Literary Analysis of "The Dancing Bear" and "Planting a Sequoia"

858 WordsOct 16, 20124 Pages
Analysis of William Frederick Witherington’s short story The Dancing Bear 1. The initial impression gathered from the passage is bizarre and very dreamlike, perhaps chiefly because it is an excerpt from a novel or a larger literary work. Upon further analysis, the passage develops an eerily violent tone. The events appear to take place in the home of Dieter Bethge, during a stormy night while he is sleeping. Immediately the rain is described as falling with “sodden fury”, introducing the negative tone. Shortly after this description, Mrs. Hax adopts the persona of an animal stalking its prey. She “methodically trimmed the glass out of the frame” eerily without emotion, despite the fact that she is on her way to cause harm to Dieter, as…show more content…
Again, after the paragraphs describing Dieters dream end, the passage is written in a dreamlike manner. It seems that Bethge mistakes Mrs. Hax for the dancing bear, which is strange because her actions in the first paragraph are nothing like the graceful actions of the bear, and she does not want to “fold him onto the fragrant, brilliant fur” in a warm embrace but rather harm him. Analysis of Dana Gioia’s Poem Planting a Sequoia 1. (b) The tone of the Planting a Sequoia prose passage is reflectively melancholy. It is not one of pure agonizing sadness, yet there are underling depressing qualities to the author’s words. The purpose of the passage is to describe the death an individual, presumably the first born son of the narrator. The narrator is speaking to the Sequoia that he is planting. Each of the stanzas switch from a mood of death and a mood of life. The “rain blacken[ing] the horizon”, the “dull gray” skies and the “old year coming to an end” all work together to create the melancholy mood. The following stanza switches to a newer and livelier mood, including the celebration of the first son’s birth, earth having more “life to bear”, the description of a “green sapling rising among the twisted apple boughs” and the “promise of new fruit in other autumns”. The “promise of ne fruit” describes the symbolic purpose of the tree. Although a life is lost, there is hope for future “fruit”, or life in the future. The third stanza begins with the

    More about Literary Analysis of "The Dancing Bear" and "Planting a Sequoia"

      Open Document