Foreword To begin this portfolio let me first tell you what is inside. This portfolio contains all of the essays and literary analysis pieces that I composed this year. The pieces inside this are the pieces that we were assigned to write about this year in Senior English II. Some of the writings were more difficult than others, and some had stricter guidelines than others. I feel that the papers inside this portfolio are pretty decent papers, but as a senior in high school I by no means feel that the writing contained in this portfolio is perfect or anywhere near perfect. The phrase, â€œIt can always be better,â€? I feel is a perfect description of my writing. I feel this way about my writing because coming into senior year I felt that I had a pretty good understanding of the mechanics on how to write a good paper. Little did I know, those mechanics that I thought I had a solid grasp on were blossomed into more mechanics allowing me to write papers more grammatically sound and fluent than I had imagined. The curriculum for this yearâ€™s papers was very difficult. I as well as others in my class was challenged to new limits with the topics, and the degree of difficulty for the writing. Although the papers were at times very difficult to write I was always up for the challenge. Yes, I moaned and groaned about having to do it, but it is all worth it when the papers printed out become gradually better. My work became better, I feel mainly because of a growth in vocabulary and also the new knowledge about new literary tools and terms. As my vocabulary became more advanced my sentences were more firm and had a much more profound impact. The tough curriculum of the class and the informative knowledge learned allowed me to become a better writer. Although this may sound peculiar, I was actually excited to be able to use the new literary tools and
vocabulary in my future papers. I feel that I have used a lot of the information that I have acquired in level II English this year to improve my papers. Being a good writer is something to be proud of, but being a good writer always striving to be better is an even bigger accomplishment. I am aware that I am still not the best writer but I try to improve on all of the assignments in each of my classes. Something that is true for all things in life is â€œyou will never get better unless you practice.â€? When I see this quote I do not immediately think of my writing skills but it is very evident to the way I feel about writing. In conclusion I hope that you enjoy my writing and if you would like to leave any comments please do so. And remember this is not a perfect portfolio for many reasons. One may be that I am a senior in high school and the others are because no one is truly a perfect writer. And once again enjoy.
To my father, Brian Allen, who spent many Late nights helping me proofread and correct My imperfect papers full of errors. And also to My mom, Mary Allen, who was up late also For me to go to bed.
Table of Contents College Essay
Curing the Incurable (Chaucer Character Essay)
An Epic Hero and an Everlasting Warrior (Beowulf Compare and Contrast)
Gawain Critical Essay
One man, One Nation, Ground Zero (Diary Project)
A Modest Proposal (Social Satire—Drinking Age)
“The Lady of Shallot” (Prose Piece)
A Look at the World Through a Mirror (Literary Analysis—Victorian)
College Essay I have been blessed with many great gifts in my life. Throughout my life I have had many accomplishments, many memorable moments and have been complemented on many of my personal qualities. Yet none of the accomplishments, memorable moments, and personal qualities have handed to me. As a student, a brother, a son, and a teammate I work very hard every day to amount to the person I am today and the person I want to become. Each day I do my best to not only better myself but also the people around me. As a qualified leader through “The Hoosier Boys State Legacy” and the “United Way of Central Indiana,” I strive to do my best in everything I do. Through acts of kindness, love, and continual perseverance to better the people around me, I feel the world has become a better place. Although the previous statement may be very broad one must know that a little deed goes a long way. The person I am today is different than the person I was three weeks ago and will be different than the person I will be tomorrow. The reason that I feel I change so much is because of the advice my father and many other wise people have given me. These people have said, “Never sell yourself short.” After hearing this at a young age and continually hearing it as I have continued to age and mature, I have realized how true this is. So often in life there are opportunities to quit early, give up, and sell “yourself” short. But each time I ask myself, “Is it worth it.” Just because no one is watching does not give me the right to give up. A true person becomes great when no one is watching; a true person and a true leader is someone who pays attention to the detail allowing one to be the best he or she possibly can. By paying attention to all the small details a person of great distinction is created. I am in no situation to say that I am a person of “greatness,” but I strive to do my very best to give
myself and those around me the opportunity to be the best they can be and possibly become great in someone’s eyes. I feel that I am on progress to conquer both of the roads. With the help and support of those around me I strive to be “great” whether I am or not is not my decision, but the one’s around me. Life is too short to live in solitude. Be original, be merry, and be an influence. All of these gifts I have received have allowed me to be the person I am today and these gifts have given me the strength and the courage to always continue. One way to guarantee that I will not sell myself short each day is by making a difference in someone else’s life. I continually do this by sharing the gifts I have been given. Common acts of kindness and love can change a person’s day instantly. Be a difference maker, be an influence, and most importantly strive to be great. A wise person once said, “Go make a difference, and that will truly make it a good day.”
