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An Element of Literature - Research Paper Example

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One of the elements that make great literature great is its ability to enlighten the reader regarding a common emotion experienced by all human beings. Even when they’re talking about places, times and events that are vastly different in time and place, works of literature…
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Download file to see previous pages otional experience of the characters or the events, the reader, regardless of their own experience, begins to understand what it meant to be living during a period of economic depression, what it felt like to be subordinated to a point where you didn’t even have control in your own home or to be relegated to eternal poverty and hopelessness because of the color of your skin. Ideas such as these can be found in many forms of literature. For example, William Blake’s poem “London”, Kate Chopin’s short story “Story of an Hour” and Langston Hughes’ poem “Dreams Deferred” all center upon the theme of the shackled spirit and in all three, the authors show their audience what it feels like through the use of powerful imagery and simile.
In “London”, Blake describes the way in which the human spirit had been shackled under economic despair in 1794, the year the poem was written. Traces of political unrest can be found in the poem as the scenes and sounds of a typical walk down the London streets are reported. The first lines of the poem, “A mark in every face I meet, / Marks of weakness, marks of woe” (3-4), provide the first hint that something is not right within the city. The signs of decay and desperation are seen in every face, suggesting that they are community-wide rather than the personal problems of just a few. This idea of community despair is reinforced in the second stanza as the speaker says, “In every cry of every man, / In every infant’s cry of fear, / In every voice, in every ban, / The mind-forged manacles I hear” (4-8). From the youngest to the oldest, Blake indicates everyone is suffering from this same sense of legal oppression (‘ban’ refers to new laws being posted), so they are suffering from something that is outside of their control. This is again reinforced in the third stanza when the speaker indicates that business is down, “How the chimney-sweepers cry” (9), money is scarce “Every blackening ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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