Literature works are very diverse. Every author has got his own literature style of delivering his theme to his readers. In studying these elements of literature, I have decided to compare three works of literature for my final essay. I am going to study two short stories, which have been written by different authors, and I am going to compare them to a poem. The three pieces I have decided to study include a poem by Anne Bradstreet “To My Dear and Loving Husband.” The first short story is by William Faulkner “A Rose for Emily.” The second and final short story is “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky,” written by Stephen crane. I am going to study these three and will discuss each compare to the other using characters. I will also look at how descriptive the authors are in their writings, and what ways they use to draw their readers into the stories or the poem.
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The two short stories I mentioned above are very much alike. The styles employed by both authors are almost the same. The authors use very descriptive detail in these two stories. These make the stories come alive in such a way that you can actually see, smell and feel each characters being. An example of this is a scenario in the story “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky.” The description given in the book makes you get a sense of the character being on the train. When Stephen Crane describes Jack, he gives a vivid image of how he appeared. He says “his face reddened from many days in the wind and sun.” (DiYanni, 2007 p.842). The description given to Jacks bride is also an intense one. She is said to be “Not that pretty and neither was she very young of age. She was putting on a dress of blue cashmere. It had steel buttons. However, her puff sleeves made her feel uncomfortable. They were very stiff, straight and very high.” (DiYanni, 2007 p.482). From these descriptions, one cannot help but see the vivid pictures employed by the writer. You can actually see Jack’s reddened face as described. You can also see the bride’s embarrassment from her sleeves and have a picture of how she looked like.
Faulkner is also very descriptive when talking about Miss Emily’s house. He terms it as being “a big square frame house. It looked like had once appeared white.” (DiYanni 2007 p. 79). He also describes how Miss Emily appeared as she came in for the meeting. This was with the Board of Aldermen. He says she was “small in size, slightly fat woman and was in black. She had a thin gold chain that went all the way down to her waist and fading into her belt. She was standing next to an ebony cane that had a flawed gold head.” (DiYanni 2007 p.79). In the end of the story, Faulkner gives a descriptive detail on how Miss Emily’s suitor appeared. His name was Homer Barron. He was in the room decorated and furnished for a bridal night. His body is described as not having flesh and it had been laid as if it were in an embrace. His state was bad as he had rotted beneath his nightshirt” (Faulkner, 1930). This description makes the imagination run wild. One can almost smell the dank smell of the room. The description of the pillow beside him and indention on the pillow as if someone had laid their head there is very clear. The author goes ahead to describe how then they got the strands of grey hair on it. As one is reading these descriptions, you get the picture of it all because of the descriptive detail used.
In the poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband” the author just drew me in. As I read I could picture my own parents and how much in love they were and this poem just brought back such a flood of emotions. The line that drew this was; “Then while we live in love, let us persevere that when we live no more, we may live ever” (DiYanni 2007 p.1077). This line was so emotional. It immediately made me remember the story “A Rose for Emily.” Maybe this was the reason she murdered Homer Barron. Miss Emily had fallen deeply love with him. She could keep him with her until she died. In her head, she did not imagine that one day they would meet again. However, it may have also been that Miss Emily might have been so afraid to be alone. To deal with this feeling, she poisoned him in order for him to remain with her, and so she would not be alone. But I prefer to believe she was so in love. As stated in the Poem, she did not want to let him go. The description that makes me believe she did what she had to do out of love is when the author says “That when we live no more, we may live ever.” (Bradstreet, 1678). This could be exactly how she felt when poisoning him. She must have believed that even though he was gone, he was still with her. This might be the reason why she kept him upstairs in the bedroom. This would make her still have him with her at all times even though he wasn’t alive. This suspense that the author builds in his story by allowing the reader to have so many questions makes the reader more eager to read the book. Perhaps Miss Emily thought she was not going to pass away alone. She must have thought even though Homer was not breathing, he would be there with her when she died. In explaining the amount of love she had, she says in the poem, my love is such that rivers cannot quench. This might explain why Miss Emily poisoned the man she loved. There are so many questions as to why she would do this. Faulkner does not expose the reader to obvious answers about her motives. Thus, he keeps the readers mind working trying to figure out the motive.
In analyzing the poem, it also shows some relation to the short story “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky.” The happiness that Jack and his bride experienced when boarding the train could be said to be the same as that in the poem when the author says, “If ever wife was happy in a man.” The author brings a happy feeling in the story when he describes their emotions as “They were evidently very happy.” The poem has a similar scenario to when Jack went to San Antonio and married a girl he thought he loved. He did this without letting his towns people know what he was doing. This scenario is similar to that in the poem where the author says, “I prize they love more than whole mines of gold or all the riches that the East doth hold” (Crane, 1898). Jack loved his bride and he chose to get married to her, whether the people in his town would like it or not. He did this despite the fact that he loved his town too. This showed that he loved his bride more. His actions are the same to those where the writer says in the poem, “loving more than whole mines of gold” (DiYanni 2007 p. 1077). Jack also shows his love for his bride when he tells his bride how they will go to the diner car and have the finest meal in the world. His bride thought that this was too much money to be spent on one meal, no matter how good it was. However, because of the love he possessed inside for her, he knew that this trip was well worth his dollar to treat his lady with a good meal.
