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A comparison between I Used to Live Here Once and Nothign Gold can Stay - Essay Example

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A comparison of the two works, I Used to Live Here Once by Jean Rhys and Nothing Gold can Stay by Robert Frost present to the critic rich possibilities.The two works are very different in many ways …
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Download file to see previous pages There is also a great difference between the forms of the works, one being a poem and the other being a short story. The difference in the forms of these two works brings several difficulties in their analysis and the comparison may run the risk of remaining an analysis of the differences of the thematic concerns of the authors of the works. The racial belonging of the two authors and the politics of imperialism that surrounds this belonging certainly offers rich possibilities of analysis; it should however, be restricted to a thematic analysis but extend to a formal analysis that explores how the themes and the structures feed into each other and informs the politics of the other. The themes of a work serve to provide it with a social appeal that would then be able to connect the author with an audience that would read it and understand the social roles that they play and how it fits in with the roles of others in the society. It may also form a part of the reading of other groups who may then be able to place themselves in a position separate from their social position and analyze the working of it. The themes of literary works are thus, closely related to the social and economic states of societies and it is mostly the themes of works that serves to place them in a certain genre or the other. The form of a work refers to the structure of that work and the organization of the literary elements of that work. The form of a work greatly shapes the themes that it deals with and also the audience that reads and analyses a certain work of fiction. The works that were written by Robert Frost and Jean Rhys also had themes that correspond to the aspirations and social realities of certain communities that came together on the basis of racial marginalization or because they were part of a mainstream community that was fast losing its hold over the power structures that existed during the twentieth century. The works that these writers produced indicate a sense of the passing of a world order that privileged certain sections of the society over the others. Jean Rhys was born to Creole mother and much of her work centres on the issue of race. Her most famous work is Wide Sargasso Sea, where the point of view of Bertha Mason, the mad Creole woman in Charlotte Bronte’s novel, Jane Eyre was explored. In I Used to Live Here Once, the protagonist is racially different from the white children that she describes in the story. Her attempts to reach out to the children are frustrated by the fact that she is a ghost. The fact reaffirms the erasure that racially different people have faced at the hands of the white imperial races in historical narratives that seek to present the Creole in a bad light. Elgin W. Mellown remarks upon how the protagonist in the short stories that were written by Rhys was almost always a victim of a social force (Mellown, 1972). The social force, in most cases, as in the case of the short story that is being discussed in this paper, is that of the racial subjugation that is sought to be effected by the white races. The ghostly presence of the protagonist affirms this marginalization that is faced by members of non-white races around the world. The ability to rewrite the histories of non-white races is an ability that twentieth century writers of fiction and non-fiction attained through the various changes that the world went through during the time. The destabilization of the power structures that shaped the world can be seen in the two World Wars and the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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