Showing posts from January, 2006

"Postcolonial Literature": Problems with the Term

"Postcolonial Literature": Problems with the Term

"Postcolonial Literature" is a hot commodity these days. On the one hand writers like Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy are best-selling authors; and on the other hand, no college English department worth its salt wants to be without a scholar who can knowledgeably discourse about postcolonial theory.

But there seems to be a great deal of uncertainty as to just what the term denotes. Many of the debates among postcolonial scholars center on which national literatures or authors can be justifiably included in the postcolonial canon. Much of the traffic on the postcolonial e-mail discussion list involves criticisms of the term "postcolonial" itself. In addition, it is seldom mentioned but quite striking that very few actual authors of the literature under discussion embrace and use the term to label their own writing.

It should be acknowledged that postcolonial theory functions as a subdivision within the even …

Adrienne Rich's "Living in Sin"


Influenced by Yates and Conrad, Adrienne Rich tried to be the perfect faculty wife and hostess. However, she found this unsatisfying. Rich talks about the gap between literary understanding of how women should live and how they actually live.
"Living in Sin"
The term "living in sin" may be unfamiliar to you - the usual phrase today is "shacking up," as in "shacking up with my old lady." The connotation of "living in sin" is clear - to live with somebody outside the sanctity of marriage is to put your immortal soul in danger. It is also to bring the negative judgment of society down on you.
But while most young people would be scared off by the prohibition, others would be attracted by idea of breaking the rules. The idea of living in sin seemed adventurous to her - exotic and bold.
So, now she's shacking up, or, living in sin. What is this life of adventure like? It turns out to be just lik…

The Great Variety of Mood and Tone in the Love-Poems of Donne

The Great Variety of Mood and Tone in the Love-Poems of Donne
(with reference to the poems: The Canonization, A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning, The Sunne Rising, and The Ecstasy)

John Donne revolted against the Petrarchan tradition in love poetry, with its lovers in flower gardens; its smooth lawns (grass) and gentle and murmuring streams; its goddesses of mythological and pastoral imagery; and its conventions of chivalry. From the time to Wyatt, Surrey, and their contemporaries, English lyrical and amatory poetry had been flowing continuously in the Petrarchan channel. Now, instead, we have a violent assertion of sexual realism. Donne is neither Platonic nor ascetic, but frankly and honestly sensuous. His interest is in his experience of love, and his endeavor (attempt) is to understand it, not to deny or suppress it, and still less to present it untruthfully.
Donne’s reputation as a love poet rest on his fifty-five lyrics written at different periods of his life, but were published f…

The Use of Epic Simile in Milton's "Paradise Lost" Book II

Darman Sitepu
Fakultas Sastra
Universitas Islam Sumatera Utara, Medan

This paper will discuss Milton’s employment of epic simile in “Paradise Lost” Book II. Like his predecessors, Milton also uses epic simile to make the main idea in the comparison clearer but at the same time each simile presents vivid picture to the minds of the readers that produces certain sense effects. His employment of epic simile often refers to everyday occurrence, history or even classical mythology.

Keywords: epic simile, comparison, natural, effect, picture

Simile is an expression of the comparison of two unlike objects, usually by using the word like or as such as in: Tom is as ugly as Tony which gives a simple comparison, and Tom is as ugly as Sin is also a simile. Epic simile is an extended simile in which one or both of the objects compared are elaborately described (Beckson and Ganz: 1993). The following is an example of epic sim…

Julius Caesar: "Cowards die many times before their death"...

“Cowards die many times before their death;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.” [II. Ii. 32-37]

The above lines are spoken by Julius Caesar in William Shakespeare’s play entitled “Julius Caesar”. The above lines are spoken by Julius Caesar in response to his wife’ request to him not to go out of their house on that day since she has premonitions that his life is in danger. Caesar tells her that cowards die many times before their actual death, due to their mental fear of death. The brave only taste death once. He tells his wife that of the many wonderful things in life it seems most strange to him that men should be afraid of death, despite knowing that it cannot be avoided. Seeing that death is not only an inevitable, but also a necessary end, it will come at the time when it due, neither before nor after.

Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice: Portia's Suitors

The Merchant of Venice: Portia's Suitors by: QueensEnglishGal

Shakespeare highlights three of Portia’s suitors, the Prince of Morocco, the Prince of Arragon and Bassanio. He does this to heighten dramatic tension, as these three men are the most important candidates to win Portia’s hand in marriage. They reveal the contents of the three caskets and their different characters as exposed as being proud, vain and humble. They also emphasize the racial prejudices of Venice a place where many races clash. Their attitudes towards the caskets and their choices indicate what their character is like. This essay will compare and contrast the three suitors and will explore how Shakespeare influences the audience’s attitudes towards the three men.
The Prince of Morocco is the first suitor of the three suitors we are introduced to. His first line is, ‘Mislike me not for my complexion’ (Act II Scene i)
He is anxious to compensate for the colour of his skin. He shows himself to be ashamed and inse…

The Role of Women in George Eliot's "Middlemarch"

The Role's of Women in George Eliot's "Middlemarch"
by Mary Elizabeth Rupp A major theme in George Eliot's novel, Middlemarch, is the role of women in the community. The female characters in the novel are, to some extent, oppressed by the social expectations that prevail in Middlemarch. Regardless of social standing, character or personality, women are expected to cater to and remain dependent on their husbands and to occupy themselves with trivial recreation rather than important household matters. Dorothea and Rosamond, though exceedingly dissimilar, are both subjected to the same social ideals of what women should be.

Dorothea and Rosamond are on different levels of the intricate social spectrum in Middlemarch. As a Brooke, Dorothea's connections "though not exactly aristocratic, were unquestionably √ęgood'"(p.7). Rosamond is of a slightly lower status, especially given that her father has married an innkeeper's daughter, thus further loweri…