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Author: admin, 22.12.2013John Keats' poems "When I Have Fears" and "Bright Star" are remarkably similar, yet drastically different at the same time.
The cursory reading of this poem is that it is merely a story of a knight bewitched by beauty, who becomes abject slave to a fairy woman, and who falls asleep, waking up alone and dying on a hillside in the meadow. Of all the English poets that comprise the Romantic period, George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824), John Keats (1795-1821), and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) stand as the quintessential masters of Romantic poetry. Form as Strategy: Keats's "On the Sonnet" and "Bright Star""On the Sonnet" is a poem that deplores convention, flouts convention, is governed by convention, and recuperates convention. In John Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale," a despairing speaker overhears a nightingale in the depths of a far away forest. John Keats' sonnet "When I have Fears that I may Cease to Be," written in 1818 when the poet was twenty-three years old, deals with the young man's fears that he will not live long enough to accomplish what he wants to in life. The Romantic Movement of poetry focused on the return to the individual as much as the political revolutions of the time. In "Ode to a Nightingale," John Keats uses nature and a nightingale as figures for an optimistic view on mortality, and on the speaker's life specifically.
John Keats’ “Ode on Melancholy” is a complex poetic investigation into the equally complex emotions of pain and sadness. Keats’ “To Autumn” is an ode that concerns itself more with the true nature of reality than many of his earlier works. Like much of the poetry of Keats, these three poems explore life’s contrasts of pleasure and pain, happiness and sorrow, permanence and impermanence. While the countless paradoxes in John Keats’s Poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn” could lead one to envision a battle between Classical and Romantic art, Keats tries to reconcile the two types of art through the form and theme of his poem. John Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale” and Thomas Hardy’s “The Darkling Thrush,” though written nearly a century apart, share many poetic elements that allow readers to effectively draw a surface parallel between the two poems. Keats' ode 'To Autumn' deals predominantly with the passage of time, described within the imagery of the season of Autumn. Thomas Hardy wrote “The Shadow on the Stone” after his wife’s death, and the ghost he mentions is his wife’s.
In his first chapter, "Economy," Thoreau introduces his purpose in writing the book, saying he intends to answer questions people have asked about his reasons for living alone in a cabin in the woods near Walden Pond for two years. Walden study guide contains a biography of Henry David Thoreau, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Keats's Poems and Letters.
Agnes" tells the fantastic story of a bewitching night when two lovers consummate their relationship and elope. The speaker yearns to leave behind his physical world and join the bird in its metaphysical world.
At least, this is what Lord Byron's Manfred and "Lara: Canto the First" and Keats' "Four Seasons Fill the Measure of the Year", tell us. In other words, autumn lies directly between the life breath of spring and summer and the impending death of winter.
These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of the poetry of Thomas Hardy. The book is a response to questions his townsmen have asked about his life at Walden, and as such, will focus on Thoreau himself and his experiences. Having seen other young men who have inherited farms enslaved and made a machine by the obligations of property, Thoreau sought to escape their plight through his life at Walden. Consider that celebrating hermiting in Walden was not what a leader of the masses might do. He compares his experience, realizing that the town would not vote him an allowance for his contributions to that of an Indian, who offered baskets he had woven for sale to a local lawyer and found that he had not made it worth the man's while to buy from him.
Therefore, Thoreau decided to go immediately to Walden Pond, without saving money first, to reflect privately without outside distraction. In order to do so, he found his strict business habits, which require personal oversight of every detail no matter what the business, to be indispensable.
In considering building a house that would not become an elaborate trap for him, Thoreau took inspiration from a six foot by three foot box he saw by the railroad, in which a man could sleep comfortably and compares it to an $800 house in town for which an unmarried laborer would have to save for ten to fifteen years to purchase. Most farmers in his town have inherited their farms and mortgages that go with them and are thus trapped in their slaving to pay for their houses.
Comparing the rich to pharaohs who spent their lives building their tombs, Thoreau wishes people could live with the simplicity of the Indians in their wigwams or the early American settlers who built dugouts in hillsides. In March 1845, Thoreau himself bought an axe and went to the woods near Walden Pond to cut down pines for timber. For $4.25, he has also purchased the shanty of James Collins, an Irish laborer, for boards which he transports to his hillside, in which he digs a cellar.
He moved in on the fourth of July, built the chimney in the fall, baking his bread on an open fire outside before then. Students would have more real wisdom if they built their own houses and tried the experiment of living rather than studying it from afar. Thoreau remarks on his own surprise at realizing he had studied navigation in college when he would have learned more if he had gone out once in the harbor. Likewise, students in college are taught political economy rather than the economy of living and thus put their fathers in debt.