Curing the Incurable Here I am, following in line behind the noble knight, the deceitful miller, the tricky clerksâ€™, and the greedy pardoner. My trade as a doctor is very much different than these men. I am far from being noble, yet I have never been a thief, and I will never be a trickster. These men whom I follow came on this pilgrimage for many different reasons. They are trying to clear their mind and answer questions in order to find their purpose in life. For myself I cannot think of one good reason why I joined. The most logical reason I could give myself is to answer all of the unanswerable questions going on in my mind. As I said before, I am a very honest man, as well as handsome, and intelligent, yet a little questioning of my value on earth. Many of these men I feel are confused. I on the other hand am fine. My mind may be clouded at times, but I usually resolve that with a drink and some food. What could possibly be wrong with me? I am a tall, good looking man. I have green eyes, brown hair, and I am very strong. I dress in the finest of clothes, and I read the newest books. I feel I have a great life and a great profession. I think the real reason for me coming on this pilgrimage is to be assistance for those who may need me along the way. My intelligence and quick-witted thinking come in great assistance to those suffering from illness. Although my realistic outlook on the world may bring me down in society because it leads me into deep stress, and leads me to questioning myself about the things I do, I feel I have some sort of value on earth. But what is my value? Many times in life I find myself questioning my job, my family, and my patients. So maybe I lied earlier; maybe I need this pilgrimage, but is it really going to help? In my life there is so much going on: my family no longer loves the man I have become, my patients I have
treated have all been dying of a mysterious plague, and I am not happy. So often I ask myself, “Why do people die?” and “How can I be so successful, yet so unhappy?” And the more I have written, and the more I think about these questions as I continue down the road, I do not know if I have an answer. The answers can only be found in God. My wife cannot answer the questions, my two daughters cannot answer the questions, and my dog cannot answer, only God. For God created all things, and for all things he has an answer. So as I continue on my pilgrimage I will think about all the problems and questions in my life. As a doctor I should be the one that people go to for help. On this journey I hope to seek clarity, and create new friendships as I learn to answer the questions that so often bother me. Maybe I should let the ideas of to trying to be a good man, a great father, and an intuitive doctor take precedence over being an expert on life, with a narrow-minded, realistic outlook on the world.
An Epic Hero and an Everlasting Warrior The epic poem, Beowulf, is a story of good versus evil, the effects of money and greed, and the story of a man who fights evil to bring glory to himself and his country. The hero in Beowulf is an ideal epic hero. In the epic poem Beowulf embodies the ideals of great loyalty and warrior fighting valued by the Anglo Saxon culture, portrays his great virtues through strength and preparation before battle, and dies for his country through old age and greediness. The epic hero is a great a great warrior and leader. Beowulf not only fights for his men in battle, he also leads them as a king. The Anglo Saxon culture was a period of great loyalty and intense, warrior fighting which is shown in Beowulf. A loyal and brave man for his country, Beowulf introduces himself by saying, “We are Geats, men who follow Higlac” (ll. 157-157). Throughout the epic poem, Beowulf is a great warrior when fighting Grendel, the evil son, “conceived by a pair of monsters born of Cain, murderous creature banished by God” (ll. 20-22). With bravery and loyalty to his country Beowulf fights with no armor nor no weapons for, “My lord Higlac might think less of me” (ll. 248-249). During the battle with Grendel, Beowulf exemplifies a passion to defeat Grendel in order to save the Danes from their misery. Beowulf is seen also as a great warrior when fighting the mother of Grendel and battling the fire-breathing dragon. The passion and urgency with which he fights portrays him as a valiant warrior. Fighting as if each battle were his last time to put on his armor, Beowulf conquers both Grendel and Grendel’s mother, but the firebreathing dragon proved to be too much for Beowulf at his old age. Although he was outmatched by strength and size, Beowulf proved to be a rough and ready warrior who battled to survive. Always ready to battle Beowulf, the rough and ready
