Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Reading analysis 1

The three literary works, “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” by William Shakespeare, “When I consider how my light is spent” by John Milton, and “Know It All: Can Wikipedia Conquer Expertise?” by Stacy Schiff, all seem to have some sort of common theme although they are very different works. Each piece addresses a different individual or subject, and its flaws but in the end it seems that the flaws do not ruin the person object. Shakespeare addresses the flaws of another, while Milton discusses his own flaws, and Stacy writes about the problems of an online source we all know called Wikipedia. These three pieces are all significant in different ways but the underlying theme seems to be that nothing is perfect and is still very much important despite mutations, flaws, or problems.
Shakespeare seems to write of someone he detests and would not take a second look at, this is very clear when he describes her breath as ‘reeking.’ It is almost shocking in the closing lines because he describes his love for her as rare and describes her as almost heavenly. At this point we come to see that despite his mistress’ imperfections he truly does love and respect her. Milton’s poem is more about his own character. It has many similarities to Shakespeare’s poem in that he starts off almost in hatred of himself, the flawed ‘object.’ He soon realizes though that he can do his part in life despite his handicap and he does not need to be perfect. The final entry by Stacy Schiff is about a Wikipedia as opposed to a person. The whole article is about the faults of the program and how people alter it and add their own opinions. Despite the fact that some information is wrong and we can sometimes be lead astray, it is still very easy for us to use and we will continue to use it. These three pieces are very different from those that we read last week, “The Birthmark” and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” in that these works come to accept flaws and imperfection, while the other two works were about the inability to accept such shortcomings or defects.

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