English 10: Writing Portfolio

 

Catholic Memorial High School

 

2007-2008

   
   
   
   
   
Research  
   
Creative Writing  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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  There is one word in the English language that thrusts out and that is the word "sword."
This word has its root in the oldest document ever written in English and still remains a commonly
used word today. Although usage and spelling has changed it remains still very much alive and
diverse in its use. Uses of it have been traced to some of the greatest writers in English history
such as Shakespeare and Wycliffe. The etymology of this word stretches back all the way to the
original English, Old English, which is mostly Germanic. We know this mainly because it has been in
English recorded history since the beginning, since the first document ever written in English that
is. As I found out, "sword" is known by young and old alike and seems to be a word with
noteworthy meanings and extensive history.

When asked, 80% of the people who I conducted my survey upon associate the word sword with
bloodshed and carnage, and everyone that I conducted my study upon used it exclusively in the
physical sense. All of them also included the word metal in their interpretation of the word. The
majority 60% also mentioned something about western culture when asked about the word. In fact most
people when asked they think, of the word "sword" they immediately think of knights, such
as Arthur and his round table. Although it is very true that knights used swords in battle, swords
can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks such as the famous Spartans well before any knights came
around. Only one person by the name of Timothy Foley mentioned the Japanese assassins, recognized by
us as Ninjas, who were also known to have used swords. One other person said "…to kill a
Persian" and I assume a westerner is wielding the weapon against that member of the Persian
Empire. The current situation for study seems to be that my audience is from primarily western
backgrounds and states that the prominent figures when speaking of "swords" are knights.

When non native English speakers were asked about the word "sword" all said that they had
no trouble what so ever learning this word. For example, my mother claimed that she found that
"sword" was restricted in its meaning in America probably because she comes from Spain and
she applies to where the playing card suit of swords is used. When the school janitor was asked the
question "what do you think of when you think of the word sword?" he said it made him
think of Catholic Churches where many statues are adorned with swords. Foreign language speakers
appear to be more exposed to the various placements of swords around the world and the European
customs with swords, which survived time and are used today. It seems that people from other
countries learn and understand the word in their own native language and when they migrate to
somewhere in the Anglosphere, they simply translate it. Usually there is no trouble in understanding
it, only condensing its meaning.

To many people there is only one definition of “sword” and generally that is a metal blade with a
handle used to kill someone, but this is not the case to Italians, Spanish speakers, and fortune
tellers. According to the Oxford English Dictionary the Italians and Spanish speakers have their own
set of playing cards much like the ones we use here but with special symbols and one of the suits
being the “swords.” Also in a deck of tarot cards, which is used to tell the future, the card with
the sword on it represents death when it is pulled randomly in a session. Another unusual definition
of this diverse word, again coming from the OED, is used in a figure of speech that reads “at the
swords point.” This was used mainly in the Middle Ages and a few hundred years after which means to
be under pressure of death or an urgent demand. Many people have also heard of the “sword fish.”
Here the word “sword” is used as an adjective to describe the fish. This is because the protruding
bone coming from its jaw is called the fish's sword. Definitions of this word have remained
close to its original meaning when it was first written but then integrated into culture, as in the
case of the playing cards. It is apparent that the word is relatively simple and few in meanings
when the Oxford English Dictionary entry is only 3 pages long.

“Sword” is not oftenly used in a figurative manner as Shakespeare does in many of his works. He
uses it in Macbeth as a symbol for something that wounds or kills but not the sword itself. This is
something very common to Shakespeare in which he uses a word in a way that it is not habitually used
used, which he does with many words and again with this one. He also uses it as a replacement for
the word army or military force in his novel The Merry Wives of Windsor. Shakespeare gains enjoyment
by twisting his words and creates alternative meaning s for them which makes his literature richer
and the words more diverse in meaning. Now in a purely figurative sense B Taylor wrote in his poem
Hymn to Air, “The Sun’s uplifted sword of flame,” which means a sword like ray or flash of light. In
this passage the author uses th shape of a sword, which is public knowledge and commonly known, to
describe the shape of light coming from the Sun. It seems that the author prefers the figurative
sense of “sword” because of its day to day use in its physical manner. To be creative many like to
do this and also is the reason for the expressions we have today using the word “sword” as their
major component.

