything, smothering the life out of anything that wants to grow. The dust is symbolic of the erosion of the lives of the people. The dust is synonymous with “deadness”.

The land is ruined ^way of life (farming) gone, people ^uprooted and orced to leave. Secondly, the dust stands for ^profiteering banks in the background that squeeze the life out the land by forcing the people off the land. The soil, the people (farmers) have been drained of life and are exploited: The last rain fell on the red and gray country of Oklahoma in early May. The weeds became a dark green to protect themselves from the sun’s unyielding rays…. The wind grew stronger, uprooting the weakened corn, and the air became so filled with dust that the stars were not visible at night. Chp 1)

As the chapter continues a turtle, which appears and reappears several imes early in the novel, can be seen to stand for survival, a driving life force in all of mankind that cannot be beaten by nature or man. The turtle represents a hope that the trip to the west is survivable by the farmer migrants (Joad family). The turtle further represents the migrants struggles against nature/man by overcoming every obstacle he encounters: the red ant in his path, the truck driver who tries to run over him, being captured in Tom Joad’s jacket: And now a light truck approached, and as it came near, the driver saw the turtle and swerved to hit it.

The driver of the truck works for large company, who try to stop the migrants from going west, when the driver attempts to hit the turtle it is another example of the big powerful guy trying to flatten or kill the little guy. Everything the turtle encounters trys its best to stop the turtle from making its westerly journey. Steadily the turtle advances on, ironically to the southwest, the direction of the mirgration of people.

The turtle is described as being lasting, ancient, old and wise: horny head, yellowed toenails, indestructible high dome of a shell, humorous old eyes. (Chp 1) The driver of the truck, red ant and Tom Joad’s jacket are all symbolic f nature and man the try to stop the turtle from continuing his journey westward to the promise land. The turtle helps to develop the theme by showing its struggle against life/ comparing it with the Joad struggle against man. The grapes seem to symbolize both bitterness and copiousness.

Grandpa the oldest member of the Joad family talks of the grapes as symbols of plenty; all his descriptions of what he is going to do with the grapes in California suggest contentment, freedom, the goal for which the Joad family strive for: I’m gonna let the juice run down ma face, bath in the dammed grapes (Chp 4) The grapes that are talked about by Grandpa help to elaborate the theme by showing that no matter how nice everything seems in California the truth is that their beauty is only skin deep, in their souls they are rotten.

The rotten core verses the beautiful appearance. The willow tree that is located on the Joad’s farm represents the Joad family. The willow is described as being unmovable and never bending to the wind or dust. The Joad family does not want to move, they prefer to stay on the land they grew up on, much the same as the willow does. The willow contributes to the theme by showing the unwillingness of the people to be emoved from their land by the banks. The latter represents the force making them leave their homes.

Both of these symbols help contribute to the theme by showing a struggle between each other. The tree struggles against nature in much the same way that the Joad family struggles against the Bank and large companies. The rains that comes at the end of the novel symbolize several things. Rain in which is excessive, in a certain way fulfills a cycle of the dust which is also excessive. In a way nature has restored a balance and has initiated a new growth cycle. This ties in with other examples of the rebirth idea in the nding, much in the way the Joad family will grow again.

The rain contributes to the theme by showing the cycle of nature that give a conclusion to the novel by showing that life is a pattern of birth and death. The rain is another example of nature against man, the rain comes and floods the living quarters of the Joads. The Joads try to stop the flood of their home by yet again are forced back when nature drops a tree causing a flood of water to ruin their home forcing them to move. In opposite way rain can helpful to give life to plants that need it to live. Depending on which extreme the rain is in, it can be harmful or helpful.

This is true for man, man can become both extremes bad or good depending on his choosing. Throughout the novel there are several symbols used to develop the theme man verses a hostile environment. Each symbol used in the novel show examples of both extremes. Some represent man, that struggles against the environment, others paint a clear picture of the feelings of the migrants. As each symbol is presented chronologically through the novel, they come together at the end to paint a clear picture of the conditions, treatment and feelings the people (migrants) as they make there journey through the novel to the West.

Revenge as a Theme in Wuthering Heights

When Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, first appeared in 1847, it was thought to be obscene and crude (Chase 19). To the common person, it was shocking and offensive, and it did not gain popularity until long after it was first published. When the piece of literature became widely read and discussed, however, Bronte was declared as a “romantic rebel against repressive conventions and a writer who made passion part of novelistic tradition” (Chase 19). Unlike earlier writers, Bronte used factors from her own life and passions that she personally held to construct her classic novel.

For example, Joseph’s bible-thumper character most likely symbolizes her father, who was a minister. However, Bronte’s book is not only a breakthrough to literature in these ways. The narration of the story is also very unique and divergent because there are multiple narrators. Bronte’s character Lockwood is used to narrate the introductory and concluding sections of the novel whereas Nelly Dean narrates most of the storyline. It’s interesting that Nelly Dean is used because of her biased opinions.

In addition, the structure of Wuthering Heights displays a uniqueness. Just as Elizabethan plays have five acts, Wuthering Heights is composed of two “acts,” the times before and after Catherine’s death. However, unlike stereotypical novels, Wuthering Heights has no true heroes or villains. “Although this work was written in the Romantic Period, it is not a romance. There are no true heroes or villains, only a revealing of what people truly are” (Baxter 1). With all of its unique qualities, Wuthering Heights is a very controversial book.

Many critical essays have been written about the major themes of the book, but revenge is the most imminent theme, the factor that leads the protagonists to their dismal fate. Bronte proves there is no peace in eternal vengeance, and in the end self-injury involved in serving revenge’s purposes will be more damaging than the original wrong. Heathcliff never finds peace through his revenge. In fact, the only time he truly finds happiness is when he gives up his plan for retaliation.

Austin O’Malley states “Revenge is like biting a dog that bit you” (O’malley 1). O’Malley’s quote reflects Heathcliff’s immature need to propagate agony in those who have offended him. Heathcliff’s plan for revenge on Edgar and Catherine is to marry Isabella, who is ignorant of love and of men because she has never experienced either. He wants to hurt Edgar because of his marriage to Catherine, and he wants to get revenge on Catherine by making her jealous. Catherine’s death proves that this flawed plan of repayment helps nothing.

Heathcliff, haunted by the ghost of Catherine because he is her “murderer,” still is motivated by the need for revenge and tries to get young Cathy away from Edgar by having her marry his son, Linton. Heathcliff never finds peace until he gives up his plan for revenge just before he dies. When Heathcliff gives up his plan for revenge, he meets Catherine in death and truly becomes happy once more. Catherine’s revenge does not make things better for her. Her revenge on Heathcliff by blaming him for her upcoming death does not meliorate her mind. Just before she dies, she ascribes Heathcliff for her “murder. You have killed me, and thriven on it, I think” (Bronte 158).

Catherine resembles what Oliver Goldsmith said, “When lovely woman stoops to folly, and finds too late that men betray, what charm can soothe her melancholy? What art can wash her guilt away? The only art her guilt to cover, To hide her shame from every eye, To give repentance to her lover, And wring his bosom, is–to die” (Oliver Goldsmith 1). Catherine’s death is caused by her lack of emotional control and her dual personalities. She and Heathcliff “are” each other (Bronte 80), but her wants of social status and popularity draw her toward Edgar (Bronte 78).

She does not love Edgar, but her selfish material wants control her. Catherine’s revenge on Heathcliff does not assist her in finding happiness. She looks forward to dying and is “wearying to escape into that glorious world” (Bronte 160). Her death is, however, miserable as she wanders around the earth as a waif for 20 years occasionally visiting Heathcliff and torturing him. Just as Heathcliff and Catherine’s revenge make them miserable, Hindley’s revenge on Heathcliff causes him to go bankrupt and eventually die.

Hindley’s attempt to kill Heathcliff only hurts himself in the process; it proves the point Isabella makes, “Treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends; they wound those who resort to them worse than their enemies” (Bronte 177). The fact that Hindley is mistreated as a child reflects the built up anger and resentment inside him and towards others. The hurt that Hindley feels is clearly understood, but sympathy for Hindley is only temporary because it is still his own fault for his predicaments.

Hindley’s loss of Wuthering Heights to Heathcliff and his mysterious death reflect how revenge does not make anything better, only worse. Bronte corroborates that revenge is not only a harsh and rash way to live life, but is counter-productive and hurtful. Out of all of her major themes, revenge is the most imminent. The self-hurt involved with vengeance shows there are better ways to solve conflicts. Bronte sends a great message across by showing how negative revenge can be. There is no solution to obeying the spontaneous reaction of this negative reprisal.

The Scarlet Letter, the good versus evil theme

Adultery, betrayal, promiscuity, subterfuge, and intrigue, all of which would make an excellent coming attraction on the Hollywood scene and probably a pretty good book. Add Puritan ideals and writing styles, making it long, drawn out, tedious, wearisome, sleep inducing, insipidly asinine, and the end result is The Scarlet Letter. Despite all these things it is considered a classic and was a statement of the era. The Scarlet Letter is a wonderful and not so traditional example of the good versus evil theme. What makes this a unique instance of good versus evil is hat either side could be considered either one.

Hester could very easily have been deduced as evil, or the “bad guy,” as she was by the townspeople. That is, she was convicted of adultery, a horrible sin of the time, but maybe not even seen as criminal today. As for punishment, a sentence to wear a scarlet “A” upon her chest, it would hardly be considered a burden or extreme sentence in present day. Or Hester can be seen as rebelling against a society where she was forced into a loveless marriage and hence she would e the “good guy,” or girl, as the case may be.

Also the townspeople, the magistrates, and Chillingworth, Hester’s true husband, can be seen in both lights. Either they can be perceived as just upholding the law -she committed a crime, they enforce the law. On the other hand are they going to extreme measures such as wanting to take Pearl, Hester’s daughter, away just because Hester has deviated from the norm, all to enforce an unjust law that does not even apply to this situation? Although the subjects of the novel do apply to important issues in history nd could have had influences on the time period, they were not great.

During the times and in the Puritan community this did not have a large affect on anything. Sure, they did not want anyone committing adultery, most were killed if convicted, but it was not something that upset their way of living in any permanent manner. To an individual or group who was battling something backward in the Puritan society, as were many things, this would have been an inspirational book and possibly a revelation. In short, this book could have been exceptional; it had all the elements of superb book.

Unfortunately, Hawthorne found himself a rather large thesaurus and added a bunch of mindless prattle that mellowed out the high points of the book and expanded on the low points. In many chapters all he manages to accomplish is to update the lives of characters, mostly with irrelevant drivel. Also by expanding on the symbolism of the scarlet letter umpteenth times he wears it out so that the reader wants nothing more to do with a dumb “A” on some woman’s chest hundreds of years ago. Other than that, great book.

Shakespeares Othello Themes

Lots of times people get love and lust confused. In Shakespeares Othello, the characters in this book are very confused about the difference and it results in perplexity, confusion, commotion and death. This is shown in Shakespeares use of symbolism, characterization and irony. The person who best illustrates this theme is Roderigo. He tells Iago, That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse, to get Desdemona for himself. (I,I,2) He pays Iago to get Desdemona, not knowing that he really is not in love with her. This portrays lust on Roderigos part.

Othello, on the other hand, is in love with Desdemona and doesnt have sex with her until they are married, and because of his respect for her. He had rather be a toad and live upon the vapor of a dungeon than keep a corner in the thing I love for others uses. (III,iii, 287) Othello evidently portrays love in this play. Later, in the play, Othello starts to hate Desdemona and wont give credence to a word she says. When Iagos scheme to split up Desdemona and Othello begins to work, Othellos love for her gradually diminishes.

Desdemonas napkin is too little, for Othello. (III,iii,303) This quote symbolizes Desdemonas love for Othello. As the play goes on, Othello starts calling Desdemona a strumpet, or whore and each drop she falls would prove a crocodile. (III,I,248) In other words, Desdemona is like a crocodile which sheds hypocritical tears. The irony used by Shakespeare also explains the love and lust theme of this play. Roderigo and Iago are the main characters that depict irony for love and lust. They both are convinced that they are in love with Desdemona.

However, all they really want is the sexual fragment of the relationship. Iago pays Roderigo to get Desdemona for him, so obviously he thinks he cant get her himself or doesnt want a real relationship with her. The melancholy thing about this play is that Desdemona has no concept about what is going on. She has no evidence that her love life is being torn apart right before her eyes. In conclusion, with the use of characterization, symbolism and irony, Shakespeare proves that oftentimes people get confused about their feelings.

Today, I think people are more confused about what real love is because if they werent, there would not be as many abuses, divorces or affairs. The amount of divorces has tripled since the1980s. People also get married because of pregnancy which often results in spousal abuse and child abuse because the father will get involved in something he doesnt want to do, which makes him angry and he takes it out on the wife. So as I concluded, people repeatedly get love and lust confused and Shakespeare does an astonishing job of defining it.

Theme of Othello

Likely the most influential writer in all of English literature and certainly the most important playwright of the English Renaissance, William Shakespeare was born in 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England. The son of a successful middle-class glove-maker, Shakespeare attended grammar school, but his formal education proceeded no further. In 1582, he married an older woman, Anne Hathaway, and had three children with her. Around 1590 he left his family behind and traveled to London to work as an actor and playwright.

Public and critical success uickly followed, and Shakespeare eventually became the most popular playwright in England and part-owner of the Globe Theater. His career bridged the reigns of Elizabeth I (ruled 1558-1603) and James I (ruled 1603-1625); he was a favorite of both monarchs. Indeed, James granted Shakespeare’s company the greatest possible compliment by endowing them with the status of “king’s players. ” Wealthy and renowned, Shakespeare retired to Stratford and died in 1616 at the age of fifty-two.

At the time of Shakespeare’s death, such luminaries as Ben Johnson hailed him as the Shakespeare’s works were collected and printed in various editions in the century following his death, and by the early eighteenth century his reputation as the greatest poet ever to write in English was well-established. The unprecedented admiration garnered by his works led to a fierce curiosity about Shakespeare’s life; but the paucity of surviving biographical information has left many details of Shakespeare’s personal history shrouded in mystery.

Some people have concluded from this fact that Shakespeare’s plays in reality were written by someone else–Francis Bacon and the Earl of Oxford re the two most popular candidates–but the evidence for this claim is overwhelmingly circumstantial, and the theory is not taken seriously by many In the absence of definitive proof to the contrary, Shakespeare must be viewed as the author of the 37 plays and 154 sonnets that bear his name. The legacy of this body of work is immense.

A number of Shakespeare’s plays seem to have transcended even the category of brilliance, becoming so influential as to affect profoundly the course of Western literature and culture Othello was first performed in front of James I of England on November 1, 1604. One of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies (written after Hamlet but before King Lear and Macbeth), Othello is set against the backdrop of the wars between Venice and Turkey, which raged in the latter part of the 16th century.

Cyprus, which is the setting for most of the action, was a Venetian outpost attacked by the Turks in 1570 and conquered by the Ottomans the following year. Shakespeare’s information on the conflict probably derives from The History of the Turks, by Richard Knolles, which was published in England in the autumn of 1603–so the play was composed at some point between that time and the summer of 1604. Shakespeare’s choice of a black man was strikingly original. Othello is called a Moor, which can suggest Arabic descent, but the language of the play insists that he is a black African. )

Blackness in Elizabethan England was a color associated with moral evil, decay, and death, and Moors in the theater were usually stereotyped villains, like Aaron the Moor in Shakespeare’s early play Titus Andronicus. Othello embodies none of the characteristics typical of the “Moor”; instead of being lecherous, cunning, and vicious, he is a noble, towering figure whose fall is therefore all the more difficult to watch.

Like many of Shakespeare’s plays, Othello is derived from another source–an Italian prose tale written in 1565 by Giambattista Cinzio Giraldi. The original story contains the bare bones of the tale: a Moorish general is deceived by his ensign into believing his wife is unfaithful. To Giraldi’s story Shakespeare added supporting characters like the vainglorious Roderigo and the unhappy Brabantio; he compressed the time-frame and set it against the backdrop of military conflict; and, of course, he turned the ensign, a minor villain, into the artist of evil whom we know as Iago.

The Crucible

Essay Topics for The Crucible

  • Consider some of the authority figures in the play –Danforth, Parris, and Proctor. What traits, events, or characters motivate their attitudes and responses toward the witch trials? How do their views in regards to law and order differ from one another? Additionally, what can be said about Kohlberg’s moral stages and Miller’s message on law and order and how does the conflict between these central characters reflect the title of the drama?
  • Most of the main characters in the play have personal flaws and either contribute or lead to tragedy. Discuss whether Reverend Hale or John Proctor is the central tragic character in the play. What are their strengths or qualities that lead to their downfalls? How does the central tragic character transform and how is the change related to the play’s title. How do outside forces contribute to character flaws and eventual downfall?
  • How are themes like greed, scapegoating, hunger for authority or power, and integrity or any of a number of others functional in the drama? Choose a single character and discuss how this person embodies one of the themes above. How is Miller’s underlying message revealed in one of these themes and through the character? What would happen if you universalize the issues and try to relate them to another place or time? For instance, how is scapegoating different or similar in today’s world than it was in the play?
  • What roles do women play in the drama? What is Miller’s treatment of women and what message is he trying to convey? What images or female archetypes are expressed through characters like Mary Warren, Elizabeth and Abigail? How does Kohlberg’s moral stages play into the view we have of each of these women as well as how the view contrasts with other characters in the play?
  • Is Abigail a victim of the society she lives in or can her actions and reactions be attributed to her characteristics or personal traits? Do you think here actions can be pardoned or excused because of outside forces within the drama? Look at the events from her past and present and try making a connection between her behavior and these events. Is Miller’s treatment of women a fair characterization of women from this era?

