Showing posts with label general literature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label general literature. Show all posts

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Analysis of Patience Swift's The Last Good Man


The Last Good Man by Patience Swift

Description

Sam is a loner, but he likes that. He enjoys his own company, and the company of nature. His life is shaken up when he finds a girl washed up on the beach. He takes her in and looks after her. Isobel is also alone, back in the village to deal with her mothers estate. She has been looking for love that she has read about, but without success. She crosses Sams path too, and things start to look up. Sam takes in the two ladies and his life changes for good.

This is a short book. It is descriptive and enjoyable. It is an easy read, with short, simple sentences. The book flowed and was a lovely read, even though it is a tragic read. It is beautiful read. Swift writes gorgeous characters, and wonderful scenery. Sam was sweet and caring. Isobel was vulnerable, with a troubled streak. The girl is silent, but was happy and a lovely read.

Analysis

THEMES OF THE BOOK
 DEATH: In the book The Last Good Man, the theme of death is one of the key prominent. The author Patient swift uses the theme of death to drive home her point and also to open another facet in her literary work. The book opens with the death of a man in the sea. Subsequently, the death of Isobels mother was mentioned and more so was the death of Isobels father that in turn reconnected us back to the Sams father that died in the sea and also his mother that eventually followed. The theme of death in the book was crowned at its tail end with the unfortunate death of Sam.

LONELINESS: The theme of loneliness finds its expression in each and every character featured in the book. Sams loneliness got to the top that he didnt have a choice that he started talking to the living furniture in the house. Sam was so lonely that when birds fly in is roof he finds himself communicating with them. Isobel was not left out as she lived an isolated live devoid of parental care, love and affection. These we clearly saw in the book when Isobel left her home in her teenage age. More so, it was recorded in the book that loneliness and the want for attention meticulously claimed the life of Isobels mother, Isobels father and Sams mother. The little girl was not spared from the state of loneliness as she got her own portion in the abandoned resources of loneliness this was seen in the book when the little girl was abandoned to die in the sea without anybody to talk, play with or befriend.

MAN AGAINST SOCIETY: The theme is basically outstanding in the book as we see individual (man) trying to fight against society norms and society in turns fight back. Isobel was treated with scorn because she dares to go against set standard in the society .this she did when she disobeyed her mother constituency by hanging out with friends in odd places and reading odd books. When fought back, Isobel had to leave the village in search of a common society that will accommodate her gestures. Sam on the other hand fought against the society and against the machinery of the state when the state fought back it led to Sams death.

Characters/ Characterization

Sam
Sam is very huge, He alone at the sea side. His life changes when Isobel and the silent girl came into his life. The book revolves around him, as he is a round character.
Isobel
Isobel, is a girl from a broken home that lacks marital bliss, open communication and companionship. A product of divorced couples, she embarks on a search for true love that she has so passionately read about from the bookshelf.
The lost Girl
 She is a nine-year old girl who is the unfathomable mysterious element in the novel. She was found by Sam on the beach, half dead. She is a silent intruder.
Marion
Marion is Isabel’s childhood friend who got married to a local fisherman. She is happily married with 3 Children.



SETTING: The setting of the book is basically traditional and remote in its analysis in other words the book uses the traditional literary setting in a spurious manner. The location of the book is founded on a village platform which is rural area.
 
POINT OF VIEW: The point of view used in the book is basically a third persons perspective/omnificent point of view this we clearly saw in the book as the author tried to distant her involvement in the characterisations by so doing the author made us to not only to see what she sees but also what she feels in cause of writing the book. Although at the ending, it tends to be a mixed up or a prose argon [point of view argon].  

SUSPENSE: This is a narrative technique that keeps a reader in a turbulence state or desirous state of wanting for more. This device was perfectly used by the author in other to drive home her point of keeping her readers on their toes for the love of the love of the book. Each character used in the book were placed in such a way that the readers squeak to know what will happen next to either character A OR B

Symbolism
The novel has a plethora of symbols that presents level of deeper understanding and interpretation of work by any critical analysis..They include
Death
The image of the sea and it's complete supremacy against the will of man.
True love is seen as unattainable ideal, no matter how we pust to shove and acquire it.
Nature is seen therapeutic remedy for troubled soul while the staggered life of disillusion and communality is seen as a draw back to the health and the soul. Sam was fine living by himself, for himself until he got involved with human society and civilization.

Language
The language is easy, vivid and strong narrative of presentations of events and picturesque of places like the side of the sea where Sam's home is situated.

Narrative Technique
The story is told in two narrative forms : third person narrative style and first person narrative techniques towards the end part of the .This is done for a more dramatic effect and attempt to create a distinctive style for the author.

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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

The School Boy by William Blake : Themes, Imagery And Symbolism


The School Boy by William Blake : Themes, Imagery And Symbolism

Themes.
The loss of Innocence.
Entrapment, Confinement.
Parental care and Authority.
The Stand point of Children.
Imagery and Symbolism.
Structure.
                                                     
         The School Boy by William Blake Themes, Imagery And Symbolism
                       
"The School Boy" is a 1789 poem by William Blake and published as a part of his poetry collection entitled "Songs of Innocence."
The poem is written in the pastoral tradition that focuses on the downsides of formal learning. It considers how going to school on a summer day "drives all joy away".The boy in this poem is more interested in escaping his classroom.