In recent years “sword” is still being used, as seen in many articles including some of the most
prestigious newspapers of the world. The Boston Globe has used this word in a very common figure of
speech saying that “the media attention has proved a double-edged sword,” when talking about Islam
worldwide. Not only does this show “sword's” casual style of speech but also the cultural
boundaries it hurdles over to be used by various religions. Also the New York Times has a comment
from Mr. Shehadeh, currently a research associate at San Francisco State University, which goes like
“The case was like a sword hanging over our head all the time.” Another figurative use of the word
“sword” and here it is in everyday speech with no perceived preparation for th reason that this is a
comment included in the “U.S., Stymied 21 Years, Drops Bid to Depot 2 Palestinians” article written
by Niel MacFarquhar. The simple and adaptive nature of the word makes it appealing even in newspaper
writings and even the educated public as is evident here.

The future of the word “sword” is bright and rich as well as the English language is. “Sword” is
still used very often even in common expressions and everyday speech and still has its counterparts
in almost all other languages. This constant use keeps the word in the general public's minds
and vocabulary for their entire lives, and also ensures that immigrants also learn it when they come
to this country since they already know many meanings from home. This is a simple word with a
sizable history and is familiar with everyone, which keeps it alive. These two things combined with
each other spell out a long life for the word and leaves room for further adaptations of the word.
The English language is filled with words just like this one and hopefully it will continue gaining
words like it, that is simple words with identical meanings in foreign countries. If English
continues to be diverse and remains easy to learn, i do not foresee and end for many millennia.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Family of Shakespeare,
In light of recent opinions of your work we must regrettably release Shakespeare's Sonnet
works from our English Literature textbook currently being published by Prentice Hall. Being an
extremely difficult decision seeing that he is considered on of the greatest of all time, I find it
necessary to move on from this specific collection from him to something with more meaning.
Currently these sonnets have an extreme attention to detail and form as well as musical appeal, but
as literature I find there is too much emphasis on the rules, and often times there are lines that
make no sense unless taken into deep consideration. Also the fact that each sonnet is a story in
itself with no connection between any at all. With many, it is also unclear what they are even about
with no clearly defined characters or storyline. These sonnets cannot be considered worthy of being
called the best English Literature of Britain’s history as we have much better to offer and am
giving much more worthy works the opportunity to rise up.

In most of these sonnets of Shakespeare’s there is an extreme attention to detail concerning the
form and structure of his poems. There are 10 syllables each of the 14 lines with iambic pentameter
and a defined rhyme scheme which is completely unnecessary for a piece of literature to have these
restrictions and in my opinion it severely hampers his ability to tell a meaningful story as well as
provide the basic requirements of a good and interesting story. Not only are they lacking these
aspects, there are also times where lines turn into complete nonsense and he twists words to his
liking and changes the way they are pronounced to suit his purposes. An example of this would be in
sonnet 106 where he describes one thing then moves onto another. "And beauty making beautiful
old rhyme, In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights." First it appeared that he was speaking
of beautiful women when he said "I see descriptions of the fairest wights" , but then he
moves on and then says lovely men as well? These sometimes cryptic and very subjective lines make
proves this form of poetry too constricting to make sense to the average student or even make proper
sentences.

I believe we would be more lenient if the sonnets you had written had followed a certain character
or a story but even after extensive research into your works critics cannot find definitive
sequential characters. There are not enough common elements between his sonnets with none of the
normal requirements of a piece of literature. This includes character development, setting, and
other things of the sort. It is generally accepted that Shakespeare had read the works of Geoffrey
Chaucer and in fact modeled some of his work after this man, but maybe he should have taken away
more of his ability to tell a story with poetry instead of trying to improve on pointless matters of
form and musical sound. This is apparent in sonnet 106 where 2 characters are introduced and neither
do anything of interest and it is difficult to tell wether he is speaking of a wight or a knight,
which is a trap of his poetry because of the rhyme. Then in sonnet 116 he is simply talking about
love in general as if he were alone with his thoughts which is completely different than 106's
subject and doesn't even include any of the previous characters. Why would one want to read
another man's notes on life? This is not literature, this is the modern day Sticky Note posted
Shakespeare's desk.