From the eleven acres he had purchased, Thoreau used deadwood from the woods, driftwood from the pond, and stumps from his vegetable patch for fuel. The next year, he spaded only a third of an acre and realized if he grew only what he would eat, he could get by spending odd hours on it without needing oxen. It is the oxen who have the biggest building in town, and Thoreau wishes there were as many halls for free worship or free speech. Thoreau made some of his own furniture and got the rest for free from people's attics all together he had a bed, a table, a desk, three chairs, a looking glass three inches in diameter, a pair of tongs and andirons, a kettle, a skillet, and a frying-pan, a dipper, a wash-bowl, two knives and forks, three plates, one cup, one spoon, a jug for oil, a jug for molasses, and a japanned lamp.
Excessive amounts of furniture, Thoreau also sees as a sort of trap, which should be burned as the Mucclasse Indians do annually with their possessions, instead of an opportunity for increasing possessions, as when a dead man's furniture is auctioned off to his neighbors. He values freedom above all else and found being a day laborer was the most independent occupation. Furthermore, he expresses his preference for the solitary life and his belief that most cooperation is superficial and only possible if a man has faith and does not depend on the ways of his community. He uses a multitude of classical allusions to mythological figures, comparing his neighbors' endless work to the labors of Hercules or personifying the dawn in the form of goddess Aurora. From the breadth of his references -- from Sir Walter Raleigh to Indian folktales to Eastern philosphy -- it is evident that Thoreau is an intellectually well-rounded man. He criticizes universities for teaching students about life when they would learn more by living life and says that young men often run their fathers into debt by reading Adams Smith's economy.
Nonetheless, despite his criticism of Harvard for having considered him a student of navigation when he had never even taken a boat out on the harbor, Thoreau makes extensive use of his education through the literary, historical, and philosphical references which abound in this chapter.
One noteworthy thing that sets Thoreau's system of referents apart from other American writers that proceeded him is his reliance on Eastern philosophy as a means of considering the divine.
As an inhabitant of Puritan-influence Massachusetts and a graduate of Harvard, where men trained for both the Congregational and Unitarian ministry, Thoreau was quite familiar with conventional Western religious tradition. By the mid-nineteenth century, Puritan Congregational dogma and its adherence to Calvinist doctrine, had ceased to hold a monopoly on religious life in Massachusetts. The more recently formed Unitarian Church, in contrast to the Puritans, held that God could only be understood rationally and apprehended through the five senses. Thoreau's friend and townsman Ralph Waldo Emerson, in creating the Transcendalist movement, sought to bring a more immediate and personal connection with the divine back into spiritual life.
In shaping his own particular form of Transcendentalism, Thoreau went beyond Emerson -- who saw nature as a symbol of the divine -- and claimed that the divine could be found and experienced directly through nature. Repeatedly, Thoreau makes reference to men trapped and enslaved by their employment or possessions. Images like that of the poor man carrying all his possessions on his back or the wagonloads of furniture which look poor even when they belong to a rich man repeat throughout the chapter and illustrate Thoreau's emphasis on economy through simplicity. The image of the slave was particularly powerful in Thoreau's time, when the debate about slavery in the South was continually escalating and during which the abolitionist movement was powerful in Massachusetts.
Thoreau's suggestion that people stop arguing about Southern slavery and consider how a Northern man enslaves himself is primarily a rhetorical move, meant to emphasize the spiritual enslavement all people face and not to de-emphasize the horrors of slavery. The dawning of the Industrial Revolution influenced Thoreau's opinions regarding society and civilization. Indians, Egyptians, Sandwich Islanders, and at times, even the Irish all at times appear as representations of a new version of the noble savage. Thus, Thoreau attempts to combat the negative influences of the Industrial revolution -- such as factory-produced clothing or houses built and designed by architects, neither of which have a meaningful connection to an owner who did not engage in their creation -- by absenting himself from society and thus discovering apart from influences and values that are not his own.
What's more, he addresses this narrow focus at the start of the chapter by noting that it is necessitated by the narrowness of his experience.
Rather, he urges others to follow the example of his aims, to seek to know themselves, not to simply follow his behavior. At the start of the book, he makes it known that he is publishing it in response his townsmen have asked about his life in the woods. Though his book is well-known today, his thoughts and behavior were quite radical for his time, directly confronting and questioning the cherished traditions of New England and American life and seeking answers on a wholly different plane of meaning. Once, he almost bought the Hollowell place but the owner's wife convinced him not to sell it at the last minute. The owner offered Thoreau ten dollars to make up for it, but he did not accept it, reasoning he was freer with the ten cents he had and no farm.
Thoreau was attracted to the Hollowell farm because of its seclusion, its proximity to a river, its dilapidated condition, and fields of hollow apple trees.