Their Eyes Were Watching God

  1. In Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie Crawford goes on a journey of self-discovery. What does she learn or achieve or fail to learn or fail to achieve on this journey? How do the stylistic devices or choices Hurston makes help the reader better understand Janie’s journey?
  2. Establish a central theme of the novel. How does Hurston’s stylistic devices or choices establish/reveal/compliment (your chosen theme)?
  3. Hurston uses nature –the pear tree, the ocean, the horizon, the hurricane –not only as a plot device but also as metaphor. How do these metaphors help us understand Janie’s journey? Do the metaphors indicate the success or failure of Janie’s journey? You may analyze all, some, or one of these metaphors.
  4. Reread the last chapter of the novel and the first page of the novel: Pick out specific word choices (diction), images, or metaphors that Hurston returns to at the end. Do a close reading of the text. What is the significance of the ending –does it end on despair, triumph, or a mixture of both?

 

Please choose a topic and develop a thesis statement; each thesis should include a what, how, and why:

What? the theme you are developing in the paper

How? Hurston’s literary device(s)and/or stylistic technique(s) that you believe help to develop the theme

Why? Level 3: Go beyond the novel and think BIG PICTURE. Why does this novel and, in particular, your chosen topic matter? Why is it significant? What concept or idea makes this worthy to think about? Why should the reader care? What makes this novel so valued? (Unlike The Crucible, which is an allegory about human nature, Their Eyes Were Watching God is situated in a distinct cultural context: a story told by a black woman struggling for independence in the Jim Crow era.

Keep that in mind as you develop your “why” in the thesis). Also, don’t be afraid to bust out a semicolon and start a new sentence for the “why” part of your thesis statement. This part of your thesis might include wording like “ultimately revealing that……” or “demonstrates that …..” This part is surely argumentative because this is what makes your thesis special and unique –it should be debatable but based on evidence.

Themes of Frankenstein

There are many different themes expressed in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. They vary with each reader but basically never change. These themes deal with the education that each character posses, the relationships formed or not formed in the novel, and the responsibility for ones own actions. This novel even with the age still has ideas that can be reasoned with even today. Each character has their own educational background, which in turn has a large effect to the way they react and deal with the issues that face them.

One example of this is Victor Frankenstein; he took his education into his own hands. When he went to the University of Inglostaldt he intoxicated himself with the sciences so deeply that he never imagined the morality of what he was doing. He stayed so involved and focused on his experiments that he did not take into mind what could happen because of the size of the creature. Victor said:

Although I possessed the capacity of bestowing animation, yet to prepare a frame for the reception of it, with all its intricacies of fibres, muscles and veins, still remained a work of inconceivable difficulty… As the minuteness of the parts formed a great hindrance to my speed, I resolved, contrary to my first intention, to make the being of a gigantic stature; that is to say about eight feet in height, and proportionately large. (52) But when he finished the science that brought him there has also scared him away.

On page 56 Victor tells about the creation and what it meant to him and what happened when life filled the body: I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. (56) Victor’s education has leaded him to be able to create a monster but not let him fully think out the havoc that might be unleashed.

His education only let him create a monster but never taught him how to care for it; this ends up resulting in the loss of innocent lives. This theme is also present when looking at the creation’s education. He received most of his education hands on, by himself, and by the observation of others, especially the De Laceys. ‘A strange multiplicity of sensations seized me, and I saw felt, heard, and smelt, at the same time; and it was indeed, a long time before I learned to distinguish between my operations of my various senses’; (98).

He watched the De Laceys and learned how to talk, read, and how to love. He read about the creation of Adam and compared himself to the story of the fallen angel. This education may not be the deepest or most rational but it does connect deep into the minds of the reader. Though education in this novel helps to form some of the bonds between characters the bonds that do not form play an important role in Frankenstein. The most prevalent relationship that does not ever truly form is that between the Victor and his creation.

Victor, during his making of the creature, is so proud and infatuated with the idea of what he is bringing to the world; but when life flows through the veins of the creature Victor is terrified and abandons him. He could not stand to see the wretch of a being that he created. Before the creature was alive he was beautiful to Victor. This abandonment set the relationship out on thin ice in the beginning. Victor had no one to tell him how to handle the problem and take care of the creature so in turn he ran from the creature.

This situation is like that of a parent but Victor’s idea was more of possession, ownership, and success of the creation itself. Victor’s character was not one that could cope with what he has done. The reader empathizes with the ‘child’;, in this case the monster. The reader through the creature’s story feels for the abandonment that he must have felt. The creature never formed a relationship with anyone in the novel.

He only for a brief period of time had someone to really communicate with when he met Mr. De Lacey, but the children ran him off and again he was left alone, unloved and unwanted. The creation told Victor his feelings when he said, ‘Satan had his companions, fellow devils, to admire and encourage him, but I am solitary and abhorred’;(125). The creation felt so alone that he asked Victor to make him a companion just as horrid as he is, but Victor would not recreate what he has already done. The monster got so upset that he vowed revenge until the very end of Victor’s of his won life. If the creature had a friend or a companion he might have never went into his murderous rage.

Since the relationship between Victor and his creation was like that of a parent and a child, when Victor abandons the creature he leaves all of the responsibility of what he has done. Victor has a great desire to receive the success and recognition of what he has to offer to society, but what he does not think about is what could happen if he is successful in bringing life to a dead object. When he flees from the creature this leads the creature to his wrath of fury and vengeance. Victor is so involved in thinking how his discoveries can help mankind but not how the monster could be a burden to society.

When the creature talks to Victor, he starts to see the responsibility that he owes the creature. Victor agrees to start a companion for the creature but finally thinks about what could happen with the two creations together. He tears up the second creation. This shows that he is taking some of the responsibility to the society: …For the first time, the wickedness of my promise burst upon me; I shuddered to think that the future ages might curse me as their pest, whose selfishness had not hesitated to bury its own peace at the price, perhaps, of the existence of the whole human race.

Victor realizes he is truly responsible towards society and by tearing up the second creation upholds that responsibility. The novel points out to the reader that education, relationships, and responsibility are important traits to posses, even to the people in the 1800’s to present day. Frankenstein is a classic novel that will live on for centuries to come as well as the message deep inside.

Beloved and Don Quixote: Similarities in Themes and Characters

On reading Beloved by Toni Morrison and Don Quixote by Kathy Acker, there seem to be quite a few similarities in themes and characters contained in these texts, the most prevalent of which seems to be of love and language as a path to freedom. We see in Acker’s Don Quixote the abortion she must have before she embarks on a quest for true freedom, which is to love. Similarly, in Morrison’s Beloved, there is a kind abortion, the killing of Beloved by Sethe, which results in and from the freedom that real love provides. And in both texts, the characters are looking for answers and solutions in these “word- hapes” called language.

In Acker’s Don Quixote, the abortion with which the novel opens is a precondition for surrendering the “constructed self. ” For Acker, the woman in position on the abortion table over whom a team of doctors and nurses work represents, in an ultimate sense, woman as a constructed object. The only hope is somehow to take control, to subvert the constructed identity on order to name oneself: “She had to name herself. When a doctor sticks a steel catheter into you while you’re lying on your back and you to; finally, blessedly, you let go of your mind.

Letting go of your mind is dying. She needed a new life. She had to be named” (Don Quixote 9-10). And she must name herself for a man – become a man – before the nobility and the dangers of her ordeals will be esteemed. She is to be a knight on a noble quest to love “someone other than herself” and thus to right all wrongs and to be truly free. In another of Acker’s works she writes: “Having an abortion was obviously just like getting fucked. If we closed our eyes and spread our legs, we’d be taken care of. They stripped us of our clothes.

Gave us white sheets to cover our nakedness. Let us back to the pale green room. I love it when men take care of me (Blood and Guts in High School 33). In Morrison’s Beloved, Sethe has two “abortions. ” The first and most obvious is the act of infanticide in killing Beloved. The second “abortion” is Sethe “getting fucked” by the grave-digger. This abortion, like Acker’s protagonist, creates a name. The name is Beloved – a “word-shape” representing true love, or freedom. For Sethe, to love also becomes a testament of freedom.

For having been owned by others (like Acker’s patriarchy) meant that her claim to love was not her own. She could not love her children, “love em proper in Kentucky because they wasn’t [hers] to love” (Beloved 162). Paul D understands that “to get a place where you could love anything you choose well now that was freedom” (Beloved 162), but he is also bound to his slave mentality to overcome his fear. He considers Sethe’s unconditional love “risky”: “For a used-to-be-slave woman to love anything that much was dangerous, especially if it was her children she had settled on to love” (Beloved 45).

The far safer way was “to love just a little bit, so when they broke its back, or shoved it in a croaker sack, well, aybe you’d have a little love left over for the next one” (Beloved 45). It is this compromised love that even Baby Suggs accepted – despite her magnificent sermon in the Clearing on loving one’s self – knowing that her slave master would take her children away. And it is this “weak love” that Paul D tells Sethe she must accept (a patriarchal love, as Acker might say). When Paul D tells her love is “too thick,” however, Sethe insists that “Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t no love at all” (Beloved 164).

She believes in this pure love, the kind perhaps Acker’s protagonist is looking for. Also, like Acker’s Don Quixote, Morrison shows, through the relationship between Sethe and Beloved, the dangerous potential of “free” love. Another similarity shown in Beloved is that freedom is always perilous – it has the potential to be self-consuming. This love allows Sethe to commit infanticide as well as compelling Beloved to claim possession of Sethe’s self. Despite her efforts to earn Beloved’s understanding of her action, Sethe never retreats from her insistence that the murder was justified.

She wills Beloved to return in order to hear her say “I forgive you,” yet she acknowledges no guilt. In her “unspeakable things, unspoken” narrative, she claims that though she does not “have to explain a thing,” she will: “Why I did it. How if I hadn’t killed her she would have died” (Beloved 200). The more Beloved demands of her, the more “Sethe plead[s] for forgiveness, counting, listing again and again the reasons: that Beloved was more important, meant more to her than her own live” (Beloved 241-242), “that what she had done was right because it came from true love” (Beloved 251).

But it seems to be a confession without a crime: “Sethe didn’t really want forgiveness given, she wanted it refused. And Beloved helped her out” (Beloved 252). For Sethe, forgiveness must not cancel out the justification of her act, the very love that generated it transforms infanticide into the profoundest testimony of love, signifying the reverse of what it seems. Sethe is “luxuriating” in not being forgiven, more proud than repentant, paradoxically seeking forgiveness irrespective of a crime.

The acquisition of a new life and name, and love and language are henceforth erratically and erotically pursued in both texts. The means of acquisition are outside, unavailable in a culture locked in patriarchy, or slavery. In order to constitute the self differently, the quester is required to find a different site for enunciating that self. Acker moves her protagonist toward this site through the appropriation of male texts. As the epigraph to Part II of Don Quixote reads: “Being Born Into And Part Of A Male World, She Had No Speech Of Her Own.

All She Could Do Was Read Male Texts Which Weren’t Hers” (Don Quixote 39). These texts represent the limits of language and culture within which the female quester attempts to acquire identity. Once inside the male text, the quester, by her very posture, subverts it: “By repeating the past, I’m molding and transforming it. ” In the text, Acker explains the subversive effects of plagiarism through Arabs, who in incarnating an “other” of Western culture are comparable to women: Unlike American and Western culture (generally), the Arabs (in their culture) have no (concept of) originality.

That is, culture. They write new stories paint new pictures et cetera only by embellishing old stories pictures They write by cutting chunks out of all-ready written texts and in other ways defacing traditions: changing important names into silly ones, aking dirty jokes out of matters that should be of the utmost importance to us such as nuclear warfare. (Don Quixote 25). It seems also in Morrison’s Beloved, with subversion of words and language is apparent when the townsfolk get together at 124.

At first they try the prayers that “weren’t theirs,” but when the women’s singing prayer does not have the ability affect the “roaring” around 124, they must go all the way back to the first page of the text in their collective memory: “In the beginning was the sound, and they all knew what the sound sounded like” (Beloved 259).

This familiar, original sound revitalizes Sethe’s body and allowing her to break the lock Beloved has had upon her. For Sethe it was as though the Clearing had come to her with all its heat and simmering leaves, where the voices of women searched for the right combination, the key, the code, the sound that broke the back of words. Building voice upon voice until they found it, and when they did it was a wave of sound wide enough to sound deep water and knock the pods off chestnut trees. It broke over Sethe and she trembled like the baptized in its wash” (Beloved 261).

Unleashed, Sethe rushes toward Bodwin (mistaking him for the schoolteacher) with ice pick raised, her body partially transformed into the shape of the weapon she is holding: “The ice pick is not in her hand; it is her hand” (Beloved 262). But the reconstituted community intervenes, pulling her into what Beloved sees as a “hill of black people falling” (Beloved 262). Now that Sethe and Denver have reentered the community, Beloved thinks that she has been left behind, “Alone.

Again” (Beloved 262), and the “devil-child” (Beloved 261) vanishes. Thus Sethe’s freedom. She has loved completely. All this raises a question: Is Acker’s protagonist similar to Sethe or to Beloved? Like Sethe, the “knight-night” believes in a pure love, not excluding taboo. They both also believe that to love one must be freed from their respective slavery, and to be free is the ability to love.

However Sethe, and the whole of Morrison’s work, seems to be the incarnation of what Don Quixote is trying to reach. Sethe sees her love a true and pure, while this is the quest of Don Quixote. However, Sethe is “saved” at the end of the text by a community getting in touch with a “language of their own,” while Acker’s rotagonist is subverting texts to find or create something this “primal. ” Don Quixote is far more easily paired with the ghost of Beloved.

They both are searching for a language they can use and understand and know with the “word-shapes” that they are given. They are both on quests to find love and freedom that are not a product of “slavery. ” They both are in search of a name, an identity, that is not a product of an “abortion. ” They are both childlike yet adult, trying to understand. And neither of them are asking for, or offering, forgiveness.

Themes of Strength and Sacrifice in The Grapes of Wrath

In Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath, Ma Joad and Rose of Sharon graphically portray the themes of strength and sacrifice. They are universal characters, the people who make up the fabric of society in every nation. Through them we understand the need for unity and we feel the desperation of the billions of laborers who struggle every day just to survive. Throughout the story Ma is a model of the strength of the human spirit. For example, Steinbeck says of her, “if she swayed the family shook, and if she ever really deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone”.

She is the foundation upon which the rest of the family stands. Just as when a single driblet of dye is dropped into a glass of water and disperses throughout, her strength permeates to the rest of the family, infusing them with her mightiness. Also, when the Wilsons car breaks down and Pa proposes splitting up just for a short time until the car is repaired she threatens him with a jack handle. She knows that all they have in the world is each other and without each other to hold on to they have nothing.

There is a saying “one finds comfort in numbers” however in this case “comfort” is replaced with survival. In addition, near the end of the book, when the boxcars have flooded and it seems all hope has been lost Ma leads the family to higher ground. Despite the despair she feels she overcomes it to do what must be done to insure that they survive to live another day. Her strength gives her the power rise above adversity and to be the leader that she is. Ma’s strength is what allows the family to hold up as long as they do.

Rose of Sharon, on the other hand, shows the sacrifice the Joads and the rest of the Okies had to endure. For example, while they are driving to California she tells Ma of her and Connie’s desire to live in a house with a white fence and have an icebox and go to the movies every day. While Rose of Sharon’s dream is ended by Connie’s desertion what she describes is also the shattered dream of every other Okie family who came west in search of a better life. Her loss is not personal, but universal.

Also, she works in the field with the rest of the family picking peaches and cotton while pregnant. She is voluntarily risking the health and well being of her unborn child to help the health and well being of her family. She is risking her greatest treasure, her baby, to try to ensure that her family will endure. In addition, she offers her breast to a dying man to save his life. This is the ultimate gift, offering one’s body to another, giving the milk intended for her dead child to another. With this sacrifice she finally understands her mother and her role as a woman.

With her sacrifices Rose of Sharon depicts the ruined aspirations of the Okies and truly becomes a woman. Steinbeck uses his characters to convey many of his themes. With Ma’s strength and Rose of Sharon’s sacrifices he shows that the most common people are the most important. Those who run the great corporate and political machine make themselves rich by standing on the backs of others. These great leaders are nothing without the billions of people they exploit. They are in fact lower than those they consider subordinate.

A Doll’s House Central Theme

One of A Doll’s House’s central theme is secession from society. It is demonstrated by several of its characters breaking away from the social standards of their time and acting on their own terms. No one character demonstrates this better than Nora. During the time in which the play took place society frowned upon women asserting themselves. Women were supposed to play a role in which they supported their husbands, took care of their children, and made sure everything was perfect around the house.

Work, politics, and decisions were left to the males. Nora’s first secession from society was when she broke the law and ecided to borrow money to pay for her husbands treatment. By doing this, she not only broke the law but she stepped away from the role society had placed on her of being totally dependent on her husband. She proved herself not to be helpless like Torvald implied: “you poor helpless Nora’s second secession from society was shown by her decision to leave Torvald and her children.

Society demanded that she take a place under her husband. This is shown in the way Torvald spoke down to her saying things like: “worries that you couldn’t possibly help me with,” and “Nora, Nora, just like a woman. She is almost considered to be property of his: “Mayn’t I look at my dearest treasure? At all the beauty that belongs to no one but me -that’s all my very own? ” By walking out she takes a position equal to her husband and brakes society’s expectations.

Nora also brakes society’s expectations of staying in a marriage since divorce was frowned upon during that era. Her decision was a secession from all expectations put on a Nora secessions are very deliberate and thought out. She knows what society expects of her and continues to do what she feels is right despite them. Her secessions are used by Ibsen to show aults of society. In the first secession Ibsen illustrates that despite Nora doing the right thing it is deemed wrong and not allowed by society because she is a woman.

While the forgery can be considered wrong, Ibsen is critical of the fact that Nora is forced to forge. Ibsen is also critical of society’s expectations of a marriage. He illustrates this by showing how Nora is forced to play a role than be herself and the eventual deterioration of the marriage. Throughout the play Nora is looked down upon and treated as a possession by her husband. She is something to please him and used for show. He is looked upon as the provider and the decision maker. Society would have deemed it a perfect marriage.

Ibsen is critical of the fact that a marriage lacked love and understanding, as shown by Torvald becoming angry with Nora for taking the loan and saving A Doll’s House’s central theme of secession from society was made to be critical of society’s view on women and marriage. Ibsen used Nora’s secessions as an example to illustrate that society’s expectations of a woman’s role in society and marriage were incorrect. Her decision to leave was the exclamation point on his critical view of society.