Some of the sonnets individually do not even make sense. Inside themselves, the lines seem to be
staggered and out of place, sometimes just to meet the rhyme scheme. The common form of the sentence
with a subject and verb is often lucky to even survive a sonnet. Again lenience would be put onto
him if even separately his sonnets told a story, but alas even alone they lack key elements of a
story. Alone they tend to be extremely vague and about nothing in particular. It is almost as though
he is writing random thoughts and making them sound flowery and musical. If one sentence alone is
taken, such as "Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments" as found in
sonnet 116. Even taken out and examined by itself the very basics of a sentence are questioned and
inside the sonnet after it contradicts itself by saying "Love is not Love."

I am sorry again for having to remove his sonnets from our collection of works being distributed to
high schools across the nation, although it is possible for his work of “Romeo and Juliet” to make
our publication. Its continued success and popularity makes it a very good candidate for addition. I
also want to make clear that I am not criticizing his form of his sonnets at all, in fact it is
impeccable. I am sure that this retirement of only one part of his works will not diminish his
outstanding reputation at all and in fact it might even make him more appealing to the younger
generation by taking out these confusing and unappealing works. In my opinion this will not take
away his status as being the greatest English writer in history.

   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the Oxford English Dictionary water polo is approximately 150 years old and has its
roots in the old Eastern game of Polo that was played on horseback. Research through current British
newspapers and pop culture indicate that polo played on horseback has been replaced by polo played
in water. With the same basic principles of its predecessor, water Polo has taken over the place
horse Polo once had in Britain. Many colleges in the area now have clubs and activities devoted
towards this such as The University of London, London Polytechnic, and The University of Manchester.
Water Polo has seen immense popularity in England and the rest of Britain and this shows how the
British people are able to take something that was not their own, in fact originating in a region of
Tibet, and adapt it to better suit them. This shows the ability these people have to incorporate new
ideas.


According to the history of FINA, across the globe water polo is generally played the same way but
before the 1920’s the US played with a semi deflated ball instead of a fully inflated ball and play
was much more violent. They eventually joined the rest of the world, including Britain, and rules
are now generally universal. In 1900 it became an Olympic sport, along with cricket and rugby, and
now there even is a national league of England Scotland and Wales that is called the National Water
Polo League and a London Water Polo League that was created in 1889. Similar to the FIFA World Cup
of soccer there is a FINA Water Polo World Cup that takes place every 2 to 4 years. The modern
version of this game was originally played in the lakes and rivers of England and Scotland and was
meant to be a type of water Rugby. The original ball was made of Indian rubber reinforcing far
eastern influence on this sport and the country itself.


Water Polo is present in the news in a big way as the Telegraph reports; at least it was in 2004.
Not only is it an event at the Beijing Olympics but the late Princess Diana’s son William decided to
pick it up in college and has been picked to represent Scotland. Standing 6’3”, he became captain of
the Water Polo team at St Andrew’s University, where he is studying geography, and said "I play
lots of water polo - I love my water polo," on turning 21. Although he proclaims himself
William Wales he was playing representing Scotland against Ireland and Wales in university national
matches. Also according to People Magazine he made this debut at the age of 21 in the pool. His
mother’s love of the water encouraged him to swim as she also did and he has undoubtedly taken some
of her likings for his own. "Physically he is a very strong boy and beautifully proportioned
-- he takes after his mom in this respect," says a family friend according to People magazine.
With his mother’s death, he has become an icon of the country and the simple fact he has interest in
the sport means the country must have interest in it as well.