warrior, “the strongest of the Geats- greater and stronger than anyone anywhere in this world… commanded a boat fitted out, proclaiming that he’d go to that famous king” (ll. 91-95), in order to help the troubled nation. When Beowulf and his men reached land Beowulf informs the Danes that, “Grendel and I are called together” (l. 238). Grendel, a strong and vicious monster and Beowulf, a rough and ready warrior, both battle to survive. Although Beowulf may be seen as somewhat boastful, he is much deserving. Through his acts of courage and bravery, he battles for survival and ends up dying for his country. Beowulf is faced with many obstacles but it is not until, “the flames beat at the iron shield, and for a time it held, then it began to melt and for the first time in his life that famous prince fought with fate against him” (ll.793-796). Fighting all his battles as if each battle were his last, the clash with the dragon seemed to be too much for Beowulf. Beowulf fights as a warrior, but he is out powered by size and strength. Beowulf, a glorified warrior, was always a great hero until his old age when fate and glory turned against him. In his youth Beowulf is portrayed as an unselfish warrior, willing to die for the good of his country. In the epic poem Beowulf is a strong and courageous warrior. Beowulf is a glorified idol to all knights and a very influential warrior. As Beowulf matures and becomes a king he maintains the status of a warrior, but he becomes greedy. Beowulf’s loyalty to his country and men is shown one final time at the end of the story when Beowulf battles the dragon. No longer acting as a rough and ready warrior, Beowulf enters the battle with the idea of being entitled to win. This entitlement backfires on Beowulf when he is the one who is conquered by the dragon. At the end of Beowulf’s life, he becomes greedy and, “fought with fate against him, with glory denied him” (ll. 796-797). Beowulf is a man of courage, strength, and honor. His life was that of a great warrior; a life any knight would give to experience.
Beowulf is a great epic poem that portrays many elements of the Anglo Saxon period. According to the culture the men going into battle fought as warriors; they fought with bravery and loyalty, and they fought with no fear of death. In todayâ€™s society peopleâ€™s idea of a hero is a professional athlete. These overpaid, selfish athletes do not deserve to be compared to a hero like Beowulf. Professional athletes play for money and fame, where Beowulf fights for honor and glory. Beowulf is not only an epic hero, he is an everlasting warrior.
Gawain Critical Essay In the article written by Manish Sharma, different perspectives are taken about Gawain and his acts of Chivalry. Throughout the article Sharma and other profound authors’ debate about the actual instance that Gawain did in fact break the code. Sharma is determined that the code was broken at the beginning of the story. Sharma stats that, “the first failure [of Gawain], therefore, ironically anticipates Gawain’s second failure where his concern for hid own life outweighs all other considerations” (168). This first failure in fact broke the Chivalric code by having a lack of Christianity. Other perspectives seen in the story are that Gawain could have taken other approaches that would have been more ethical, or more importantly, more moral. Gawain, although a young and immature knight, did not have the intelligence to turn down the Green Knight and his challenge. Gawain, I feel is a better knight than he is given credit. Though the evidence and points portrayed in Sharma’s article, I feel that Gawain broke the chivalric code, when accepting the challenge. Gawain broke the code when doing this because he was not only putting himself in danger but also his fellow knights and most importantly, the king. Gawain felt he was doing the right thing, but he was actually wrong. By obeying the chivalric code and standing up for his king, he was also breaking the code by not being humble. Gawain agreed to the challenge to prove that he was not “the weakest knight present” (168). Gawain was very quick to his acceptance of the challenge and this may have been a bad choice. The Green Knight is a very powerful and magical creature. The Green Knight who may have been sent by Morgan, the evil sister of Arthur, is the reason for conflict in the story. The Green
Knight taught Gawain morals and ultimately cleaned his slate after accepting a challenge unknowing of the consequences. Gawain a young knight, tried to honor the code but in fact he was taught the code through a magical creature, the Green knight.
