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Claudia Cruz

Ms. Aponte
English Communications 11
14 November 2013
Literary Analysis Essay
Mark Twain once said, The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives
fully is prepared to die at any time. In other words if people live their lives right and without
wishing to change how they lived their lives then they can die at any moment peacefully. This
statement is true. There is evidence of this quote in Tuesday with Morrie a novel written by
Mitch Albom and in Crossing the Bar a poem written by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Both authors
use setting, theme, characterization, conflict, and imagery.
In Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom uses setting, theme, characterization, conflict and
imagery. The setting in Tuesdays with Morrie is in Morries home in West Newton,
Massachusetts during the 1990s. The setting shows how Morrie is bedridden in his home and
how he doesnt fear his death and keeps living his life to the fullest by having visitors and not
isolating himself. This helps prove the quote true because Morrie who lives his life fully is
prepared to die at any time. A recurring theme of the book is death. Morrie who is going to die
doesnt fear his own death because he lived his life fully while Mitch who hasnt and is healthy
fears his death because he does not like how his life has been mostly focused on materialistic
things and his career. Another element the author uses is Characterization which shows how
Morrie lives his life and how it contrasts to how Mitch lives his life. Morrie is characterized as
an affectionate man that is content with his life and Mitch is shown to be a regretful man who
wants to change his life. Characterization helps relate to the quote because Morrie who lived his
life fully is prepared die at any day and Mitch who isnt happy with his life is scared to die at any
second. In addition another element to prove this quote is correct is conflict. In the novel the
main conflict throughout the story is Morrie is dying which helps Mitch learn that people only
fear dying when they havent lived their life how they wanted to. This relates to the quote
because the quote says that the fear of dying follows from the fear of living and people only fear
their deaths when they havent done what they wanted to do with their lives. Lastly, imagery is
used to prove the quote true. Imagery is used to help us imagine Morrie feeling the pain of ALS
but seconds later laughing carefree as if he didnt have the disease or experience the pain seconds
before. This relates back to the quote because if Morrie had been fearful while living then he
would be fearing his life would end soon every time he had a cough fit or had pain from ALS but
instead he laughs carefree after because he is content with his life. These literary elements all
prove the quote true.
In Crossing the Bar, Alfred Lord Tennyson uses setting, theme, characterization,
conflict and imagery. The setting in the poem is on a boat at sea during the night fall. The
darkness of the night could symbolize death, the tide being calm could be the person dying isnt
worried about their death, and by it being the end of the day it could mean the end of their life is
approaching. This helps relate to the quote because the person dying doesnt fear his death and
must had lived his life well because he doesnt seem to be regretting anything. A theme
throughout the poem is to not be sad when death comes. In lines of the poem it states, And may
there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea, this conveys that the narrator doesnt
want people or himself to mourn when his death is approaching. This relates to the quote because
it shows that the author lived fully and is prepared to die at any moment. Another element used is
characterization. Characterization shows that the man dying isnt fearful because most people
are afraid to die and he is not. This relates to the quote because hes not afraid to the die so he
must have not been scared to live because while living there is more things to be scared of than
there is when you are dead. Another element is conflict, the conflict is the narrator is dying and
wishes not to be mourned for. Conflict relates to the quote because he accepts he is dying and
doesnt want others to mourn for him, other people who havent lived dont accept when death
approaches them. Lastly, imagery is used in Crossing the Bar. Imagery helps you imagine the
time of day which represents death, it also shows you how slow and peacefully the tide moves in
the second stanza which shows the narrator is fine with the fact he is dying. Imagery relates to
the quote because it shows how the narrator is fine with himself dying which proves the quote is
true. These literary elements all prove the quote is true.
Mark Twain once said, The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives
fully is prepared to die at any time. In other words this quote means that if people live their lives
to the fullest than they are not afraid to die because they have no regrets. This proven true using
both of the literary works. The literary works that prove that are Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch
Albom and Crossing the Bar by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Both pieces use setting, theme,
characterization, conflict and imagery to prove the quote true.

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