SOHH reports that a Jamaican by the name of Sean Paul, a mainstream world-renowned rapper, was born
in Kingston where he was raised oddly enough in St. Andrew, Jamaica and he excelled at athletics
especially swimming like much of his family. His father of Portuguese decent and his mother of
African-Caribbean and Chinese decent were also both born in Jamaica. In an interview with hip-hop
website SOHH he said, ” I became a swimming champion and my brother. My whole family is oriented
that way. My mom also is a swimmer. She and dad met at a pool as kids. Mom was the backstroke
champion in the '60s, so I came from a swimming family.” It is apparent that his family has a
long line of swimmers. His grandfather was on the first water polo team for Jamaica and the father
of Sean also played for the team in the 60’s and competed in long distance swimming. When asked if
he himself was involved in water sports he responded,” Yeah, I used to swim for Jamaica. I also
played water polo for Jamaica from 13 years old. 21 years old was probably the last time I really
represented the country on a national team.” Also having decent culinary skills he at one time had
dreams of grandeur in being a chef but instead decided to become a reggae superstar that he is
today. Sadly his participation in water athletics came to a halt in order to launch his musical
career.


Also in the mainstream of Britain is a movie playing in the area by the name of “Freedom’s Furry”
which was made in 2006. This is a documentary on the 1956 Olympic semifinal water polo match between
Hungary and Russia. Held in Australia, the match occurred as Russian forces were in Budapest,
putting out a popular revolt of the local Hungarians. Taking place during the cold war, we meet
Karsci who is the star of the local water polo team and ultimately has to choose between his sport
and his patriotism. The match considered “The Bloodiest Game in Olympic History” provided the air to
the spark of the revolt and made a full fire of revolution. According to Radio Free Europe/Radio
Liberty Quentin Tarantino "flipped out. He was just like 'This is the best story I've
been ever told, I'd love to be involved.'" Quentin Tarantino ended up the executive
producer in this film and brought his reputation as a very popular personality in Hollywood which
most of Europe including Britain is closely tied to. This represents an interest of the British
public that this movie has even appeared in theaters and also exhibits the point that Water Polo is
a part of history.


Water Polo has seen a lot of popularity in Britain and seems to have replaced the polo once played
on horseback with a game easier for people to play. Now instead of a many horses and a whole field
needed all the people need is a swimming pool. The popularity is apparent when you see that many
colleges are offering it as an activity and outside leagues are being formed. Even Diana’s son has
taken the sport in with open arms during college and is now representing Scotland. Now being a
worldwide sport that even has a global competition every few years, the Brits have made it a big
deal in Europe. The sport of water appears in many places in Britain and has been around for more
than a hundred years. This not only shows the British people’s connection to water being an island,
but also th ability to adopt things that are not their own and make it into something that is.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Literature is arguably the most devolved in the world with not only the most writings and
works, but also advancements of form and several literary evolutions that have come from Britain
make it unique. Many other western European countries have also made the arts a major focus at some
point in their histories but none quite measure up to Britain. When a country has this much
available time to write it signifies that the people are not fighting either at home or abroad or
else they would not have the time to write. Mostly poetry was written right up until 200 years ago
where people finally started writing the way they spoke. Even though British Literature is now so
diverse with pros poetry and drama throughout its existence it has relied heavily on primarily these
5 devices.