One Man, One Nation, Ground Zero Last Tuesday was just like any other day. My alarm clock buzzed at five thirty and the dog barked to be let outside. Not knowing what I was getting myself into that day I told my wife I loved her, gave the kids a kiss, and left for the firehouse. When I arrived at work the fire chief was just waking and the other men were preparing breakfast. There was a certain unease about the morning. It was very calm and there had been no calls until, 8:46 am, at that time the phones began to rung uncontrollably. Every person who called relayed the same message, “The Trade Centers have been struck by an airplane.” In somewhat of a panic, we all slid down the fire ple, put on our gear, loaded the trucks, and reported to the scene of the World Trade Centers. Seeing the tragedy we quickly unloaded the truck and rushed into the buildings. I was stationed on the bottom floor, which I felt was pretty fortunate; or that is what I though. After helping for nearly an hour and fighting through the debris, the other helpers and I heard a freighting noise that was the beginning to a tragic end. Reacting very quickly I ran to the elevator shaft which is the strongest area of a building. As soon as I reached the area of safety the building fell like a ton of bricks on top of many helpless people and eventually crashed down on the shaft. In the darkness of the ash clouds I was no longer able to move. With the cement piled on top of me, I though for sure that my time had come. I laid under the cement for nearly 12 hours scared for my life. Talking to the men next to me, I tried to keep my composure and think of my family at home. Feeling as if my life was over suddenly I heard a faint scream above all the rubble asking, “Is anyone down there?” Feeling so weak, I gathered all my strength and screamed, “HELP!” After screaming I fell asleep form pure exhaustion. Nearly three hours later I
woke up feeling as if every bone in my body was broken, but I was in the comfort of a hospital bed with my family gathered around. As the tears slowly come from my wife and childrenâ€™s eyes I smiled and gently went back to sleep. I was released from the hospital two days ago. As of today, there is still no definite number on the amount of people lost in this tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who lost loved ones, and those who are hoping their loved ones will be found.
A Modest Proposal In American since the invention of alcoholic beverages it has caused society a multitude of troubles. To almost every American the effects of alcohol are pleasurable yet destructive in the same instant. Many people suffer from alcoholism. They cannot kick the habit of binge drinking. Each and every time they drink they drink till they attain drunkenness. This sense of drunkenness gives them a false sense of confidence and in some cases an attitude of violence and extreme lust for those of the opposite sex. The effects of drunkenness get much worse than that. For example, there are many times on the news when a man returns home from a long night of drinking and beats his wife and children. In the right state of mind the man may not do this. Drinking alcohol gives a person a temper that has a very short fuse. An alcoholicâ€™s perception of his surroundings and events occurring around them are blurred and obscured which causes them to react instantaneously and most always acting in an incorrect manner. One of these incorrect manners is deciding to operate a vehicle when under the influence of alcohol. The decision to operate a vehicle while under the influence has been one of the leading factors to the death rate in the U.S. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated caused more than 13,000 fatalities in 2007, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). I believe that operating a vehicle under the influence is one of the biggest problems this country faces to date. Each year thousands are killed by those who choose to drink and drive. Each year children lose mothers, fathers, sons and daughters due to this act of stupidity. Yet people still try to find ways around the law and participate in teen drinking. Not only are the children committing crimes; the adults who purchase the beverages are committing a crime as
well. The adults who choose to purchase alcohol for minors are contributing to the 18% of alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes (NHTSA). I believe it is time we take a stand to this plank in society’s eye and take serious precautions to put an end to this. This solution should start with our young ones. The best way to solve to solution is to add to the problem. Continue giving minors alcohol. Provide alcohol to children whenever they crave it. The best way to solve a problem is to make a person tolerant to the issue or make them tired of the issue. By spiking a baby’s bottle with a little vodka, or pouring some beer in a child’s cereal is teaching them to be an adult. In the U.S. that is what everyone wants: to be an adult. By providing alcohol to minors at very young ages the U.S. will have to house fewer inmates for drunk driving, hire less police officer for street patrol, and get rid of AA meetings. If alcohol is given to minors then AA meetings will no longer be necessary. This is so because family gatherings will essentially become AA meetings. If everyone is getting drunk, then all the family members can pour their problems out to each other and save shrinks a lot of time. Alcohol is good, and no drinking age will solve many problems. By eliminating the drinking age the U.S is getting rid of a “bad social policy and a terrible law” according to Mr. McCardell in the NY Times interview. Alcohol is very good and it makes for a more enjoyable time. By eliminating the drinking age parties will be more enjoyable and less stressful, family gatherings will not be as boring, and one will always have to opportunity to feel the buzzing sensation of alcohol. After reviewing the above statements and recommendations one can only agree that nixing the drinking age and allowing alcohol to all at will is the best way to solve the problem. In review of the plan:
