Define alliteration and provide an example of it from John Donne's Holy Sonnet 14 and how it serves the poem.
Alliteration is the repetition of words that contain the same consonants in any single line of poetry. In line 4 of Donne's Holy Sonnet the speaker states, "Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new." The repetition of "b" words in this line echoes the beginning of the poem, which starts with the word "batter". The words "break," "blow," and "burn" are harsh in their meaning and the consonant "b" is a harsh sounding one that requires some force to speak. Donne corresponds the sounds of words with their meanings in order to demonstrate a very physical relationship between the speaker and God.
The novel "Huckleberry Finn" takes place in the late 19th century, a time Mark Twain referred to as the "Gilded Age". What does Twain mean by this phrase and how does he demonstrates this idea in the novel?
By calling the late 1800s the "Gilded Age" Twain is describing an America that is much changed since the beginning of the century, particularly in the South. The Civil War has ended and all of the old antebellum ways of the South are "gone with the wind", yet there still remains the "appearance" that things have stayed the same. Underneath the appearance of grandiosity, Twain reveals some serious social problems that were plaguing the United States at this time. Twain demonstrates this best during Huck's time with the Grangerford family. They live in a beautiful and large house but it's not long before Huck begins to see cracks in their way of life. He notices a tabled piled with beautiful fruits but as he looks closer, he discovers that the fruits are fake and he can even see spots where the paint has chipped off. And then there is the family itself and their futile feud with the Shepherdsons that ends in tragedy. From far away everything seems grand and idyllic but it doesn't take long for Huck to see cracks in the facade.
In his poem "Ode on Melancholy" John Keats wrote the phrase, "Beauty that must die". How do these words relate to his own ideas of beauty and negative capability?
With this line, Keats is exploring the idea that even the most beautiful things on this earth are temporal and while this awareness of temporality haunts us, it also draws us closer to them and in turn, making them more precious. Keats' notion of negative capability invites readers to accept that beauty dwells with melancholy and to do so by embracing the mysteries and uncertainties of life.