Setting in British literature has many times been considered an intrecal part when making sense of
the story line and plot. It often interacts with the characters and affects how they interact with
each other. Also, many times the setting emphasizes the entire mood across the writings and develops
the underlying themes. In many works of the British people, I have noticed that setting often
applies some sort of difficuty or hardship to the characters involved in it. It may be something as
simple as weather like in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice where the main character, Jane, is
caught in a downpour of rain and kept from the Bingley Mansion. In other stories the setting of time
strains the characters as in To the Virgins by Robert Herrick. The poem goes “And this same flower
that smiles today/ Tomorrow will be dying” (lines 3-4) which basically entails the moral, do not
waste time. The setting therefore drives and strains the general audience of that statement to do as
much as possible with your time because little of it exists and tomorrow you will be dead. Straining
settings also extend into the novels of Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing when she speaks of
communism. A totalitarian environment is seen in The Good Terrorist where she is constantly
oppressed and eventually is forced to start stealing from her father. She then moves onto
“spray-painting slogans.” (book jacket). Totalitarian government is also evident in George Orwell’s
1984 it states “In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have
to believe it.” which demonstrates the immense power the setting of an absolute authority has on the
characters. The background of this setting shapes the entire novel and the description of it makes
up most of the text. Also in AE Houseman’s compilation called A Shropshire Lad the On Wenlock Edge
the wood’s in trouble poem states “The gale, it plies the saplings double, /It blows so hard, ’twill
soon be gone” (lines 17-18). In this case the characters would be the young trees being affected by
the blistering winds effectively being killed by it. He states in the poem his concern for the woods
and it’s obvious the setting of the weather is what is endangering his precious forest. Setting has
a lot of power in determining the fate of characters. Acts of God may happen preventing them from
performing some sort of task or a government may oppress them completely altering their thought
processes. In any way it seems that British authors revert back to the setting hindering their
characters in some way to provide an obstacle on the road to their goals instead of lending a
helping hand, which may have to do with England’s weather in real life, which is often very wet.
Many revolutions of form have occurred during the course of British Literature where there were
innovators who shook the very foundations and the posterity had to adjust. First there was poetry in
Beowulf then came along Shakespeare with his iambic pentameter combined with sonnets and finally
came the revolution of novels and people writing as they spoke. The obvious innovator would be the
man who did not follow his own advice. William Wordsworth wrote in his preface to Lyrical Ballads,
“The principal object proposed in these Poems was to choose incidents and situations from common
life, and to relate or describe them, throughout, as far as was possible in a selection of language
really used by men,” (lines 5-8). He had the right idea, which many authors followed upon after he
wrote this in 1798. Daniel Defoe is credited with the first novel written, which is written in plain
English used by the common man, but wrote Robinson Crusoe in 1719 before Wordsworth stated it and
could have possibly been the example that sparked the idea which Wordsworth wrote about. “Thus we
never see the true State of our Condition, till it is illustrated to us by its Contraries; nor know
how to value what we enjoy, but by the want of it.” (p.102) This is written in an aristocratic way
but never the less it is the way they spoke. One of the most famous novels even written by a woman
is clearly the gothic horror story of Frankenstein, written by Marry Shelly. One of the very first
extremely popular novels written, this one went more like, “You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I
once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting
you, as mine has been." This seems more like modern English and also shows the evolution of the
English language in that 100-year period, in which literacy was no longer limited to the aristocracy
but expanded to the masses. Also around the time she was writing this was within 20 years of
Wordsworth’s work on Lyrical Ballads and the idea was probably circulating around the literary
communities. Another famous English novelist goes by the name of Charles Dickens and was growing up
during this time period and really perfected the form of the novel. With classics such as Oliver
Twist that read like, "’Please, Sir, I want some more.' Oliver, asking the cook at the
workhouse for more gruel.” (Pg. 12) the novel form had basically taken over and became the
prominent in which people wrote. Success of this form has continued to this day and in modern
British literature we see some of the most popular pieces are novels, such as The Lord of the Rings,
which delivers in complete Modern English. This novel sounds more like “To present the conflict
between Good and Evil as a war in which the good side is ultimately victorious is a ticklish
business.” which is obviously how we speak today. Novels were a serious revolutionary change that
affected how authors expressed themselves and also provided a chance to document the speech patterns
of the people during that period. Because of novel writings we can better guess how the English
masses spoke and not just read a completely altered and calculated versions of poetry that people
would never speak in, which is the case when we read such things as Shakespeare. Novels represent
the evolution that has occurred in the way people write.


