Most of life’s moments have little import. Each day often screams no more of significance than the day preceding. There are a few moments throughout life that manage to contain, within themselves, the power to change the course of one’s life, but more often than not, the moments we give importance to are fairly trivial events, changing or altering nothing more than any other day. We find that those more common moments are created by culture, cultivated in a society that believes that something about a day or a time—though nothing significant changes, like birthdays demarking a specific time on a continuum—makes it special. This same brand of cultural elevation affects physical features and infrequent, though insignificant still, actions. Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock charts that influence in society and, with verse dripping with wit, questions what we hold dear. The Rape of the Lock is written as a heroic Romantic poem, dealing in turns with romance and violence. Canto Three is perhaps Pope’s best encapsulation of Romantic passion in the poem. The card game is told a conflict between semi-personified cards and their players, Belinda and the Baron. Pope seems to enthrall the reader when “[t]he hoary Majesty of Spades appears” and pushes us to hold our breaths when “[t]he Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts, / and wins (oh shameful chance!) the Queen of Hearts” (56, 86-87). The cutting of Belinda’s hair follows this, with the character, Clarissa, taking part to
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His survival is heavily influenced by every choice he makes, from ignoring the exhortations to escape impending danger to choosing to stay with his father in spite of difficulties. His experience with the Holocaust directly shapes his role as a frontline fighter for recognition of Holocaust victims. In moving to Canada, I also shaped my role in society. My skills, such as playing sports; hobbies, such as reading; and characteristics, such as persistence and studious attitude have all developed due to my moving to Canada. My exposure to a life so plentiful in opportunities has also caused me to take many things for granted. Events in people’s lives shape who they become. Some of these circumstances are brought about by the decisions of others, while the majority of occurrences are caused by deliberate choices. These decisions can shape destiny in a life-or-death situation or a can be like a small, yet equally profound, choice to smile at a stranger. While some decisions are out of one’s hands, a conscious effort to have a positive outlook on life can still influence destiny. Like a rudder, daily decisions made with a positive mentality can steer people to a prosperous life. It does not do well to dwell on what may have happened, but rather on how the life one creates can be consequential in further extending the development of
While outdated traditions obtain the ability to negatively impact the relationships between characters, they are also capable of creating internal conflicts within a character. In both texts, readers witness the effect traditions have on one’s morality, mental mind, and sense of identity. The occurrence of atrocious, old traditions plays a significant role in corrupting one’s morals, inducing conflict with a character’s past values. This is clearly exhibited when “Mrs. Delacroix selected a stone so large she had to pick it up with both hands” (51). The ritual itself of hurling stones at another human is a demoralizing act that should not be justified by society, and reveals her iniquitous and immoral traits as she lacks awareness of her dehumanizing actions amidst participating in the ceremony. Mrs. Delacroix picks a colossal stone amongst a variety of possible sizes, demonstrating her loss of morals and redefined focus on the power she obtains from this abhorrent tradition. Moreover, traditions from the past are
In society, once a male reaches 21, that male transitions from youth into manhood. When a male enters this transition, known as “coming of age”, this individual receives a bit of forewarning advice from a father figure. Although the father figure shares the advice, usually the young man does not take heed, and therefore regretful mistakes follow. Samuel Johnson’s “To Sir John Lade, On His Coming Of Age “ and A.E Housman’s “When I Was One-and-Twenty” depict the issues faced when entering adulthood and the regrets that one could feel after entering adulthood. Through tonal shifts and altered viewpoints, the authors give readers
New ideas derived from self-reflection enable us to develop in ways that are spiritually linked to the future. The inexorable passage of adulthood is established by the motif of time, indicating that life is continuously moving forward. The personification of time “guiltless minute hand” suggest that time is not responsible for our future, but we are. Additionally, the dysphemistic personification of “time was killed” foreshadows the cessation of childhood. Eventually, the
“I do not remember to have ever met a slave who could tell his birthday. They seldom come nearer to it than planting-time, harvest-time, cherry-time, spring-time, or fall-time. A want of information concerning my own was a source of unhappiness to me even during childhood. The white children could tell their ages. I could not
Ethan Canin the author of The Palace Thief, probes the idea that your past actions don’t define who you are. The various interactions between Hundert; Hundert’s pupil, Sedgewick Bell; as well as the father of Sedgewick Bell, Senator Bell, all exhibit the different ways that our past, as well as our present choices, continuously define us as we go on with our lives. Hundert extends on the idea that your past choices don’t define you, but moreover the choices you make as of the present. “I peered through my glasses at the stage and knew at once that he had attached the “Outline of Ancient Roman History” to the inside of his toga …. I simply nodded when Sedgewick Bell produced the correct answer,” (Canin 168-169).