The house is above a pond a mile and a half south of Concord village, in woods between Concord and Lincoln.
The house is so low, he can only see the opposite shore of the pond from it, but from up on a hill over the lake, where some trees have been cut down, he can see green hills nearby, further ones tinged with blue, and blue mountains distant in the northwest. From his door, Thoreau can only see a pasture, but it is enough for his imagination, which allows him to live in all different places in history and the universe. He thinks that if he rang the bell for a fire in town, people would come rushing from miles around, not to save the burning property but really to watch the fire. Thoreau also sees no point in reading the newspaper, in which the same stories are told time and again with new details, and considers it gossip. Men should observe only reality, which is far more fabulous than the illusions they think are truth. Considering the shortness of time in the course of eternity, he regrets the way his intellect has separated him from reality and hopes his instinct will lead him to it.
For him, the physical circumstances of life an intrinsically and inescapably tied to a person's spiritual life. The appearance of his cabin, its size and furniture, even its placement on the shore of the pond all contribute to his spiritual awakening. Thoreau's emphasis on the dawn in this chapter continues the theme of rebirth established in the first chapter. It is noteworthy that Thoreau begins building his house, the physical counterpart to his spiritual awakening, in the winter, and does not move into until summer, when nature and his spiritual self is in full life. The dawning of the day comes to be a metaphor for the dawning of spiritual enlightenment and self-knowledge. From his cabin, his only physical vista is a pasture but with his imagination, he can see to the furthest reaches of history and the universe.
Rather, he considers things like religion and philosophy to be illusory because they limit and distort a person's immediate experience of himself in the world.
Thoreau elevates the word sleeper to a symbol, comparing men who labor without thinking to the pieces of iron that gird a railroad. This use of sleep and awakeness as a spiritual metaphor has a long history, especially in the writings of New England. The Great Awakening, of course, was the name given to the Puritan religious resurgence of the late seventeenth century. Thoreau here attempts to rewrite and undo that awakening, to free New Englanders from the shackles of thought forged by traditional religion and to awaken them to a more spiritually fulfilling reality. During his first summer, he didn't have much time to read because he was busy planting his bean crop, but he kept the Iliad on the table and sometimes flipped through it.
Even with the many translations of heroic and ancient epics, modern man is still placed at a great distance from the language of ancient times. Even at the time in which the classics were written, many of the common men who spoke the language in which they were written would not have truly understood them.
Just as the orator speaks to the few people in the mob who truly understand him, the writer speaks to the few people across time who do. Only the great poets and not the majority of mankind can truly read and understand the works of the great poets. Most of the so-called educated men in Concord don't even read the classics of English literature.
They are like a French-Canadian woodchopper Thoreau knows who reads a French paper to keep up his knowledge of French only these college-educated people read English papers to keep up their English.
Most men don't even know that sacred scriptures of other traditions than the Judeo-Christian exist and so forego great insight and knowledge. Thoreau wishes to know more educated men than these and compares having a copy of Plato's Dialogues on the shelf but not reading it to having a neighbor he never sees or hears him speak. There are probably books that would speak directly to these people's condition and explain and reveal miracles to them if they would read them. The village of Concord provides well for the education of children but accept for a Lyceum that is open in the winter, does nothing for the education of adults. Thoreau wishes to seethe village become a university, with the elder inhabitants as the fellows. He wishes to see the village take up the role nobility did as patron of the arts in Europe but people see spending money on something far more important as farmers and trade as utopian. The town has spend seventeen thousand dollars on a townhouse, but Thoreau thinks that the hundred and twenty-five dollars spend on the Lyceum each winter to be its best investment. However, his invocation of individual writers, particularly Homer, author of the Iliad, immortalizes the human being in print. In the nineteenth-century, traditional Christian beliefs regarding the afterlife had begun to crumble especially for people like Thoreau, who had sought alternate paths to spirituality. Faced with the death of his brother, Thoreau would have had to evaluate his own mortality and beliefs regarding life after death. Both Arnold and Thoreau seek to align themselves with classical writers as a means of reestablishing stable roles for themselves in a changing, and seemingly chaotic, society. Whereas Arnold simply laments the growing darkness and confusion brought about by ignorance, Thoreau is more optimistic in proposing a solution to it reading. Thus, they provide an apt symbol for classic literature, which Thoreau perceives as elevated above the common world and possessing a meaning unattainable by the masses. In making this assertion about great literature and the common reader, Thoreau risks charges of elitism. However, in the Unitarian belief system, human beings could only perceive the divine through their senses. Thoreau, as a Transcendentalist, suggests a more spiritual, immediate ability to recognize and connect with the divine, not intellectually but emotionally, through reading the classics.
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