Themes

1. The Loss of innocence

Innocence is presented here as freedom from constraint and self-consciousness. The child starts out taking pleasure in an uninhibited life, full of trust in his world, both natural and human. The fragility of this state is clear from images like blossoms' and tender plants .. strip'd'. The child soon experiences the woe' in life and of learning the possibility of failure and betrayal.
The poem begins in Stanza I with the poet giving us a pastoral image of the innocence of nature reminiscent of that in The Introduction from Innocence, some critics have pointed out the similarity of The distant huntsman winds his horn in this poem with Piping down the valleys wild in The Introduction of Innocence. The poem gives us an image of rising with the company of many natural joys, not just the huntsman but birds sing on every tree and the sky-lark sings with me. It is in Stanza II that we see the oppression of the natural by authority typical of Experience and continued through the rest of the poem. This stanza compares the pastoral imagery of Stanza I with that of the cruel eye outworn, and the sighing and dismay of the children in the school room. The contrast is heightened by the similarity of the opening lines, both ending in a summer morn and the way this forces a similar rhyme across the two, and the similar metre and beginning of O! what sweet company. ending Stanza I and O! it drives all joy away; in the second line of Stanza II. The similarities enhance the differences in the two images and show childhood in the two states of pastoral innocence and the experience in restrictive school days leaving the reader with a feeling for the loss of youth.

2. Entrapment, Confinement

Images of confinement abound in the Songs. Blake the revolutionary opposed the coercive strictures of the Establishment' the state, organised religion etc. - which sought to quantify and rule all aspects of human behaviour. Here, education is formalised and restrictive, actually stunting the development of those it claimed to nurture. Prison imagery is seen in the cruel eye' of the overseer and the cage' of the bird.
Images of confinement is further, abound in the Songs. Blake the revolutionary opposed the coercive strictures of the Establishment' the state, organised religion etc. - which sought to quantify and rule all aspects of human behaviour. Here, education is formalised and restrictive, actually stunting the development of those it claimed to nurture. Prison imagery is seen in the cruel eye' of the overseer and the cage' of the bird.
Blake saw the natural child as an image of the creative imagination which is the human being's spiritual core. He was concerned about the way in which social institutions such as the school system and parental authority crushed the capacity for imaginative vision. The child's capacity for happiness and play are expressions of this imagination.

3. Parental care and authority

In Blake's work, parents are often perceived as inhibiting and repressing their children. Their own fears and shame are communicated to the next generation through the parental desire to protect' children from their desires. According to Blake, parents misuse care' to repress children, rather than setting the children free by rejoicing in, and safeguarding, their capacity for play and imagination. Here, parents are seen as colluding with a repressive system; it is as though they are entrapped by a way of seeing the world and transmit that entrapment to their offspring by perpetuating the system.
Stanzas V and VI are appeals to the alternate authority of the parents to realise the predicament of the child and the dangers in this suppression of natural learning. Stanza V gives us a strong image of nature destroyed with :-

if buds are nipd,
And blossoms blown away,
And if the tender plants are stripd

4. The Standpoint of children

Is the child born free and good, as Rousseau believed, or born sinful, as the Calvinist Christians believed?
Or is this opposition the result of fallen human beings' inability to recognise that the capacity for good and evil both belong to humanity?
Blake's idea that a young child can clearly see God echoes the Romantic sensibility articulated by Wordsworth, that children had an existence in heaven before the commencement of their earthly life. 

Imagery and symbolism

This poem depends upon three inter-related images, the schoolboy, the bird and the plant. All three are dependent upon, or vulnerable to, the way in which they are treated by human beings.

Schoolboy - The image of the child here focuses on his nature as free and unfettered. He is associated with the spring as a time for growth, freshness and playfulness. As such, the child represents the playful, free nature of the creative imagination. According to Blake, this was fettered by subjection to the demands of a system which denies the validity of imagination. In The School Boy, formal education involves subjection to a cruel' eye and cruelty in Blake is always linked with the denial of imaginative freedom and of the spiritual self.

Bird - The bird imagery allows for the comparison between the free child being imprisoned in school and the songbird being caged. The unity between bird and boy is emphasised in stanza one. The sky-lark sings with me'. This inverts our expectations. We tend to think of the sky-lark as the primary singer, with whom people might sing along. Here, however, it is the child who is the first singer. It is as natural to him as to the lark, as though he were another bird.

Birds are also images of freedom. Their capacity for flight and for song makes them appropriate images of creative imagination, since poets sing' and imagination is often linked with the notion of flight. The schoolboy in school and the bird in the cage are, therefore, seen as equivalents not only at the natural level, under physical subjection, but at the spiritual level, too. Both represent the caging and entrapping of imaginative vision.

Plant - The image of the plant applies to the school boy's present and future. The young plant, like the young child, is tender and vulnerable. The way it (and the child) is treated at this stage dictates its later capacity to bear fruit. Just as food gathered in autumn is necessary to ensure survival through the winter, so experiences of joy and the freedom of the imagination are necessary for a person's capacity to live well and survive the inevitable griefs' of life.

Structure

poem is a dramatic monologue, written in rhyme scheme (ababb).
It contains six stanzas of 30 lines. It examines the element of nature in proferring solution to learning and creative development.

