AP English Lit and Comp, 2
26 October 2012
“London 1802” vs. “Douglass” FRQ
Throughout the centuries, there have been an infinite amount of literary works written by a sea of authors that write a variety of genres. All of these works are precious in their own way, and even if their theme is similar to that of another, the author always ads a bit of his/her own flare in order to make said literary creation unique in some way. William Wordsworth’s “London 1802” and Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “Douglass”, although quite similar in form and sentence structure, do add their own flare through the use of specific details. Through the use of these devices, the speakers show their disgust for the evil deeds humans do and…show more content…
Dunbar’s purpose for making the last sentence about Douglass ability to “guide the shivering bark” ( Dunbar line 12) is to give the reader a sense of repulsion, like his own repulsion and therefore encouraging the reader to change. The last sentence in Wordsworth’s poem, on the other hand, is used to praise John Milton. This leaves the reader with the impression that Milton was in fact a great man, and that we should strive in order to become more like the person. Even though they are written in different sentences, the fact that this is even mentioned at all suggests that man kind has become repulsive and although they are expressed in different manners, it is clear that the eventual goal of these speakers is to make the readers change.
There are specific details used throughout both sonnets that, again, help to reveal the speaker’s ultimate purpose. First, the way the speakers begin both poems is completely different. Wordsworth commences in a tone of urgency and forcefulness by saying “Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour:” (Wordsworth line 1). This makes the reader excited about reading the rest of the poem and also, adds interest to the work. Dunbar, however, takes a more meditative approach by saying “Ah, Douglass, we have fall‘n on evil days.” (Dunbar line 1). This, although not as exciting as the previous example, is also effective in grabbing attention because it leaves the reader wondering what it is that could be inspiring such deep thought