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Porphyria's lover analysis

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Porphyria's Lover The Title "Porphyria's Lover" does not really tell you very much about the poem. It tells you that it is about a man who loves Porphyria but it is not clear whether it is about the man who is telling his story or another man who Porphyria maybe seeing. Also, the title is written in a way where you know the mood of the poem when you first start to read it. Porphyria, in the medical world, is "a genetic abnormality of metabolism causing abdominal pains and mental confusion." Likewise, in "Porphyria's Lover," Porphyria seems to be a source of pain and mental anguish for the narrator-- which he can find only one cure for. The atmosphere in the opening scene is scary and eerie. This effect is built up by the use of pathetic fallacy " Sullen wind, down for spite, did its best to vex the lake" The narrator starts of the poem off by using the technique of pathetic fallacy--providing the weather with human emotions. The wind not only blows, it is also "sullen" and "awake." It knocks down trees "for spite" and tries its best to annoy the lake. ...read more.


"God has not yet said aword!" The narrator finds it strange that God doesn't praise him or punish him after he murders Porphyria. It probably justifies his act in his mind. "Made the cheerless grate" The first thing that Porphyria does when she enters the narrator's house is light his fireplace. She does this even before she takes off her soaking wet coat and gloves. She seems to care very much for the narrator and puts his comfort before her own. The narrator calls the fireplace a "cheerless grate," before Porphyria comes over. It's as if she gives his home a sense of "home." "Let the damp hair fall" When the narrator notices Porphyria's hair, it foreshadows what will occur at the end of the poem. He calls it the damp hair, not her damp hair. It's as if she doesn't posses it herself. "Made her smooth white shoulder bare" The narrator acts as if Porphyria intentionally exposes her shoulder, but it could just be that the narrator is watching her as she moves about. She may have not been trying to purposefully catch his eye. ...read more.


He sees Porphyria's dead eyes as "laughing," happy to be dead. He also seems them "without a stain": without any sign of hatred or malic towards her killer. "My burning kiss" While the narrator didn't kiss Porphyria during the whole scene while she was alive, he decides to take it upon himself to kiss her after she's dead. He calls it a "burning" kiss. "Burning" is usually associated with desire and passion. It's strange that he finds this passion in kissing a completely and utterly submissive woman. "Only, this time my shoulder bore" The narrator seems proud of the fact that the woman now lies on his shoulder, while earlier on in the poem it was the other way around. "So glad it has its utmost will" Porphyria is now referred to as an "it." The narrator believes that her will has been fulfilled because now he fully dominates over her. "Her darling one wish would be heard" He is fully convinced that it was her one wish to lose her sense of independence to become completely under his power. "God has not yet said aword!" The narrator finds it strange that God doesn't praise him or punish him after he murders Porphyria. It probably justifies his act in his mind. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

There are some very good points made in this essay but the way they are structured means the analysis is not as effective and well communicated as it could be. The writer should ensure that s/he carefully plans the essay before writing so that s/he creates a formal, analytical response rather than a stream of consciousness.

4 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 08/10/2013

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