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Part A

1. The Philosophy of Composition

In 1846, Poe wrote an essay titled 'The Philosophy of Composition', which was published in an
edition of Graham's Magazine. Traditionally, Poe was a man of few words; he tried to write as concisely as
possible. This proved true in this critical essay, as it is not very long. It does, however, accurately portray
Poe's message; he wanted to explain to fellow writers his theory of how good writers write well.
As readers, we can assume that Poe wrote this piece based on the practice he followed when he was
writing, but Poe never validated this. He does address how he utilized this theory during the time period in
which he wrote 'The Raven.' According to Poe, there are three essential theories regarding the writing of
literature: length, impression conveyed, and writing techniques.
Poe's first theory, the one discussing length, states that all works should be short. In paragraph 11,
Poe writes that 'it appears evident, then, that there is a distinct limit, as regards length, to all works of literary
art - the limit of a single sitting - and that, although in certain cases of prose compositionthis limit may be
advantageously overpassed, it can never properly be overpassed in a poem.' In other words, Poe is saying
that if you cannot read a work in a single sitting, which one generally can with a poem or short story, then
the work is not worth reading.
He makes a valid point at the conclusion of this paragraph by saying 'that a certain degree of duration
is absolutely requisite for the production of any effect at all.' Poe's point is that if a reader is meant to invoke
some type of feeling or emotion while reading a work, which one could argue is most definitely expected, he
will have a difficult time doing this if he cannot read the piece in its entirety straight through. Of course, this
is just a matter of Poe's opinion; if you do not agree with him, do not fret!
Throughout the essay, Poe discussed how all three of these theories are evident in his poem 'The
Raven.' Regarding its length, Poe states, 'I reached at once what I conceived the proper length for my
intended poem - a length of about one hundred lines. It is, in fact, one hundred and eight.'
2. The figure a poem makes
Granted no one but a humanist much cares how sound a poem is if it is only a sound. The sound is the gold
in the ore. Then we will have the sound out alone and dispense with the inessential. We do till we make the
discovery that the object in writing poetry is to make all poems sound as different as possible from each
other, and the resources for that of vowels, consonants, punctuation, syntax, words, sentences, metre are not
enough. We need the help of context- meaning-subject matter. That is the greatest help towards variety. All
that can be done with words is soon told. So also with metres-particularly in our language where there are
virtually but two, strict iambic and loose iambic. The ancients with many were still poor if they depended on
metres for all tune. It is painful to watch our sprung-rhythmists straining at the point of omitting one short
from a foot for relief from monotony. The possibilities for tune from the dramatic tones of meaning struck
across the rigidity of a limited metre are endless. And we are back in poetry as merely one more art of

having something to say, sound or unsound. Probably better if sound, because deeper and from wider
Then there is this wildness whereof it is spoken. Granted again that it has an equal claim with sound to being
a poem's better half. If it is a wild tune, it is a Poem. Our problem then is, as modern abstractionists, to have
the wildness pure; to be wild with nothing to be wild about. We bring up as aberrationists, giving way to
undirected associations and kicking ourselves from one chance suggestion to another in all directions as of a
hot afternoon in the life of a grasshopper. Theme alone can steady us down. just as the first mystery was how
a poem could have a tune in such a straightness as metre, so the second mystery is how a poem can have
wildness and at the same time a subject that shall be fulfilled.
It should be of the pleasure of a poem itself to tell how it can. The figure a poem makes. It begins in delight
and ends in wisdom. The figure is the same as for love. No one can really hold that the ecstasy should be
static and stand still in one place. It begins in delight, it inclines to the impulse, it assumes direction with the
first line laid down, it runs a course of lucky events, and ends in a clarification of life-not necessarily a great
clarification, such as sects and cults are founded on, but in a momentary stay against confusion. It has
denouement. It has an outcome that though unforeseen was predestined from the first image of the original
mood-and indeed from the very mood. It is but a trick poem and no poem at all if the best of it was thought
of first and saved for the last. It finds its own name as it goes and discovers the best waiting for it in some
final phrase at once wise and sad-the happy-sad blend of the drinking song.
3. The tone of the poem ravan
Many teachers, critics, and students have their ideas of "The Raven," especially since it's such a widely read
and popular poem. Even if reading it at the college level, though, don't be intimidated by its popularity or by
the overwhelming amount of literary criticism you may encounter concerning "The Raven."
At its core, "The Raven" is a poem about the narrator's lost love, Lenore, and his final realization that not
only has the love of his life died, but he will never ("nevermore") be the same. Like any good poem, the
tone changes as the poem progresses. Though many critics would say the overall tone is "melancholy," stepby-step, the tone progresses from distracting and distracted (the narrator delves into his studies as a means of
distraction, and then a sound suddenly distracts him) to curious (exploring the sound), annoyed and angry (at
the bird's insistence), then finally, resigned (to the fact that Lenore is gone, never to return, and that he will
never get over her). In a way, the narrator progresses through part of the stages of grief (shock and denial;
pain and guilt; anger and bargaining; depression, reflection, and loneliness...though stages five through
seven never seem to happen).
I would say that overall, the tone is resigned/despairing, which connects to the central idea that the narrator
has realized his life will never be the same without Lenore. Just remember that the message (central idea)

