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Compare the ways in which Thomas Hardy and Christina Rossetti depict death and the supernatural

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Introduction

Compare the ways in which Thomas Hardy and Christina Rossetti depict death and the supernatural When comparing four poems, two of which each written by Hardy and Rossetti, we can see that they portray death and the supernatural in different ways. Although all the four poems have the same theme, they have all been expressed in different ways. For example, Rossetti's Up-Hill studies the transition from life to death, and it is displayed as being comforting and familiar. One way she does this is by presenting the poem as if it is a normal conversation between two people. In Who's in the Next Room? Hardy, however, makes this same transition seem very frightening and alarming. Comparing these two poems gives us a good example of how different poets can write about the same subject, and give their own interpretations, in this case, about death. In Who's in the Next Room? There are three different people talking in the poem; a questioner, someone to answer these questions, and the spirit that is passing over to the next life. ...read more.

Middle

Despite this, there is a resting-place along the way, and inn, as she says. This inn could be a religious reference, i.e. like the resting-place of Mary and Joseph before Jesus' birth. She also says, "Of labour you shall find the sum", meaning that people will get what they work for, and expect the comfort they deserve. This could be interpreted as a Christian having to lead a good life for a place in heaven. Although, she does say that there are "beds for all who come", which shows that God forgives all, and he has a place for everyone. Hardy has no religious references in his poems, so maybe Hardy was not a religious person. He also does not make the "next room" seem heavenly, and maybe his poem is in reference to hell. And the spirit is in a sort of waiting room, before he or she moves on to the next room, with each person having the messenger of death, ready to guide you on to the "next room". The door to the next room is described as being "concealing", which makes it more mysterious, and all is hidden. ...read more.

Conclusion

The main difference between theses two poems is that one shows a man who cannot move on after his wife's death, and the other shows a group of people who seem indifferent about their friend's death now, and how he or she is no longer loved after death, and their death did not have much impact, whereas the husband in The Haunter has been very affected by his wife's death. Overall, Hardy's depiction of death and the supernatural is much eerier and more negative, whereas Rossetti's is more comforting and reassuring. Hardy uses techniques such as echoing to create the creepy, uncomfortable atmosphere, whereas Rossetti's language is more naturalistic, and easier to relate to, making death seem easier and she gives more reassurance. Both Up-Hill and Who's in the Next Room? are about journeys from life to death, and The Haunter and At Home are about spirits visiting loved ones, and there are many similarities and differences which show the way they each view death and the supernatural. Hardy's ideas are obviously more depressing whereas Rossetti's are more upbeat. Hardy's aim seems to be to make people uncomfortable with death, whereas Rossetti's appears to be more about reassurance. Emma Fancett 11 Latymer ...read more.

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