ENGLISH LITERATURE 1
English literature is described as writing considered as an art form,or any original writing deemed to have an artistic and intellectualvalue and written in the English language. It can be classifiedaccording to whether it is fictional or non-fictional. Additionally,it can also be distinguished according to whether it is poetry orprose. Narrowing down, English literature can be identified inaccordance with its primary forms such as a novel, short story ordrama.
Drama is a form ofliterature that is written so as to be performed by actors on stage.Unlike short fiction and poetry, drama employs all the seven elementsof fiction setting, characters, a plot, a point of view, a problem,suspense and a theme. Trifles by Susan Glaspell Oates is myfavorite play. The reason I love this play is the manner in whichSusan brought out the major issues of justice, men and masculinity,and women and femininity. She also chose her characters carefullythus each one of them fulfills their position correctly. The modernthemes that are in Trifles are justice and feminism. In theplay, Othello by William Shakespeare, the major themes thatare also new includes love, race, jealousy, and prejudice. Lastly,the contemporary topics in A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen areappearance versus reality and parental ideal.
Poetry islike a puzzle that, when put together, creates a beautiful image oftruth. For one to see what is in a poem as opposed to how they feel,they have to prosify. Once the poem is prosified, its subject matterbecomes clearer. Then the speaker, imagery, and structure should alsobe identified. For a poem to be considered a poem it must have thefollowing elements form, sound, imagery, and figurative language.Moreover, poems must have internal rhyme or end rhyme. For example,It won’t be long before my song ends the day/ And flowers near thetowers reach the sky, is an internal rhyme. The poem To His CoyMistress by Andrew Marvell reflects the tradition of eroticblazon, in which a poet constructs elaborate images of his lover’sbeauty carving her into body parts. Its verse form consists of rhymedcouplets in iambic tetrameter, proceeding as AA, BB, CC, and soforth. Additionally, The Fish by Marianne Moore is aninteresting piece because Moore can mimic the sound of ocean’swaves moving up and down, in and out. Without that wavy soundingverse, the poem wouldn’t be nearly as cold or rhythmic. “…thewater drives a wedge/ of iron through the iron edge/ of the cliff…”(Moore, The Fish). Additionally, The Sacred by Stephen Dunn iscaptivating as it is written in free verse so that he can stop andswerve whenever he wants. “After the teacher asked if anyone had/asacred place/and the students fidgeted and shrank” (Dunn, TheSacred). In the poem, My Papa’s Waltz by Theodore Roethke isappealing as every image he uses, deserves to be pondered to thefull, for its emotional richness. The overall tone and feelingcontain love, pain, humor and nostalgia all blended. This piece isbuilt on four stanzas, each containing four lines. The rhyme schemeis abab-cdcd-efef-ghgh. The central image in the poem is the metaphorin which the beatings are described as a waltz. “You beat time onmy head/ with a palm caked hard by dirt/ then waltzed me off to bed/still clinging to your shirt” [ CITATION Gal1 l 1033 ]. Lastly,The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams is one of theshortest ever to have been published by an American poet. The firstline is colloquial and open in its invitation, the second line, whichis the preposition. This preposition prepares the reader for thedetails that are to follow. This poem evokes no cultural traditionsor literary associations. “So much depends/upon/a red wheel/barrow/ glazed with rain/ water/ beside the white/ chickens” (Gale,A study guide for William Carlos Williams` "The RedWheelbarrow,” 2015).
These stories are apiece of prose fiction that can be read in one sitting. At its mostprototypes, the short novels feature a small cast of named charactersand focus on a self-contained incident with the intent of evoking asingle effect or mood. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?Is interesting because one cannot be sure whether it is intended tobe taken literally or as allegory. The author uses themes that arerelatable such as facts versus reality, independence, and freedom.This story is different from traditional stories as Oates describesthe main character in the first paragraph and tells us the history ofthe relationship between Connie and her other. Many authors usuallywithhold this till later in the story. “Her name was Connie. Shewas fifteen, and she had a quick, nervous giggling habit of craningher neck to glance into mirrors or checking other people’s faces tomake sure her own was all right. Her mother, who noticed everythingand knew everything and who hadn’t much reason any longer to lookat her own face, always scolded Connie about it… Connie would raiseher eyebrows at these familiar old complaints and look right throughher mother, into a shadowy vision of herself as she was right at thatmoment: she knew she was pretty and that was everything” (Gale, AStudy Guide for Joyce Carol Oates`s "Where Are You Going, WhereHave You Been?", 2016). The Man Who Was Almost a Man byRichard Wright is also a captivating short fiction. Wright usesmodern themes like the search for power and employs motifs such aslies and darkness.
As I studied shortfiction, I enjoyed a few stories. First, A White Heron bySarah Orne Jewett is one captivating story. Sarah uses nature todevelop her main character. “…Sylvia had all the time there was,and very little use to make of it” [ CITATION Sar14 l 1033 ]. Thisquote from the beginning of the story depicts Sylvia’s youth andinnocence. She can spend her time communing with nature and isuntouched by the fast moving destructive world personified by thestranger. Sarah explores some environmental themes including thefreedom of nature, a return to life, and emancipation fromindustrialism. Second, Cathedral by Raymond Carver isintriguing. This story develops an ironic situation in which a blindman teaches a sighted man. Towards the end of the story, the narratordraws a cathedral. The cathedral is symbolic of the power of theimagination that life is more than the day-to-day events that make upmost of our time. There is something rare that can be accessedthrough our minds. Before the drawing experience, the narrator wasunimaginative and self-centered. The drawing took him to a new place.“…so we kept on with it. His fingers rode my fingers as my handwent over the paper. It was like nothing else in my life up to now”[ CITATION Ray16 l 1033 ]. This story depicts the difference betweenlooking and seeing.
In conclusion, the genre I enjoyed reading most was the shortfiction. The way the authors bring life to a short story and thecaptivation it brings to the reader is tremendous. The settings ofshort stories are usually minimalist so as to maximize on theinformation that the authors want to pass across. These stories havea tight plot and a precise delivery of information.
Carver, R. (2016). Cathedral. New York: Random House.
Gale, C. L. (2016). A Study Guide for Joyce Carol Oates`s "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?". Chicago: Gale, Cengage Learning.
Gale, C. L. (n.d.). A Study Guide for Richard Wright`s "The Man Who Was Almost a Man". New York: Gale, Cengage Learning.
Jewett, S. O. (2014). A White Heron, and Other Stories – Primary Source Edition. Chicago: BiblioLife.