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Thursday, 22 February 2018

Analysis of A Raising in the Sun by Lorraine Vivian Hansberry


A Raising in the Sun by Vivian Lorraine Hansberry

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry is a play that displays housing discrimination in Chicago during the 1950s. Housing discrimination was partially an effect of the Great Migration. This was an event during the 1950s that resulted in about six million African Americans migrating from the south to the north, Midwest, and west regions of the United States. This caused the population of black people in major northern cities to increase rapidly. They are then only able to live in certain neighborhoods, which keeps their communities segregated.

Analysis

According to Lorraine Hansberrys stage directions at the beginning of the play, the action occurs sometime between the end of World War II and the 1950s. The play is set in an urban ghetto and deals with the problems encountered by a poor black family as it tries to cope with the realities of life on Chicagos South Side. It reveals the devastating effects of poverty and oppression on the African American family. Even before the play begins, Hansberrys stage directions, both in tone and substance, suggest the extent of that devastation. The furnishings in the Younger familys apartment, she says, are tired, and the once loved couch upholstery has to fight to show itself from under acres of dollies and couch covers. The very environment in which the Youngers live mirrors the struggle for survival that is waged daily in this household.

As the play progresses, the frustration born of this poverty and oppression mounts. The anger and hostility that it spawns begin to erode the foundations of the family structure. This erosion begins early in the play, exhibiting itself in the strained relations between Walter Lee and his wife Ruth as they argue over the disposition of money coming from insurance on Walters father. Walter Lee wants to use the money to purchase a liquor store. He is convinced that such a business venture will be his ticket out of the ghetto. His marriage threatens to collapse under the constant bickering. Ruth, having just discovered that she is pregnant, contemplates abortion to avoid bringing a new life into this hostile, poverty-ridden environment.

As the family anticipates the arrival of the insurance check, the tension grows and Walter becomes more agitated. He is resentful of his sister, whose medical-school expenses, he thinks, will consume money that he might otherwise use to finance his liquor store. When the check finally arrives and he finds that Mama Younger has used part of the money to make a down payment on a new house and plans to use the rest for Beneathas medical-school expenses, Walter explodes, spending his days driving around town and his nights brooding in the local bar.

When Mama begins to understand the depth of damage to Walter Lees feelings and manhood, she turns over the rest of the money to him to do with as he pleases. She makes one request, however: that he put aside the money for Beneathas education. Still pursuing his dream, however, Walter gives Willie, one of his friends, the money to purchase the liquor store for him. Willie absconds with the money, dashing Walter Lees hopes and dreams as well as those of the entire Younger family.

In an effort to recover his losses, Walter Lee decides to accept the money that has been offered earlier by their prospective white neighbors as a bribe to keep the Younger family out of an all-white neighborhood. In the last scene of the play, however, under the watchful eye of his son, Walter finds the courage to reject the offer. The family takes its leave of its ghetto apartment and heads for its new home and anticipated better life.

Form and Content

Written just as the Civil Rights movement began to get underway, this play (and the motion picture made from it in 1960) made an important statement regarding race relations. Lorraine Hansberry, coming as she did from an affluent African American family, had experienced discrimination in her own childhood when her father moved the family out of the Chicago ghetto to a home in Englewood, Illinois. She also had strong opinions about the position of black women in American society, who are represented to a great extent by the character of Beneatha in this play.

Additionally, Langston Hughess poem A Dream Deferred must be considered seminal in understanding the play. In it the poet asks, What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?. . . or does it explode? and Hansberry has successfully dramatized various human reactions to such deferment. The time in the play spans only a few weeks, but the dreams held by each of the characters have roots that reach far back. As the play begins, Lena is expecting a check of $10,000 as beneficiary of her husbands life insurance, and each character sees that money as the key that will unlock the future.

Most volatile about getting control of the money is Walter Lee, who wants to invest (with two other men) in a liquor store and become an independent businessman. He represents the dream that is ready to explode. In the first scene, he makes his attitude very clear when he asks his wife Ruth to persuade his mother to give him the money, and he becomes very upset with her when she insists that it is Lenas money to do with as she likes.

Walter Lees frustration with his life causes him to project his predicament on his wife, as a representative of all black women. As he puts it, Man say I got to change my life. Im choking to death, baby! And his woman sayyour eggs is getting cold!

Lena Younger, knowing that she and her husband never realized their dreams, has accepted life as God has willed it. In the words of the poem, she has crusted and sugared overlike a syrupy sweet. Because of the insurance money, however, she believes that she has been given a second chance at her dream of improving the lives of everyone in her family by moving out of the ghetto. Furthermore, because she is very religious, she disapproves of the idea of a liquor store for her son. Representing the older black woman who heads the family, Lena is a loving but quietly controlling matriarch.

The early-morning scene that opens the play illustrates clearly the physical conditions in which the Youngers live. The apartment is clean but very crowded; Travis sleeps on a couch in the living room, and the family shares a bathroom with other tenants in the building. Quite soon, Ruth reveals that she is pregnant, and her con-sideration of an abortion strengthens Lenas resolve regarding the use of the money.

Beneathas dream of becoming a doctor is quite concrete; she has had it since adolescence. Unlike her brother, she does not solicit her mothers financial assistance. Representing the newly emancipated black woman (in the image of the playwright), Beneatha gives the impression that she will not marry for security or surrender her free-thinking ideas. At one point, Lena actually slaps Beneatha and insists that she affirm her belief in God, but it is clear that the young woman acquiesces only out of respect for her mother. She will march to the beat of her own drummer.

