Literary Works Essay

I will discuss the point of view, character development, theme, setting, symbolism, and tone. Point of view within a literary work is defined as “who tells the story or how the action is presented to the reader” (Glutton, 2010). There are different types of points of view. The primary two that we tend to discuss or recognize are: First-person point of view, or when the narrator or story teller is a part of the story and the third-person point of view- this is when the narrator is not a part of the story being told.

The third-person point of view has two forms: omniscient which is an “all knowing point of view’ and limited omniscient when the “thoughts and feelings of only one of the characters are related through the narrator” (Glutton, 2010). In Rays’ short story “Used to Live Here Once” , it is told in third-person unlike Dickinson “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”, which is told in two different points of view, both Dickens’s and the speaker or the person dying.

In Dickens’s poem, I feel that it was very important for her to tell the story in a limited omniscient point of view so that we as the readers could get a greater feel for what the theme of the story was. When reading a story, one would think that the character or “the imaginary person within the story’ and character development would take quite a while to occur (Glutton, 2010). “Character development is an important skill to master because characters are important parts of any creative writing from books and short stories” (Anonymous, 2011).

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In Rays’ short story, “Used to Live Here Once”, one can tell that the main character in the story is not the narrator unlike in Dickens’s poem, Because I Did Not Stop for Death. In reading and comparing the two, the writing styles of developing the characters are impolitely different. If you did not know any better, one would think that Dickinson was writing this poem from the grave herself. She goes into great detail explaining what all she was too busy doing to have time to even die, “…. We passed the school, where children strove…. ” (Dickinson, 1890/1983).

She also refers to death as a gentleman caller, like it is an actual person. Rays’ main character was described by Rays as she told the story. Rays makes sure that the character in her story revisits all of her favorite places that once were before she realized at the end of the story that nee Ana a The themes within a literary work is what tells us what the story is going to be about and what the idea behind the story is (Glutton, 2010). The theme of the story comes alive primarily through actions, characters and other elements throughout the story (Glutton, 2010).

The general themes in both the short story and the poem are the same: immortality and the transition into the afterlife or death. In Dickens’s poem, the overall theme is that death should not be feared because it is a natural part of life that we all must experience some day. It is how we deal with it that makes he transition either a smooth one or a very difficult one. As for Rays’ story, the theme is also death, but it includes a deeper Journey that is taken while the character is dying. Ultimately, Rays’ character doesn’t know that she is dead and that it is her spirit that has been traveling the entire time.

Ideally one would like to be in the loft of luxury when it is his or her time to pass away. The setting in these works does not necessarily indicate that the characters that are passing away are neither comfortable, nor uncomfortable. What the setting does allow is for the characters to play the most memorable or influential place within their minds. The setting within a literary work is the “time or place in which the action occurs” (Glutton, 2010). Emily Dickens’s, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”, is a short story in which Dickinson is telling the Journey that the speaker is going on while she is dying.

She takes into account all of the many things that the speaker has gone through in her life and those things in which the speaker feels made her happy or played an important role within her life. There is no distinct physical setting within the story; forever, the speaker is giving an account of the different places that she felt were important to her throughout her life Journey. Unlike Dickens’s, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”, Rays’ short story “Used to Live Here Once”, takes place in a country setting with woman crossing a river. In this story the setting is very clear and can be easily imagined while you are reading it.

Although Rays is telling the story, the character within the story is able to speak “through” Rays. She visits the home in which she grew up and attempts to speak with the children that are now living there ND playing in the yard, but she is unheard. I do believe that at this point and time is when she is unheard and unseen by the children, is when she realizes that she may indeed be dead. So we have determined that the two literary works have very different settings. Reading the stories and trying to imagine where the characters are within the story aids in setting the tone for the story.

Tone within a story or poem is “the attitude reflected by the author in a literary work; it identifies the author’s approach to the subject a story deals with” (Glutton, 2010). Tone can be somber, full, stressful, or any other such mood that the writer may be feeling at the time. The tone in “Used to Live Here Once” seems to be casual, calm and somewhat care free. In reading and re-reading the short story the character seemed to be very happy and content. The phrase “…. She walked along feeling extraordinarily happy, suggests that there was no hurry (Rays, 1976).

Much like “Used to Live Here Once”, Dickens’s poem “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”, also has a much laid back, relaxed type tone to it. The person dying in this poem also does not know that she is yin, but she makes it a point to visit all those places that seemed to have brought some type of happiness into her life. The places and things visited are represented tongue teen use AT symbols Day teen autumn. Symbolism In literary works according to Glutton is when something has a literary meaning but stands for something else (2010).

According to Glutton, symbols also have several different classifications whether they are historical, religious, cultural, and psychological ones (2010). The two literary works discussed in this paper have very different symbols that represent totally different things even though the theme of Journey and death are the same. In Dickens’s poem there are four very distinct symbols that I was able to pick out immediately. The Speaker is a woman who is speaking from the grave who has calmly accepted death. She welcomed death as a suitor that she planned to “marry.

The second is death or a suitor who called for the narrator to escort her to eternity. The third is immortality which was referred to as a passenger in the Cambridge. The last is the children on the school yard. I feel that they symbolized childhood as a stage of life. I also feel that the word passing that was used several times within the poem is the narrator’s attempt to have the character to transition onto death from life. As for Rays’ short story, I think the rocks in the story symbolize the different paths and Journeys in life that she had to take.

When she reaches the other side of the big stream, this symbolizes one of the major triumphs within her life. Another big symbol within the story is when she returns to the “house that had been added to and painted white” (Rays, 1976). This change made to the house symbolizes that not al things remain the same in life. Last but not least, the line at end of the poem “That was the first time she knew’, not so much a symbol but that moment when she realized that she had crossed over into death and could not go back into the living world (Rays, 1976).

In reading the two works, one can clearly see that there is symbolism throughout, however, the symbols portrayed in each work is completely different and are represented differently throughout. One thing cannot be denied in both of the literary works that I have been discussing throughout this paper is that he tone both the works is not very saddened at all. The tone or the author’s attitude when telling the story can make or break the story (Glutton, 2010). It can keep the reader interested or cause the reader to put down what he or she is reading and move on to something else.


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