Get help from the best in academic writing.

Discomfort, Irritation, and Confusion of The Bath

Discomfort, Irritation, and Confusion of The Bath

People are living robots. They follow the norm. They go with the latest trend. They walk the latest walk and talk the latest talk. Even the “brilliant ideas” that sprout from people’s minds are a combination of other people’s thoughts and ideas; friends, family and the media are the greatest influences. When a situation that is out of the norm confronts people, they are suddenly caught off guard, and instead of dealing with the situation, they shy away from it in attempt to return to their protective glass case; the norm. Raymond Carver forces his readers to face discomfort, irritation, and confusion through reading “The Bath”. His language is dry, and the story is short. The characters do not have names, the language does not flow well, and the ending leaves the reader hanging. The message of the story is vague, and the plot lacks depth; however, the details that this story reveals through the concise language surpasses any detail that “A Small, Good Thing” reveals through its abundance of words.

To begin with, “The Bath” lacks much usage of adverbs. Adverbs typically help describe an action so that the reader better understands either the character or the situation. Clearly, the point of not including adverbs in this short story is to force the reader to focus on what happens instead of how something happens. A short story is “something glimpsed from the corner of the eye, in passing” (Carver 558). A reader should not feel connected with the characters in the story because that is not the author’s main concern. An author simply attempts to convey a message through some words in a page that is arranged in …

… middle of paper …

… intentions for “A Small, Good Thing” differ from his intentions for “The Bath”.

Throughout “The Bath” the reader struggles with many uncomfortable feelings, and although the reader may not immediately realize that he/she can relate to the story more than he/she knows, a relationship is present. “The Bath” does a good job of putting the reader in the characters’ shoes. “A Small, Good Thing,” on the other hand, provides a comforting feeling of knowing everything that happens, and knowing that everything works out at the end. Since there is a beginning and an ending to the story, the reader can conclude a meaningful message from the story and relate or apply it to his/her life. Overall, “The Bath” sets the mood of the story better than “A Small, Good Thing” because of its concise language and its focus on “the glimpse” instead of the “big picture”.

Pagan and Christian Elements in Beowulf

Pagan and Christian Elements in Beowulf

The praised epic poem, Beowulf, is the first great heroic poem in English literature. The epic follows a courageous warrior named Beowulf throughout his young, adult life and into his old age. As a young man, Beowulf becomes a legendary hero when he saves the land of the Danes from the hellish creatures, Grendel and his mother. Later, after fifty years pass, Beowulf is an old man and a great king of the Geats. A monstrous dragon soon invades his peaceful kingdom and he defends his people courageously, dying in the process. His body is burned and his ashes are placed in a cave by the sea. By placing his ashes in the seaside cave, people passing by will always remember the legendary hero and king, Beowulf.

In this recognized epic, Beowulf, is abound in supernatural elements of pagan associations; however, the poem is the opposite of pagan barbarism. The presentation of the story telling moves fluidly within Christian surroundings as well as pagan ideals. Beowulf was a recited pagan folklore where the people of that time period believed in gods, goddesses, and monsters. It’s significance lies in an oral history where people memorized long, dense lines of tedious verse. Later, when a written tradition was introduced they began to write the story down on tablets. The old tale was not first told or invented by the commonly known, Beowulf poet. This is clear from investigations of the folk lore analogues. The manuscript was written by two scribes around AD 1000 in late West Saxon, the literary dialect of that period. It is believed that the scribes who put the old materials together into their present form were Christians and that his poem reflects a Christian tradition….

… middle of paper …

…e epic is the hero’s fame, a monument as enduring as earth.

Works Cited

Primary Source

Kermode, Frank, and John Hollander, et al. Beowulf. The Oxford Anthology of English Literature: Vol 1. New York: Oxford UP, 1973. 29-98.

Secondary Sources

Chickering, Howell D, Jr. Beowulf: A Dual-Language Edition. New York: Anchor, 1977.

Clark, George. Beowulf. New York: Twayne, 1990.

Holland-Crossley, Kevin, and Bruce Mitchell. Beowulf. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Poupard, Dennis, and Jelena O. Krstonc, ed. Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism: Volume 1. Michigan: Gale Research, 1988.

Morris, Richard, ed. Blickling Homilies: Sermon 17 of the Tenth Century, Old Series, no. 73. London: EETS, 1880. 209-11. Tuso, Joseph F, ed. Beowulf: The Donaldson Translation Backgrounds and Sources Criticism. New York: W.W. Norton, 1975.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.