and the tone are always connected. Determining the message, speaker, and audience of a piece can help you
determine the tone as well.
I hope that this information was helpful to you! Let me know if you have any further questions!

5. theme of the poem mending wall

The central theme is whether the wall is good or bad for the relationship between the two neighbors. In a
larger context, the theme is about the effect of emotional and physical barriers. The speaker, initially, seems
to think that the wall is inherently a detriment, unnatural, something that separates and therefore is a barrier
to an open dialogue/relationship.

However, he does still see and converse with his neighbor and the wall does provide a sense of privacy
which is not inherently bad. Also, there is the play on "mending" as both a verb and an adjective. As an
adjective, the wall 'mends' their relationship by keeping them in communication albeit physically separated
by the wall. As a verb, the act or ritual of the two neighbors getting together to "mend" the wall is an event
that brings the two together.
And even though the speaker finds the wall unnatural, it is he who lets his neighbor know it is time to mend
the wall. So, it is ambiguous as to whether he really doesn't want the wall there. His neighbor may be
thinking the same thing. Do we need this wall? Does this ritual of gathering to mend the wall serve as our
only means of communication? And if so, it is ironic that the ritual to mend this physical barrier is also a
ritual of connection.
Obstacles Tracing Santiago's Journey
Obstacle 1: Santiago overcomes this obstacle by taking The King of Salem's advice. He sells his sheep,
briefly works for a crystal merchant which teaches him a lot about himself, and the he sets out on his
journey to Egypt to achieve his personal Legend.
Lessons Learned From Each Encounter
The Four Obstacles

Obstacle 1: Not being able to achieve your Personal Legend

Obstacle 2: The Fear of True Love

Obstacle 3: Fear of Failure

Obstacle 4: Guilt of success

Not achieving your personal legend
In The Alchemist, you are told at a very young age that it is almost impossible to reach your Personal
Legend. In the book, the King of Salem explains to Santiago what the personal legend is, "
It's what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal
Fear of Love

Love is one of the obstacles Santiago faces as he has to decide whether to put his journey on hold for the
love of his life, Fatima.
"You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his personal legend." (Coelho, 120) The
Alchemist tells Santiago this while he is on his journey. We see in the novel that Santiago is faced with an
important decision as he has to choose between his short term relationship with Fatima and his journey to
becoming a Personal Legend.
Guilt of Success
Guilt of success is when you feel guilty about achieving your dreams when others haven't. Some may
wonder why they are more fortunate and capable of achieving their dreams, so they give up their happiness
and success for the sake of others.
9.Characteristics features of American poetry:
American poetry, the poetry of the United States, arose first as efforts by colonists to add their voices
to English poetry in the 17th century, well before the constitutional unification of the thirteen colonies
(although before this unification, a strong oral tradition often likened to poetry existed among Native
American societies). Unsurprisingly, most of the early colonists' work relied on contemporary British
models of poetic form, diction, and theme. However, in the 19th century, a distinctive American idiom began
to emerge. By the later part of that century, when Walt Whitman was winning an enthusiastic audience
abroad, poets from the United States had begun to take their place at the forefront of the English-language
The history of American poetry is not easy to know. Much of the American poetry published between
1910 and 1945 remains lost in the pages of small circulation political periodicals, particularly the ones on
the far left, destroyed by librarians during the 1950s McCarthy era.
Modernist poetry is characterized by themes of disillusionment, fragmentation and alienation from
society. These characteristics are widely believed to be feelings brought on by the Industrial Revolution and
the many social, political and economic changes that accompanied it. This multinational cultural movement
began in the late 19th century and maintained its prevalence in art throughout World War I and the
immediately subsequent years. Many modernist poems have speakers that seem to be struggling with their
own definition of self and placement in society.
The single most common characteristic of modern poetry (in the European and American traditions,
at least) is probably open form and free verse, which is quite different from the fixed forms and meters of
traditional poetry. A reader of high-brow poetry today sometimes has to look around a bit to find modern
sonnets or even ballads or other poems with regular line length, stanza length, meter, and end rhyme.
A second characteristic might be called fragmentation, juxtaposition, intertextuality (reference to
other poems or other writings), and allusion. For an example of all of the above, see T.S. Eliot's long poem
The Waste Land.