Endings of stories and works of literature can reveal themes hidden in the rest of the text, provide
a moral that gives meaning, or even reveal something about the author. It seems that in many British
works a depressing ending with tragedy and hardship or simply just the most pessimistic view is
taken. In many works the main character dies or the whole journey that we go with the protagonist
seems pointless. In AE Houseman’s compilation of A Shropshire Lad in the poem “Say, lad, have you
things to do” it states in lines 7-8, “Use me here they lay me low, Where a man’s no use at all.” In
the beginning of the poem it speaks of a man in his prime doing work and then it immediately moves
towards to the idea that he is being used by society in some way to do their bidding, which is
extremely pessimistic. With the novel To the Lighthouse written by Virginia Woolf, she has war break
out where many family members of characters and character themselves die. Tragedy seemed to also be
apparent in her own life because in 1941 she drowned herself. Hardship also prevails in George
Orwell’s 1984 in which we go through an entire journey with the main character, Winston, and in the
end nothing mattered. The protagonist was defeated and all hope lost for rebellion against his
totalitarian government and his brainwashing, which is a prime example of the dystopian theme that
always takes cynical views. When he thinks, ”O stubbourn self-willed exile from the loving beast!”
on the last page of the book we then know that he was properly reeducated to love big brother and
the rebel inside of him had died. Also in John Milton’s Paradise Lost the end explains how humankind
is doomed and Michael explains to Adam why this is so. Adam sees the sins of his children and his
children’s children. When speaking of tragedies you must speak of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. The
whole story we follow a man’s creation that he was originally extremely proud of and by the end of
the novel his creation kills his family and his bride. Eventually the creator even dies a horrible
death in pursuit of his creation, in the North Pole far away from any loved ones. He says, "You
seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your
wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been." and is reminiscing about the
monster he created. This trend of consistent pessimistic endings of stories is more psychoanalysis
of the authors writing these pieces than analysis of the logical ending based on the plot. When
studying these people exclusively it seems that they had very difficult and dismal lives. How does
this reflect on the society of Britain throughout the three hundred years?


A dominant theme throughout British literature even after the period of romanticism is isolation,
which often leads to the narration of inner thought processes. This is apparent in many works
including Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. This novel is about a merchant who eventually becomes
shipwrecked on an island and he spends years there by himself. He is left with his thoughts and is
completely isolated from human beings or any help, for some time. Even when he saves a local man
from being eaten by cannibals and takes him in, he is then alone in his never ending quest to make
him see how Christianity is the truth and his crocodile religion makes no sense. Even in Jane
Austen’s Pride and Prejudice remnants of this theme can be seen in the plot. Jane and Elizabeth
throughout the book of Pride and Prejudice are alone and looking for husbands, and at many times the
search seems very bleak, especially when they see many of their friends getting married around them.
Although not physically alone but emotionaly unaccompanied these women remain strong but alone
during the course of the novel right up until the end. Alice in the classic children’s novel of
Alice in Wonderland has strong elements of isolation and the seclusion from one’s familiarity. Alice
at the very beginning, when she first goes down the rabbit hole, is torn from what is familiar to
her and surrounded by irrational things that cannot be explained. This leaves her to fend for
herself where she is alone in her quest of returning home. This idea of self-contemplation and
isolation is very apparent William Wordworth’s Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey as
well as many of his other works. The whole poem is just one man revisiting Tintern Abbey after 5
years and reciting how all the objects make him feel. Seclusion is especially apparent in the
feminist works of Virginia Woolf, in which Orlando, the main character in Orlando, lives for 300
years but only ages 36 and changes gender from man to woman. It is the story of one person’s life
throughout the number of years and obviously if you live that long, you will outlive most of the
people you have met. He even isolates himself when he is denied by a Russian Princess and starts to
devote his entire life to writing. It seems there is a fascination with being alone when it comes to
British authors. This may lead to the belief that many of these authors were in fact utterly alone
themselves at one point in their lives with many authors or artists being drug addicts or class
outcasts. That might have even possibly why they started to write because they were alone, like
Orlando. The wonder and thought surrounding the solidarity of keeping to one’s self remains a theme
in literature even to this day and I believe the only time we will se an end to the theme is when
not a single person is ever alone physically or in spirit.