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Plant
The plant that Mama keeps near the apartments sole window is barely surviving because it lacks adequate nourishment. Sound like anyone else we know? Yet she is completely dedicated to the plant and lovingly tends it every single day in the hopes that it will one day be able to flourish. Gosh. Sound like her behavior towards anyone else? This is by far the plays most overt symbol; the plant acts as a metaphor for the family.

Sunlight
Hansberry writes about sunlight and how the old apartment has so little of it. The first thing Ruth asks about in Act Two, Scene One is whether or not the new house will have a lot of sunlight. Sunlight is a familiar symbol for hope and life, since all human life depends on warmth and energy from the sun.

Cockroaches, rats and other lovely creatures.

These creatures heavily reinforce the Younger familys undesirable living situation.

 SETTING

Where It All Goes Down
The Youngers' apartment in the slums of Chicago's Southside, 1950s
The Apartment

Hansberry welcomes us into the tiny apartment of the Younger family. This place is really cramped, especially with five people living in it. On stage we see the kitchen, which is so small that it's more like a closet. Most of the play's action goes down in the living room, which also serves as the dining room and Travis's makeshift bedroom.

There's access to two bedrooms on opposite sides of the apartment (one room shared by Mama and Beneatha, the other by Walter and Ruth). The bathroom is out in the hall; the Youngers are forced to share it with their neighbors, the Johnsons. So, yeah, you get the point this place is small!

The incredibly close quarters of the Youngers' apartment definitely adds to the high tensions that run throughout the play. It's a wonder the family doesn't fight more than they already do, considering how on top of each other they're forced to live.

The tininess of the apartment definitely has a major effect on the action of the play early on. When Ruth finds out she's pregnant, she seriously considers having an abortion. If the baby is born, there just won't be anywhere for it to sleep. This thought is just too much for Mama, however. When she realizes what her daughter-in-law is considering, she marches straight out and purchases a new setting for her family to live in the house in Clybourne Park.

Be sure to look at set design pictures in order to better visualize the space. To see how professional Scene Designers have brought the Younger apartment to life onstage, look online. (Or better yet, attend a theatre production.) Here's an example.

Southside Chicago

The neighborhood which the Youngers live in is particularly significant because, during the 1950s, it was primarily a poor neighborhood inhabited mainly by African Americans. Many blacks ended up in Chicago's Southside after migrating from the South, looking for work and seeking to escape racial discrimination.

Things were definitely better in the North on a lot of levels, but blacks still faced many challenges because of their race. As A Raisin in the Sun shows, white society made it very hard for African Americans to escape the cramped, vermin-infested apartment buildings of Chicago's Southside. There may not have been any law officially segregating the city, but unofficial segregation was still going on.

The 1950s

The exact year is never specified, but the play takes place in the 1950s. Probably, the most significant thing to think about as far as the time period goes is the status of race issues. A lot of progress had been made by this point in American history, but as A Raisin in the Sun  shows, there was still a long, long way to go.

The 1950s was a sort of turning point in America, the decade that brought the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. During much of the 1950s, the South was segregated by racist Jim Crow laws. And, as we point out in our entry on the Southside, many African Americans faced unofficial racial barriers in the North. The racial tensions of the time period definitely fuel the conflicts of the play.

Beneatha's character, in particular, is grounded in the time period, as she deals with very timely socio-political issues. In a way, though, she is totally ahead of her time. We have no doubt that if Beneatha was still in the US around in the 1960s she would definitely be marching with Dr. King. Beneatha is also head of her time with the idea that African Americans should be more in touch their African roots. This became a major movement among black Americans later on in the '60s. With the character of Beneatha, Hansberry predicted (and possibly helped to spark) some major movements in American history.

 GENRE

Family Drama, Realism, African-American Literature
A Raisin in the Sun was part of a broader movement to portray the lives of ordinary, working-class African-Americans. The genre of Realism captures ordinary life, and A Raisin in the Sun definitely fits this description. Dreams of buying a house, making some money in business, and going to medical school are dreams shared by millions of working-class Americans. And if you cant figure out why this play is a Family Drama, then we seriously screwed up our job.

TONE

Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?
Alternates between Ironic and Somber
Life is rough for the Younger family, and Hansberry's use of somber tone is appropriate to that. At the same time, however, she injects a heavy dose of irony and sarcasm. Did you notice how Hansberry writes "Drily" in a lot of the line directions? (Wait, is that just "dryly" spelled a different way? Yes, it is.) The Youngers have a bite in how they talk; there's a fun tongue-in-cheek kind of feel, especially in Walter and Beneatha's sibling chats.

One of the single most ironic moments in the play, however, might be when Mr. Lindner explains that the people he represents have worked hard to achieve their dreams. In that single scene, the characters don't notice the irony so much as the audience does. It's Hansberry at her finest exposing how the American Dream can ring hollow for black Americans.

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Sunday, 28 January 2018

The Proud King by William Morris: Themes, Language, Setting, Structure and Poetic device.

The Proud King by William Morris: Themes, Language, Setting, Structure and Poetic device.

This long narrative poem captures the downfall of a powerful king from riches to rags due to his hubris. His personality flaw lies in pride. Due to the enormous wealth and authority he exerts, King Jovinian exhibits royal arrogance. He feels that he is more than a man and places himself on equal status with God. To him, he cannot die. He has assumed immortality. Because of this, God decides to humble King Jovinian.