Many people have believed that marriage validates a woman’s life and also defines her. Once this idealized milestone has been reached, she then begins to define herself through marital expectations. These stereotypical expectations include bearing children, maintaining a home, and living up to the preset standards that a woman should. Women have upheld this traditional role for centuries and have been reluctantly accepting while doing so. The problem with this traditional belief is that orienting a life around marriage—without experiencing the joys that exploring individuality brings beforehand—will only result in a woman’s unhappiness; Mrs. Mallard, the main character in “The story of an Hour,” experiences just this, for she is consumed by a severe depression that also effects the health of her tender heart. Her marriage becomes oppressive and renders disappointment and un-fulfillment in all that it entails, leaving her bereft of both metaphorical and physical life. She was never able to feel satisfied with her marriage because she never experienced life beforehand. In “The Story of an Hour,” Kate Chopin uses irony to illustrate that a traditional marriage harms a woman both physically and mentally.
In our readings, the authors yearned for a more simplistic approach to life and looked back on their lives and wondered if they are living correctly. They had left the human restraints of society, that separate them from nature, to search for the answers that no one seems to have the answer to. “ I had crossed the highway, stepped over two low barbed-wire fences...” (Dillard 6) “I’ll
“ That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns of flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.”
At a future time, the woman contemplates whether to throw in “the ordinary instant,” yet scraps the idea, making a claim on how such associated words might be superfluous (Didion). The woman meditates upon the ways wherein feelings on what’s normal precede day-to-day-living-journey-altering tragic events. For instance, the woman cites reports on the calm existent leading up to Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center attacks. The woman recalls
In “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” by Katherine Porter, the three different perspectives demonstrated therein all work in conjunction to convey how focusing on the past can distract from the present.
The relationship between men and women presented in the short story “The Story of an Hour”, is that men dominated society. A Woman’s freedom was nonexistent. Throughout this short story, women are presented as powerless and dependent while men were considered to be superior. Women were tied down through marriage, such as, having been expected of doing as the man pleased without having any say in the relationship. Through a feminist critical perspective, this short story supports a patriarchal society that is presented though marriage and women’s lack of freedom.
The views of women have altered over time, but have always had objectifying tendencies. During the 18th century, cosmetic alteration to natural beauty peaked and materialism heightened throughout societal views. Authors such as Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift vividly spew these views throughout their writings. Pope’s Rape of the Lock exposes the materialism used in objectifying women, mainly in the upper-class societal levels. The whole plot of the story centers around a cosmetic appearance creating an objectified view, as since the lock of hair was cut from a woman's head, the missing lock became, so called, evidence of a man’s sexual conquest. Other sexual conquests, forced or not, are spoken with anything but love and only those of
Alexander Pope's mock heroic epic The Rape of the Lock appears to be a light subject addressed with a satiric tone and structure. Pope often regards the unwanted cutting of a woman's hair as a trivial thing, but the fashionable world takes it seriously. Upon closer examination Pope has, perhaps unwittingly, broached issues worthy of earnest consideration. The Rape of the Lock at first glance is a commentary on human vanity and the ritual of courtship. The poem also discusses the relationship between men and women, which is the more substantial matter in particular. Pope examines the oppressed position of women. Infringement on a woman's personal space, her person and her pride by an aggressive male (the Baron)
Pope Admiring Belinda in The Rape of the Lock The main character of Pope's "The Rape of the Lock" could be considered both hailed and damned by the overseer, but the complexities and sometimes contradictions of Belinda spark a more unbiased view. The appearance of Belinda and the world in which she lives is described in a very fantastical and beautiful way. Even small details such as the arrangement of Belinda's hair are due to wondrous entities known as the Sylphs, whose sole task is to make sure she is looking her best.