The two short stories that I am looking at also show the reader how people judge and are prejudice others. In the story, “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” there are several prejudice’s in the story. An example of this is where we are told that the porter bullied them with skills. He did it in a manner that they could not suspect his ill motives and know he was behind their oppression. The porter on the train was mean to them. His attitude toward them was with all the indomitable kind of snobbery. He oppressed them in a very clever way such that they had small knowledge of him doing so.” (Crane, 1898). In “A Rose for Emily”, the people of that town felt that the Griersons were snobs in the manner with which they held themselves. They felt that the Griersons put up themselves in a status that was raised a little too much for what they really were. Another part of the story where Miss Emily’s neighbor is complaining about the smell coming from Miss Emily’s house, She relates to Miss Emily as a high and mighty Grierson, and wants the judge to do something about the smell coming from the house.(DiYanni 2007 p. 80) When Miss Emily’s father dies, the towns people are glad in a way, saying Miss Emily would somehow now be humanized and learn what it was like to live on little money.(DiYanni 2007 p. 81) It seems Faulkner and Crane must have been treated with some type of prejudice in their life. Both of these writers appear to be telling the stories of what happened to them in their writings.
Prejudice has been around for so long it will never go away. Where I live gives me this impression with each passing day. It is sad that we have to go through this in our everyday lives. However, I do feel that is what makes some of us stronger and makes some of us weaker. I have come to over look people’s prejudice as I live my own life day in, day out. This is because they do not know who I am or what I am about. I was once told I would never make anything of my life by someone who had judged me before they knew who I was. This is what makes so many of the writers stories hit home. They are able to get the attention of the readers by using some of their personal life experiences. This real personal; experiences provide a more vivid picture to the readings, making them more interesting. Thus, they can draw the reader into the stories. This enables the reader to become a part of the story. The readers can actually place themselves as a character in the story because we have all had some type of prejudice directed towards us at some point in our lives.
If you have ever lived in small town where almost everybody knows the other, you get a feeling of the kind of prejudice the authors are referring to. The description of the actions of the people of the towns in both stories is simply because of the money. I am from a small town population and it reminds me of both stories. The way people judge marriage is very prejudicing. It is assumed that there is something wrong with a person if they are not married by a certain age. If one gets married and some of the elders in the town do not approve of the marriage, people suddenly start speaking ill about that marriage. Both stories in so many ways compare to life in small towns, where people have nothing better to do than to spy on someone to see what they can gossip about.
I found it interesting when researching further about William Faulkner. He came from an old southern family. He grew up in Mississippi. I could tell by his writing that he had to be from the south because there are still old southern family traits in the south that will probably never die out. In expounding on my research about these authors, I also found it fascinating that Stephen Crane was not from the Midwest. It was a surprise to find out that he was a resident of New Jersey. It however puzzles me why he instantly fell in love with a lady from Florida. I found this to relate to his story “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”. His story was the same as where Jack falls in love with his bride he met almost instantly. In his story he tells us that the two met face to face and the man immediately fell in love with this girl in San Antonio. This feeling of being in love spurred by his sharp impulse, made jack feel like he had god headlong over all social hedges (DiYanni 2007 p.484). It is this part of the story in “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” where I feel that the author, Crane, is using part of his life experience to tell this story.
More research on Anne Bradstreet revealed that her poems were based on her life’s experiences as well. She based her poems on her love for her husband and family. This is very well reflected in her poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband.” This poem reflected just how much she was in love with her husband and the intensity of her feelings towards him. This poem is very interesting and one cannot help but yield to the urge of reading it over and over again.
In conclusion, I feel the two short stories and one poem I chose can be compared in many different aspects. The three of them tie in very well with each other through love and prejudice even though the authors come from very different backgrounds of life they all wrote with their life experiences in mind. The author’s used their past experiences in a very professional way to tell their stories and explain the prejudices that exist in the world we live in. The authors had a talent for drawing readers into their stories and poems and kept the reader’s attention throughout the readings. These stories have been presented descriptively and as a person engages himself in reading them, the clear picture of what is happening is drawn from them. This element has made these stories and poem very easy to stick onto an individual’s memory. This being my final essay, I would also say that I found myself dreading this class when we first started. However, I have found through the readings in the class that I enjoyed everything I read. I have found I now read with an open mind and do not judge a book, short story, poem or play by its title anymore I read first and then break the story down.
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