Comparing Catcher in the Rye and Pygmalion and the Themes They Represent

In J. D. Salingers novel The Catcher in the Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, muses at one point on the possibility of escaping from the world of confusion and phonies while George Bernard Shaws main character of Pygmalion, Eliza Dolittle, struggles to become a phony. The possible reason for this is that they both come from opposite backgrounds. Holden is a young, affluent teenager in 1950s America who resents materialism and Eliza Dolittle is a young, indigent woman who is living in Britain during the late 1800s trying to meet her material needs and wants.

These two seemingly opposite characters do in fact have something in common: they, like every other person, are in a constant pursuit of happiness. This commonality is the basis for the themes these two stories present. Some of these themes go unconsidered and this leads to many misunderstandings in the world. This is why Pygmalion and Catcher in the Rye are not just stories but, in fact, lessons that are presented in their themes.

These themes teach that being middle or upper class does not guarantee happiness, treating others with good manners and equality are important, and pronunciation and terminology can put you in your place in terms of class. Throughout the worlds history, pronunciation and the way a language is spoken indicates ones place in society. This is quite apparent in Pygmalion. Eliza is a classic victim of being put into her place based on the way she speaks. She goes to Professor Higgins in hope that he will give her lessons on how to speak in a more refined.

She says she wants to be a lady in a flower shop stead of sellin at the corner of Tottenham Court Road. But they wont take me unless I can talk more genteel (23). This is precisely why she comes to Henry Higgins. He knows quite a bit about the study of speech. In fact, he is a professor of phonetics. He can pronounce one hundred thirty vowel sounds and place any man within six miles of their homes (15). Sometimes he can even place them within two streets of their homes. When Eliza hears this, she decides to take advantage of Higgins ability and take lessons from him.

She learns a new form of speech and this newfound way of speaking helps to pass her off as a duchess at an opera. Holdens speech also manages to categorize him: not class-wise, but rather age-wise and personality-wise. He captures the informal speech of an average intelligent adolescent. This speech includes both simple description and cursing. For example, in the introduction, Holden says, Theyre nice and all, as well as, Im not going to tell you my whole goddam autobiography or anything (1). The term nice is an extremely broad term Holden uses to characterize his parents.

He does not want to disrespect them yet he does not feel right praising them either. This opening to Holdens story shows Holdens unwillingness to share his views. However, this gradually changes and he opens up. He uses the terms and all and or anything regularly throughout the novel and because not everyone speaks like this, these terms make Holdens speech unique. Holden also feels he has to confirm what he is saying because he does not quite believe himself. For example, he says, Im a pacifist, if you want to know the truth (26). When Holden is particularly angry, he swears more often.

He says That guy Morrow is about as sensitive as a god dam toilet seat (55). His inability to properly communicate without have to rely on profanity to express himself shows Holden as a boy suffering from what some might call teenage angst. Holden, however, rarely shows his angst publicly. For the most part, he is composed in front of people; especially adults and strangers. If annoyed about something, he manages to say what he thinks in such a polite, disguised way, the people he talks to do not even notice. Holden believes in manners and treating everyone equally. Before Holden leaves for Christmas Break, Mr.

Spencer invites him to his house and asks about what the headmaster, Dr. Thurmer, said to him. Holden replies that Dr. Thurmer spoke of life being a game, and that one should play it according to the rules (8). Holden shows no animosity about Dr. Thurmers speech. He accepts it as part of the educators duty even though he knows that life is only a game if you are on the right side, where all the hot-shots are. Mr. Spencer also lectures and proceeds to go through Holdens history exam with him. Holden did poorly both in class and on the exam and feels guilty because Mr. Spencer is infatuated with history.

Holden tells his teacher that he enjoys listening to his lectures in class but he didnt care much for history because he doesnt want to hurt his feelings (11). Robert Ackley, the boy living in the room next to Holden and Ward Stradlater, Holdens roommate at Pencey Prep, are seemingly exact opposites of each other. Ackley is a boring, homely loner while Stradlater is an exiting, handsome athlete. However, Holden sees them as being quite similar. Primarily, they are both slobs. Ackley is a blatant slob: He has lousy teeth [] they always looked mossy and awful and he had a lot of pimples (19) while Stradlater is a secret slob.

He always looked all right, but you shouldve seen the razor he shaved himself with [. ] rusty as hell and full of lather and hairs (27). They are also uncaring and self-absorbed. For example, Stradlater does not care about Holdens feelings for Jane Gallagher. After the two fight about her, Holden goes to Ackleys room to talk. Ackley keeps telling Holden to be quiet and go to sleep even though Holden always listens to his problems. Holden also condemns a former headmaster who is especially courteous to well-dressed, well-to-do parents and less courteous, to less sophisticated and powerful parents.

This disgusts Holden and he resents that someone he is supposed to respect is such a prime example of the materialistic society he lives in. Eliza also believes that all people should be treated equally. Including herself, she greatly dislikes the patronizing way people of low-class society are treated by people of high-class society. In an attempt to equal herself with others in society, Eliza wants to take lessons on how to talk more genteel (23). Even though she has virtually no money, she insists to Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering that she has come to have lessons, I am. And pay for em too: make no mistakes (23).

She does not believe that she should be given any special considerations just because she cannot as readily afford the lessons as others. These lessons, she believes, will change her life and she will then be a happier person. In the beginning of Pygmalion, Eliza is a young low-class woman selling flowers on the street corner so that she can make enough money to survive. Even though this is the only way of living she knows, Eliza sees that there is more out there and she does not have to be a low-class woman forever. She wants more out of life and will not allow herself to be stomped on by others.

She is a very proud person and when Henry Higgins orders his maid, Mrs. Pearce, to take all of her clothes off and burn them, Eliza replies angrily, youre no gentleman, youre not, to talk of such things. Im a good girl, I am (27). The burning of her old clothes marks the beginning of a series of changes for Eliza. In the hopes of achieving a better life in high-class society, she must say good-bye to everything she knows and this she does with mixed emotions. After her transformation, though, she discovers that life is not as wonderful as she thought it would be. Eliza realizes that so-called proper people have problems as well.

Now that she has achieved her goal, she does not know what she is going to do with her life. She does have secret hopes of marrying Henry Higgins, however, but these hopes are destroyed during a fight in which he reveals to her that he has no intentions of marrying her. He tells her she might marry, you know. You see Eliza, all men are, not confirmed old bachelors like me and the Colonel. Most men are the marrying sort (poor devils) (77). After this realization hits, Eliza leaves Professor Higgins home. Soon after, she gets involved with Freddy Eynford Hill, a poor but classy, intelligent gentleman.

He is clearly in love with Eliza and they marry. From this point on, they live a simple life, working in their own flower shop. Throughout her transformation, Eliza loses sight of her original goal which is to own a flower shop. She begins to think she needs more to b happy. Ironically, however, at the point in her life when she has the most materially, is the point she is unhappiest. This is not to say that she resents all that she has learned because now she realizes that achieving her original goal is all she needs. Holden presents this theme in a different way than Eliza.

At the beginning of the novel, he states that he does not want to explain where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield king of crap (1). Even though he comes from an affluent family from NYC, he has problems of his own. He does not live a free and easy lifestyle, as some would expect. In fact, the life he leads could typically be expected by society to be that of someone of a lower class. For example, he is repeatedly expelled from schools for poor achievement.

In an attempt to deal with his latest expulsion, he leaves school a few days prior to the end of term, and goes to New York to take a vacation before returning home to deal with his parents. Throughout his journey home, he describes bouts of deep depression, impulsive spending and erratic behaviour prior to his nervous breakdown. Despite his material wealth, Holden does not appreciate what he has; he feels guilty. For example, his roommate at Elkton Hills, Dick Slagee had very inexpensive suitcases. He used to keep them under the bed, instead of on the rack, so that nobody would see them standing next to mine.

It depressed holy hell out of me, and I kept wanting to throw mine out or something, or even trade with him (108). Holden is a prime example that all people are human beings; one is not any better than another based on which position in society they hold. He is not pretentious because of his wealth, but actually, if a comparison of the two is going to be made, Holden is of a higher class than Eliza but he leads a more melancholy life than she. Therefore, wealth does not create happiness. These two authors, J . D. Salinger and George Bernard Shaw have created two stories that are effective in many different ways.

They are not only great literary pieces of work written with great intelligence but they are also geared toward the average reader. This method of creating a story that virtually anyone can read and find interest in is a great way to attract readers. When readers are attracted, the authors messages get across much more clearly and to a larger number of people. When Catcher in the Rye and Pygmalion were written, the authors had the same themes in mind. These themes provoke thought and when thought is provoked, many good things can happen.

For example, people can realize what they are doing wrong and change their ways. As these stories show, being middle or upper class does not guarantee happiness, being well mannered and treating people equally is important, and people should not always be judged based on the way they speak. If people read these stories and realize that they are not just great literary works but also important messages, much more can be learned than the mechanics of writing. If people begin to take these themes and apply them to everyday life, these stories could be considered more than just literature.

Escape theme in the “The Glass Menagerie”

“The Glass Menagerie” is set in the apartment of the Wingfield family. By description, it is a cramped, dingy place, not unlike a jail cell. It is one of many such apartments in the neighborhood. Of the Wingfield family members, none of them want to live there. Poverty is what traps them in their humble abode. The escape from this lifestyle, this apartment and these relationships is a significant theme throughout the play. These escapes may be related to the fire escape, the dance hall, the absent Mr. Wingfield and Tom’s inevitable departure.

The play opens with Tom addressing the audience from the fire escape. This entrance into the apartment provides a different purpose for each of the characters. Overall, it is a symbol of the passage from freedom to being trapped in a life of desperation. The fire escape allows Tom the opportunity to get out of the apartment and away from his nagging mother. Amanda sees the fire escape as an opportunity for gentleman callers to enter their lives. Laura’s view is different from her mother and her brother. Her escape seems to be hiding inside the apartment, not out.

The fire escape separates reality and the unknown. Across the street from the Wingfield apartment is the Paradise Dance Hall. Just the name of the place is a total anomaly in the story. Life with the Wingfields is as far from paradise as it could possibly be. Laura appears to find solace in playing the same records over and over again, day after day. Perhaps the music floating up to the apartment from the dance hall is supposed to be her escape, which she just can’t take. Often in the play the music from the Paradise Dance Hall is the background music for the scenes.

The Glass Menagerie playing quite frequently. With war ever present in the background, such as the fact that Amanda is in the Daughters of the Revolution, the dance hall is the last chance for paradise. Mr. Wingfield, the absent father of Tom and Laura and husband to the shrewish Amanda, is referred to often throughout the story. He is the ultimate symbol of escape. This is because he has managed to remove himself from the desperate situation that the rest of his family is still living in. His picture is featured prominently on the wall as a constant reminder of better times and days gone by.

Amanda always makes disparaging remarks about her missing husband, yet lets his picture remain. Tom always makes jokes about his dad, and how he “fell in love with long distances. ” This is his attempt to ease the pain of abandonment by turning it into something humorous. It is ironic that the thing that Tom resents most about his father is the same thing that he himself will do, escape. Through his father, Tom has seen that escape is possible, and though he is hesitant to leave his sister and his mother behind, he is being driven to it. Tom escapes reality in many different ways.

The first and most obvious is the fire escape that leads him away from his desolate home. Another would be the movies that he goes to see and Amanda is always nagging him about. She thinks he spends too much time watching movies and that he should work harder. She also feels that it is partly his duty to find a suitable companion for Laura. The more Amanda nags, the more Tom seems to need his movie escapes. They take him to another world for a while, where mothers and sisters and runaway fathers do not exist. As the strain of his real life gets worse, the movie watching becomes more frequent, as does Tom’s drinking.

It is getting harder and harder for Tom to avoid real life. The time for a real departure is fast approaching. Amanda eventually pushes him over the edge, almost forcing him out, but not without laying overpowering guild trips on him. Tom leaves, but his going away is not the escape that he craved for so long. The guilt of abandoning Laura is overwhelming. He cannot seem to get over it. Everything he sees is a reminder of her. Tom is now truly following in the footsteps of his father. Too late, he is realizing that leaving is not an escape at all, but a path of even more powerful desperation.

Williams uses the theme of escape throughout “The Glass Menagerie” to demonstrate the hopelessness and futility of each character’s dreams. Tom, Laura and Amanda all seem to think, incorrectly in the end, that escape is possible. In the end, no character makes a clean break from the situation at hand. The escape theme demonstrated in the fire escape, the dance hall, Mr. Wingfield and Tom’s departure prove to be a dead end in many ways. Perhaps Tennessee Williams is trying to send a message that running away is not the way to solve life’s problems. The only escape in life is solving your problems, not avoiding them.

The Republic – Book 1 – Theme Of Justice

The subject matter of the “Republic” is the nature of justice and its relation to human existence. Book I of the “republic” contains a critical examination of the nature and virtue of justice. Socrates engages in a dialectic with Thrasymachus, Polemarchus, and Cephalus, a method which leads to the asking and answering of questions which directs to a logical refutation and thus leading to a convincing argument of the true nature of justice. And that is the main function of Book I, to clear the ground of mistaken or inadequate accounts of justice in order to make room for the new theory.

Socrates attempts to show that certain beliefs and attitudes of justice and its nature are inadequate or inconsistent, and present a way in which those views about justice are to be overcome. Traditionally justice was regarded as one of the cardinal virtues; to avoid injustices and to deal equitable with both equals and inferiors was seen as what was expected of the good man, but it was not clear how the benefits of justice were to be reaped. Socrates wants to persuade from his audience to adopt a way of estimating the benefits of this virtue.

From his perspective, it is the quality of the mind, the psyche organization which enables a person to act virtuously. It is this opposition between the two types of assessment of virtue that is the major theme explored in Socrates’ examination of the various positions towards justice. Thus the role of Book I is to turn the minds from the customary evaluation of justice towards this new vision. Through the discourse between Cephalus, Polemarchus and Thrasymachus, Socaretes’ thoughts and actions towards justice are exemplified.

Though their views are different and even opposed, the way all three discourse about justice and power reveal that they assume the relation between the two to be separate. They find it impossible to understand the idea that being just is an exercise of power and that true human power must include the ability to act justly. And that is exactly what Socrates seeks to refute. The Socratic dialogue begins of Socrates recounting a conversation he had with a number of people at the house of Cephalus.

Returning to Athens from Piraeus, where they had been attending a religious festival, Socrates and Glaucon are intercepted by Cephalus, who playfully forces them to come to his father’s house. Socrates begins by asking the old man what advice he has to give the youth. Cephalus regards his reliance on wealth as a condition which enables the good person to lead a life of justice. Socrates, which recognizes that justice is an attribute of the good person, still sees Cephalus’ view as only possible with sufficient material wealth.

Cephalus is not a reflective person, it is obviously suggested when he states that a person can satisfy the requirements of a just and good life by possessing the right disposition and equipped with adequate wealth. But that is all that his life experiences have shown him and unlike Socrates, Cephalus is not a man for whom unexamined life is not worth living. Therefore Socrates’ response to Cephalus is not a direct confrontation. Socrates comments that the value of talking to old men is that they may teach us something about the life they have traversed.

They may tell us the benefits of old age, however, Plato exploits Cephalus’ account of old age to suggest that old age is not a source of wisdom. The wisdom and goodness which enables Cephalus to see his age as a beneficial state need not come with old age. To most men, as Cephalus recognizes, old age is a source of misery and resentment. Only those who have order and peace with themselves can “accept old age with equanimity. ” And so it turns out that neither youth nor old age are conditions which enable people to perceive the just way to live; its character and a right disposition.

Cephalus supposes that material possession is responsible for the correct perception of what makes a life good. But take the consolations of wealth away and see whether the right character ensures the same peaceful acceptance of old age. Cephalus argues that finding old age as a “good thing” will depend on whether you have the disposition of those who have “order and peace with themselves”. And he identifies this disposition with the inclination not to tell lies or deceive and the willingness to fulfill obligations to gods and men.

He believes that a life which manifests these disposition is the life of a just person, of a person conscious of having lived “free from injustice”. It is unclear whether Cephalus takes it that being conscious of having lived free from injustices is simply that one has not cheated or told lies and having fulfilled the obligations to gods and man. Because of the living of a just life is merely to follow these guidelines then it is not implied if these virtues are attributed to a specific personality, or of an orderly and peaceful character.

If his argument is not correctly linked then there is no reason to correlate living justly with the possession of a certain character; the just character. It could turn out that the benefits of just conduct are the possession of a particular sort of character. Socrates remarks that telling the truth and returning what is borrowed cannot be the definition of justice (as outlined by Cephalus), he claims that instances of the types of action Cephalus thinks of as just, can in different circumstances be identified as cases of unjust.

Socrates launches into a description of the act of giving a borrowed weapon back to a friend who while being out of his sense, asks to reclaim it. Socrates claims that everyone would acknowledge that one should not return the weapon- it would be unjust to do so. And so we conclude based on Socrates’ argument that the just action is not merely a good or beneficial action: it is an action whose goodness is that which specifically belongs to justice. But this is in contrary view to Cephalus, he is convinced that people for whom there is order and peace lead the life of justice and avoid injustices.

According to Cephalus, not returning the weapon to an enraged friend is an action in which one does not like to see any harm coming to people or because he cannot tolerate any harm. But if these are motives in avoiding injustice, there may be circumstances in which that person may be forced to act unjustly. And most obvious is that even if just people do have gentle and orderly personalities as suggested by Cephalus, it is not obvious that their justice is due to that personality or rather the other the other way around.

Cephalus’ account of what makes his life a good and just one does not show that he avoids injustice because he understand the harm of being unjust. And so paradoxically a life lived in accordance with justice may not in fact be life lived from injustice. Cephalus’ failure to provide an adequate definition of justice shows that the life according to Cephalus does not generate sufficient understanding of justice. As Cephalus departs from the argumentative scene and hands over the argument to Polemarchus whose view is that justice is to “render to each his due”.

