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John Donne’s The Sun Rising

John Donne’s “The Sun Rising”

In his poem, “The Sun Rising,” Donne immerses the reader into his transmuted reality with an apostrophe to the “busy old fool, unruly sun” that “through curtains” calls upon him, seizing him from the bliss which “no season knows.” This bliss, a passionate love, stimulates him to reinvent reality within the confines of his own mind, a wishful thinking from which he does not readily depart, much like a sleepy child clings to the consequences of a dream.

In his address to the sun, he bids “the saucy, pedantic wretch” “go chide late schoolboys, and sour prentices,” resembling a petulant youth imploring for more time to slumber. His reference to the sun as “saucy” and “pedantic” evinces his aversion to the hindrance that time poses upon his life. The rude, or “saucy” morning intrudes upon his rapture, a punctual reminder that time ceases for nothing and for no one.

The speaker then boastfully asserts his power over the sun’s rays, stating that “he could eclipse and cloud them with a wink, but that he would not lose her sight so long.” This obviously undermines his argument because if it were not for those same beams of light, he would not see his love. Donne surely was aware of the ridiculous nature of this assertion; he appears to be attempting to accentuate the flaws in his argument against the sun, perhaps to emphasize the foolishness of a person in love. He continues this emphasis with his claim that all the riches and nobility the sun has seen “all here in one bed lie.”

His frivolous praise to his love continues; he declares that he and his mistress are superior not only to the ruler of the sky, but all others as well. “Princes” he sneers “do but play us.” He declares that “all honour’s mimic” of the reverence he and his love share, that “all wealth alchemy” compared to the splendor of love, and that the sun is but “half as happy” as this couple.

It is evident that the speaker is aware of his folly; his foolish, yet eloquent speech is solely for the benefit of his beloved.

Human Nature in The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg

Human Nature in “The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg” In this work, Mark Twain portrays the town of Hadleyburg as greedy, hypocritical, and morally vulnerable with his outstanding tone of humour and satire. Human nature from the viewpoint of Mark Twain embraces two significant factors: socially acquired consciousness about morality, and the greedy, instinctive desire for material wealth. With regard to morality, townsfolk in Hadleyburg take pride in the incorruptibility of their honesty and morality so much so that they want to perpetuate that tradition with the help of education. In other words, the overwhelming pride or vanity is the main reason why so-called “incorruptible” Hadleyburg’s people are so eager to pursue morality. As the people’s attachment to morality is the result of the artificial education and the unlimited vanity for moral superiority, the incorruptibility in question is likely to be under the attack of strong temptation. On the other hand, the endless desire to enlarge economic power emerges as the incident of the mysterious sack is made public. Without exception, nineteen people who are regarded as the most honest and upright finally give in to the powerful temptation of money. In the course of the temptation, Mark Twain shows how vulnerable human beings are to materialism and how much hypocrisy in the name of morality conceals a greedy human nature. In conclusion, Mark Twain’s pessimistic view of humankind resembles “a frank despiser[Goodson] of the human species”; furthermore, his incisive satire lays bare humankind’s ill-disguised efforts to hide snobbishness and the vanity of human desire, which is deeply embedded in us, not to mention Hadleyburg’s people.

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