Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Poe, Browning, Hamby ,and Hoagland

In the poems “The Last Duchess” and “The Cask of Amontillado” they both share a common theme of obsession and reflection of murders that it seems each have committed. The speaker in the poem, the duke, reminisces on the life of his young and beautiful wife that has recently been killed because of her possibly promiscuous lifestyle. Throughout the poem the duke is planning his new marriage to a woman better than his first wife. He Duke believed that his previous wife did not appreciate the life that she had, because she flirted with everyone, and by the end of the poem it is made very clear that the duke had something to do with her death. This is seen through the lines “He gave commands/ then all smiles stopped all together”. Then there is the murder who speaks throughout the story written by Edgar Alan Poe, the story takes the reader through the events and attempts to explain why he committed the murder, never the event itself. I felt like there was a sense of mystery throughout the story involving the reason to why the actual murder was committed, the story does not provide the reader with an answer because the plot does not include many details linking Montresor’s motive; therefore leaving this job up to the reader. Within both of these I think that there was a lack of loyalty leading to both of the murders.

On the other hand in the other two poems, “Ode to American English” and “America” they both seem to have a sense of loyalty for their country just by writing about them in positive or negative lights. The views that are constructed by the writes of these two poems are completely opposite. Tony Hoagland uses a very creative tone to criticize American society; he even goes farther than that by making jokes and lightening the tone of the poem. The tone is fast paced and very energetic, I think that it was very clever to make this clear to the reader by almost writing it as if it was one sentence. Always keeping the pace and energy upbeat, which in my opinion adds to the point by making fun of Americans materialistic and conformist society. But Barbara Hamby offers a more emotional approach as she loathes to be in America still while in France. She speaks of positive aspects of our culture and society which are all reasons why she misses it so much. The pop culture that Hoagland laughs at Hamby admires.

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