THEMES IN WILLIAM MORRIS' "THE PROUD KING"

William Morris' "The Proud King" is one that has so many themes embedded in it. Some of these numerous themes are:

1. Pride goes before a fall

The poem insinuate to the biblical teaching of pride and its repercussions, which is projected through the actions of the epic hero, King Jovinian. The key ideology of the poem validates the authenticity of the popular biblical proposition, "God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble".

 2. The supremacy of God

God is a Supreme Being and will never hesitate to prove his supremacy when the need be. When King Jovinian assumes the position of a god due to his influence and affluence, God reduced him to a common madman until he admits that God gave him all that he has. The theme of Supremacy: The poet proves that the supremacy of God is far better than that of the King Jovinian. Jovinian's supremacy
makes him maintain fear and respect for his positions and possessions
but the supremacy of God ripped him off his power and possesions, shamed him and reduced him to nothing in the eyes of everyone; "The hot sun sorely
burned his naked skin" (in line 100). The angel finally revealed
himself to King Jovinian from line 719-728:

3. The theme of Arrogance: King Jovinian's arrogance went far even in

his situation of wretchedness, he was arrogantly approaching the nobles; he
was banging the palace gate with a very heavy stone in line 143-144
"He hurdled himself against the mighty gate/ And beat upon it madly
with a stone" and in line 215-217, he was shouting at the ranger;
"Armies will rise up when I nod my head/ Slay me! _or cast thy
treachery away/ And have anew my favour from this day."

4. The theme of Repentance: Without repentance, the proud king

wouldn't have regain his power, possessions and wealth. King Jovinian was
potrayed in the poem in different forms. He began to wear heart of
regret; "Muttered, I wish the day would ne'er come back/ If all that
once I had I now must lack" (line 333-334) in his regrets, he still
has hope for "the fresh morning air/ The rising sun, and all things
fresh and fair/ Yet caused some little hope in him to rise" (in lines
347-349) and at a certain point he narrated his plight to Christopher
a-Green from line 365-370:
"And asked him of his name and misery;
Then in his throat a swelling passion rose,
Which yet he swallowed down, and, "Friend," said he,
"Last night I had the hap to meet the foes
Of God and man, who robbed me, and with blows
Stripped off my weed and left me on the way:"

When King Jovinian became so confused in his state of nothingness, he
called on God in line 435-436; "Ah, God!" said he, "is this another
earth/ From that whereon I stood two days ago?" he further begged God
from line 605-609 "Saying, "Lord God, what bitter things are these?
What hast thou done, that every man that sees/ This wretched body, of
my death is fain?/ O Lord God, give me back myself again!".

5. Death is inevitable

As they say " All things must come to an end". No who you are or the position you hold in the society, you will surely sleep in the cold hands of death when the time is due. King Jovinian thinks his affluence, titles, influence and other worldly fortunes can immortalise him or save him from dying like his predecessors. Thus,this is an utopian thought coming from an conceited king. At the latter part of the poem, it is revealed that he eventually King Jovinian dies and another king reigns afterwards.

6. Ultimate power corrupts ultimately.

In this poem, William Morris reveals how power corrupts mortal men. King Jovinian is intoxicated by power. His disdainful and vain acts are products of his affluence and influence, which he gained through power. The Ranger is not left out here. In stanza 36, we are meant to understand that he is enthusiastic with his earthly gains and position that after King Jovinian leaves his presence, he orders his servants to bring in a musician to play in sweet melodies. He is delighted with his achievements and grateful to the king (instead of God) for the grace that he has enjoyed. This also shows that the Ranger is happy for King Jovinian's misfortune hence his sarcastic gratitude to him (Jovinian).


SETTING
"The Proud King" is set in the medieval period, a period when kings in Europe ruled as absolute sovereigns of their lands.



LANGUAGE
The language of William Morris' "The Proud King" is simple (that is, easily comprehensible) and conversational; and as an epic poem, it is narrative in nature. The poem is also spiced with Elizabethan lexicons such as "thou" (L. 269), "thy" (L. 187), which are present in the religious register of the medieval period within which this poem is set. The presence of such lexicons does not only project the setting of the poem, but also portrays it as a religious poem, aimed at revealing the evil consequences of pride.

STRUCTURE
The poem is made up of 119 stanzas of 849 lines. 117 out of 119 stanzas comprise seven lines each, with a consistent rhyme scheme (ababbcc) while the last 2 stanzas have nineteen and eleven lines, with the rhyme scheme, "aabbccddeeffgghhiij" and "abbccddeeff" respectively

POETIC DEVICES/FIGURES OF SPEECH IN "THE PROUD KING"
Some of the poetic devices or figures of speech in this poem are:

1. Alliteration
"May morning" (L. 15).
"step... step" (L. 30).
"his horse" (L. 64).
"visage vanished" (L. 141).
"Worse who was of little worth" (L. 613) etc.

2. Hyperbole
Some expressions are exaggerated in the poem.
Examples:
"mighty gate" (L. 117).
"a mighty hart and swift" (L. 45).
"And since his horse was worth a Kingdom's gift" (L. 47).

3. Antithesis
The poet uses two opposite expressions to pass across a vital message.
Examples:
"And is a mighty lord to slay and save" (L. 648).
"New things becoming old, and old things new" (L. 784).

