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University Degree: Literary Criticism

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  1. Construction of Gender in the City

    The metropolis was an area where traditional gender roles were undoubtedly contested and reformed. Identity with relation to gender was a changing sphere for men and women as new opportunities and discourses arose within the city. I intend to demonstrate through my extracts how male and females were presented in fin de siecle literature, and how far, if at all, the city itself was a cause for change in this mode of identification. Taken from W.T.Stead's "The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon", a statement of an ex-brothel owner within the heart of London highlights an aspect of the city with relation to females at the time.

    • Word count: 1749
  2. Breakfast of Champions Literature Review

    Thinking about the question, and referring to the exhaustion of literary technique it has to be considered the different techniques that are apparent in Breakfast of Champions, relating to the events that caused the style in which the book was penned, as a self-therapy novel, it can be considered that this is where the wacky style came from, all the trivia details, descriptions and such like that are featured in the book are very much a representation of Vonnegut's mind, all over the place.

    • Word count: 2392
  3. On balance, does The Two Gentlemen of Verona sustain or undermine the idealisation of male-male friendship that lies at the heart of the male friendship tradition?

    Shakespeare clearly wanted the audience to take notice of the names as in the first speech between Valentine and Proteus as he states both their names twice. 'The names suggest, Proteus is unable to find his identity, and Valentine finds his in love' (Godshalk, 1969 p170). The name Proteus as Godshalk points out, derives from a Greek myth about a sea god who could change his shape as he pleases, the character of Proteus is in Ovid's Metamorphoses. This is probably where Shakespeare also got the rape theme from as in Titus and Gisuppus Sophronia goes with willingly with Titus, yet as Carroll puts across 'love in the metamorphoses itself is all too frequently enacted as rape', (Carroll, 2004 p23).

    • Word count: 2392
  4. Analyse the relationship between body and writing in Winterson and Lispector

    3 Jeanette Winterson's Written on the Body and Clarice Lispector's The Hour of the Star are both stories that explore this relationship between language and body. In Winterson's novel, the extract used as a blurb on all of the editions (found on page 89 of the novel) is: "Written on the body is a secret code only visible in certain lights: the accumulations of a lifetime gather there. In places the palimpsest is so heavily worked that the letters feel like Braille.

    • Word count: 3345
  5. Discuss the significance of narrative perspective in Melvilles Benito Cereno and Douglass Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

    When Delano boards the San Dominick to help the crew, he notices "Don Benito's unfriendly indifference towards himself1" and his "sour and gloomy disdain". This is a strange reaction to Delano's company, which should be greeted as a form of rescue. However, Delano attributes this indifference to the "effects of sickness2" and dismisses it. As a consequence, readers of Benito Cereno assume Delano's excuse as their own and also dismiss such a trivial observation. But Delano is good at making these "trivial observations" but instead of connecting them and drawing a conclusion, he rejects them as soon as it is noted.

    • Word count: 2801
  6. The implications of Ambrosios development extend beyond the walls of a comfortingly exotic monastery in Madrid - the burial vaults hold dangers more real than can be registered by a pleasurable shudder Howard Anderson On what groun

    in order to gain access to him. After the initial seduction, ennui sets in and his increasing desire for sexual gratification (which can no longer be satisfied by Matilda alone) leads him to turn his attentions to the innocent Antonia, eventually leading to the violent downfall of both pitiful characters. This slippery slope of events is one that is terrifying in the extreme. This monk, this respected and supposedly virtuous monk was believed to be above human sin by all of Madrid even dubbed the "Man of Holiness2", having reached the age of 30 without committing a single sin.

    • Word count: 1821
  7. To Dr. Moore, in answer to a Poetical Epistle Written by Him in Wales was written by Helen Maria Williams. The poem provides an insight into the thoughts of Williams following the French Revolution. It contemplates the disaster and carnage caused by the r

    These combinations create detailed pictures in the mind. For example, lines 5 and 6 "Her cultured meadows, and the lavish shades. Her winding rivers and her verdant glade s" line 8 " ...The rough Welsh mountain lifts its craggy brow; ..." encouraging the reader to think of grand inspiring landscapes . This use of imagery illustrates the need for the poet to lift her spirit. As the second stanza describes to the reader the beauty of the place Williams is located at the time of writing the poem.

    • Word count: 1387
  8. Frankenstein. The novel presents an elaborate series of narratives; Walton, Victor, the Creature and Walton, all enfolded within one another. The author uses a diversity of voices and an absence of the omniscient narrators voice. This works to emotiona

    The novel presents an elaborate series of narratives; Walton, Victor, the Creature and Walton, all enfolded within one another. The author uses a diversity of voices and an absence of the omniscient narrator's voice. This works to emotionally distance the reader from any individual character. Allowing the reader to explore the novel freely, changing their viewpoint and sympathies. This enables the reader to reach their own conclusions. Initially the reader's sympathies are with Victor as we perceive him as the Creature's victim. "I felt cold and half-frightened as it were instinctively finding myself so desolate....... I was a poor, helpless, miserable wretch; I knew, and could distinguish, nothing; but feeling pain invade me on all sides, I sat down and wept."

