Wednesday, October 3, 2007


While reading these four works of literature, we are shown great emotion within the speakers. It is not often that we are so greatly let into the minds of the speaker, unveiling what he or she is thinking. In “The Cask of Amontillado”, “My Last Duchess”, “Ode to American English”, and “America”, we can see how one can express so much by showing their true emotions and feelings.
In the story “The Cask of Amontillado”, Montresor speaks avidly of wanting to get revenge on Fortunato. Montresor brainstorms the idea of luring him into his vault and taking advantage of Fortunato’s love of wine. Although Fortunato begins to cough from the dampness, he continues to travel farther into the vault for the sherry. In the end, Montresor closes the entrance, brick by brick, so that Fortunato is buried alive. Montresor lets revenge get the best of him, although he never informs the reader of what Fortunato has done to him.
Revenge and jealously are also the theme in “My Last Duchess”, written by Robert Browning. In this poem, a Duke gives a tour of his house to a woman who has come to confirm his marriage. The Duke stops to show the woman a lovely portrait of his young, beautiful, deceased wife. As he reminisces about her, the reader is made aware that he may have been the cause of her death. We realize more about her sexual behavior with other men, and that he may not have gotten all the attention he wanted her to give to him. We can tell from the line "he gave commands, then all smiles stopped together", that his jealousy got the best of him, and this leads to her death.
Another emotion that we are shown in these readings is that of anger and frustration. In “America”, by Tony Hoagland, the speaker is a teacher who explains the frustration he has with America, such as the elements of pop culture and the money hungry people in our country. In the middle of the poem, he shows a new emotion, which is ashamedness. In the line “And I think, “I am asleep in America too, and I don’t know how to wake myself either,””, we are shown his embarrassment for doing exactly what he is angry at Americans for. Towards the end, he sheds like on hope, and lets us know that if a change is going to occur, we must be the one to take action.
In “Ode to American English”, another poem about America, the speaker conveys an emotion opposite from the anger shown in “America”. The speaker here shows her appreciation and home sickness for American dialogue while she is on a trip in Paris. What I like about this poem is that the speaker talks about the quirky facets of America, which shows her true American Pride.

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