Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights: An Examination of the Diametrically Opposed

This is absolutely my favorite essay from my first year university English class. Some people really don’t like this novel, but I quite enjoyed the complexity of it (I still don’t like the characters though). The amount of contrast in it allowed me to write a pretty killer essay (I even had to cut a large portion out to stay within the word count limit!). Pretty nerdy stuff…

Rayna Anderson
February 3, 2015

Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights:
An Examination of the Diametrically Opposed

Wuthering Heights is a classic masterpiece that contains a wealth of complex literary marvels. With an intricate plotline, unprecedented themes, and a distinctive style of narration, Emily Brontë has created a novel full of imagery, emotion, and intense personalities. The characters and locale display extreme contrast with minimal similarities. Characteristics and actions fall on opposite ends of an unseen spectrum. Brontë’s use of juxtaposition enhances the distinct contrast that is present in the novel. The characters express their love through either passion or rationality, Heathcliff and Edgar are opposites of one another, and Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange are contradictory in every aspect of their being. Continue reading

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The Colossal Significance of Setting

First year university English strikes again! We read a lot of novels and short stories over the course of that year. This essay prompt was easy to write about, as both F. Scott Fitzgerald and Alister MacLeod use setting as really important parts of their writing. If you have never heard of Alister MacLeod (especially if you’re Canadian!), you should really check out his collection of short stories.

Rayna Anderson
March 31, 2015

The Colossal Significance of Setting:
Exploring the Writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Alistair MacLeod

There are few elements of fiction that are able to evoke the senses, reveal key details, disclose connections between characters, and allow readers to transcend both time and place, all within a few complex introductory paragraphs. Setting encompasses all of these components and so many more. The tone conveyed through the description in a novel or short story heavily controls the mood and atmosphere. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald uses setting as a means of distinguishing social classes and highlighting the inequality of the 1920s. “The Lost Salt Gift of Blood” by Alistair MacLeod employs setting to divulge hints about the plot and delineate the physical location of the short story. Setting frequently impacts characters so much that their lives are altered due to a defining moment; Alistair MacLeod accentuates this in “The Road to Rankin’s Point.” These three works rely on setting to present topography and unique scenery, distinctive character traits, and dialect. It is also used to display the characters’ feelings and confine action to a certain locale. Setting is an essential element of fiction that is significant to characters, reveals details about the plot, and creates connections to the themes of a piece of literature. Continue reading

A Fool Disguised as the King’s Advisor

In my first year university English class, I once again trudged through Hamlet. I enjoyed dissecting it much more with my prof than I had with my boring high school teacher.
We had some really specific topics to choose from for our essays, so I decided to talk about Polonius and how ridiculous he is. (We used MLA citation for anyone who wants to find this awesome reference book.) I was pretty happy with how this turned because Polonius is a complete tool and it made me mad to have to keep rereading so many of his lines.
If anyone thinks that Hamlet is truly 100% crazy, let’s agree to disagree. 😉
Enjoy!

Rayna Anderson
November 13, 2014

In William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, Polonius offers his council to King Claudius through his role as Lord Chamberlain. Polonius may appear to be wise, but he is truly foolish. Hamlet sees Polonius for the fool he is, but Claudius does not realize his true nature. Polonius uses words to appear to have intelligence, yet Hamlet – the true scholar – uses equivocation to purposefully confuse Polonius with the use of genuine intellect. Polonius chooses to embed himself in the lives of those around him. His intrusive behavior is ultimately what leads to his death. It is clear through both his words and actions that Polonius is exceptionally foolish. The way he plays with words, meddles in the business of others, and uses people as pawns in his game of real-life chess highlights the flaws of his mentality. Continue reading