    • Word count: 1548
  9. Free essay

    As I Lay Dying Reliability of Perception

    Indeed, Moseley and Peabody undoubtedly add fuel to this rampant fire of sacrilege. Upon Moseley's account of the Bundren's disembarkation in Mottson, his adaptation of their odyssey discloses the very truths the Bundrens themselves repudiate: the family had been lugging around a decaying corpse enclosed in a homemade casket for what "had been dead eight days" to the point that its stench "must have been like a piece of rotten cheese coming into an ant-hill," a lingering odor the family didn't even pause to consider (Faulkner 488). In other words, either the Bundrens chose to disregard the reek or, since it had been undulating in their shadows since her death, they became accustomed to the stench to the extent that it was no longer recognizable.

    • Word count: 1168
  10. The City of Ladies

    The Book of the City of Ladies is Christine's portrayal of womanhood. She shows that females are equal to men in intellect, spirit, and physical attributes. She cites various achievements of warriors, pious wives, devoted daughters, scholars, and poets from mythology, literature, and the Bible whom uphold the reputation and good nature of women. These women of the past and present are the building blocks of the community that the City of Ladies will inhabit. The author uses symbols connected to the allegorical figures Reason, Rectitude, and Justice. Reason holds a mirror adorned with jewels that symbolizes wisdom and self-knowledge.

    • Word count: 828
  11. Critical Review of 2 articles

    These concentric circles involved "close-reading of a play by Shakespeare, some useful theoretical tools for interpretation, early modern women's texts, and some relevant historical material about the position and roles of women."4 I could use some of these ideas from this system to help me analyse certain themes in the different plays I am studying. In the article, Donawerth mentions that her class looked at Richard III, and that they, "emphasized the misogyny of the male characters and the division between the worlds of men and women as a sign of social malfunction."5 This could help when writing the dissertation, as I could use this idea and adapt it to my research when looking at Richard III.

    • Word count: 1481
  12. We Learn By Repetition

    It would be too much to jump in immediately with Roxy's strong character acting against society. Instead, Twain uses the language of the people in Dawson's Landing to narrate the ways in which race separates. "From Roxy's manner of speech, a stranger would have expected her to be black, but she was not. Only one sixteenth of her was black, and that sixteenth did not show." (9) Already, it seems fuzzy to what extent she biologically fits into a racial category, but clearly she is a slave regardless, making it clear that heredity only truly applies to non-slaves. Roxy herself, falls into a seemingly similar trap of racial categorization, when talking about her own child Chambers.

    • Word count: 1753
  13. Frankenstein's Colonialism

    He awakens to the sight of his monster staring at him, framing Frankenstein as an object of desire. "He held up the curtain of the bed; and his eyes, if eyes they may be called, were fixed on me." (59) This fixed gaze that the monster has on Frankenstein parallels the very gaze in Victor's dream, during his first and only sexual contact with Elizabeth. Although bringing up the recurring theme of domestic love, his dream reveals less about a repressed desire of love for his mother, than an inability to accept the domesticating aspects of a nurturer.

    • Word count: 1683
  14. The Theme of Love in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.

    At Lowood, she insists again that without love, life is meaningless. In her eagerness to earn affection, she says she would be willing "to have her arm broken or be kicked by a horse." At this, Hellen Burns rebukes her for her lack of restraint, but the strong language she uses indicates her deep craving for affection. She responds quickly and warmly to the attention of Hellen and the kindness of Miss Temple. At Thornfield too Jane finds pleasure in everyday relationships based on mutual esteem and affection.

    • Word count: 1228
  15. Using Evelyn Waughs, A Handful of Dust and Isabel Allendes Daughters of Fortune, as a starting point discuss the relationship between gender and movement.

    she is inst?ntly relieved with h?ppiness th?t] 'John ... John ?ndrew ... I ... oh? th?nk God...' (W?ugh 118). This one line is strong enough to ch?nge the opinions of all of Brend?'s supporters. ? re?der could underst?nd ? bored wife th?t is involved in ? love ?ff?ir reacting like Brenda, but not th? f?ct th?t ? moth?r would prefer her only son's de?th over ? m?n who she b?rely knew except for ? count?ble number of months. C?n even ? self-condemned wom?n be such ? p?th?tic he?rtless moth?r? ? wom?n is ?lw?ys regarded ?s th? more sensitive p?rtner when it comes to the child th?t she has willingly b?red for th?