4. Oxymoron
The placing together of two contradictory words to express an idea.
Example:
"Thou bitter-sweet thou knowest well this is" (L. 747).


5. Personification
"angry eye" (L. 708).

6. Biblical allusion
There are some biblical allusion in the poem.
Examples:
"As Adam's, ere he took the devil's hire" (L.186).
"Since Noah's flood has altered all the air" (L. 203).

7. Euphemism
"That it may lie when I am gone away".

8. Inversion
This literary device occurs when a normal sentence order is reversed.
Example:
"King was I yesterday, and long before" (L. 485).

Normally, this would have been "I was a King yesterday, and long before".

9. Repetition
"Morning" (Lines 15, 46, 213).
"God" (Lines 104, 187, 194, 196).
"May morning" (Lines 15 and 213).

10. Synecdoche
"God and the world against one lonely head" (L. 560). The word 'head' represents  King Jovinian.

11. Rhetorical question
"Is this a dream that my wearied eyes behold?" (L. 634).
"What doleful wonder now shall I be told/Of that I'll world that I so long have left?" (Lines 635 and 636).
"What thing thy glory from thee has bereft" (L. 637) etc.

12. Irony
Precisely the use of dramatic irony in the poem. The concept of the king's identity seems ironic in the sense that only the king and the readers of the poem understood the king's predicament; no one else.

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Saturday, 11 June 2016

Analysis of the poem "Vanity"

- Complete analysis of the poem "Vanity" by Biragol Diop

- Analysis of the poem "VANITY"

- Theme of the poem vanity

- Poetic Devices of the poem Vanity

- Questions on the poem Vanity

Complete Analysis of the poem "Vanity"
Analysis of the poem "vanity" by Birago Diop

Complete analysis of the poem "Vanity" by Biragol Diop

If we tell, gently, gently

All that we shall one day have to tell,

Who then will hear our voices without laughter,

Sad complaining voices of beggars

Who indeed will hear them without laughter?

If we cry roughly of our torments

Ever increasing from the start of things

What eyes will watch our large mouths

Shaped by the laughter of big children

What eyes will watch our large mouth?


What hearts will listen to our clamoring?

What ear to our pitiful anger

Which grows in us like a tumor

In the black depth of our plaintive throats?


When our Dead comes with their Dead

When they have spoken to us in their clumsy voices;

Just as our ears were deaf

To their cries, to their wild appeals

Just as our ears were deaf


They have left on the earth their cries,

In the air, on the water,

where they have traced their signs for us blind deaf and unworthy Sons

Who see nothing of what they have made

In the air, on the water, where they have traced their signs


And since we did not understand the dead

Since we have never listened to their cries

If we weep, gently, gently

If we cry roughly to our torments

What heart will listen to our clamoring,

What ear to our sobbing hearts?




Analysis of the poem "VANITY"

The title “vanity” portrays the folly of the living who in spite of having been bequeathed with many legacies have arrogantly and ignorantly failed to honour their dead ancestors. He laments as follows: “They have left on the earth their cries. In the air, on the water, where they have traced their signs for us, blind, deaf and unworthy sons, who see nothing of what they have made in the air, in the water where they have traced their signs”. In the poet’s view, much of the problems bedeviling the African society stem from our disregard for African tradition and over-dependence on the Western culture. He laments further: “If we cry roughly of our torments ever increasing from the start of things”. Birago Diop argues that the solution to Africa’s many problems lie within us.

He further expresses the African belief that dead ancestors have the ability to punish erring individuals and warns that if they are not respected or honoured, they would also not help the living in time of trouble- “And since we did not understand our dead, since we have never listened to their cries, if we weep gently, gently, if we cry roughly of our torments, what heart will listen to our clamourings, what ear to our sobbing hearts?”

Vanity is a poem of lamentation.


Theme of the poem vanity

1 The Theme of Abandonment of traditional ways or values

The poem comment on the tendency of africn education elite and other westernized africans to abandon african wisdom, values and general traditional way oof life. Because many of these people have been led into believing that african ways of life are primitive and barbaric the embrace foreign values and become uninterested in this regard as their own value . The poet condemns this in strong terms, dismissing those culpable in this regard as worthless offspring

2 wisdom of the ancestors is invaluable

The peom presents ancestors as a weservoir of sound teaching and wisdom which are sufficient to guide their offspring through the challenges of life these teaching and wisdom are describe as "cries" and "wild appeals". with such descriptions the poet suggests that the ancestors are not only in earnest, they are not interested in listening to their voices . The ancestors also leave behind them signs in the natural elements as guides to the living. The poem, therefore, suggests that the only thing that can prevent the living from becoming object of scorn and enjoy the patronage of the ancestors is to heed their words and signs.



3 pain and misery
-
Another important theme of the poem is that of Questions on the poem Vanity and pain. this theme is linked to the vanity of those who consider foreign ways superior and more desirable than africa's. Their action is cetayn to bring. about some adverse consequence, which include sadness, mockery should and pain. The poet observe that we would become sad complainers, attracting noting but others mockery should we fail to promptly address the renegade tendencies of our fellow westernized aficans. The same thing would happen if we merely lament over our pains and challenges instead of taking the right steps to get round them, which is to heed the wisdom of our forebears. The pain and misery referred
to are however not physical ones, but psychological ones. Some words which easily draw attention to the issues of pain and misery in the poem include "tumour", "pitiful anger", "plaintive throats", "complaining", "cry roughly", "weep", "clamouring" and sobbing hearts"



4 warning to renegades

Mood and Tone
The mood is that of worry with a corresponding tone of concern, condemnation, sarcasm and ridicule. He expresses his worry through a number of rhetorical questions.

