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"The Plague" and "Beloved" comparative essay

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Introduction

Both The Plague and Beloved are books that gained excellent reputation. They both portray some of the sufferings of humans with one focusing on a plague whilst the other focuses on slavery. The Plague has the form of a chronicle, the journal of an event as it occurs, day by day or time period by time period. The author is therefore able to select, separate and connect elements into what he/she thinks is a meaningful pattern. On the other hand, Beloved by Toni Morrison tells of a story in not the usual linear tale but rather, in fragments, thus forcing readers to consider the worth of each and piece them back together bit by bit. In my opinion, I think that chronological order is not the most convincing way to convey a story or an idea because it doesn't leave a vivid marking in one's mind. Each story consists of various parts including the conflict, climax, and themes and they are not best portrayed in chronological order. Every story has a conflict no matter how it is told. Readers are usually taken on a rollercoaster ride in which he/she can only guess the next part of the ride until the very end. ...read more.

Middle

God, or mother nature, sends plagues upon humans once in a while in order to stop us from dominating the planet. The lead on to this climax is like repeating the cycle of life where we live and will eventually die. In the case of Beloved, the novel flows through two different stories, one via flashbacks and one in the novel's present so there are actually two climaxes. The first peak of the flashback plot takes place in Chapter 16, where we finally get the full picture of the death of Sethe's daughter 18 years ago. The second culmination is at the end of the novel, where Beloved, the assumed ghost of Sethe's daughter, is exorcised. The use of two climaxes allows the reader to gain a better understanding of both the past and present. The author believes that it isn't enough to simply talk about the past horrors and has to tell of the sufferings that occur many years later to give the story an emphasis. Instead of a steady uphill then downhill walk, Beloved takes the reader through a maze in which the exit can only be found by the readers themselves. Multiple corridors are revealed in the course of the journey in which the reader can choose which one to take, thus making the reader need to constantly think about the story as a whole. ...read more.

Conclusion

Sethe is also pleased that Paul D has returned to live with her and nurse her back to health. When he tells her that she is her own best thing, she realizes, for the first time, that she is truly a person in her own right, not just a mother or an ex-slave. The ending excellently portrays Sethe's persevere life when the final piece is put in by the reader; he/she gains the same victory feel as the characters of Beloved and instead of walking away from the story, will stand back a bit to actually admire the whole picture as a whole. In conclusion, I believe that chronological order is not the best way to convey a story or an idea. It may certainly aid the reader in gaining a better understanding of the flow of ideas in the text but nonetheless it leaves room for the audience to guess. On the other hand, if one is to truly understand the meaning of a text not told in a chronological way, he/she must carefully consider each fragment that is given and then slowly piece them back together. We cannot afford to forget or misplace a piece or else the magnificent picture will never be complete, which in turn, I believe, is the most convincing way to convey a story or idea. ...read more.

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