    • Word count: 6614
  16. Comparing Narratives in films and texts

    When adapting a novel, definite decisions have to be made, such as where and when the events are located and the exact time period in which events take place, and the narrative becomes a part of this. To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel concerned with time and at certain points in the story, time is presented as moving fairly slowly, even suspended at times as the characters themselves watch the action, "the spectators were quiet" (Mockingbird, 185). There is also a cyclical notion of time present as the story moves through the seasons and events take place over a

    • Word count: 2843
  17. Much Ado about Noting

    Although he is Don Pedro's brother, he does not seem to fit in with his brother or his friends. Since he "cannot hide what I [He] am[is]" (1.113) in society, he resents the world and its social convention. When he hears of an intended marriage from Borachio, he immediately asks whether the marriage "serve[s] for any model to build mischief on," (1.1.44-45) showing his resentment of the legitimacy of the marriage between Claudio and Hero. Don Pedro's conspiracy to stop Claudio and Hero's marriage by telling false stories is merely pathetic, whereas the ease with which Claudio is convinced is frightening.

    • Word count: 819
  18. The use of literary devices to display love

    Comparing the two stories, the true love factor was never realized by either of the characters in that they never truly loved their partners but only loved the thought of them. When this shocking truth reveals itself, all of the mentioned characters divorce themselves from the thought of marriage and the relationship. The same concept can be found in Pablo Neruda"s "I do not love you except because I love you". Here, the author tells of how his relationship is thought to be bittersweet.

    • Word count: 1327
  19. How did Harper Lee in her novel To Kill a Mocking Bird deal with issues of race?

    She showed that like the 'Whites', individuals in the 'Black; community are capable of being a teacher and moral guide to the young, a helpful neighbour, a devout Christian and on the negative point even a racist, qualities which a white supremacist of the 1930s would think are beyond the capabilities or rights of a 'Nigger' but are in fact "a truth that applies to the human race and no particular race of men." Lee used the character of Calpurnia to illustrate that a 'Black' person could be a good educator, a caring mother figure as well as a moral and ethical figure on par with Atticus.

    • Word count: 1405
  20. Sonnet 130. William Shakespeares Sonnets is a collection of 154 sonnets published in the early 17th century towards the end of the Renaissance period. It was addressed to two distinct audiences in mind.

    This condensed five rhyme palette (a-e) creates a sonorous music in the vowel rich Romance languages. However, in English, the scheme can sound contrived and monotonous, particularly in a series of sonnets on the same theme. Thus, Shakespeare followed the more idiomatic rhyme scheme which interlaces a rhyming pair of couplets to make a quatrain. Overall, it is presented as three differently rhymed quatrains and a concluding couplet. This is can be seen in Figure 1: Sonnet 130 My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips' red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head I

    • Word count: 2068
  21. Harper Lees To Kill a Mockingbird (TKAM) was published in 1960, addressing the key tension in this story, the issue of race against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement in America.

    Only when various racial groups are perceived to be treated unequally does "racial inequality" exist. This leads to a plethora of injustices, perpetuated by an inherently biased judicial system and unequal opportunities for the marginalized African-Americans. White supremacy is criticized by Harper Lee as an unfounded and bigoted concept that ran contrary to American values of justice and equality for all. Her portrayal of Tom Robinson's trial in court reflects the actual case of The Scottsboro Trials that began on March 25, 1931.

    • Word count: 1534
  22. Catherine Mansfield Her first ball

    This means he must follow the sequence of images and perceive the accuracy of each image and the impression it makes on Leila or, better than it, perceive how Leila project her feelings and perceptions to the described images. For instance, when Leila is taking the cab and first experiencing going out to a ball the cab is described as her first partner, because it was all part of the ball, every little detail was a part of her first big dance and she wanted to experience it all: "Perhaps her first real partner was the cab.

    • Word count: 762
  23. The Yellow Wallpaper

    His mind is so firm with his beliefs that there is no room for experiment or change. There are many instances in the story where the woman tries talking to her husband about her need to work in order to keep busy and giving her a purpose for existence but he ignores her completely. She believed that "congenial work with excitement and change would do me good but I am absolutely forbidden to work until I am well again". She has been given a schedule which she follows as exercise would do her good and her diet is also monitored.

    • Word count: 653
  24. Paul's Case and Sunny's Blues

    The ending in the stories is the surprise element. The difference in the point of view of the characters changes the ending, completely. Sonny's outlook is of hope and the future is bright because of positive thinking while Paul's end is a long tunnel of depression which ends in despair where he gives up his life. In "Sonny's Blues", Sonny is a rebel who in his very young days became a drug addict. His brother, the narrator of the story, had not met him for a very long time.

    • Word count: 801
  25. Urban Gunfire

    Instead of becoming a soldier who killed other men, he joined the medical corps and therefore had a hand in helping save lives. When reading the poem for the first time, one may wonder who exactly is speaking. The line, 'How great it must be not to be civilian or anything but gun in hand' indicates that is it not a civilian or soldier speaking. Morgan's role in the war effort explains how the poem was voiced from the perspective of a 'bystander' who also has intimate knowledge of the mind-set of a soldier. Essentially, the poem makes several points.

    • Word count: 1011

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