Reviews Kate Chopin's use of imagery & symbolism in her short story DESIREE'S BABY.
In her short story "Désirée's Baby," Kate Chopin creates an image of Louisiana society and bolsters that image with her use of color imagery and... more
In her short story "Désirée's Baby," Kate Chopin creates an image of Louisiana society and bolsters that image with her use of color imagery and symbolism. The society is sketched in lightly with references to the people, the places, and the mores of the society, and the use of color helps create this image while also foreshadowing the ending of the story. The important conflict is indicated early in the story--Monsieur Valmondé is described as "practical" and as wanting to know "the girl's obscure origin" (49-50). Armand Aubigny, on the other hand, is in love and does not care.
Contrasts between black and white, light and dark, sun and shade, are made throughout the story. Significantly, the child Désirée is found in the shadow of the pillar, and Armand falls in love with her 18 years later while she stands in that same shado
Discusses the theme of individualism in American literature. Examines the works of Emerson, Fitzgerald, & Whitman & their use of individualism as a theme.
Americans have long prided themselves on their individualism and on the way individualism is protected by their Constitution and promoted by their... more
Americans have long prided themselves on their individualism and on the way individualism is protected by their Constitution and promoted by their culture. Different ideas of individualism are embodied in the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose individualism was both socially acceptable and aligned with the larger philosophy of transcendentalism; F. Scott Fitzgerald, who shows how the individual needs a social position in spite of a belief in and dedication to individuality; and that of Walt Whitman, which retains an aura of being somewhat self-absorbed and at the same time somewhat socially suspect. Each of these writers, however, is celebrating in his own way the American belief in personal ability and self-worth, embodied by Emerson in his idea of self-reliance, by Fitzgerald in the American dream, and by Whitman in his analysis of himself as an examp
Discusses the concept of "the American dream" in US literature. Focuses on the mystical quality of the concept as expressed in the works of Emerson, Twain, Thoreau, & Whitman.
The American Dream is based on the image Americans have of themselves as a people achieving much because they live in a country that is egalitarian so... more
The American Dream is based on the image Americans have of themselves as a people achieving much because they live in a country that is egalitarian so that self-improvement is the way to achieve success. While this might seem a very practical vision of the American Dream, there is also a mystic quality to it, as if Americans are more directly connected to some broader moral and empowering universe which gives them a stronger sense of self and the will to succeed. Achieving the American Dream then becomes a matter of connecting to this near-mystic national power. A number of American writers hint at this power and at ways of connecting to it. They may call it by different names, or they may not refer directly to it at all. Yet, writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman all make this connection themselves and suggest how other
Examines Amer. individualist's views on life, nature & primary human concerns, focusing on Transcendental qualities in "Walden."
Henry David Thoreau, in Walden, or Life in the Woods, describes, among many other experiences, the transcendental life-style he experienced in his... more
Henry David Thoreau, in Walden, or Life in the Woods, describes, among many other experiences, the transcendental life-style he experienced in his two-year experiment at Walden Pond. Although Thoreau did not consider himself, and would never have considered himself, a member of any group which confined his individualism and independence with any sort of dogma, his outlook on life, nature and man's primary concerns in life and nature coincided with many of the essential Transcendentalist principles. His experiences and writings in Walden reflect his alignment with the Transcendentalists. Transcendentalism is seen by its critics as an abstract and idealized conception in which the world is a spiritual realm where real life is left behind: "See the holes made in the bank yonder by the swallows. Take away the bank, and leave the
Examines two writers' lives & works & compares how each used his fiction to depict his own experiences & world view.
F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway were two of the finest writers of this century and two of the most distinctively American voices of 20th... more
F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway were two of the finest writers of this century and two of the most distinctively American voices of 20th century literature as well. Although their styles were radically different, they both used their fiction to depict their own experiences in often barely fictionalized form. They also used their fiction, and especially their short stories, to advance their philosophies. Ironically, although each attempted to create a voice and a fictional persona that was highly individual and unique, each came to be seen as the voice of a generation and so at least in some ways lost their individuality. This paper examines how the two writers blended life and fiction in their works. Before beginning this discussion though, it should be noted that the pairing of these two authors, while legitimate on artis
Examines short story & novel's protagonists as they evolve in wisdom through solitude in nature.
This study will examine John Steinbeck's story "Flight" and Ernest Hemingway's novel The Old Man and the Sea in terms of the applicability of the... more
This study will examine John Steinbeck's story "Flight" and Ernest Hemingway's novel The Old Man and the Sea in terms of the applicability of the Luther Standing Bear quotation, "Only solitude brings wisdom." Both stories focus on the role of nature in the characters' acquisition of wisdom. For the purposes of clarity, "solitude" will refer to an individual human being's isolation from other human beings in a natural environment, and "wisdom" will refer to an individual's evolution into a state of greater awareness of what life and death are for a human being by himself in harrowing circumstances. Santiago, the old man in Hemingway's story is on the sea by himself by choice. He is a fisherman and his story tells of his moving more deeply into wisdom as he struggles in life and death with a great fish far at sea in solitude, and then with the
Examines themes & characters in the novel & compares book to film.
Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest has been a very popular work since it was first published, and many also know the story through the... more
Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest has been a very popular work since it was first published, and many also know the story through the long-running theatrical version or the highly successful movie. The primary difference between the book and the film is that the film presents the story in a more deliberately realistic fashion, avoiding much of the metaphor of the machine that infuses the book and that in particular becomes a manifestation of McMurphy's perception of the world. Julian Moynihan in The New York Review of Books wrote about the novel in 1964 and called it "a very beautiful and inventive book violated by a fifth-rate idea which made Woman, in alliance with modern technology, the destroyer of masculinity and sensuous enjoyment" (Moynihan 14). Big Nurse is the melodramatic device in the novel that stands for the human manifestation of the machi
Systems theory analysis of psycho-social development of novel's young narrator.
This paper is an examination of the forces that shape individual growth and development during the early years of life, using a systems theory... more
This paper is an examination of the forces that shape individual growth and development during the early years of life, using a systems theory approach to considering such development. It focuses on Lark Ann Erhardt, the fictional narrator of Faith Sullivan's novel, The Cape Ann. Lark is six years old at the beginning of the book, and her growth throughout provides a remarkable and realistic portrait of the ways in which biological, psychological, social, and environmental elements affect individual development. Lark provides an intriguing case study of how a child learns codes of behavior and morality, deals with death, develops abstract thinking, establishes sexual identity, and starts to define her individual place in the world. The story is set during the end of the 1930s and the early 1940s, and Lark's case demonstrates the effects of historical,
Examines social work concepts (homosexual identity formation & personality development) in characterizations & relationships in two short stories.
This paper examines several concepts relevant to social work study which are raised in two short stories, David Leavitt's "Danny in Transit" and... more
This paper examines several concepts relevant to social work study which are raised in two short stories, David Leavitt's "Danny in Transit" and Jacquelyn Holt Park's "Columbia." Both stories offer sensitive and unique perspectives on the concept of homosexual identity formation and adolescent personality development. Both illustrate some of the personal and societal barriers faced by an individual coming to terms with a homosexual identity. "Danny in Transit" also provides insight into the effects of such identity recognition within a family and a boy about to enter adolescence, as he faces the subsequent breakdown of his family. These issues are important to social work because they present challenges, concerns, and prejudices which a contemporary social worker is likely to face in the course of providing help to both clients and their families. As more homos