Structure of the poem Vanity
Though written in stanzas and with some rhythm, the poem Vanity is a free verse poem as it does not have a consistent meter pattern.


Imagery
The poem contains powerful imagery. For instance, the title “Vanity” refers to the living’s folly over their disregard for the good works of dead ancestors which according to the poet are seen on land, in the water and in the air. Words like “voices of beggars” , “our large mouths”, “our ears were deaf” and “our plaintive throat” are employed as a form of rebuke or ridicule.

The poet also repeats some phrases and images to show how serious he is about the subject-matter of the poem. Examples- “Just as our ears were deaf”, “What eyes”, What ears” “What heart”.

Poetic Devices of the poem Vanity
 Rhetorical Question: This runs throughout the poem. It expresses the poet’s worry and emphasises his seriousness over the subject matter of the poem. Examples: “Who then will hear our voices without laughter?” “Who then will hear us without laughter?” “What eyes will watch our large mouth?” “What heart will listen to our clamouring?” “What ear to our sobbing hearts?”.

 Sarcasm: This is mocking humour. Examples: sad complaining voices of beggars; large mouth; plaintive throats

 Repetition:
This is seen throughout the poem. Example: What eyes will watch our large mouth? is repeated in the second stanza.

 Simile:
This is direct comparison using the words “like” or “as”. Example: “What ear to our pitiful anger which grows in us like a tumor”.
 Synedoche: A figure of speech that entails using a part to represent a whole
or a whole for a part. Example: “What hearts will listen to our clamouring?”

 Personification:
This figure of speech involves the attribution of human nature or character to animals, inanimate objects, or abstract notions. In Vanity, the poet gives life to dead ancestors through the use of personification. Examples: “When our Dead comes with their Dead, when they have spoken to us in their clumsy voices”.


Now you should be able to answer the following question on Vanity

Questions on the poem Vanity

1. Discuss the use of rhetorical question in the poem
2. Examine the poet's effective use of repetition
3. Closely examine the background and setting of the poem as they relate to its contents
4.Discuss the use of three poetic devices in vanity
5. Discuss the theme of pain and misery in the poem vanity
6. Examine the structure of the poem, What is its effect on the overall development of the poem
7. Identify and discuss one of the themes in the poem
8. Give a detailed account of the poem
9. Discuss the poem "vanity" against the back

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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Raisinn in the sun

Analysis of Raisin in the Sun.

Plot Account
A Raisin in the Sun portrays a few weeks in the life of the Youngers, an African-American family living on the Side of Chicago in the 1950s. When the play opens, the Youngers are about to receive an insurance check for $10,000. This money comes from the deceased Mr. Younger’s life insurance policy. Each of the adult members of the family has an idea as to what he or she would like to do with this money. The matriarch of the family, Mama, wants to buy a house to fulfill a dream she shared with her husband. Mama’s son, Walter Lee, would rather use the money to invest in a liquor store with his friends. He believes that the investment will solve the family’s financial problems forever. Walter’s wife, Ruth, agrees with Mama, however, and hopes that she and Walter can provide more space and opportunity for their son, Travis. Finally, Beneatha, Walter’s sister and Mama’s daughter, wants to use the money for her medical school tuition. She also wishes that
her family members were not so interested in joining the white world. Beneatha instead tries to find her identity by looking back to the past and to Africa. As the play progresses, the Youngers clash over their competing dreams. Ruth discovers that she is pregnant but fears that if she has the child, she will put more financial pressure on her family members. When Walter says nothing to Ruth’s admission that she is considering abortion, Mama puts a down payment on a house for the whole family. She believes that a bigger, brighter dwelling will help them all. This house is in Clybourne Park, an entirely white neighborhood. When the Youngers’ future neighbors find out that the Youngers are moving in, they send Mr. Lindner, from the Clybourne Park Improvement Association, to offer the Youngers money in return for staying away. The Youngers refuse the deal, even after Walter loses the rest of the money ($6,500) to his friend Willy Harris, who persuades Walter to invest in the liquor store and then runs off with his cash. In the meantime, Beneatha rejects her suitor, George Murchison, whom she believes to be shallow and blind to the problems of race. Subsequently, she receives a marriage proposal from her Nigerian boyfriend, Joseph Asagai, who wants Beneatha to get a medical degree and move to Africa with him (Beneatha does not make her choice before the end of the play). The Youngers eventually move out of the apartment, fulfilling the family’s long-held dream. Their future seems uncertain and slightly dangerous, but they are optimistic and determined to live a better life. They believe that they can succeed if they stick together as a family and resolve to defer their dreams no
longer.


Analysis of Major Characters

Walter As Mama’s only son, Ruth’s defiant husband, Travis’s caring father, and Beneatha’s belligerent brother, Walter serves as both protagonist and antagonist of the play. The plot revolves around him and the actions that he takes, and his character evolves the most during the course of the play. Most of his actions and mistakes hurt the family greatly, but his belated rise to manhood makes him a sort of hero in the last scene.