Polemarchus claims that justice consists of benefitting one’s friends and harming one’s enemies. Polemarchus narrows his distinction to friends and enemies. If justice depends on whether one is a friend or an enemy than it is uncertain how that distinction will be made. The judgement whether someone has acted justly will depend on whether he is classified as a friend of foe. Polemarchus’ attitude to justice, unlike his father’s, does not recognize any quality inherent in justice.

Polemarchus sees justice as a product of the distinction with regard our interaction of that dealings as with friends or enemies. If returning something borrowed is harmful then its being a just act depends on whether the lender is friend or not. However, Polemarchus’ view does not distinguish acting justly from acting in accordance with what is socially expected, as the treatment of an individual depends upon the nature of their relationship with those in position. Polemarchus is unable to explain that there are specific characteristics to justice which distinct it from other virtues.

He is able to show that helping friends and harming enemies achieve some good, but he can’t show why such actions belong to the just man. Nor can Polemarchus say how to help the friend and harm the enemy according to the just way and he therefore cannot say how the just way of helping friends differs from the non-just way. Polemarchus has difficulty in defining th measure of justice. It is first suggested as wars and alliance and alter as deals of financial agreements. Socrates refutes Polemarchus’ argument by saying that one can rely on the just when money and everything else is not in use.

Polemarchus’ failure to identify any specific aims of justice has the further consequence that he can’t declare unjustifiable acts such a theft or perjury. His reference to benefitting friends and harming enemies suggests that he thinks of justice as a virtue confined by social aims. Justice may be thought of as an aspect which is to benefit the agent. But just acts which harm friends or benefit enemies are ultimately not beneficial to the mediator and therefore cannot be virtuous. Socrates’ dialectic is to undermine Polemarchus’ belief that th goodness of justice is to be understood in terms of its social realms.

This belief is undermined because if virtue is a human quality and justice is a part of virtue, then justice in that view does not limit the type of character involved in such behavior. And if justice is a virtue and its goal is something good, then we should be able to correlate a relation between the acts of goodness and justice and such is not the case with the Polemarchian view. As portrayed by Plato, Thrasymachus is presented as having a consistent and coherent attitude to justice. Thrasymachus suggests that the true nature of a just conduct can only be grasped from the perspective of power.

According to Thrasymachus, to seek a moral understanding of justice is pointless. The confrontation between Socrates and Thrasymachus and the clash that erupts as a result of their extreme views is between that of two conceptions of political power. The characteristic of just actions, as defined by Thrasymachus is defined as doing the good of another as seen from the perspective of power. Thrasymachus further defines justice in his long speech that the good reasons people have for praising justice and condemning injustice have nothing to do with their believing that it is the ends of justice that are desirable.

Thrasymachus further exploits justice by his statement that “justice is nothing but the advantage of the stronger”, but he does not define what the advantage is per se. Thrasymachus’ definition does not illustrate justice as a moral quality, it is the advantage to only those who are at the position of power; justice converted into political power by the pollis of Thrasymachus. To Thrasymachus, justice is the advantage of the stronger because it places the seemingly just man in a strong position of control. Thrasymachus’ explication of justice is in view to promote the interests of those in power in every case.

He introduces a criterion of justice: Justice is really the good of another, the advantage of the more powerful and the ruler, but the personal harm of those who obey and render service. Injustice is the opposite and rules over those who are truly simple and just, and those over whom it rules do what is of advantage to him who is more powerful, and by rendering him service they make him happier, but themselves not at all. Thrasymachus claims justice as the “good of another” as an extension of “the advantage of the stronger”.

A ruler acts in accordance with the laws of a pollis only to promote his own advantage whereas injustice is what is profitable and advantageous to oneself. But if we analyze Thrasymachus’ speeches he seems to suggest that injustice is what advantages a person and makes him stronger and so it is difficult to see why he defines justice as the advantage of the stronger. But from the fact that justice may advantage someone else-the stronger, it does not follow to say that it damages the other, perhaps it advantages both.

Thrasymachus’ second speech states justice as “doing the good of another”. People who consistently pursue their own advantage and are completely unjust are the strong and happy ones as it is the injustice that makes them happy. They know how to use the just person for their own advantage, they are the ruler of the just person. Rulers are a paradigm case of those in control. The essence of ruling is, therefore, to be unjust and that is why a tyrant is a perfect ruler. He always knows what is to his advantage and how to acquire it.

Thrasymachus’ view of justice is appealing but therein lies a moral danger and this is refuted by Socrates. Out of the confrontation with Cephalus, Polemarchus, and Thrasymachus, Socrates emerges as a reflective individual searching for the rational foundation of morality and human excellence. The views presented by the three men are invalid and limited as they present a biased understanding of justice and require a re-examination of the terminology. The nature in which the faulty arguments are presented, leave the reader longing to search for the rational foundations of morality and human virtue.

Theme of Beowulf

The Anglo-Saxons were the members of the Germanic peoples who invaded England, and were there at the time of the Norman Conquest. They were people of their own time, language and culture. In the Anglo-Saxon adventure filled tale of Beowulf, the heron Beowulf was, at the time, considered the modern day superman. His character exemplifies the Germanic hero, and consequently the Anglo-Saxon ideal: strong, fearless, bold, loyal, and stoic in his acceptance of fate. With the absence of humility, yet his important role in society and his ideals of chivalry, Beowulf was the definition of a hero in his own time.

This novel develops the theme that with honor towards chivalry and faith in yourself, anything can be accomplished. To be a hero in the Anglo-Saxon period, you proved yourself by doing good deeds,showing honor and exemplifying bravery. But with all of his amazing characteristics, Beowulf had a hard time proving humility. “you’re Beowulf, are you – the same boastful fool who fought a swimming match with Brecca, both of you daring and young and proud, exploring the deepest seas, risking your lives for no reason but the danger?

All older and wiser heads warned you not to, but no one could check such pride. “(p. 39, Beowulf). This quote best describes Beowulf as a child, full of pride and not that good at hiding it. “I fought that beast’s last battle, left it floating lifeless in the sea. ” (p. 40 Beowulf). Another quote that showed that in his older age, he had no problem expressing how good he was. A Knight , a hero in the near future, was not one to be as outspoken of his capabilities as Beowulf, even though they did both have the same roles in society and honor towards chivalry.

Two qualities that did make Beowulf look a lot more heroic, unlike his absence of humility. Beowulf’s role in society was almost identical to that of a Knight. Only, unlike the Knight, Beowulf made the choice to have this role in society. He was considered the strongest warrior around. He could fight anything, and would easily fight for his King and country. When King Hrothgar had trouble in his battle hall Herot, he asked for Beowulf’s assistance. With honor and pride, Beowulf gladly accepted the Kings plea for help.

Many believed he did so because it was considered his role in society. Either way, he fought off the two beasts, Grendle and his mother, and saved Herot. Beowulf Knew of his power and strengths and probably considered this to be his role in society, to serve and to protect his country and those in need. This honor gives a good example of Beowulf’s heroism. With any quality of Beowulf, chivalry was probably his most recognizable. If anything , Beowulf had the up most respect for his King. He loved him and honored him with all of his heart.

If asked to do anything by the King, Beowulf would accept with pride. When the King died, it was Beowulf that was asked to take over. But with Beowulf’s chivalry, he declined because the King’s son was the rightful heir. With time, Beowulf did become King, but with his honor towards chivalry, he was looked up to by all of his people. Most people would have easily accepted the throne if asked, but Beowulf was strong with his belief towards chivalry. Even if Beowulf did not have humility, his role in society and honor towards chivalry expressed his beliefs and proved his heroism.

The theme, with honor towards chivalry and faith in yourself, anything can be accomplished, is developed in this novel. The Anglo-Saxon ideals of being strong, fearless, bold and loyal were exactly the qualities that Beowulf carried with him. The ideals of heroism vary differently from generation to generation. But with humility, roles in society, and chivalry, you are bound to have similarities with other heroes. With Beowulf, his honor and pride made him a hero of his own time.

A Doll’s House – Central Theme

One of A Doll’s House’s central theme is secession from society. It is demonstrated by several of its characters breaking away from the social standards of their time and acting on their own terms. No one character demonstrates this better than Nora.

During the time in which the play took place society frowned upon women asserting themselves. Women were supposed to play a role in which they supported their husbands, took care of their children, and made sure everything was perfect around the house. Work, politics, and decisions were left to the males. Nora’s first secession from society was when she broke the law and decided to borrow money to pay for her husbands treatment. By doing this, she not only broke the law but she stepped away from the role society had placed on her of being totally dependent on her husband. She proved herself not to be helpless like Torvald implied: “you poor helpless little creature!”

Nora’s second secession from society was shown by her decision to leave Torvald and her children. Society demanded that she take a place under her husband. This is shown in the way Torvald spoke down to her saying things like: “worries that you couldn’t possibly help me with,” and “Nora, Nora, just like a woman.” She is almost considered to be property of his: “Mayn’t I look at my dearest treasure? At all the beauty that belongs to no one but me -that’s all my very own?” By walking out she takes a position equal to her husband and brakes society’s expectations. Nora also brakes society’s expectations of staying in a marriage since divorce was frowned upon during that era. Her decision was a secession from all expectations put on a woman and a wife by society.

Nora secessions are very deliberate and thought out. She knows what society expects of her and continues to do what she feels is right despite them. Her secessions are used by Ibsen to show faults of society. In the first secession Ibsen illustrates that despite Nora doing the right thing it is deemed wrong and not allowed by society because she is a woman. While the forgery can be considered wrong, Ibsen is critical of the fact that Nora is forced to forge. Ibsen is also critical of society’s expectations of a marriage. He illustrates this by showing how Nora is forced to play a role than be herself and the eventual deterioration of the marriage. Throughout the play Nora is looked down upon and treated as a possession by her husband. She is something to please him and used for show. He is looked upon as the provider and the decision maker. Society would have deemed it a perfect marriage. Ibsen is critical of the fact that a marriage lacked love and understanding, as shown by Torvald becoming angry with Nora for taking the loan and saving him, would be consider as perfect.

A Doll’s House’s central theme of secession from society was made to be critical of society’s view on women and marriage. Ibsen used Nora’s secessions as an example to illustrate that society’s expectations of a woman’s role in society and marriage were incorrect. Her decision to leave was the exclamation point on his critical view of society.

Theme of abusement at The Glass Menagerie

Abuse that begins during early childhood is very detrimental to the one being abused. The child is just beginning to learn who they are as a person. Children who are abused or made fun of often feel that they are unworthy and have little or no power and that the bullies are superior and have all the power. They often grow into depressed teenagers. In addition, many of the children abused or tormented of lose all hope and become abusers themselves. Sometimes a mental disability is developed. Either way, childhood abuse has a lifetime effect on the personality of the abused.

It is very unlikely that anything positive will bloom out of someone being abused or tormented as a child. Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie is a great example of a person who was affected by tormenting. Laura is an extremely shy, sensitive, and self-conscious person by nature. Her shyness is even made worse by her mothers forceful and almost brutal nature. Lauras mother, Amanda, puts an enormous amount of pressure on her daughter. Amanda definitely wants the best for Laura but she does not understand that her daughter is very different from herself.

Amanda constantly tells love stories and tells tales of many gentleman callers. She constantly tells her daughter to stay pretty for her gentleman callers even though Laura does not expect any. After, Laura drops out of school Amanda tries to get Lauras brother Tom to set her up with a man. Amanda forces her daughter to dress the way she thinks is appropriate. When Lauras date, Jim arrives Amanda puts tremendous pressure on Laura. Laura is extremely sick, yet Amanda forces her to open the door for Jim and engage in conversation.

As a result of Amanda wanting and pressuring Laura into becoming a person she is not, Laura withdrew herself from reality. Another factor that affected Laura as a person was her slight physical defect, a limp. Her oversensitive nature combined with the way people with disabilities are treated made her think that everyone notices the limp and it become a huge stumbling block to normal living. Her inability to overcome this defect causes her to withdraw into her world of illusion. Tom Wingfield, Amandas son is another character in the play that was tormented by Amanda and others.

His coworkers at the shoe warehouse pester Tom because he is different from them. They ridicule him because he is a sensitive and poetic person not the manly, hard working blue collar worker they want him to be. In addition, Amanda constantly tells Tom how to eat, how to comb his hair, how to act, and what he should be. As a result of this, Tom rebels and instinct sets her off. She believes the word to belong to animals and not Christian adults. tries to explain to his mother that man by instinct are a fighter, a hunter, and a lover.

When Amanda hears this she nearly explodes. As a result of the nagging from his mother and coworkers Tom became a more creative person. The people that poke fun at Tom do not change him in anyway. In fact, it encourages him to rebel even further and he decides not to change a bit, only be himself. Tom begins to go to the movies every night and to drink alcohol to escape reality. Tom realizes that these are only temporary psychological escapes and he must begin to live an adventurous life instead of watch adventure. Tom begins to write poetry more often and reads many books.

When Amanda began to confiscate the books which he had brought home, his life became almost intolerable. Some say that Amanda and the people that bullied him caused Tom to change for the worse and made him more selfish. He left his mother and sister to care for themselves at home and left the house in pursuit of adventure. In reality, Toms rejection of his family was not a selfish escape. Instead, Tom recognized that he must escape in order to save himself. It was a means of self-preservation. He knew that if he stayed, he would be destroyed as a man and as an artist.

Laura was more susceptible to the mental attacks because she is a woman. Gender roles are still quite clear that boys are to get angry when attacked and should fight back, while girls get hurt and cry, and should look for someone else to protect them. For Laura, there was no one to protect her and to improve her self-esteem. She tried to be a quiet good girl and she thought that is what would make people like her. When that did not work she began to doubt her worth and live in a world of her own. Some people believe that nothing positive can sprout out of abuse or being picked on.

One must realize that the only way to defeat mental anguish is to fight against it. As proved with Laura, if one sits back and does not fight against it, the anguish will ultimately lead to despair. On the other hand, with Tom, he did not give into the constant nagging of what his mother and coworkers wanted him to be like. He pushed to do what he thought was right, not what others thought was right. The tormenting Tom received drew out his inner most creativity. In conclusion, one must fight against mental anguish and overcome gender roles in order for anything beneficial to occur.

Reoccurring Themes and Symbols at Nathaniel Hawthorne works

Reoccurring Themes and Symbols in Different Works by Nathaniel Hawthorne It is no secret that Nathaniel Hawthornes The Ministers Black Veil is a parable. Hawthorne intended it as such and even gave the story the subtitle a parable. The Ministers Black Veil, however, was not Hawthornes only parable. Hawthorne often used symbols and figurative language to give added meaning to the literal interpretations of his work. His Puritan ancestry also influenced much of Hawthornes work. Instead of agreeing with Puritanism however, Hawthorne would criticize it through the symbols and themes in his stories and parables.

Several of these symbols and themes reoccur in Hawthornes The Ministers Black Veil, Young Goodman Brown, and The Scarlet Letter. One particularly noticeable theme in Hawthornes work is that of secret sin (Newman 338). In the Young Goodman Brown, this theme is evident when young Mr. Brown dreams that he is led by the devil to a witching party. There he sees all of the honorable and pious members of society, including his minister and the woman who taught him his catechisms, communing with the prince of darkness.

Upon awakening, the hypocritical nature of his once admired neighbors and the realization of his own secret sin causes him to become terribly disillusioned (Colacurcio 396). The same thing happens in The Ministers Black Veil, except the reader does not know exactly what secret sin makes Reverend Hooper begin to don the black veil. Many scholars believe that this has something to do with the funeral of the young lady at the beginning of the story.

The opinions range from believing that Reverend Hooper loved the girl in secret, to Poes believe that Reverend Hooper may have actually been the cause of the girls death (Newman 204). Whatever the reason, the ministers wearing of the veil taints his view of everyone else around him, making all of them look like they are wearing veils as well (Hawthorne 107). Dimmesdales secret sin with Hester Prynne is admitted at the end of the story, but the theme of secret sin is not as used as strongly in this novel as it was in Hawthornes stories (Dryden 147).

However, two of the main themes in The Scarlet Letter are visible in both of the other stories. The first is the corruption of the clergy. In The Scarlet Letter, Reverend Dimmesdale is a good pastor. He is not, however, the Puritan ideal of what a pastor should be. He is human, and gives in to human desires when he sleeps with Hester Prynne. Both Reverend Hooper and the minister in Young Goodman Brown are corrupt as well. Reverend Hoopers sins with the deceased young lady are hinted at, but still ambiguous.

The minister in Young Goodman Brown is a much better example of corrupt clergy. He is in attendance at the witches meeting just one day before he would go before his congregation and preach the word of God. This is no doubt another reflection of Hawthornes belief in the hypocrisy of Puritanism. Another element common in these three works by Hawthorne is the way that sin ostracizes one from society. In The Scarlet Letter, Hesters is branded with a symbol of her sin, so her separation from society is forced as a form of punishment.

She is not physically removed from society, but she will never again be able to play the same role in society that she once played. Everyone else, neglecting to look inside their heart at their own sin, condemns Hester for her adultery and turns their back to her. In Young Goodman Brown, Mr. Brown voluntarily chooses to cut himself off from human love and companionship (Hawthorne 75). However, while Hesters neighbors turn their back on her because of her adultery, Mr. Brown ostracizes himself because he is sickened by the hypocrisy that he knows is present in the lives of the people around him.

Finally, the veil worn by Reverend Hooper in The Ministers Black Veil separates him from society, and from God (Dryden 138). Whether this separation is voluntary or imposed depends on how one looks at the situation. It is voluntary in that Reverend Hooper knows that his wearing the veil will cause people to avoid him, and yet he wears in anyway. It is imposed in that Revered Hooper would really prefer to be treated normally by his neighbors and parishioners. Either way, he is ostracized because he wears a symbol of sin, much like Hester (Newman 202).

The messages differ somewhat in each of these stories, but they are the same in the attitude that they show towards Puritanism. What Hawthorne wants the reader to draw from the stories is not so much that adultery is bad or that secret sin is bad. The message is really that the Puritan reaction to sin is wrong. Hawthorne would have said that people should investigate the private sin in their own life before they went around condemning other people for their sin that became public. Before condemning someone else for wearing a black veil, you should remember that you wear one as well (Hawthorne 107).

