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From your reading of "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce: Compare the treatment of the theme of a "mind under stress" by each author

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Introduction

Q. From your reading of "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens and "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce: Compare the treatment of the theme of a "mind under stress" by each author. Your essay should include a detailed analysis of the narrative skills employed by each writer. A mind under stress is one that has an applied force or system of forces that tends to strain or deform the brain. Stress can be a mentally or emotionally disruptive condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health e.g. increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, tetchiness, and depression. Many people believe all forms of stress are terrible and are a nuisance to humans, but that is not the case. Many doctors can confirm that it is helpful if we all have a certain level of stress in our lives, not too much or too little, but a medium amount, as it gives us more interesting and exciting lives. ...read more.

Middle

In the signalman the quote, "zig-zag path" represents the awkwardness and unease it is to get to the signalman. Alternatively we can infer that it is a metaphor for confusion at that moment. Dissimilar in An Occurrence in Owl Creek Bridge, Ambrose Bierce uses figurative language to great effect demonstrating the mood of the situation Farquhar was in. "a blinding white light blazes all about him with a sound like the shock of a cannon - then all is darkness and silence!" From this we can infer that the word white signifies his innocence and incorruptibility. Then immediately after this, "- then all is darkness and silence!" this part summons him to his undutiful death. In the signalman the use of the word danger in "danger light" replacing the word "red" is significant that the signalman's mind is under stress as he is giving characteristics to a light. ...read more.

Conclusion

The word "dungeon" again vividly depicts his imprisonment by his job. Also the words "deadly, depressing and foreboding" are used to make the setting seem treacherous, and so the reader feels uncomfortable about the narrator being there. The word "deadly" is dramatic and overpowering; it creates a more apprehensive atmosphere. In conclusion to my comparative study, I have learnt a lot about the writers' thoughts and possible feelings towards the theme of death. From my evaluations, I can interpret that Robert Frost believes death can seem to be a happy exit for some people and possibly an easy way. Also, when he has gone through frustrating times in his life he has contemplated suicide. On the other hand Seamus Heaney's feelings are significantly different to Robert Frost's. In "Mid Term Break", Seamus Heaney concentrates more on the fact that death can hit anyone at anytime and at any place in the most unthinkable moments of life. Therefore, he thinks that death is only to lead to negative effects and influence more problems among other human beings. ?? ?? ?? ?? Gary Donaldson 12C ...read more.

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