Not all recent poetry is "modern," of course. If this is an assignment, you may want to consider
putting two poems from different centuries side by side -- two love poems, one by William Shakespeare and
another by e.e. cummings -- and seeing what sorts of differences emerge.
1. Modern (better call it Modernist) poetry is more predominantly intellectual/cerebral in its appeal,
rather than emotive; Eliot and Pound would be the examples;
2. It is chiefly imagistic and involves symbolism, often private in nature; you can think of Eliot and
3. It is often full of allusions of sorts, and inter-textual references; again Eliot is a great master;
4. It is impersonal, anti-romantic, innovative in attitudes and approaches to life; opposed to the
Romanticist poetics of spontaneity and imagination;
5. It is often lexically, semantically and grammatically challenging for the uninitiated readership;
6. It rejects traditional versification and metrics to opt for free-verses and various experimental
The rapid rise of cities in the late 19th century was brought on by the shift from a largely agricultural
economy to a largely industrial one. Massive waves of immigrants from Europe seeking economic
opportunities flocked to major cities. This left many artists and poets feeling alone and isolated in the midst
of busy, populated cities. The poetry of the period reflects feelings of disenchantment, anxiety and
hopelessness, especially in the work following the devastation of World War I. Modernist poets are also
noted for their rejection of Romantic ideas and artistic styles, preferring to approach language with more
suspicion, resulting in fragmented sentence structure. Notable modernist poets include Wallace Stevens,
Gertrude Stein, T. S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf.
10.Poe as a Poet
Poe's brand of Romanticism was akin to his contemporaries but most of his works often bordered on
what was later called the gothic genre. The following discussion is not a comprehensive view of Romantic
concepts, but instead, it is intended as a basic guide and explanation for some of the conventions or some of
the devices often found in Poe's stories.
Intuition and Emotion
Perhaps the most dominant characteristic of the Romantic movement was the rejection of the rational
and the intellectual in favor of the intuitive and the emotional. In his critical theories and through his art, Poe
emphasized that didactic and intellectual elements had no place in art. The subject matter of art should deal
with the emotions, and the greatest art was that which had a direct effect on the emotions. The intellectual
and the didactic was for sermons and treatises, whereas the emotions were the sole province of art; after all,
Poe reasoned, man felt and sensed things before he thought about them. Even Poe's most intellectual
characters, such as M. Dupin ("The Purloined Letter," "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," etc.), rely more on
intuition than on rationality. As one examines M. Dupin, Poe's famous detective, one notes that he solves his
crimes by intuitively placing himself in mind of the criminal. Throughout Poe's works, his characters are
usually dominated by their emotions.
Setting and Time