Themes in Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger

A major theme of J. D. Salingers novel, The Catcher in the Rye, is turning your back on the world is not good. The teenage boy Holden Caulfield demonstrates this theme in the story with the constant negativity he receives as result of his negative attitude. When someone turns their back on the world the consequences are bad. Holden shows this by slacking off leading to his expulsion from school. They gave me frequent warning to start applying myselfbut I didnt do it.

So I got the ax. Holden proves this theme once more by vandalizing in a fit of rage over the death of his little brother Allie. I was only thirteenI broke all the windows in the garage. Even when Holden does not express his negativity physically he expresses them mentally. Im always saying Glad tove met you to somebody Im not at all glad I met. I felt more depressed much more depressed than sexy. When a young man turns his back on sex there is definitely something wrong.

Even chances for great friendships are ruined when Holden turns his back on a former roommate. But I roomed with him for about two whole months, even though he bored me till I was half crazy, just because he was such a terrific whistler. A chance for romance is ruined also when Holden is annoyed by the supposed inane conversation of his date Sally. You give me a royal pain in the ass The characters in the book are not oblivious to the fact of Holdens back turning and negativity.

Holdens little sister Phoebe could see that he turned his back on school after Holden sneaked in her room early for holiday break. You did get kicked out! His old teacher and good friend Mr. Antolini saw that he had a tendency to turn his back on the world too. I can very clearly see you dying nobly, one way or another, for some highly unworthy cause. Holden finally realizes too that turning his back on people isnt good. Dont ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.

All the examples of Holdens back turning in the story show how negativity pushes people away. It teaches people to be optimistic and open about yourself, others, and society as a whole. No society is perfect but try to make the most of it. When people turn their backs on the world the consequences are harsh because when the day comes that you need help, theyll turn their backs on you. If people looked at the world in a more positive light there would be less people thinking their life and the world is a bitch and less people would think of suicide.

Christian theme Throughout Thomas Stearns Eliot’s poems

Throughout Thomas Stearns Eliot’s poems run Christian themes and values that evoke a critical view of society. Though he published relatively little compared to other poets of his caliber, he has been recognized as both a poet and a critic. He himself has been criticized for “unnecessary obscurity” and for “authorian severity” (Bradley, 1163). Throughout his poems and other works, he professes a distinct critique upon society due mainly because of his belief that Christianity should play a major role in life.

In his poems, Christian beliefs remain in a reoccurring aspect that reflect his social criticism and his own Christian convictions. As Eliot began to become financially stable and secure, he began to look for spiritual outlets to arrive at. This outlet was that of England’s Established Church. Eliot began keeping a Christian ethical outlook of life. Irving Babbit, a Harvard professor, also attracted Eliot to the study of philosophy. Eliot was baptized under the church of England at the age of thirty-nine and began his literary crusade to promote Christianity.

In 1922, one of Eliot’s major works of modern literature was published. “The Wasteland”, full of images of despair and death is clearly an expression of Eliot’s religious beliefs. At this time during the 1920’s, “the Wasteland” appealed to young intellectual minds because of the tone it symbolized. It was the post-war period and Eliot’s main focus in “The Wasteland” was the failure of the Western civilization which World War II seemed to demonstrate. Gertrude Stein called this period the “lost generation”.

Ever since “The Wasteland” portrayed the feelings of despair of the lost generation, Eliot has been critical of Western civilization. In 1939, he was quoted as saying, “And it does not require a Christian attitude to perceive that the modern system of society has a great that n it is that inherently bad” (Criterion, 115). The things that were “inherently bad”, Eliot suggested to remove and replace it with Christian values. In ” The Wasteland”, he arrives with his criticism in an appropriate emphasis on sensitivity and imagery that provokes the reader to feel a deeper emotion and even a religious reaction.

Eliot defends this method of delivering his poetry by saying: Such selection of sequence of images and ideas has nothing chaotic about it. There is a logic of the imagination as well as a logic of concepts. People who do not appreciate poetry always find it difficult to distinguish between order nd chaos in the arrangement of images; and even those who are capable of appreciating poetry cannot depend upon first impressions. (Criterion, 235) In “The Wasteland,” there is an immediately noticeable reversed attitude about life and death that evokes a spiritual sense. Eliot makes death a consequence instead of a test of faith.

Also, in most works of literature, the cycle of spring to spring which includes the time of Easter, a religious celebration of great importance to Christians, is rejoiced and embraced. In “The Wasteland” it is the reverse. “The people of The Wasteland’ are not made happy by the eturn of spring, the fruitfulness to the soil; they prefer the barrenness of winter or the dead season” (Williamson, 125). Basically, life becomes a preparation for death. Everything that happens in the world is not of reality because it holds no value. The cause of this is Adam’s burden that was placed upon man.

Eliot has been quoted as saying, “I do not mean that our times are particulary corrupt: all times are corrupt” (“The Social Function of Poetry”, 453). Eliot “ignores the positive human aspects of Christianity” (Robbins, 24) and rigidly rejoices death. It seems that Eliot escapes from reality seen in “The Wasteland” and into a realm of religion and “over all Eliot’s writings hovers his contempt for human beings— because as we know them, they are part of the physical world” (Kojecky, 12). This use of reverse attitude allows Eliot to vividly express the theme of religious frustration.

In the “Burial of the Dead”, the first part to “The Wasteland” it states “memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain” (Eliot, 29). But what are these dull roots? The son of man is throughly confused because all he knows is the Waste Land and he cannot relate. Eliot suggests here death imagery which can be compatible with Christ’s death for he forgiveness of mankind. Eliot blends images from Isaiah 32 and Luke 23: the “dead tree” and “red rock” (Eliot, 30) which are descriptive colors used in third part of “The Wasteland” called “The Fire Sermon”. This symbolizes the burial of Christ.

Also the speaker in “The Wasteland” who often becomes the prophet during the course of the poem, shows man “fear in a handful of dust you will become. This is greatly associated with biblical references. In part IV of the “The Wasteland”, “Death by Water” the agony and despair of “The Burial of the Dead” merge into the trials of the Hanged God. The trials are symbolic of Jesus on stand under Pontius Pilate. Eliot concludes by saying that He (Jesus) is dead and the people are deteriorating. In Part V “What the Thunder said,” a journey is necessary to the scared river for its water and wisdom.

In Part I there was an emphasis on the need for water. “After observing, here is no water, the spirit is tortured by the desire of water and no rock or rock and also water or merely the sound of water, even the illusion of its sound; but there is no water’ ” (Williamson, 148). This torment develops the “red rock” from Part III. There is a physical and spiritual torment resent in Part IV and Part V. in Part V, there is a “gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded” (Eliot, 43) present which represents Christ yet again. In Part I the people prepare for the “journey to Emmaus” which confirms the identity of the Hanged God as Jesus Christ.

This journey is symbolic of the Bible’s journey to Emmaus when after Jesus’ resurrection, two of Jesus’ followers from Emmaus which is close to Jerusalem unknowingly brought Jesus to abide the night with them. During supper with them Jesus blessed bread and gave it thanks and then suddenly his spirit disappeared. The journey in “The Wasteland” is also a ourney created by the “slow of the heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (Luke, 24). “The Wasteland” shows the decline of religious feeling in man of modern times. Generally “The Wasteland” is critiqued as being a poem of despair and loss of hope.

But Cleanth Brooks interprets it differently. He proposes that “The Wasteland” is not a poem of despair of the lost generation but a poem of affirmation in the Christian religion. In response Eliot has said. “When I wrote a poem called The Wasteland’ some of the approving critics said that I expressed the “disillusionment of the generation’, which is nonsense. I may ave expressed them for their own illusion of being disillusioned but that we did not form part of my intention” (“Thoughts After Lambeth, 52) . Compared to “The Wasteland”, Eliot’s later poetry took a positive turn toward faith in life in 1930. Ash Wednesday”, “a poem of mystical conflict between faith and doubt” (Bradley, 1165) was published. The title itself stirs up a religious element of humility and respect throughout the poem there are of the Mass at many points. For the ritual for “Ash Wednesday,” the priest dips his thumb in ashes and makes the sign of the cross on the forehead while reciting the words “Remember, an, that thou art dust and unto dust though shall return,”.

This reminds us of Adam and Eve’s exile from Eden (Genesis, 3). This theme of returning to God has also been seen in “The Wasteland. In the beginning of the poem, it is clearly seen that there is a loss of hope to turn again to the world. There is a loss of ambition. This derives from Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as angels. ” But why is there a loss of this hope? The voice of this poem says that he will never see the “positive hour” (Eliot, 57). The reasons for the lack of hope is because things are listed to a time and a place and they have both passed for him. He renounces religion and “the blessed face” (Eliot, 57).

But then he simultaneously prays to God for mercy and for forgiveness of his previous contemplations. In Part I, mainly due to doubt, the speaker can turn neither to the world nor to God because of having renounced the world and salvation. In Part V, Eliot makes distinct referrals to the source of most of his inspirations: The Bible. Part V deals with the revelation of the Word of to the present day world. “If the lost word is lost … ” (Eliot, 63) He haracterizes that with the decline of religion and faith in the present day world. Part V deals with the anguish the speaker faces with the loss of hope.

Also in Part V, there is “veiled sister” (Eliot, 64) who prays for those “who will not go away and cannot pray” (Eliot, 64). The veiled sister is symbolic of the Blessed Virgin Mary who prays for those in Purgatory. Also, the silent sister is in Part IV who “signed but spoke no words” (Eliot, 60) is remembered. “Although God’s word is heard on various occasions, the silence of the agents of the divine love in Ash Wednesday’ is marked” (Williamson, 181). The final exclamation of the Word is a sharp reminder of spiritually and affirmed disposition towards man. Thus everyone and everything revolves around the Word.

But faith is needed to be realized in order to achieve salvation in a righteous way with God. In Part VI the theme of the lack of hope is retrieved again but there is an altered relation. “The lack of hope passed from a casual relation to will to a concessive relation to will” (Williamson, 182). Compared to Part I the development of grace is change. In the last part of “Ash Wednesday,” though the speaker dreads turning to the world, the world begins to appeal to him more now. This is hat period of time between death to the world and everlasting life with God.

This is when the speakers faith in God is restored. The final phase of the reversal is now completed. At the beginning of the poem the speaker could neither go to God nor to the world mainly due to doubt but a metamorphosis of the speakers outlook had occurred. His will in God has been fully restored and he does not want to be separated from God. The return of will for the speaker will allow him to strengthen the will of others. The sharp contrast of Part I and Part VI allow the development of the significant change that occurred to the speaker.

Ash Wednesday” is not a poem of denial in Christianity but a poem that “describes stages of despair, self- abnegation, moral recovery, resurgent faith, need of grace and renewal toward both world and God” (Williamson, 184). “Ash Wednesday” marks the developments of the speakers emotional relations to God and to the world. It is a meditated reflection that shows the progress of a Christian mystic. “Eliot was always a religious poet” (Ranson. 133) who tried to provoke religious aspects into his readers. Eliot’s criticism of the fall of Western Civilization due mainly because of World War II, was filled with the remarks that

Christianity should play a vital role in life. He believed that the church should dominate the entire life of an entire society. To this he says: The church is not merely for the elect- in other words, those whose temperament brings them to that belief and behavior. Nor does it allow us to be Christian in some social relations and non-Christian in others. It wants everybody, and it wants each individual as a whole. It therefore must struggle for a condition of society which will give the maximum of opportunity for us to lead wholly Christian lives and the maximum of opportunity for others to become Christian. (Criterion, 246)

Beowulf: Themes

The Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf is the most important work of Old English literature, and is well deserved of the distinction. The epic tells the story of a hero, a Scandinavian prince named Beowulf, who rids the Danes of the monster Grendel, a descendent of Cain, and of his exploits fighting Grendel’s mother and a Dragon. Throughout the epic, the Anglo-Saxon story teller uses many elements to build a certain depth to the characters. Just a few of the important character elements in Beowulf are Wealth & Honor, Biblical & Paganistic, and Man vs. Wild themes.

Many of the characters in Beowulf are, like in most epics, defined by their status. But, in addition to status, the Anglo-Saxon culture also adds an element of honor. To the Anglo-Saxons, a character’s importance, as well as their wealth and status, where measured not only in monetary terms, but it was also measured in terms of honor, fame, and accomplishments. Hrothgar, king of the Danes, is one example of the Anglo-Saxon measurement of importance in Beowulf. In Canto 1 the story teller describes his wealth and importance, not as mounds of gold or jewels, but instead as his ability to [lead] the Danes to uch glory. and as his tendency to In battle, [leave] the common pasture untouched, and taking no lives.

Through this display of compassion for the commoner who doesn’t fight in battles, Hrothgar proves the full extent of his honor and therefore the extent of his wealth and status. Beowulf, the hero- prince, also proves his true wealth and status through his deeds as defender of the Danes.. As he fights and defeats Grendel, Beowulf Earns Fame and wealth from his companions, and from the Danes, but more importantly, he earns honor raising him to the level of an archetypal hero.

Grendel, on the other hand, is the total opposite of Beowulf. He has no wealth, no honor, and he in infamous as an evil killer. This lack of wealth and honor defines Grendel as a symbol of evil and corruption. In addition to using Honor and wealth to define a character’s character, the story-teller(s) have incorporated alternating Biblical and Paganistic motifs in the epic-poem. The original Epic was obviously Paganistic due to the time period of it’s creation. But, as time wore on, the rewriting and touching up of the manuscripts by various sources including religious monks, caused the characters o have slight Christian characteristics.

These Christian themes have become very important to the epic to add am element of depth that wouldn’t be possible in modern times due to the lost of the Anglo-Saxon culture and beliefs. An example of the Biblical motif in Beowulf is Grendel. Grendel it biblically described as evil in this excerpt: [ Grendel] was spawned in that slime, Conceived by a pair of those monsters born Of Cain, murderous creatures banished By God, punished forever for the crime Of Abel’s death. The Almighty drove Those demons out, and their exile was bitter,

Shut away from men; they split Into a thousand forms of evil–spirits And feinds, goblins, monsters, giants, A brood forever opposing the Lord’s Will, and again and again defeated. The Biblical reference in the epic has become a modern day archetypal motif, and serves to give the listener an idea of the extent of Grendel’s pure evil and gives a logical explanation for Grendel’s murderous behavior. This example, not only shows the evil in Grendel’s nature, but also the torture in his heart caused by his Banishment from God. It serves to give the reader an idea of why

Grendel would kill the Danes for no reason other than their happiness. Beowulf also has a religious motif to his character. One ex ample of this is in Canto 6 line 381 in which Hrothgar states, Our Holy Father had sent [Beowulf] as a sign of His grace, a mark of His favor, to help us defeat Grendel and end that terror. This religious description shows Beowulf as a sort of messiah sent by god to save man from evil. But, more than that, since Beowulf is in fact not a messiah, this description shows the good in Beowulf’s heart and the purpose of his mission.

Another Biblical reference in Beowulf is shown in the tower of Herot which is very similar to the tower of Babel in the fact that it’s built as a sign of superiority and accomplishment. Like Babel, though, Herot only serves as a symbol of downfall more than one of glory because it causes many deaths and the coming of Grendel. Apart from Wealth, Honor, and Paganistic vs. Biblical themes and motifs, character is also shown through a certain Man vs. Wild motif. This motif shows the difference between mankind’s ways (good), and evil’s wild nature (evil).

Grendel for one, is totally wild and is therefore shown as evil. His wild home, Grendel, who haunted the moors, the wild marshes, and made his home in a hell not hell but earth. shows his wild, untamed, and therefor evil nature. Grendel’s wilderness is countered in mankind’s ways, especially Beowulf’s. Beowulf is tame and civilized, the epitomy of goodness and purity. Beowulf doesn’t fight evil in a wild manner, rather, as shown in his first battle with Grendel. First off, Beowulf is pure and shows this before his battle when he emoves his armor and vows not to use a weapon to defeat Grendel. Defeating Grendel, he shows that man, without armor and weapons, can defeat evil in any form including that of his foe Grendel.

This deed serves throughout the epic serves as a symbol of Beowulf’s Goodness. Beowulf has many other such archetypal, symbolic themes and motifs, but the most important themes that serve to add depth to the characters are the wealth, honor, religious, man, and wildness themes. These themes don’t only serve to define a character, but they also factor in as a motive for their actions.

Separation as a theme in Frost’s poetry

The creation of borders and boundaries has been around since the beginning of civilization. The division of property and possessions among individuals establishes a sense of self-worth. The erection of fences and walls keeps property separate. Walls also serve as a means of separating worlds. Modern society demands the creation, and maintenance of these boundaries. In his poems, The Tuft of Flowers, and Mending Wall, Robert Frost explores the role that walls play in our lives. He examines how the lives of men are both separated, and drawn together by walls. In The Tuft of Flowers, Frost shows how men work alone.

In contrast, Frost then shows how men can work together through their separation. Frost describes how a simple, uncut tuft of wild flowers can unite two separate people. The appreciation of natures beauty has an effect on the mower, leading him away from cutting the flowers. The man that follows the mower feels a special kinship to him because he also likes the flowers. The beauty of a simple patch of flowers brings the narrator to realize that although he may work by himself, he is part of something bigger; the human race. Frost also demonstrates how men never exist alone when surrounded by nature.

In The Tuft of Flowers, the speaker thinks he works alone. Then frost writes, But as I said it, swift there passed me by on noiseless wing a wildred butterfly (18). The Butterfly becomes the speakers morning companion, and its flight leads the speaker to the flowers. He serves to help lead the man to realize that life and beauty unite all things. Frost writes, The butterfly and I had lit upon, Nevertheless a message from the dawn (19). By directing the man to the flowers, the butterfly becomes an important character in this poem. Mending Wall takes up where the theme of The Tuft of Flowers leaves off.

In Mending Wall, two neighbors repair the wall that divides their property. The speaker realizes that questioning the existing wall is senseless, but he likes to view the task of repairing the wall playfully. Frost writes, Oh, just another kind of out-door game (28). As if playing a game, the speaker tends to his side of the field, and his neighbor to the opposing side. Frost writes, Spring is the mischief in me (28). By this, the speaker knows that the acceptance of the wall is a way of life, and that his questions against the wall will produce no substantial answers.