First the U.S. must get rid of the drinking age. This will allow people of all ages to indulge in as much alcohol as they would like. And if there are a few fatalities, so be it, the world is overpopulated anyways. Secondly the U.S. must get rid of all the extra police officers, AA shrinks, and prison employees, and put them to work in the alcohol industry to help sell more alcohol. With alcohol sales increasing the economy will rise and help the world get back to where it should be. Lastly all people should indulge and have a good time. Life is too short to miss out on a good party. As a wise man I feel these motives are the best way to solve the drinking problem in the U.S. If people enjoy drinking then let them drink. I have written this in my best interest to bettering the world I live in today. By outside influences I have been able to base my thoughts on logics of everyday life. Through this proposal the U.S. will be making millions of teens and minors happy, the population rate will decrease, and the economy should rise. From the bottom of my heart I do not feel the need to promote this theory for my own good, but for the good of my fellow Americans. I as a sober American will most likely not take part in this neither will my children who are older than the drinking age now. But for all others who do not fall under my lifestyle; enjoy.
Frankenstein Essay In a world full of hate and despise for creatures unlike “normal” humans; Frankenstein’s monster was in a world of isolation. Wanting nothing more in life than to be accepted the creature requests from Victor a female partner. As his creator and reason for the monster’s misery, Victor felt compelled to create the female monster to help make the monsters life more enjoyable. Unaccepted in the world, Frankenstein’s creature requests from his creator a being like himself. After talking to Victor and showing sympathy the monster reveals that he is along and miserable. As man will not associate with him, the creature wants a “companion of the same species, and have the same defects” (104). After the monster reveals this to Victor, Victor immediately refuses to do it. Victor would not let his hands create another creature that could possible destroy the world. By creating the female creature, the creature promises to “make peace with the whole kind” (195). The monster continues on saying that he will be forever grateful and if a female creature were created they would move to the “vast wilds of Couth America, “ (105) where they would eat only fruits and make their beds of dried leaves. With compassion and feeling in his words the monster showed a different side Victor had never seen. Feeling persuaded by the monsters arguments Victor gave him reasons for potentially creating the female. A monster that had never shown a caring side surprised Victor when he became compassionate. After the creature’s argument to Victor, Victor realized that “his words had a strange effect upon [him], [Victor] compassionated him and sometimes wished to console him” (106). Not believing in what he was thinking, Victor felt it was only right to comply with his request. After thinking Victor turned to the creature and said “I consent to your demand on your solemn oath to quit Europe forever” (107). Questioning what he just said, Victor felt it was
the right thing to do. After agreeing to create the monster, Victor took time off with his family and Elizabeth before returning to England where he partakes in “several months to profound study and laborious disquisition” (108). After several months of study it was time to begin the experiment. Victor gathered the necessary pieces to create another creature. Feeling guilty of his creation, Victor got to the point where he did not want to create the monster but he had to. Victor started thinking about if the monsters had children and created a super-race. What would happen to the world? Very disapproving in his work ethic, and sluggish to end the project, Victor “sometimes sat with his eyes fixed on the ground, fearing to raise them” (120). What if they hate each other? Victor was so questioning of his motives that one night he saw the creature staring through his window and destroyed the female in front of him. After tearing apart the creature “he left the room, locked the door, and made a solemn vow in his own heart never to resume his labors” (121). Mortified at what he had just seen the monster promised to be with Victor on his wedding night. Although I may have seemed like Victor was very cruel to the creature who had shown compassion it was the right thing to do. It is not Victor’s place to bring a new species into the world, especially a super-species. Although Victor, lost those who he loved the most to the monster he essentially saved the human race. Questioning himself through the whole process the decision Victor made to destroy the female was correct and the morally sound thing to do.