Mama
Mama is Walter and Beneatha’s sensitive mother and the head of the Younger household. She demands that members of her family respect themselves and take pride in their dreams. Mama requires that the apartment in which they live always be neat and polished. She stands up for her beliefs and provides perspective from an older generation. She believes in striving to succeed while maintaining her moral boundaries; she rejects Beneatha’s progressive and seemingly un-Christian sentiments about God, and Ruth’s consideration of an abortion disappoints her. Similarly, when Walter comes to her with his idea to invest in the liquor store venture, she condemns the idea and explains that she will not participate in such un-Christian business. Money is only a means to an end for Mama; dreams are more important to her than material wealth, and her dream is to own a house with a garden and yard in which Travis can play.

Beneatha
Beneatha is an attractive college student who provides a young, independent, feminist perspective, and her desire to become a doctor demonstrates her great ambition. Throughout the play, she searches for her identity. She dates two very different men: Joseph Asagai and George Murchison. She is at her happiest with Asagai, her Nigerian boyfriend, who has nicknamed her “Alaiyo,” which means “One for Whom Bread—Food—Is Not Enough.” She is at her most depressed and angry with George, her pompous, affluent African-American boyfriend. She identifies much more with Asagai’s interest in rediscovering his African roots than with George’s interest in assimilating into white culture.


Asagai
One of Beneatha’s fellow students and one of her suitors, Asagai is from Nigeria, and throughout the play he provides an international perspective. Proud of his African heritage, he hopes to return to Nigeria to help bring about positive change and modern advancements. He tries to teach Beneatha about her heritage as well. He stands in obvious contrast to Beneatha’s other suitor, George Murchison,


List of all character and their roles

Walter Lee Younger -
The protagonist of the play. Walter is a dreamer. He wants to be rich and devisesplans to acquire wealth with his friends, particularly Willy Harris. When the play opens, he wants to invest his father’s insurance money in a new liquor store venture. He spends the rest of the play endlessly preoccupied with discovering a quick solution to his family’s various problems.

Beneatha Younger (“Bennie”) -
Mama’s daughter and Walter’s sister. Beneatha is an intellectual. Twenty years old, she attends college and is better educated than the rest of the Younger family. Some of her personal beliefs and views have distanced her from conservative Mama. She dreams of being a doctor and struggles to determine her identity as a well-educated black woman.

Lena Younger (“Mama”) -
Walter and Beneatha’s mother. The matriarch of the family, Mama is religious, moral, and maternal. She wants to use her husband’s insurance money as a down payment on a house with a backyard to fulfill her dream for her family to move up in the world.


Ruth Younger -
Walter’s wife and Travis’s mother. Ruth takes care of the Youngers’ small apartment. Her marriage to Walter has problems, but she
hopes to rekindle their love. She is about thirty, but her weariness makes her seem older Constantly fighting poverty and domestic troubles, she continues to be an emotionally strong woman. Her almost pessimistic pragmatism helpsher to survive.

Travis Younger -
Walter and Ruth’s sheltered young son. Travis earns some money by carrying grocery bags and likes to play outside with other neighborhood children, but he has no bedroom and sleeps on the living-room sofa.

Joseph Asagai -
A Nigerian student in love with Beneatha. Asagai, as he is often called, is very proud of his African heritage, and Beneatha hopes to learn about her African heritage from him. He eventually proposes marriage to Beneatha and hopes she will return to Nigeria with him.

George Murchison - A wealthy, African-American man who courts Beneatha. The Youngers approve of George, but Beneatha dislikes his willingness to submit to white culture and forget his African heritage. He challenges the thoughts and feelings of other black people through his arrogance and flair for intellectual competition.

Mr. Karl Lindner -
The only white character in the play. Mr. Lindner arrives at the Youngers’ apartment from the Clybourne Park Improvement Association. He offers the Youngers a deal to reconsider moving into his (all-white) neighborhood.

Bobo -
One of Walter’s partners in the liquor store plan. Bobo appears to be as mentally slow as his name indicates. Willy Harris - A friend of Walter and coordinator of the liquor store plan. Willy never appears onstage, which helps keep the focus of the story on the dynamics of the Younger family.

Mrs. Johnson -
The Youngers’ neighbor. Mrs. Johnson takes advantage of the Youngers’ hospitality and warns them about moving into a predominately white neighborhood.




Themes of A RAISIN IN THE SUN

1] SACRIFICE
2]SUFFERING
3]DISSATISFACTION
4] PORVERTY
5] PRIDE
6] POWER
7] RACIAL AFFIRMATION
8] RIGHT OF CHOICE
9] GENDER
10] DREAMS HOPE AND PLAN

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Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Figurative language in literature with examples


Figurative Language
Descriptive language used to make comparisons and to employ the reader’s own imagination.

Example: See simile, metaphor, and personification.


Rhetoric
Carefully chosen words and phrases that combine to achieve artful and effective communication and even persuasion. Example: A political campaign speech.

Semantics
The study of meaning through signs, symbols, and words and how a person interprets these. Example: The sense and manner in which ideas are conveyed are both part of the semantics involved in communica- tion.

Style
The characteristic and often perfected manner of writ- ing by any given novelist, poet, or dramatist. Exam- ple: Hemingway’s taut, disciplined, journalistic style came to identify and characterize all of his work as a writer.
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