• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Wisdom Demands Sacrifice

Extracts from this document...


Robert Lam Ms. Dwyer ENG 2D7 - 04 5 December 2008 Wisdom Demands Sacrifice �mile Nelligan's personal poem, "Before Two Portraits of my Mother", explores the life journey people experience in order to attain wisdom. Nelligan's diction conveys a tone of joy and despair, while his imagery reveals the pleasure of young dreams and the need to accept hardships. In fact, the occasion of the poem, evident in its title, teaches that wisdom demands sacrifice. The two portraits form the basis for the poem's literary devices and balanced structure of opposites. Nelligan symbolizes the need to reinvent hope in the journey towards enlightenment and wisdom. This personal poem's contrasting tones of happiness and sadness, demonstrate that accepting life's hardships leads people to reinvent hope because wisdom demands sacrifice. Nelligan's diction contrasts joy and melancholy: he opposes the hope of youth with the care of old age. His mother's young portrait captures the climax of her young dreams, "...romance's rapture..." (7). Bright, youthful diction such as "glorious", "prime", and "shine" reveal that her happiest moments stem from her life as a young adult. ...read more.


signifies his mother's old age. Instead of dealing with sadness and despair, Nelligan unearths the hope and joy he attains from the two portraits. He mentions "years" to exemplify the change present in passing time. Nelligan insists that as his mother reaches "...the year's eclipse," the physical signs of age emerge as markers of attained peace and wisdom. The poem's structure expands on peace and tranquility as he introduces the two portraits in the first two a-b-b-a quatrains and then reflects on the portraits' impact in the final a-a-b tercet and a-b-a tercet stanzas. This balance between the physical and intellectual characteristics of old age and youth remain equally important stages through which all people must pass. Nelligan explains that the sacrifice stage needed to attain wisdom remains "...an unfathomed mystery of the heart" (12). This mystery acts as the taproot for the poem and Nelligan's questions about the mystery signify his frustration and desire for enlightenment. This structure nurtures the literary devices that stress the power of understanding and experience needed to attain wisdom. ...read more.


Nelligan, the poet, exemplifies the new hope evident in her wedding portrait and the poem becomes a symbol for his passionate, emotional ties to his mother. Nelligan demonstrates his admiration for his mother's youth when he reflects upon her "...brow haloed with joy" (10). Nelligan's reference to angelic qualities fields the way for youth as a symbol of pure, problem-free, future oriented life. The use of the verb halo to describe his mother's youthful hope depicts her connection to God. The joy that haloes her brow indicates her trust and hope in God's guidance to help her choose wisely. Wise choices feed hope. Hope nourishes her personal renewal. Renewal nurtures her balanced adaptation in life. "Before Two Portraits of my Mother" creates a connection between inner wisdom and physical appearance: people lose and gain things in balance. The pursuit of her dreams, evident in his mother's wedding portrait, leads to the wisdom and enlightenment symbolized by the sacrifice of her physical appearance, evident in her old age portrait. Nelligan's mother sacrifices her appearance as she renews her hope in life. "Before Two Portraits of my Mother" measures how wisdom demands sacrifice. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Under age Binge Drinking In Wales

    Binge drinking and drinking behaviour can become a pattern. There are lots of new alcohol products around and bars and clubs designed for younger people, for example, shots are offered where the aim is rapid intoxication. Some 33% of drinkers in Wales report their aim is to get drunk with a 59% of the drinkers in Wales in the

  2. Commentary on Rohinton Mistry(TM)s A Fine Balance

    Rosanna uses the word 'still' when she says that her past life 'still' comes back to her. This shows that Rosanna has been working as a servant at the house on the bay for a long time. When Rosanna says her 'past life still' returns to her, Mr Betteredge, like

  1. Commentary on "Anthem for Doomed Youth"

    The sestet expresses the futility of the soldier's lives as it opens with yet another question, asking, "what candles may be held to speed them all"?. The response is within the sestet itself, as the voice notes that it shall not be the candles, but the holy last glimmer in their eyes will mark their passage from the living.

  2. MARKETING MIX CA HEINEKEN TI TH TRNG VIT NAM:Heineken marketing strategies

    Nhung chu "e" trong d�ng chu Heineken duoc "dat nghi�ng" mot c�ch c� � tr�ng nhu "nhung guong mat cuoi"- cam gi�c thoai m�i sang kho�i khi thuong thuc Heineken, di�u d� tao n�n h�nh anh Heineken kh�ng th� l�m l�n ng�y nay.

  1. Ode on Melancholy

    where there is a longing towards the vicarious nature of beauty. Lastly, the religious connotations that arise from the 'temple of Delight' (L.25.) and Melancholy's 'sovran shrine' (L.26.) suggest the audience is seeking heavenly approval and the speaker is communicating that the heavens agree about the union of joy and sadness, as Melancholy's shrine exists within the temple of Delight.

  2. Comparing and Contrasting Nadine Gordimer's Narrative Situations

    The second story in which Nadine Gordimer uses narrative situation to inform readers about the nature of humankind is "A Journey". "A Journey" shifts narrative situations most significantly from 1st person dissonant to 3rd person figural and dissonant; Gordimer uses these to indicate change in characters as they adjust to their surroundings.

  1. Vietnamese Poetry and Language

    kho�ng �e�n Sao ta na�m �a�y, trong ca�n ga�c nho� �e�m th�i gian tro�i ba�ng nh��ng �e�m �en �e� nghe tha�ng na�m �u�c mo�n tha�n the� Trong kie�p l�u �a�y Th���ng �e� bo� que�n Gia ��nh coi ta nh� ng��i kha�ch tro� To� quo�c coi ta nh� ng��i kho�ng quen

  2. Streetcar Named Desire- Questions

    Most characters use illusions in an attempt to escape their flawed realities. In the play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, each of the characters live within an illusion which helps them to escape their realities, which they all do not want to accept.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work