Usually in a Romantic story, the setting is in some obscure or unknown place, or else it is set at some
distant time in the past. The purpose for this is so that none of Poe's readers would be diverted by references
to contemporary ideas; Poe created new worlds so that his readers would concentrate wholly on the themes
or atmospheres with which he infused his stories. Poe believed that the highest art existed in a realm that
was different from this world, and in order to create this realm, vagueness and indefiniteness were necessary
to alienate the reader from the everyday world and to thrust him toward the ideal and the beautiful.
Often the characters are not named or else they are given only a semblance of a name. The narrator
in "Ligeia" does not even know the Lady Ligeia's last name nor that of her family. With the exception of a
story like "The Cask of Amontillado," where the narrator is addressed by another character, or a story like
"William Wilson," where the title identifies the pseudonym of the narrator, we usually do not know the
names of the narrators of the other stories discussed in this volume, or even the names of the narrators of
most of Poes other works.
Subject Matter
The Romantic writer is often both praised and condemned for emphasizing the strange, the bizarre,
the unusual, and the unexpected in his or her writing, and it is out of the Romantic tradition that we get such
figures as the monster in Frankenstein and Count Dracula. The Romantic felt that the common or the
ordinary had no place in the realm of art. Poe eschewed or despised literature that dealt with mundane
subjects. Such things could be seen every day. The purpose of art, for Poe, was to choose subjects which
could affect the reader in a manner which he would not encounter in everyday life. Thus, the subject matter
of many of his tales dealt with living corpses, with frightening experiences, with horrors which startled the
reader, and with situations which even we have never imagined before.
In conclusion, what might sometimes seem puzzling in a story by Poe, such as an unexpected ending
or an unexpected event, is not puzzling if we remember that what he created was a result of his writing
during the Romantic tradition. While his tales can be read as "stories," they take on further significance as
superb examples of the Romantic tradition.
12.EMPEROR JONES as a Tragety
Eugene ONeills The Emperor Jones is a rarely produced American masterpiece. The tragedy is
rooted deep in American history, perhaps the first play to depict the Middle Passage, the voyage of slaves
from Africa to America. The eight brief, expressionistic scene tell the story of a charismatic Pullman porter
with a shady past who has recreated himself as the dictator of a Caribbean paradise. We follow him as he
flees for his life during a native revolt. Brutus Jones carries the burden of black oppression within him,
ghosts he cant exorcise. He is ONeills Macbeth, a man of promise and valor who is killed by the silver
bullets that represent his greed and ambition.
Unlike Anna Christie or Long Days Journey into Night, The Emperor Jones is not an easily
accessible play. Since inception there have been problems with its political correctness. This season New

York audiences have been treated to two radically different interpretations, neither of which resembles the
opera by Louis Gruenberg or the film version with Paul Robeson as the Emperor.
As he moves through the jungle, the cloak of civilization and his proud bearing drop away.
One by one, he discards his garments until he is almost naked. His looks grow wilder. He pushes
aside invisible branches and trees as he stumbles to escape. The tom toms slow and intensify,
persistent reminders of a hostile fate. Unclothed we recognize his raw courage and the strength of
his nightmares. We witness his appeal to power in the gunshots and his half-repentant prayers to
God. In this mesmerizing and complex portrait, Gaines, inspired by the role, enlarges and fills the
imaginative center of the play.
The most moving scene I have seen on stage in many seasons is Jones at the slave auction. His face,
raised to heaven, reflects his horror and disbelief. He has been thrust back into history, transformed from
king to property.

His mute appeal is as eloquent as his monologues. The flat, direct lighting broadens

Gainess nose and deepens his eye sockets until his face is an African mask. Unforgettable.
Always conscious of the black image, Robeson felt that the play had racist elements, but he
remained in the cast and went on to play other ONeill roles.
The play reflected some of the playwrights experience as a sailor in Honduras. Biographers Arthur
and Barbara Gelb identified an articulate, muscular black bartender, Adam Scott, as the inspiration for the
Emperor. ONeill even borrowed some of his phrases for the dialogue. Some critics have read the
revolution in Haiti as a source for ONeill. Later critics condemned the play as a white mans vision,
presenting a harmful or disrespectful image, and for what was considered an excessive use of the word
nigger. Ironically, the popularity of rap music with its repetition of the N word may have contributed to
a new respect for the play. Readers find it difficult because of the dialect, and the expressionistic structure
is sometimes misinterpreted as representational drama, but once you hear it, the tragedy resonates.