Many people accuse the works of the past to be extremely sexist, such as the feminists like Virginia
Woolf. The gender theme of passive women confirms it where women usually are not given a strong
voice and are often given hardships in which they must deal with quietly and are mostly not given
mch intelligence. This is apparent in Charles Dickens’s book Oliver Twist where the mother is found
on the street and gives an excruciating birth from which she dies from and is never given a large
role. Her spirit and what she leaves behind will make a big impact on the plot but she herself is
not even named till very late in the novel. It turned out that she herself was in fact such a
passive woman that instead of burdening her family with Oliver’s birth she chooses to give birth and
die anonymously in a warehouse, forced to deal with this hardship quietly. In John Milton’s Paradise
Lost, Eve from Adam and Eve is a prime example of this gender theme. During the course of this
religious work of the Genesis story, Eve is obviously given a pretty substantial part in being
decieved by Satan and forcing Adam to also eat the fruit, but after God himself says that now women
must suffer the pain of childbirth and must submit to their husbands. This displays how submissive
the women is in this story, where she does not make any major decisions by herself only told what to
do, and she now is forced to suffer hardship in the form of childbirth. A claim can also be made
that Alice in Lewis Carroll’s work is made to be helpless and lack of controll of her surroundings.
She often does not have any idea what is going on around her and she had no choice in the matter of
leaving her home. She never wanted to run away in fact she only wanted to she why the rabbit was
wearing a suit with a pocket watch. During the whole story she is not given any real intelligence
and is only guided in certain directions by the influences around her. Also in Robert Herricks poem
To the Virgins he is obviously talking about females and in essence the poem is saying don’t waste
time, you won’t be young forever. Lines like “For having lost but once your prime” give the
impression that he wants to say soon you will be old. He gives several metaphors of how being young
is better than being old and there is nothing these women can do about it. Woman in literature have
been the pawns of men in many of these male-authored works. The authors being men themselves are
probably simply writing from their points of view during their times. Even so, women in past
literature have consistently gotten passive roles that in their own way may be important but not
usually pivotal or authoritative, but in modern times things are changing.


Literature is a representation of the people of the time who are writing it. British Literature
seems to have done a fine job of capturing the past. Some of the devices that have emerged and
revolutions that have occurred in this area have spread and are continuing to be used today. Many
devices of old literature are unavoidable today and continue to be dominant in the scene today.
Romanticism and the novel form will most likely be around for centuries to come and pain causing
settings combined with dismal endings will most likely be used again now that we have been properly
taught. It would be a social evolution to start seeing the gender gap start to close as men and
women are equal today in society therefore hopefully literature will follow suit quickly. British
Literature has and probably will continue to persevere throughout the world as the language gains
popularity and spreads.



Works Cited
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Lodon: T. Egerton, Whitehall, 1813.
Carroll, Lewis. Alice in Wonderland. London: Macmillan, 1865.
Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. London, 1719.
Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist. London: Chapman & Hall, 1839.
Herrick, Robert. Hesperides (to the Virgins). London, 1648.
Houseman, AE. A Shropshire Lad. London: Ballantyne, Hanson, & Co., 1908.
Lessing, Doris. The Good Terrorist. London: Jonathan Cape Ltd, 1985.
Milton, John. Paradise Lost. London: Samuel Simmons, 1667.
Orwell, George. 1984. London: Secker and Warburg, 1949.
Shelley, Mary. The Modern Prometheus. London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones, 1818.

Tolkien, JRR. The Lord of the Rings. London: Allen & Unwin, 1954.
Wolf, Virginia. Orlando. London, 1928.
Wolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse. London: Hogarth P, 1927.
Wordsworth, William, and Samuel T. Coleridge. Lyrical Ballads. London: Biggs and Cottle, 1798.
Wordsworth, William. Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour. London, 1798.

   
   
   
   
   
   
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