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Tutor profile: Sarah C.

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Sarah C.
Writer and Editor
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

What are the differences between an antithesis, an oxymoron, and a paradox? What does each literary device provide to a piece?

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Sarah C.
Answer:

An antithesis is when two contrasting sentences or statements are placed closely to one another. It creates a contrast between the two items mentioned, allowing them to come together in order to create a whole image or idea. The purpose of an antithesis is to create a balance between two contrasting things and allow for a greater insight into the whole subject being created. An oxymoron is when two contrasting words are placed together yet somehow make sense and create a clear meaning (for example, cold fire or jumbo shrimp). It allows for an exploration of truth and a useful way for a writer to toy with semantics. A paradox consists of two contrasting ideas or concepts, yet when placed near each other create a significant/different value than they would on their own. Paradoxes may not typically jump off the page at first glance, but ultimately will provide and entirely new meaning to a piece upon reflection.

Subject: Shakespeare

TutorMe
Question:

In Act 4, Scene 1 of "Macbeth", Macbeth visits the three witches again to ask more about his future. What three apparitions do the witches show Macbeth, and what does each apparition warn him about? How does Macbeth respond to their warnings?

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Sarah C.
Answer:

The first apparition shown to Macbeth is an armored head, that exclaims Macbeth should fear Macduff. The second apparition is a bloody child that tells Macbeth he cannot be killed by any man that has been born of a woman. The third apparition is another child, this one wearing a crown and holding a tree. It warns Macbeth that he cannot be defeated until Birnam Wood moves to Dunsinane. Macbeth essentially disregards the witches' warning about Macduff, because he believes he is unstoppable, since no one is not of woman born, and that the woods could never physically move against him.

Subject: Literature

TutorMe
Question:

What does Toni Morrison's use of the supernatural in "Beloved" reveal about the themes of the novel? What commentary is Morrison trying to make through the return of Sethe's dead daughter?

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Sarah C.
Answer:

Toni Morrison uses the supernatural in this novel to represent the repercussions of American slavery and the lingering effect it has on African Americans to this day. While the slave trade ended centuries ago, that does not change the fact that it happened, in all its brutal glory. Beloved's ghost returning to haunt Sethe is an allegory for the haunting nature of American racism, and that despite its so-called demise, racism is still one of America's greatest shames. The novel, and the ghostly character of Beloved specifically, paint a vivid picture of the horrors of slavery all while depicting the draining effects of its stain on the African American people.

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