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Connection with Tension

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Introduction

Michael Arevalo Alison Dailey English 214 February 18, 2009 Connection with Tension In the two poems "On the Beach at Night Alone" and "Dover Beach" both Walt Whitman and Matthew Arnold are on beaches looking for answers. Both poets have different concerns, Whitman is on a beach looking at the stars and seeming to figure out how everything in universe and nature is connected. Arnold is on Dover Beach questioning love and how much people take it for granted despite the fact we cannot live without it. The beach is the setting ground for both poems which explain that the beach is a place of contemplation for Whitman and Arnold. Both authors express tension in unusual ways that try to inspire the reader either to change, or embrace using different techniques and have different messages to deliver. "On the Beach at Night Alone" is a poem that uses nature and the universe and that develops the idea that everything is connected. ...read more.

Middle

Arnold creates confusing tension by changing the mood of the poem in the middle of almost every stanza. In the beginning of the poem Arnold compares how love is calm in the beginning "The sea is calm to-night" (Arnold 1). The unpleasant tension is created when Arnold personifies the pebbles on the beach with the "Listen! You hear the grating roar" (Arnold 9). The "grating roar" creates the unpleasant tone throughout the rest of the second halves in the second stanza, "bring/The eternal note of sadness in" (Arnold 13-14). In the third stanza Arnold uses a simile to start off the stanza "The Sea of Faith/ Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore/ lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled" (Arnold 21-23). The three lines explain that love is delicate and it helps dictate a more pleasant tone throughout the next stanza. More unpleasant tension is created when Arnold starts to bring up some of the same words he used in the first stanza like "roar" (Arnold 9). ...read more.

Conclusion

In Whitman's poem everything seems to flow very quickly and connect like the ending message he creates in the poem. In Arnold's poem everything does not flow very quickly, and you really have to analyze how each piece of literature fits into each stanza. His message of love and the confusion of it fit perfectly into each stanza. Each stanza starts off with a good feeling but then it flips 180 degrees and by the end of the stanza you are left with a negative feeling. Tension can be expressed in a variety of different ways but still works effectively in the end, as shown in these two poems. I think the tensions in the poems work so well because it fits in with the messages the poems are trying to deliver. Everything seems to connect together in "On the beach at night alone", like how we are connected with the world and nature. Love can be beautiful and perplexing all at the same time which is what "Dover Beach can be. Both poets were outstanding in bringing out the right type of tension that perfectly matched the message in each poem. ...read more.

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