Wallace writes, Frost knows as well how radical and difficult it is to take in another, and yet maintain a sense of ones own and the others distinctness (227). The statement encompasses the entire theme of Mending Wall. The poems central moment occurs when the narrators tone shifts from playful to dark. This is apparent when Frost writes, I see him there bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top in each hand, like and old-stone savage armed. He moves in darkness as it seems to me, not of woods only and of shade of trees (29). At this point, the speaker sees the distance between himself and his neighbor.

He also sees darkness in the neighbors acceptance of the simple phrase, Good fences make good neighbors. The neighbor hides behind the repetition of this phrase. The speaker also hides, but behind his teasing questions. Patricia Wallace writes, He realizes that it seems to him the neighbor is surrounded and enclosed by something like darkness, a darkness perceptible to the speaker who must know his own separateness more full (227). The wall separates the two men, but brings them together in time of repair. A wall serves as a reminder of the unique individuality of each person.

It can also serve as a challenge to climb. A wall can be a driving force to overcome the individual world and to peer over to the world of another. Robert Frost explores the role that walls play in life. He describes the individual world that each man exists in, but shows how these worlds are parallel. The task of life unites all living things. In these poems, The Tuft of Flowers, and Mending Wall, Frost helps ease the lifes harsh complexities through simple verse. Separation as a theme in frost’s poetry The creation of borders and boundaries has been around since the beginning of civilization.

The division of property and possessions among individuals establishes a sense of self-worth. The erection of fences and walls keeps property separate. Walls also serve as a means of separating worlds. Modern society demands the creation, and maintenance of these boundaries. In his poems, The Tuft of Flowers, and Mending Wall, Robert Frost explores the role that walls play in our lives. He examines how the lives of men are both separated, and drawn together by walls. In The Tuft of Flowers, Frost shows how men work alone. In contrast, Frost then shows how men can work together through their separation.

Frost describes how a simple, uncut tuft of wild flowers can unite two separate people. The appreciation of natures beauty has an effect on the mower, leading him away from cutting the flowers. The man that follows the mower feels a special kinship to him because he also likes the flowers. The beauty of a simple patch of flowers brings the narrator to realize that although he may work by himself, he is part of something bigger; the human race. Frost also demonstrates how men never exist alone when surrounded by nature. In The Tuft of Flowers, the speaker thinks he works alone.

Then frost writes, But as I said it, swift there passed me by on noiseless wing a wildred butterfly (18). The Butterfly becomes the speakers morning companion, and its flight leads the speaker to the flowers. He serves to help lead the man to realize that life and beauty unite all things. Frost writes, The butterfly and I had lit upon, Nevertheless a message from the dawn (19). By directing the man to the flowers, the butterfly becomes an important character in this poem. Mending Wall takes up where the theme of The Tuft of Flowers leaves off.

In Mending Wall, two neighbors repair the wall that divides their property. The speaker realizes that questioning the existing wall is senseless, but he likes to view the task of repairing the wall playfully. Frost writes, Oh, just another kind of out-door game (28). As if playing a game, the speaker tends to his side of the field, and his neighbor to the opposing side. Frost writes, Spring is the mischief in me (28). By this, the speaker knows that the acceptance of the wall is a way of life, and that his questions against the wall will produce no substantial answers.

Wallace writes, Frost knows as well how radical and difficult it is to take in another, and yet maintain a sense of ones own and the others distinctness (227). The statement encompasses the entire theme of Mending Wall. The poems central moment occurs when the narrators tone shifts from playful to dark. This is apparent when Frost writes, I see him there bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top in each hand, like and old-stone savage armed. He moves in darkness as it seems to me, not of woods only and of shade of trees (29).

At this point, the speaker sees the distance between himself and his neighbor. He also sees darkness in the neighbors acceptance of the simple phrase, Good fences make good neighbors. The neighbor hides behind the repetition of this phrase. The speaker also hides, but behind his teasing questions. Patricia Wallace writes, He realizes that it seems to him the neighbor is surrounded and enclosed by something like darkness, a darkness perceptible to the speaker who must know his own separateness more full (227). The wall separates the two men, but brings them together in time of repair.

A wall serves as a reminder of the unique individuality of each person. It can also serve as a challenge to climb. A wall can be a driving force to overcome the individual world and to peer over to the world of another. Robert Frost explores the role that walls play in life. He describes the individual world that each man exists in, but shows how these worlds are parallel. The task of life unites all living things. In these poems, The Tuft of Flowers, and Mending Wall, Frost helps ease the lifes harsh complexities through simple verse.

Universial Themes in “The Return of the Native” and “Great Expectations”

Classic novels usually share in the aspect of universal themes which touch people through out the ages. All types of audiences can relate to and understand these underlying ideas. Victorian novels such as Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native and Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations are examples of literary classics that have universal themes. Hardy’s tale illustrates the role of chance in his characters lives. Through the story we encounter events of pure coincidence and their effects. Dickens, considered to be more of a reformer (Literature Online), tries to portray a social theme in his novel.

The basic heme of Great Expectations is that good does not come from ones social standing but rather comes from their inner value. These novels are considered classics because of their timeless themes. Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native displays a theme of chance. Book First, chapter 8 contains a perfect example. Eustacia persuades young Johnny Nunsuch into helping her feed a fire. She dismisses him and begins to walk home. Before reaching home, he is frightened by the light coming from the heath and returns to discover Wildeve meeting with Eustacia.

By pure chance, Venn discovers the boy and quizzes him. Then I came down here, and I was afeard, and I went back; but I didn’t like to speak to her, because of the gentleman, and I came on here again [Johnny Nunsuch] A gentleman–ah! What did she say to him, my man? [Diggory Venn] Told him she supposed he had not married the other woman because he liked his old sweetheart best; and things like that [Johnny Nunsuch] [Book First, chapter 8, pp. 82] This chance exchange reveals that Wildeve is meeting with Eustacia. Venn uses this to his advance by announcing himself to Mrs.

Yeobright as a suitor for Thomasin. This backfires because Mrs. Yeobright tries to use the second suitor o force Wildeve to marry Thomasin. These events all occur from the chance meeting between Venn and Johnny Nunsuch. Another example of chance and coincidence can be seen in the famous gambling scene of Book Third, chapter VII. This is perhaps one of the most critically examined parts of the book. Very well, said Wildeve, rising. Searching about with the lantern, he found a large flat stone, which he placed between himself and Christian, and sat down again.

The lantern was open to give more light, and it’s rays directed upon the stone. Christian put down a shilling, Wildeve another, and each threw. Christian won. They played for two. Christian won again. [Book Third, chapter 7, pp. 229] This quote begins the drama of the scene. Mrs. Yeobright had entrusted Christian to deliver a minor inheritance to Clym and Thomasin. He gets involved in a dice game with Damon and unfortunately loses all hundred guineas. By chance, Diggory Venn passes by and in the hope of protecting Thomasin, wins back all the money from Wildeve.

He mistakenly hands over all the winnings to Thomasin without understanding that part of the money belongs to Clym. This chance occurrence led to a tragic end. Although he was trying to do good, Venn succeeded to further create conflict. Critics agree with this standpoint. The Return of the Native is concerned with the ‘general malaise in the life of humanity. Man is a pawn in life’s lottery …. Man’s life avails him nothing. Men are just incidental in creation. Man may protest against his fate, but it makes no difference, he only a plaything, he cannot master his destiny. Henry Adler] In these examples and critical quotes, we see the negative stance Hardy is taking in the immoral theme of chance.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is also a classic novel due to its niversal theme of true good. Great Expectations is Charles Dickens’ “most compactly perfect book,” mainly because of the universal themes that are fully realized throughout the novel. Furthermore, as an explanation of why Great Expectations is Dicken’s finest work, it becomes necessary study to study the thematic elements that are prevalent within the storyline. George Bernard Shaw] The theme is developed through a character Pirrip Philip, a poor orphaned boy living with his sister and her husband, Joe. He is a father figure for the boy and is a hard working blacksmith, loyal and good friend. While visiting his amily’s grave site, he is approached by an escaped convict who demands that Pip bring him food and a metal file. He does so promptly but the convict is quickly recaptured. After some time he is hired by an rich eccentric woman named Miss Havisham to be her adopted daughters playmate.

Jaggers, a lawyer, informs Pip that someone has settled money for the boy and he has great expectations. Now I return to this young fellow. And the communication I got to make is, that he has Great Expectations [Chapter 18, pp. 151] For some time now Pip was disliking the uncommon life and started to admire the lifestyle of Miss Havisham and the upper class. To put it short, he was becoming a snob. This event advanced the plot and theme. Under the agreement made Pip was not supposed to know who his benefactor was although he believed it to be Miss Havisham.

One evening while living in England, a stranger appears to visit Pip. It was the convict of his youth. Named Magwitch, he has been Pip’s benefactor all along. This was his way of repaying his charity as a youth. The events that follow with Magwitch teach Pip love and humility. His snobbish quality is removed. After the convicts death, Pip becomes ill and is nursed back to health by his true friend Joe. The money that he is handed changes his personality and causes him to ignore the people that he has known fondly his entire life but finally realizes that true goodness comes from a person rather than their social class.

This shows that wealth and position can be corrupting. This theme is present today as it ever was during Dickens time. From a personal standpoint, these novels have had an impressive influence on my life and the way I think as it would for anybody of my age and education. By absorbing the themes of true goodness and chance, I have enlightened myself. I realize that money, power or property does not necessarily ake a person good but rather that depends on the individual. The tale of Pip can serve as the perfect guide not to become a victim of false ideology.

Undoubtedly people of my age should come away with a better understanding of life and our place in the world just as I have. It is quite appropriate for people of our education level to be enriched in the world of classic literature. The timeless nature of the stories is reason enough. Regardless of the great amount of reading, I can truthfully say that I enjoyed the experience. Classics hold something for all people so therefore I would recommend it to others being on our grade level or not.

What do you think have been the main themes of Russian writers in the 19th Century?

All media forms, be they written or audio-visual reflect ideologies and themes of the era in which they are produced. 19th century Russian Literature similarly presents a pattern of themes and ideologies, relative to the social circumstances surrounding their creation. Many themes running through the Russian literature of this period parallels with the social change and political conflict of the time, bringing such issues to the forefront of society in an easily accessible and understandable fashion.

Not only did the writers of the 19th Century in Russia reflect change ithin society and regarding the political arena, they also wrote about emerging philosophies and ideologies surrounding such activity. One such writer to discuss emerging philosophies was Dostoevsky, who examined the concept of responsibility. Dostoevsky believed that people gained feedback for any action committed and thus they should be responsible and accountable every minute of their lives.

This social critique is evident in his novel, ‘Crime and Punishment’ which depicts the phenomena of contemporary social life in 19th Century Russia. Despite Dostoevsky’s approach to every day social interaction within Russia, he also broached the idea of political ideology and development. There have been a number of opposing theories regarding the political element of the novel. Two notable contrasting theories are those by Pisarev and Strakhov.

Pisarev takes the stance that the main ideological theme of ‘Crime and Punishment’ is that of exposing the guiltless evil system in place within contemporary Russian society that was engendered by poverty. However, on the contrary, Strakhov refutes the ideological stance of Pisarev and adopts he aesthetic perspective which assumes a more sympathetic view towards the main character, Raskolnikov. With two such opposing theories, it is possible to say that one of the main themes of the novel is the conflict inevitable conflict between theoretical analysis and life itself.

As well as this predominant theme, the subject of realism and symbolism appears within ‘Crime and Punishment’. The novel, like others contempoarary to itself presents the opposing themes of realist perspective and symbolic representation and thus it is hard to the reader to understand whether or ot Dostoevsky intends for the reader to take the narrative on face value or on a figurative front. Another novel of the 19th Century in Russia which combines emblematic narrative with realist perception is that of ‘Fathers and Sons’ by Turgenev.

Within ‘Fathers and Sons’, Turgenev uses his characters as representations of political and social movements in Russia at the time. Through these representations, one can realize the main themes of political and social conflict. These conflicts are evident on many different levels regarding the principle themes of Westernisation, liberalism and serf mancipation. These principle themes are not specific to ‘Fathers and Sons’ but subject matter approached by many writers of the 19th century.

A lot of the writers in Russia around the 19th century took a psychological perspective within their writing, with the emotional critique of individuals running as a predominant theme throughout many novels, plays and verse. Writers to adopt such a perspective include Chekhov, Tolstoy and Pushkin. All three of these writers, as well as embodying changing political and social climates as their main themes within their writing, dopted the psychological evaluation as a main thread of their narrative fabric.

Chekhov approached his writing with a mix of clinical assessment of ordinary life with a delicate poetic realism. This mnage of elements coincided with the key theme of naturalism entering the theatre within the 19th century. As well as Chekhov’s obvious psychological perspective, the main themes running through his works (particularly ‘The Lady with the Dog’) are work, love and the trivialities of every day life. Furthermore, as with novels such as ‘Fathers and Sons'(Turgenev) where generational onflict is explored, so Chekhov pursues this issue.

In ‘The Lady with the Dog’, Chekhov explores the idea that the younger generation are victims of illusion, whereas the older characters are also victims, but of disillusionment as opposed to illusion. As well as these fundamental principal themes within Chekhov’s writing, he strived to move away from the traditional limitations and restrictions of traditional dramatic conventions, thus ‘The Lady with the Dog’ appears as a considerably different contemporary literary text.

Another writer of the 19th century in Russia who’s main themes nclude psychological critique with philosophy and ideology regarding changing political climates is that of Tolstoy. Undoubtedly, Tolstoy’s most famous piece remains ‘War and Peace’ which acts not only as a commemorative tribute to important military battles, but also acts as a chronicle of five aristocratic families embodies many of the common main themes used by many writers of the time.

As with Chekhov, Tolstoy uses realism as a principle theme of ‘War and Peace’ mixed with a predominantly optimistic philosophy regarding the way of life contemporary to the text. Through his analysis of five aristocratic families, Tolstoy adopts his psychological, authorial perspective, which adds to the realist stance of the text. Furthermore, as with a number of contemporary Russian texts, Tolstoy deals with the role of women, and their developing position with a changing Russian society. This subject is tackled through his depiction of Natasha Rostova, who represents his own ideal of womanhood.

Throughout the text, Tolstoy presents Natasha’s development from a nave adolescent a mature woman; with her position in society representing that of many woman at the time of the novel’s production. It can be said that Tolstoy’s novel ‘War and Peace’ is a depiction of a zestful love of life in all its varying manifestations as well as a slate on which he can explore and examine his own iconoclastic views. Again the main themes of this novel are not dissimilar from other texts created contemporary to it.

Psychological analysis, being a main theme of Russian 19th century literature, is clearly evident in Pushkin’s most famous piece (later changed into an opera by Tchaikovsky) ‘The Queen of Spades’. In this novel, the main theme is that of breakdown, experienced by the main haracter who is addicted to gambling. As well as this being a psychological critique, ‘The Queen of Spades’ can also be said to be semi autobiographical as Pushkin himself suffered from breakdowns, as a consequence of his own gambling habit that stayed with him until his death.

As with Chekhov’s delicate, poetic approach to ‘The Lady with the Dog’, Pushkin produced his writing with a heavy romantic slant, in keeping with his contemporaries, Goethe and Byron. This romanticism in Pushkin’s writing is not dissimilar from that found in works by other Russian ontemporaries; though it can be said that Pushkin’s Russian counterparts did not achieve this newly found idealism with such success. Again, the predominant themes within Pushkin’s writing are that of life, love and psychological analysis through a privileged perspective.

These five writers alone cannot provide an entire perspective on Russian 19th century literature; however, they can afford the student of this subject with a mould and a series of focal themes, predominant in a number of literary texts of the time in question. Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Pushkin all seek to move away from tradition dramatic and literary conventions, thus they begin to manipulate the theory of realism and realist perspective.

Moreover, these writers begin to write about the ordinary as opposed to the extra-ordinary or fantastical, as the crucial elements of the texts created by the five writers mentioned are all based around the every day life of Russia and the changing social climates surrounding everyday happenings. As previously mentioned, the Russian writers of the 19th century no longer wanted to create texts surrounding the unimaginable but wanted to epict the happenings of daily life both with the aristocracy and with the serf community. 9th century literature became concerned with the changing political arena and its ramifications on the social climate. Therefore it can be said that the main themes of the Russian literature throughout the 19th century were of love, life, every day occurrences and the conflicts that transpired as a result of the developing social/political environment (i. e. in Turgenev’s ‘Fathers and Sons’, there is the conflict between Nihilist Russia and Militaristic Russia as well as the conflict between the ounger generation and the older, traditional generation.

These main themes occur throughout this contemporary literature and it can be said that these themes account for the tremendous success of these texts and why two centuries later, they remain as successful as they were when they were first created, as they remain attainable by all and furthermore, comprehensible by all, two qualities that were otherwise unachievable before the development of the realist text in the 19th century. What do you think have been the main themes of Russian writers in the 19th Century?

Scarlet Letter – Secret Theme

One of the main themes in The Scarlet Letter is that of the secret. The plot of the book is centered around Hester Prynne’s secret sin of adultery. Nathaniel Hawthorne draws striking parallelism between secrets held and the physical and mental states of those who hold them. The Scarlet Letter demonstrates that a secret or feeling kept within slowly engulfs and destroys the soul, while a secret made public can allow a soul to recover and even strengthen. When a secret is hidden inside it can engulf and even destroy a person. Arthur Dimmesdale, a revered young minister in the town, demonstrates what happens to the soul.

Dimmesdale, as it is later made known, commits the serious crime of adultery with a young married woman named Hester Prynne living in the Plymouth Colony. Because of Hester’s unwillingness to reveal her partner in sin, and Dimmesdale’s fear of persecution and most of all humiliation, the minister is forced to keep his sin a secret. So he watches as Hester is placed before her peers on a platform in front of the whole town and is then called to speak to her and urge that she reveal her fellow adulterer. In essence, he is called upon to commit yet another sin, that of hypocrisy.