“The Lady of Shalott”
Part I At the beginning of the poem Tennyson describes the river, the “long fields of barley and of rye,” and the road that passes through the two leading to the town of Camelot. On the road people travel up and down gazing at the lilies, willows, and aspens as they observe the island of Shalott. On the island is a building with “four gray walls, and four gray towers.” Inside the building is The Lady of Shalott. Of all the barges and horse-pulled buggies, no one has ever met the lady or even seen her. This Lady is a mystery to all except for the reapers who get to hear her sing beautifully at night.
Part II All the days and nights of the Lady’s life she sits in her four-walled gray room and weaves. She weaves beautiful webs of various colors. She does this all the days because of her fear about the curse that will be placed on her if she looks out the window. In order to avoid looking out the window she looks at the shadows of the world through her mirror that is placed next to her. She sees a great variety of people including knights, which upsets her, as she has no knight to call her own. Even after all the things she longs to see, she is content with her web, which she uses to weave the beauties she sees outdoors. Although she is content to an extent she becomes “half sick of shadows” and wants to see the world with her own eyes.
Part III One day when The Lady was sitting in her room she could hear a knight as he rode between the barley-sheaves near Shalott. As he and his horse galloped by the sun shined brightly upon his armor making it sparkle. Also his horse was beautiful as its girdle was decorated with beautiful gems and bells that made it as elegant as Sir Lancelot. In “the blue unclouded weather” the jewels of the saddle and the helmet of the knight shined into The Lady’s room. When he passed the river a picture of the knight appeared in his mirror. After seeing his beauty and his long, black, flowing hair she abandoned her sewing and went to the window. Before leaving she saw the mirror crack and she knew the curse had come upon her. But not before she saw the waterlily bloom and the helmet and the plume, as she looked to Camelot.
Part IV After the curse had been broken, the sky turned dark and began to rain. The woods waned and the stream complained but The Lady still came down from her room. She left her room and retrieved a boat. Once she had a boat she laid down and let the boat take her to Camelot. Lying in a beautiful white robe The Lady of Shalott began to sing. Those who heard her did not know that this would in fact be the last song that The Lady would sing. The song was beautiful, it was holy, and she chanted loudly and lowly until her blood froze and her eyes became dark. Lying in the boat she died and the boat continued down the river. Once the boat reached Camelot the knights looked at her and Lancelot stepped forward and says “She has a lovely face; God in his mercy lend her grace.”
A Look at the World Through a Mirror The Victorian Era was a time filled with an abundance of literary themes. A theme that is very evident in Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott,” was the theme of deprivation. Throughout most of the poem there is a very strong sense of the deprivation and the agony that it is causing to The Lady. The theme of deprivation in the poem is not only present visibly and physically; it is also felt through an “imaginary” sense and a spiritual, more inner-feeling sense. In such a beautiful world, The Lady is left isolated and in solitude all the days of her life. In the tower of the isolated castle outside of the beautiful city of Camelot, lives The Lady of Shalott. In this tower The Lady spends her days aimlessly weaving and looking at images of the outside world through a mirror. Unfortunately, The Lady never has the opportunity to see the actual images because the mirror shows mere shadows, and the curse that was laid upon her does not allow her to look out the window. The isolation and solitude of The Lady reflect on a common theme of the Victorian Era. Both isolation and solitude create parallels with the meaning of deprivation. All three, are words of loneliness and being exempt or absent from what is occurring. While working on her tapestry one day The Lady “tires of her lonely existence in her tower, saying she is "half sick of shadows" (l. 71)” (Mariotti). After so long of being held in the tower The Lady wants to know what is outside of the walls. She has been held to knowing so little. In effect her life has been a life filled with deprivation and solitude. The Lady is held alone in a tower with no contact to the outside world, she has a curse on her, she has no friends, and the worst is she does not know why the curse has been placed on her. Although it seems The Lady lives such a simple life it is actually very intricate. It may sound ludicrous to state The Lady lives a simple life because there is nothing that could possibly make her life difficult, but The Lady’s life in difficult from non-visible standpoint. In