14. character sketch of Santiago

Santiago is a Cuban fisherman older than Hemingway (age 52) when he wrote the novella.
Santiago's wife has died, and he has a daughter who fears he is too old to fish or even live alone much
longer. Santiago is a mentor to a young (probably early teenage) boy, Manolin. When the novella begins,
the old man has gone 84 straight days without a catch, and, as a result, is the subject of ridicule among the
other, younger fishermen.
Santiago also loves baseball and occasionally gambles. He identifies with Joe DiMaggio, the great
center fielder for the Yankees in the 1940s and 1950s. Santiago admires how DiMaggio, whose father was a
fisherman, plays in spite of bone spurs in his feet that cause him pain whenever he runs. As an old man,
Santiago must also cope with the physical demands of his job in the face of the infirmities of his aging body.
Yet he suffers without complaining, and it is this stoic attitude that has won him much respect in the
Unlike the other fishermen, Santiago fishes the right way, and he treats the fish, the sea, and the birds
with respect and humility. The younger fishermen cheapen themselves by catching lesser fish just for
money, but Santiago dares to be great, to go far out beyond land, and to hook a great marlin.
Santiago's character is revealed most when he is alone battling the marlin and sharks at sea. We see
that he is old but still a man of great moral strength and wisdom. He talks to himself, the fish, and the birds
not because he is crazy or lonely, but because he treats all of nature as his equal; in fact, he calls the marlin
his "brother." Nevertheless, Santiago cannot abide the sharks, for they are scavengers with no dignity.
In the end, Santiago returns to the island with only a carcass, and he carries his mast the way Christ
carried the cross. As such, he suffers quietly, with dignity. We, like Manolin, know that Santiago is not
defeated, and he will venture out in his boat the next day to fish not for money, but for pride and self-respect.
16. the plot of the short story pigeon feathers by uplike
Pigeon Feathers showcases early several of Updikes continuing strengths, for the story wrestles with
ontological issues in a prose that is stately and powerful. David is a young boy who has moved with his
parents to the rural Pennsylvania farm where his mother grew up, and the move has been disturbing. He is
used to his parents bickering and his senile grandmothers nervous habits, but when he stumbles upon H. G.
Wellss account of Jesus in The Outline of History (1920) that denies his divinity, a stone that for weeks
and even years had been gathering weight in the web of Davids nerves snapped them and plunged through
the page. . . . The vague terror of his discovery of his mortality, an exact vision of death, follows him
everywhere, and neither his mother (who senses that something is wrong) nor Reverend Dobson (his
Lutheran catechism teacher) can help him. David has experienced his first loss of faith, and the horror
does not leave him in the next difficult months.
Relief comes for David only when his mother asks him to rid the barn of pigeons, and he takes the
Remington .22 he has received for his fifteenth birthday and kills half a dozen of the birds. In burying them,

he studies their feathers and a pattern that flowed without error across the birds body. He lost himself in
the geometrical tides as the feathers now broadened and stiffened to make an edge for flight.
The central issue of Pigeon Feathers is David Kerns search for a belief to compensate for his loss
of confidence in the ideals and institutions of childhood. In re-creating this universal conflict, John Updike
presents Davids confrontation with an unsettling idea, Wellss summation of the life and significance of
Jesus Christ. Once he accepts the historians skepticism, Davids doubts about long-held religious beliefs
multiply. When the adults he questions answer him with only vague platitudes, he feels betrayednot only
by Christianity but also by the adult world that he used to regard as omniscient.
Updike underscores the movement of the plot and the motivational processes of David Kerns mind
with a series of parallel incidents and images. For example, the image, early in the story, of an insect caught
in the flashlights beam becomes a vision of death: man trapped at the bottom of a deep hole. At the storys
climax, this image recurs when the pigeons, seen in silhouette as they seek to escape the dark barn through a
sunlit hole, are methodically destroyed by Davids rifle shots. This image connects Davids early terrors with
the older, harder David, who enjoys the power he has over the pigeons life and death.
Similarly, David has observed an intricate pattern of natural order in the physical configuration of his
dog Coppers nostrils and whorling hair. This image foreshadows the geometrical precision and order of the
pigeons wings and anticipates the recognition that accompanies the climax of the story. Such careful
attention to minute sensual details makes the reader aware of Updikes careful attention to symmetry and
structure. The resonances created by parallel images and repeated scenes establish a distinct harmony
between the storys content and its form.