Dimmesdale’s accumulated sins build inside of him, constantly afflicting his soul until it begins to affect him negatively. Thinking himself a hypocrite, he tries to ease his conscience and requite his sin by scourging himself on the chest during the night, fasting for days on end and even climbing the same platform on which Hester began her humiliation. Walking in the shadow of a dream, as it were, and perhaps actually under the influence of a species of somnambulism (sleepwalk), Mr. Dimmesdale reached the spot where, now so long since, Hester Prynne had lived through her first hours of public ignominy.

The same platform or scaffold, black and weather-stained with the storm or sunshine of seven long years, and footworn, too, with the tread of many culprits who had since ascended it, remained standing beneath the balcony of the meeting-house. The minister went up the steps. Dimmesdale’s increasingly enervated physical condition is evident through his eyes, which show ‘a world of pain in their troubled and melancholy depths,’; As years go by, the minister is inundated with guilt, to the point that he is physically deteriorating.

All the while giving phenomenal sermons and regarded as a pillar of the community, internally, Dimmesdale could not feel worse. Dimmesdale’s pain was obviously related to, and most likely the result of, his concealed sins. It is not only sins you commit kept secret that cause anguish to the soul, but also secrets in general that can saturate the human soul until they begin to take over human life. In addition, a sin or secret that goes unacknowledged and unrevealed can cause a cycle of vengeance and further sin.

Such an example of feelings kept secret ruining a life is the secret of Roger Chillingsworth. He is the husband of Hester Prynne and is thought by the townsfolk to be dead at sea. He returns in hopes of surprising his wife and living a happy life together only to find his wife being punished for adultery. Upon visiting with his wife in prison, in disguise as a doctor, Chillingsworth makes it clear that he does not want his identity known. His primary reason for this request of his wife is in order to salvage all the dignity he can.

When Hester refuses to tell him who fathered her baby, Pearl, he vows to seek vengeance on his wife’s lover. Chillingsworth also requests that this be kept secret from the public, so that he has a chance to ‘sense’; the guilty one for himself. Chillingsworth, too, experiences a drastic descending change in his physical condition. He makes vengeance an obsession, an obsession that eventually transcends his life. Chillingsworth suspects Dimmesdale’s guilt, so he attempts to get closer to him by becoming the reverend’s personal physician.

When Chillingsworth uncovers Dimmesdale’s shirt while he is sleeping, he finds an ‘A’; scourged on his chest, similar to the one worn on Hester’s bosom in penance for her crime of adultery. Hawthorne portrays him closely to Satan as he stares at the wound in great joy. Had a man seen old Roger Chillingsworth, at that moment of his ecstasy, he would have had no need to ask how Satan comports himself when a precious human soul is lost to heaven, and won to his kingdom This vividly shows how much his obsession has taken over his life.

As the obsession slowly grew, his physical and mental condition and his life overall began to diminish. The only one who could see this drastic change was Hester who knew well what he was once like. Hester Prynne looked at the man of skill, and even then, with her fate hanging in the balance, was startled to perceive what a change had come over his features,–how much uglier they were,–how his dark complexion seemed to have grown duskier, and his figure more misshapen,–since the days when she had familiarly known him.

His secret hatred towards Dimmesdale and his obsession with vengeance takes over his life and changes his physical and mental condition for the worse because he keeps it inside and never lets any anger out leaving it to build up beyond the point of manageability. Unlike Dimmesdale and Chillingsworth, the secret of Hester Prynne was not a secret for long. The townsfolk know at the first signs of pregnancy that she has committed adultery because her husband traveled overseas for several years without return.

During this time period, adultery is considered a serious crime, punishable by death. Due to the fact that her husband is presumed to be deceased, she is lightly sentenced. One of her punishments is to wear an embroidered ‘A’; on her bosom to eternally symbolize her crime. This symbol makes her secret known to the world. While Hester may not have known it, this was a blessing in disguise. It allowed her sin to be out in the open and partially away from her soul. Thus, she demonstrates how the pathway to spiritual healing opens with her accepting her sin and not trying to hide her symbol.

When the young woman –the mother of this child– stood revealed before the crowd, it seemed to be her first impulse to clasp the infant closely to her bosom; not so much by an impulse of motherly affection, as that she might thereby conceal a certain token, which was wrought or fastened into her dress. While she experiences immense humiliation from wearing the scarlet letter, she does not lash back, she accepts the abuse of Puritans, child and adult alike, all the while keeping an almost prideful manner about herself, desperately trying to keep some dignity.

She remains silent and finds strength from inside; since she is secluded from the outside world she turns to the inside world, full of her memories and her imagination. She also finds comfort in her daughter, Pearl, because the girl is Hester’s only friend at times and they both live a life of seclusion away from the realm of the rest of the world. She lives this life in hopes that one day her sin will be forgiven, by God and her peers, and the ‘A’; that is branded on her heart can be removed along with the ‘A’; on her bosom.

Hawthorn’s depictions of secret and sin are engraved throughout the book and make up the veins of the story. The novel paints vivid pictures of how undiscovered sin can destroy a man. He paints these pictures in the forms of two men, Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingsworth, and draws a direct corollary in Hester Prynne who does the exact opposite and has her sin revealed to the public. While humiliated, when the sin is in the open, the soul heals and strengthens, while a guilty conscience resulting from an undisclosed sin, slowly corrodes the soul until the body no longer feels, and the mind slips into darkness.

Homer’s Iliad – Theme Analysis

In Homer’s Iliad, war is depicted as horrible, bloody, and fruitless. There are no clear winners in The Iliad. Many people die in vain because of arrogant and emotional decisions made by men. Achilles directly causes the death of his friend by first refusing to fight, leaving the Greeks at a disadvantage, and then poorly advising his friend Patroclus to join the other fighters. Even the initial cause of the war, Paris’ kidnapping of Helen, a Greek woman, is a rash and selfish act. The will of Zeus plays an important part in the events of The Iliad.

Zeus’ will is infallible, and so, in a way, the events that occur are all destined to happen. However, there is a small amount of flexibility as to when the events will happen. This flexibility comes from the intervention of the lesser gods, and the actions of mortal men. Apollo can send a plague on the Greeks, and Aphrodite can rescue Paris from certain death when he is fighting Menelaeus, but in the final outcome, the Greeks will sack Troy, and Paris will die. When mortals interfere with the will of Zeus, the results are much more tragic. Because hey are mortal, their actions have direct influence on their comrades, and their lives. Gods feel pity when they cannot save a favored mortal, but that pity cannot compare to Achilles’ sorrow at the death of Patroclus. Death and fighting is not depicted as glorious in The Iliad. Brave warriors receive fame, gold, food, and women, and the younger Greek fighters thrive on this romantic notion. However, a closer look at the text shows that Homer describes many deaths in violent, anatomic detail.

Most of these deaths are not important to the plot of the story, but they erve the important purpose of showing the reader that no death is insignificant or easy. These descriptions give The Iliad a Saving Private Ryan type of realism. The Iliad focuses much on Achilles and his internal struggle with his personal will versus the will of Zeus. However, in the middle of the book, he is almost entirely absent. This gives Homer the opportunity to show other sides of the conflict, and dirty deeds done by the Greeks and Trojans. In the time of the Trojan war, there was an unwritten code of heroic conduct that the bravest warriors followed.

Defeated warriors were not always killed. They were sometimes taken prisoner and returned for ransoms of money or gifts. However, in the Iliad, Homer shows that leniency rarely survives in war. Diomedes and Odysseus, two respected Greek warriors, sneak into a sleeping Trojan camp and kill many unarmed, dreaming Trojans. Paris ignores the conduct of a fair fight, and runs away every chance he gets. And Achilles, after losing Patroclus by Hector’s sword, tortures Hector before killing him and treats his body very poorly.

Desecration of a dead body was sacrilege to Greek and Trojan society, and it was a great insult. Homer’s last comments on the futility of war come at the end of the Iliad, and in a peaceful manner. Homer shows a little redemption for the horrible effects of war when Priam begs Achilles for Hector’s body. Achilles and Priam share a moment of realization of what has been lost to the long Trojan war. The final scene is a quiet, mournful funeral, in which the Trojans bury Hector, who was a good man destroyed by the horror of war and the will of Zeus.

The main theme for Antigone

The main theme for Antigone is that people sometimes have to learn the hard way from their mistakes. This theme is expressed in the final four lines of the play. They read, There is no happiness where there is no wisdom; No wisdom but in submission to the gods. Big words are always punished, And proud men in old age learn to be wise. These lines are an important part of the play. They symbolize Creon’s bad decisions, his defiance of the gods, the punishment he went through because of his edict, and the wisdom he gained because of all his mistakes. There s no happiness where there is no wisdom\” demonstrates how Creon not using wisdom in his decisions affected him.

By declaring that Polyneices could not have a proper burial, he went against the gods and the other citizens of Thebes’s beliefs. This was not a wise decision on his part, and because of it he lost his wife, his son, and his happiness. This is what is expressed in the line, \”No wisdom but in submission to the gods. \” The edict and decisions that Creon made demonstrated that his law was more important than the laws of the gods . His defiance of the laws eventually made him believe, by talking to

Teirisias, that something bad would happen to him, so he gave in to his decision. When he gave into the gods he gained wisdom and learned that his actions would be punished. Creons edict is considered his big words. In the third line it says, \”Big words are always punished. \” Creons edict was punished by his loss of happiness. In Ancient Greece, life was full of complicated questions centered on the expanding Field of science. Freedom of religion was encouraged to be exercised in the city-states and man was focused on more than the Gods or heavenly concerns.

As a result many new ideals and beliefs surfaced. These new ideals and beliefs, though good in intentions, often conflicted with One another and created complex moral dilemmas. Such was the case in Sophocles play . According to Richard Jebb, \”It is the only instance in which a Greek play has for its central theme a practical problem of conduct, involving issues, moral and political, which might be discussed on similar grounds in any age and in any country of the world. \” Perhaps personal experience is the reason why so many people can relate to this story.

After all, the theme of the tory is personal conflict, with two stubborn people at a standstill because of their unwillingness to compromise. The conflict between the laws of the gods and those of the humans, with Antigone and Creon representing the opposite sides. Sophocles paints these two title characters are remarkably similar, and he invokes the readers’ sympathy toward them both. However, it is Creon, and not Antigone, who is the \”hero\” of the story, because his character suffers a tragic downfall.

The primary conflict arises when Creon declares that no one be allowed to bury the body of Polynices, one of Antigone’s brothers who was slain in battle. Antigone, who cares for her brother very much, wants to see him properly laid to rest, so that his spirit can find peace. Unfortunately, doing so will mean certain death, as Creon’s orders are not to be disobeyed. Antigone believes that Creon’s law is wrong, and that Polynices, although a traitor to the city of Thebes, should be buried. She finds it immoral of Creon to forbid such an action.

While trying to convince her sister Ismene to help bury him, Antigone says, \”The time in which I must please those that are dead is longer than I must please those of this world. For there I shall lie orever. \” (Sophocles, \”Antigone\” ) Creon, on the other hand, is a new king who wants to make sure he becomes a respected and somewhat feared ruler. He does not want to begin his reign by issuing a decree and then rescinding it the moment a conflict arises. There are many similarities between Creon and Antigone. Perhaps the most common characteristic is that both characters are very stubborn.

Neither one can back down once the lines have been drawn, even though it means certain destruction. While questioning Antigone about the burial, Creon asks, \”And did you dare to disobey that law? ” To which Antigone answers \”yes. \” (Sophocles, \”Antigone\” ) This naturally infuriates Creon to the point where he says, \”I swear I am no man and she the man if she can win this and not pay for it. \” (Sophocles, \”Antigone\” ) Both sides are committed to their own reasoning, and are unable to listen to other points of view.

Sophocles sympathizes with both Creon and Antigone. However, the play is more directed at Creon’s woes than Antigone’s. This is mainly shown by the amount of lines devoted to Creon compared to that of Antigone so his problems are the most magnified. It seems as though Antigone is simply the last tragedy to Oedipus’ tale, while Creon and his family are an entirely different one. Therefore, not as much attention is devoted to Antigone’s problems, while Sophocles instead makes the reader focus on Creon. This is again demonstrated by the sheer amount of lines Creon has.

It is impossible for the reader to ignore Creon’s problems. The emotional climax of the readers’ sympathy towards Creon is when the second messenger tells him what had happened right before Eurydice’s (his wife) death. Eurydice had, \”cried in agony ecalling the noble fate of Megareus, who died before all this, and then for the fate of this son; and in the end she cursed [Creon] for the evil [Creon] had done in killing her sons. \” (Sophocles, Antigone ) This bestowed all guilt upon Creon, making him responsible for actions in which he ignorantly played a part.

Creon shows many heroic characteristics. A hero is a person who must survive many downfalls, and Creon has suffered many setbacks. To Aristotle, a hero is a \”man who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty. He must be one who is highly renowned and prosperous… \” Creon meets all of these requirements. He is obviously not entirely good or just, and he does make mistakes. His greatest error is issuing the decree forbidding anyone from giving Polynices a proper funeral.

However, he does not do this entirely out of spite or anger, but instead to protect his country. Creon is of the belief that laws are necessary to retain order, even if this means going against ones family. Creon regards the family almost exclusively in one aspect; for him it is an institution related to the state as the gymnasium o the stadium; it is a little state, in which a man may prove that he is fit to govern a larger one. \” Even though Antigone is his niece, he must rule with an iron hand, and therefore cannot allow her to \”escape the utmost sentence: death. (Sophocles, \”Antigone\” ). As a hero, Creon suffers a tragic downfall. It does not appear that Antigone suffers as much as Creon, because Sophocles had decided to portray Creon as the hero instead of Antigone. James Hogan asks three questions to determine who is the hero: Who is the main character? Who dominates the action? Whose suffering is the primary subject? The answer to all three of these is Creon. Creon is obviously the main character because all events seem to revolve around him.

William Calder has pointed out that \”Sophocles wrote no Haimon-Antigone scene… ch a scene would have shifted the emphasis of the whole from the figure whom Sophocles intended to be central: hence a Haimon-Creon scene. \” Calder also gives evidence as to how Creon dominates the entire play. Finally, Creon’s suffering is the primary subject because Sophocles explains Creon’s anguish in great detail. Creon, after finding out Eurydice is dead, exclaims, \”I am distracted with ear. Why does not someone strike a two-edged sword right through me? I am dissolved in an agony of misery. (Sophocles, \”Antigone\” ) This suffering is the price Creon has to pay for making the wrong decision. Prior to his revelation that Teiresias provided him with, he had erroneously decided that moral laws were not as important as his own laws, and consequently suffered greatly.

To Creon, protecting his country comes before anything else. According to Creon, Polynices is, \”a returned exile, who sought to burn with fire from top to bottom his native city, nd the gods of his own people; who sought to taste the blood he shared with us, and lead the rest of us to slavery. (Sophocles, \”Antigone\” ) Polynices is a traitor who deserves none of the respect the people of Thebes have to give. Creon’s decree is simply an error of judgment, but it is perfectly understandable for him to do so. \”An Athenian strategos is time of war held extraordinary judicial power and could put to death without trial any man under his command whose conduct he considered treasonous,\” according to Calder. After all, Creon is the king, and the laws that he makes are meant to be obeyed. Even if they are of questionable moral judgment.

It is Creon’s interactions with Antigone that show the central issue: the conflict between moral laws and human laws. In the end, moral law supersedes human law, and Creon suffers as a result. Creon’s tragic suffering is what turns him into the hero. Sophocles thereby forces the reader to feel sympathy toward him. While feeling this sympathy, the reader also learns not to make the same mistakes Creon did, to avoid being stubborn and unwilling to compromise. Those characteristics have been shown to signify great suffering and destruction.

Themes of The Good Earth Pearl Buck Good Earth

The theme of this novel is not a complicated one. The author is trying to show how a family can rise from poverty to a position of wealth. However, the rise in itself is not the crucial element; the background against which this rise takes place is more important. Wang Lung lives in an era of change. China has been a backward country in many respects. Her principal fault, however, was the existence of two distinct classes of people – the rich and the poor. The rich led a pseudo-cultural existence unconcerned with the realities of the country.

The poor in between fighting plagues, floods and amines, were taxed as well. On the fringe of these two groups were the robbers bands who plundered wherever they could. The old aristocracy of China was rotting away as the result of its own greed. Waiting for their chance was a group of young intellectuals who claimed that they were going to bring about many reforms. However, since the time that The Good Earth was written in 1931, history has shown that these revolutionaries only intended to replace the old aristocracy with a new one. They had little intention of doing anything constructive for the poor people.

As a result, when the Communists came after World War II, they were able to take over China very easily. Where does Wang Lung fit into this picture? He is a poor man who knows nothing besides the value of land. Therefore, he spends his entire life building up a large estate. However, he builds according to the old system. As he becomes richer, he separates himself from his own people and he allows himself and his family to fall into the same faults that the other rich had. Then he allows his sons to separate themselves from the land – that which had given them their wealth.

Although the author does not carry the story hrough, the reader knows that this family is destined to fall. The earth-theme is predominant throughout. As a man pours his energies into his land he reaps great benefits-survival and self-respect. Miss Buck appears to be saying that the only thing that can truly save China is the honest toil of her people who must be allowed to claim the rewards of their efforts without oppression. 1. THE EARTH The main theme of The Good Earth is announced in its title: it is the good earth itself. The story follows Wang Lung’s climb from poverty to riches, from toiling peasant to wealthy landowner.

But all along the way–like signposts on a road–you may read messages pointing to the deeper meaning of the story, the life-sustaining bond of human beings with the land. Wang always returns to this. Wang receives his livelihood and spiritual rejuvenation from the land. He experiences harmony with O-lan working beside him. His sole source of stability is in the land, and this is why he always transforms any material gain into land. You see the decline of the House of Hwang as it becomes separated from the land, and the same seems to hold for Wang when he is apart from his land.

What do you make of the turn in the story by which Wang Lung’s fortunes rise–not from the fruit of the earth but from the money and jewels he and O-lan have stolen? Is it possible that the author means that labor and the good earth are not enough? That the poor farmer couldn’t survive without a stroke of good fortune or the opportunity to take something from the rich? Or, perhaps this money is the evil seed of the Wang family’s eventual disintegration. Frequently in the book, silver and land are presented as opposing values, as when O-lan takes silver for the furniture but won’t sell the land before leaving for the south.