Tennyson’s writing there is much blank space left to allow the wandering of the imagination. He does this by only allowing The Lady “to speak through her own voice twice in the poem,” (Mariotti). Yet, like the rest of the story there is still the underlying theme of being deprived. The Lady is deprived in so many ways. One may only look at the surface and say “well she is only deprived because she cannot go outside.” But there is so much more deprivation that goes much deeper. The Lady is deprived from love, happiness, fresh air, the beauty of nature, and the most frustrating, the truth of the curse. Why has the curse been placed on The Lady? The separation of two worlds in this poem helps convey a strong sense of the desolation and deprivation of The Lady. The two worlds in this poem can be seen as the interior and exterior world. The interior not only means the inside of the tower, but also the feelings and emotions of The Lady. The exterior is seen in the physical aspects of the poem, the expressed feelings, and the actual exterior, outside the limits of the tower. The interior and exterior can be put in comparison to “stasis and movement, between the active and the contemplative lives [which] encourages the reader to consider thoughtfully the differences between the two worlds,” (Mariotti). The two worlds are two different places; they are dichotomies, as they are complete opposites. Where most people have a fairly equal balance of the two, The Lady is either one extreme or the other. While her emotions are bottled up inside her, she reveals through her constant staring in the mirror her desire to see the exterior world. Her desire for Lancelot clearly shows her desire for love, compassion, and romance; but because of the curse she will never be able to experience these. The inner-sense of deprivation that Tennyson sow’s in the reader is very upsetting and sorrowful. All the days the beautiful lady sits in the tower isolated from others who will not be able to witness her beauty. As she sits alone in the tower The Lady becomes a woman of
“unrequited love, particularly the embowered or isolated and therefore unattainable woman; the woman dying for love; the fallen woman who gives up everything for love; the special "tainted" or "cursed" woman; and the dead woman of unique beauty,” (Nelson). She realizes that she will not be able to witness the beautiful world and experience all the shadows that she has seen. The Lady is a woman of repetition. Against her will she sleeps in the same locked up room every night and all day she does all the same things she did the day before. After the sight of a beautiful shadow, which created radiant light and a beautiful image on the mirror, The Lady disregarded the curse and looked out the window. As she looked out the window she realized the curse had been broken. But since she did not know the consequences of breaking the curse since she had been deprived of the reason it had been placed on her, she did not care. The Lady had thrown away all her fear, and dropped the weight of being isolated and deprived. After looking out the window The Lady left the tower. Although she later died, she was free for a short period of time. This is very reflective in “Tennyson's romantic narratives that provide an escape to a simpler, happier, and more exotic world uncontaminated by the problems of modern life,” (Nelson). Although she lived a long and repetitive life The Lady “by the water-side, singing her song she died,” (ll. 151-2). During a time where England was thriving and becoming such a dominant country The Lady is a good example of the poverty. The Victorian Era brought about dichotomies including prosperity and poverty. “The Lady of Shalott” is a great example of the poverty and the weak of heart. The Lady was deprived through law, yet her own will power was stronger than any law or curse. She decided that she was through living a life of misery and isolation. Her curiosity carried her to the window where she saw a new world, which led to a death filled with happiness. The Lady acquired a heart filled with happiness and prosperity although her life outside the
tower was short lived. Although her life may have been short lived, a short lived life full of happiness is more productive and prosperous than a long drawn out life full of pain and suffering. Works Cited Mariotti, Med. “Pre-Raphaelite Attitudes Toward Woman in Society.” The Victorian Web. 03 May 2009. <http://www.victorianweb.org/painting/prb/mariotti12.html>. Nelson, Elizabeth. “The Lady of Shalott.” The Victorian Web. 03 May 2009. <http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/tennyson/losillusl.html>.
In Closing I hope you enjoyed my works. Yes, some of the pieces may have been a little rough, but that just goes to show there is always room to improve. No person will ever write a perfect piece, because there is always someone out there who will find something wrong. But never acquiring perfection is part of the beauty of writing. Keep on writing, and keep on making your piece better. The best writers, the best athletes, and the best students, the best person at a trade always strives to do better. I challenge you after reading this to never sell yourself short and always reach for the stars in what you are doing. Daniel Joseph Allen