THE STATUS OF WOMEN Pearl Buck uses the inferior status of women in traditional China with great emotional impact. The casual way in which a fellow refugee talks of strangling a girl child at birth or selling her as a slave is in itself a shock. Wang Lung and O-lan deal with both these alternatives. A crucial event in their marital relationship occurs when O-lan, submitting as she must to her husband’s authority, hands over her two small pearls. Although women’s roles varied, all were subservient. As a peasant wife a woman worked both in the house and in the fields.

She could be a household slave, like Cuckoo. She could be a prostitute serving any man’s pleasure in a tea house, like Lotus Flower, or a concubine serving only her master’s pleasure, again like Lotus when she assumes this role in Wang’s house. Finally, she could be an upper-class wife like the eldest son’s wife in the Great House, with servants to wait on her and do the housework. Rich or poor, if she is a wife, her principal function is to bear sons. Another aspect of Chinese life that seemed designed to make women suffer was the practice of altering the feet of girls so they could barely walk.

The Chinese custom of foot-binding was meant to please men esthetically and to enhance a man’s status by showing he was wealthy enough for his wife or concubine not to work. You might compare bound feet with the “wasp” waists that were fashionable for Western women in the nineteenth century. Those waists, which a man could encircle with his two hands, were achieved only by tight corseting that forced the internal organs out of place and often caused injury. Tight corseting was not as crippling as foot-binding but it had the same purpose–to please men. 3. THE FAMILY The family is historically the central unit of Chinese society.

In The Good Earth it is also the center of Wang Lung’s world, second only to his attachment to the land. Precise rules govern all relationships in the Chinese family. A member’s position in the family determines his behavior and even his name. You see this in the novel, in which Wang Lung’s sons are spoken of as Eldest Son or Second Son, and the uncle’s family are not aunt or cousin but the uncle’s wife and the uncle’s son. The rules are binding: a wife is obedient to her husband and children to their father, and everyone–husbands, wives, children–must respect the elderly.

The dominance of males runs through these rules as well. A wife who has borne sons, like O-lan, is entitled to more respect and consideration from her husband than if she has borne only daughters. Wang Lung is obliged to yield to the demands of his uncle and the uncle’s family because they are related to him on his father’s side. You may find this particular obligation unfair, imposing a heavy burden on Wang Lung, especially considering the character of the uncle and his family. Wang frees himself from their demands only by supplying his uncle and aunt with opium, an addictive and debilitating drug.

On the other hand, Wang’s father is so sure that his son and grandsons will look after him that he endures the hardships of the famine with smiling good humor. His trust is well founded. Wang Lung gives him the first share of whatever food there is, even if he must deprive his own children. Some nomadic societies leave the old people who cannot keep up with the migration to starve and die. Can you make a case for either of these two customs? Are both too extreme? Wang Lung gives his old father not only respect and obedience but also loving care. From his own sons Wang receives only a show of respect.

As you read, consider why Wang Lung fails so completely to understand his sons. Is this simply a case of the generation gap? You may want to remember that Wang grew up as the hard-working son of a poor farmer, while they grew up as sons of a prosperous landowner. 4. RELIGION AND GOOD FORTUNE Wang Lung’s religious beliefs are a mixture of different traditions. Primarily, since he is a farmer, he worships (burns incense) before two small earth gods in the field to bring good fortune to himself and his family. But he also appeals to the goddess of mercy to give his daughter-in-law a boy child in return for a new robe.

He buys a paper god of wealth when his fortunes are on the rise and scolds the gods when misfortune occurs. He is superstitious and believes in omens. He tries to fool the evil spirits, as when he hides his own baby boy under his robe and proclaims out loud that it is only a worthless girl child. Wang Lung also respects the more sophisticated Confucian principles of family deference and is pleased when his son erects an ancestral shrine in the house. As a matter of convention he gives donations to both the Buddhist and Taoist temples on the birth of his first son.

This mixture of deference to the ancient philosophies and to the spirit world was typical of everyday Chinese religious practice. However, the more established religious institutions seem more the preserve of the educated. For a simple farmer like Wang, even when he becomes rich, the little earthen idols–gods of the renewal of life–are supremely powerful. Although he treats them badly and blames them for misfortune, he is afraid to reject them totally, and he ultimately returns to them since they have “power over earth. ” Wang’s personal conversations with his gods may seem a bit disrespectful to you.

But if you believed, as Wang did, that these gods had purposely created your good fortune or your bad times, you might respond in the same way. How does your religious heritage teach you to deal with adversity? 5. MORALITY AND NECESSITY You may agree that on the whole Wang Lung is a good man. O-lan, too, strikes most readers as a genuinely good woman. But there are certainly grounds to argue the contrary, at least on some issues. Infanticide, pillaging, slavery, drug selling, and other less severe actions raise questions about what codes of morality do exist in the novel.

Western readers have to keep in mind differences between their culture and that of Wang Lung, where custom allows some unfamiliar behavior. You might ask, however, whether custom and morality, a sense of right and wrong, are the same thing. Or is there a morality so basic to human beings that local customs, though widely accepted, are actually violations of that morality? In a world as harsh as Wang Lung’s, morality may not always be so clear. As Wang and the other Chinese struggle to survive, what role does necessity play? Is there a justification for stealing? For infanticide? Under what circumstances?

Persuasive theme: Overpopulation

Overpopulation is becoming one of the most preeminent problems facing human civilization. This complicated, pervasive issue will come to be a problem of the utmost importance for people of all races, religions, and nationalities. Our planet now provides for approximately 5. 8 billion people, with projections of around 10 billion by the year 2050. Two billion of these are extremely poor, the poorest of which live in absolute poverty and misery. One very serious effect of the population explosion is its detrimental effects on the global environment.

Increasing amounts of food, energy, water, and shelter are required to fulfill the needs of human society. Much of our energy is derived from the burning of fossil fuels-releasing millions of metric tons of toxins into the atmosphere annually. The amount of land required for food production will grow increasingly larger, while the amount of available land will grow increasingly smaller. The affects of overpopulation on human society are many. Suffering from a lack of resources, people are often driven to war when they become too numerous for their available resources.

Ethnic and racial differences will grow increasingly frequent and unresolvable. Increasing numbers in urban areas will lower quality of life in cities around the world. The precipitators of this complex issue are unlimited. Factors such as poverty, food distribution, and government corruption are all important aspects. No one will be unaffected by the repercussions of an overpopulated world. This highly sensitive and complex issue demands the attention of all who reside upon this planet, particularly those who have the ability to work for change.

Themes In A Farewell To Arms

In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, women of the Ibo tribe are terribly mistreated, and viewed as weak and receive little or no respect outside of their role as a mother. Tradition dictates their role in life. These women are courageous and obedient. These women are nurturers above all and they are anything but weak. In the novel Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo has several wives. He orders them around like dogs. They are never to question what they are instructed to do; they are expected to be obedient. We clearly see this early in the story, when Okonkwo brings Ikemefuna into his home.

Okonkwo tells his senior wife that Ikemefuna belongs to the tribe and that she is expected to look after him. She in turn asks him if he will be staying with them for a long period of time. This sends Okonkwo into a fury. He snaps at her in a very degrading manner, “Do what you are told woman. When did you become one of the ndichie (meaning elders) of Umuofia? “(pg. 12) Clearly she receives no respect. Later in the story we see this woman try to comfort Ikemefuna. She “mothers” him as if he is one of her own children. She tries to put him at ease and can almost nstinctively feel how much he misses his own mother.

In keeping with the Ibo view of female nature, the tribe allows wife beating. Okonkwo beats his youngest wife one-day because she was visiting with a friend and did not get home in time to prepare a meal for him. Another one of his wives tries to cover for her when she is questioned as to whether or not the youngest wife has fed the children before she left. Certainly she does this in effort to protect the youngest wife, knowing full well what she faced. Okonkwo does not let them down, he beats his youngest wife severely until he is satisfied.

Even in spite of pleas from his other wives reminding him that it is forbidden to beat your wife during the Week of Peace. Okonkwo will face consequences, not for beating another human being, but only because of his timing. He beats his second wife when she refers to him as one of those “guns that never shot”. When a severe case of wife beating comes before the egwugwu, he finds in favor of the wife, but at the end of the trial a man wonders “why such a trifle should come before the egwugwu”(pg. 83). The husband considers his wife as a property. He either wants his wife back or his bride price.

The omniscient narrator acknowledges a near-invisibility of women in Things Fall Apart. Describing a communal ceremony, he confesses, “It was clear from the way the crowd stood that the ceremony was for men. There were many women, but they looked on from the fringe like outsiders”(pg. 77). They are not invited to stay when men are engaged in any discussion; they are not included in council of war; they do not form part of the masquerades representing the judiciary and ancestral spirits. Okonkwo views women to be weak and foolish. He has a different expectation for men and women.

This can be seen clearly by the way that he raises his children. He tries his best to train Nwoye to be strong and brave while he feels sorry that Ezinma is a girl. Okonkwo knows that “Ezinma has the right spirit”, but he does not try to make her to be brave or strong. He favors her the most out of all of his children, yet “if Ezinma had been a boy [he] would have been happier”(pg. 69). This kind of contradiction comes up in the novel repeatedly. Those practical, daily life examples of how Okonkwo views women play an important role in showing Okonkwos real drive for his behaviors. From hose examples, we can see that Okonkwo hates any womens characteristics because they remind him of his father. He is afraid of becoming like his father. He hates the fact that his father is so unsuccessful; therefore, he does not want to be like his father.

The underlying theme for those examples is not to show that Okonkwo does not respect women at all. In fact they are used to show that Okonkwo does respect women for their ability if he does not fear to become like his father. Unoka is considered agbala, an untitled man or a woman. Yam, of smaller size and lesser value than other yams, is egarded as female. Osugo has taken to title; and so, in a gathering of his peers, Okonkwo unkindly tells him, “This meeting is for men”(pg. 22). Guilt-ridden after murdering Ikemefuna, his surrogate son, Okonkwo sternly reprimands himself not to “become like a shivering old woman”(pg. 56) this he considers the worst insult. Such extreme accent on manliness, sex-role stereotyping, gender discriminations, and violence create an imbalance, resulting in denigration of the female principle. Achebe shows that the Ibo nonetheless assigns important roles to women.

For instance, Chielo, the priestess of the Oracle of the Hills and Caves, who in the ordinary life is a widow with two kids and Ekwefis friend. Clothed in the mystic mantle of the divinity she serves, Chielo transforms from the ordinary; she can reprimand Okonkwo and even scream curses at him: “Beware of exchanging words with Agbala. Does a man speak when a God speaks? Beware! “(pg. 89) Yet if Okonkwo is powerless before a goddesss priestess, he can, at least, control his own women. Women, also, painted the houses of the egwugwu. Furthermore, the first wife of a man in the Ibo society is paid ome respect.

This deference is illustrated by the palm wine ceremony at Nwakibies obi. Anasi, Nwakibies first wife, had not yet arrived and “the others (other wives) could not drink before her”(pg. 16). The importance of womans role appears when Okonkwo is exiled to his motherland. His uncle, Uchendu, noticing Okonkwos distress, eloquently explains how Okonkwo should view his exile: “A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland. Your mother is there to protect you.

And that is why we say that Mother is Supreme”(pg. 116). The only glory and satisfaction these women enjoyed was being a mother. They receive respect and love from their children. They are strong for their children. Women are viewed to be very gentle and caring. They are expected to take care of their children with the best of their ability. Women are trusted totally by their children. This honorable presentation of women is used by Achebe to identify womens role in the Ibo society. This presentation is necessary to show that women indeed play an important role in society.

Catcher in the Rye themes

When one thinks of St. Sernin and Notre Dame, one tends to think of two beautiful cathedrals, not to churches that portray two totally different styles of architecture. Those two styles are, of course, Romanesque in St. Sernin and the Gothic style of Notre Dame. Some characteristics that these two buildings share include quest for height, basic floor plan, and artistic flair. The period of Romanesque architecture, which lasted roughly from 1050 A. D. to 1150 A. D. , concentrated mainly on achieving massive proportions, rounded vaulted bays, the round arch, the wall buttress, cylindrical apse and chapels, and towers.

Early Gothic architecture, which began in 1144 with the dedication of Saint Denis, concentrated more on mastering the idea of an obscenely high ceiling, as well as ribbed and pointed vaults, the relationship between the structure and its appearance, and perhaps, most importantly the use of light. One of the most enjoyable things about comparing the two structures of St. Sernin and Notre Dame is that there are so many differences as far as the particulars go, but in general the two cathedrals are very, very much alike. Through the years, enough architectural and engineering advances had been made o raise the ceiling to staggering new heights of over one hundred feet.

The materials remained the same as they had for years before, stone and mortar. The basic floor plan remained the same, a cross. The nave had become longer and more spectacular and the ceiling had been heightened due to recent discovery of vaulted ceilings, but other than that, it was the same floor plan as ever. The cathedrals were designed to draw vast numbers of people them, therefore they were built so that one might not only come to worship, but to see the beauty of the structure.

Even to this day people are in awe of these building, and come more to stare at their beauty than to worship God. Regardless of how many likeness’ we are able to find between the Romanesque style of St. Sernin and the Gothic style of Notre Dame, it is the difference that make them so amazing. In my opinion there are three major differences in Early Gothic and Romanesque styles of architecture. These are the differences in buttresses, the use of towers, and the use of windows. From the exterior, one of the first differences one would notice is the use of flying buttresses in Gothic architecture.

Where in Romanesque buildings, standard buttresses would have been used, the buttresses on Gothic buildings were detached from the building. This created a more open essence to the church and in my opinion a more “spiritual” look. As far as the towers go, in Romanesque structure the towers were used as a more central figure, while in Gothic construction, the towers were used more as an entrance structure.

Most importantly though, is the different use of light. In Romanesque structures, as is obvious in St. Sernin, it was realized that in a structure as big as a athedral, much light was needed. Therefore many, small windows were put in to light up the deep bowels of the cathedral. In Gothic architecture, however, and especially Notre Dame windows became a major part of the construction process. They found that by transferring more of the force down the flying buttresses that the vertical walls did not carry as much stress, therefore more windows could be added without reducing structural integrity. Therefore windows were put in on several levels, not only as a source of light, but as a form of art.

Most of the stained glass windows depicted either scenes from the bible or people of royalty. The windows pierced through the walls and added to the beauty of the cathedral. Between the addition of the flying buttresses and the use of stained glass windows, Gothic cathedrals produced some of the most beautiful and enormous works of art known to man. The use of sculptures, stained glass, and gargoyles added to the Romanesque ideas of size, vaulted ceilings, and towers made Gothic Architecture some of the most artistic and fascinating buildings ever built.

The two Romantic themes

The two Romantic themes that I have chosen are the nostalgia for the past and the importance of an individuals emotions. Emily Bronte uses these two to strengthen the story of Wuthering Heights, especially the second. In my opinion these are two very important techniques to Ms. Bronte. Without these two themes the story would not be as well written, and it would not be as well respected as it is. The book would not capture the reader as it does. The whole story of Wuthering Heights is about the characters feelings.

Bronte could not have written such an excellent book, without the use of nostalgia for the past and the importance of an individuals emotions. It is obvious, for those who have read the book Wuthering Heights, why nostalgia for the past is important. A great deal of the book is set in the past. Without this there would not be a story, or the story would be lacking a great deal of detail. The story of Wuthering Heights starts off talking about Cathys childhood. This sets up the whole story for the reader. So without this we would not understand the story.

A great portion of the book is told from Nellys point of view, which is in the past. She tells about the story, which takes place in the past. Without Brontes love for the past we wouldnt have a story. There is a lot of focus on the emotions of the characters in this novel. Bronte uses characters emotions a lot in the story. I think that she bases the story on individuals emotions. Such emotions are love and hate. Love is used a great deal in the story with Catherine, Heathcliff, and Edgar. Catherine is in love with both Edgar and Heathcliff.

She gets confused as to which one she wants, and that makes Edgar and Heathcliff hate each other. Individual emotions play a large role in the story of Wuthering Heights. Without them there would be no story, because this was a love story and love is an emotion. These two themes have great influence on this story. The past is important, because the bulk of the story is takes place in the past. Individual emotions are even more important because they are the base of the story. Without these emotions there would be no story. The main emotion is love. These two themes make the story more interesting and give it meaning to the reader.

Everybody has emotions and no one wants to read a book without them. The two Romantic themes that I have chosen are the nostalgia for the past and the importance of an individuals emotions. Emily Bronte uses these two to strengthen the story of Wuthering Heights, especially the second. In my opinion these are two very important techniques to Ms. Bronte. Without these two themes the story would not be as well written, and it would not be as well respected as it is. The book would not capture the reader as it does. The whole story of Wuthering Heights is about the characters feelings.

Bronte could not have written such an excellent book, without the use of nostalgia for the past and the importance of an individuals emotions. It is obvious, for those who have read the book Wuthering Heights, why nostalgia for the past is important. A great deal of the book is set in the past. Without this there would not be a story, or the story would be lacking a great deal of detail. The story of Wuthering Heights starts off talking about Cathys childhood. This sets up the whole story for the reader. So without this we would not understand the story. A great portion of the book is told from Nellys point of view, which is in the past.

She tells about the story, which takes place in the past. Without Brontes love for the past we wouldnt have a story. There is a lot of focus on the emotions of the characters in this novel. Bronte uses characters emotions a lot in the story. I think that she bases the story on individuals emotions. Such emotions are love and hate. Love is used a great deal in the story with Catherine, Heathcliff, and Edgar. Catherine is in love with both Edgar and Heathcliff. She gets confused as to which one she wants, and that makes Edgar and Heathcliff hate each other.

Individual emotions play a large role in the story of Wuthering Heights. Without them there would be no story, because this was a love story and love is an emotion. These two themes have great influence on this story. The past is important, because the bulk of the story is takes place in the past. Individual emotions are even more important because they are the base of the story. Without these emotions there would be no story. The main emotion is love. These two themes make the story more interesting and give it meaning to the reader. Everybody has emotions and no one wants to read a book without them.