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ENGA10H3F Introduction to Literary Study 1890 to World War 2 (Essay Sample)

ENGA10H3F: Introduction to Literary Study: 1890 to World War 2 THE DUAL EFFECT (TWO ESSAYS) ESSAY 1 QUESTION While Joyce here notes that his primary concern is “to write a chapter of the moral history of [his] country,” Conrad states a less ambitious goal: “to make you hear, to make you feel [and . . .], before all, to make you see.” These objectives seem quite different, yet in both cases, they involve seeing and/or exposing that which otherwise goes unnoticed. For Joyce, this unnoticed reality comes into view as a result of “the gropings of a spiritual eye which seeks to adjust its vision to an exact focus” (Stephen Hero). For Conrad, this unnoticed reality comes into view through sudden, shocking exposure to what lies before his characters. It comes into view, in other words, by “facing it — always facing it” (Typhoon). Focusing on Heart of Darkness and on one story we have covered in Dubliners, compare and contrast an important missed or realized insight. (Focus either on a missed insight in each text or on a realized one in each text, not on one of each, as this would get confusing.) If you are looking at a missed insight, what is denied or left unseen? If you are looking at a realized insight, what is experienced or seen? What is the effect of this insight, or lack thereof? What, ultimately, is significant about this comparison? How, in other words, does this comparison reveal the pressing questions Conrad and Joyce are both asking at the turn of the 20th century? What are these questions, and why are they important, both then and now? If you choose to focus on a realized insight, you may wish to include a discussion of the following quotes, one in which Marlow hears and faces “the horror, the horror,” but does not expose Kurtz's intended to it, and one in which Gabriel faces a different kind of ghostly reality: "'Forgive me. I--I--have mourned so long in silence--in silence. . . . You were with him--to the last? I think of his loneliness. Nobody near to understand him as I would have understood. Perhaps no one to hear. . . .' "'To the very end,' I said, shakily. 'I heard his very last words. . . .' I stopped in a fright. “'Repeat them,' she said in a heart-broken tone. 'I want--I want--something--something--to--to live with.' "I was on the point of crying at her, 'Don't you hear them?' The dusk was repeating them in a persistent whisper all around us, in a whisper that seemed to swell menacingly like the first whisper of a rising wind. 'The horror! The horror!' "'His last word--to live with,' she murmured. 'Don't you understand I loved him--I loved him--I loved him!' "I pulled myself together and spoke slowly. "'The last word he pronounced was--your name.' "I heard a light sigh, and then my heart stood still, stopped dead short by an exulting and terrible cry, by the cry of inconceivable triumph and of unspeakable pain. 'I knew it--I was sure!' . . . She knew. She was sure. (Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness) Generous tears filled Gabriel's eyes. He had never felt like that himself towards any woman but he knew that such a feeling must be love. The tears gathered more thickly in his eyes and in the partial darkness he imagined he saw the form of a young man standing under a dripping tree. Other forms were near. His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend, their wayward and flickering existence. His own identity was fading out into a grey impalpable world: the solid world itself which these dead had one time reared and lived in was dissolving and dwindling. A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead. (James Joyce, “The Dead”) source..
ENGA10H3F: Introduction to Literary Study: 1890 to World War 2 The dual effect (two essays)

Presented to
Ms. Deidre Flynn
Etienne, Jonathan François (100031538)
On October 29, 2012
University of Toronto
Essay One
From Dark to Light, falling from the Sky are Snow and Ice: Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and James Joyce’s “The Dead” in Dubliners: Literary Touchstone Classic.
Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and James Joyce’s story “The Dead” portray the human condition of self-deception, whereby human beings live a life of constructed reality. They believe in lies, while their eyes and minds are blind to truth and reality. In Heart of Darkness, Marlow, the protagonist of the story, comes to this realization when he goes to see the late Kurtz’s fiancé. Similarly, James Joyce portrays self deception in “The Dead” through the character of Gabriel Conroy. Gabriel believes, incorrectly so, that he is the only love in his wife’s love. He also believes that he loves her wife perfectly, and is blind to the fact than another man once loved her more than he will ever do. This realization awakens him to the reality of his self-deception, prompting him to embark on a journey of self-discovery and understanding life in a new light. These new insights are important in that they portray life as a fiction, a false reality that people construct and live according to their own, limited knowledge, expectations and beliefs. This essay explores the new insights that the characters of Marlow in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Gabriel Conroy in James Joyce’s “The Dead” experience regarding human nature.
The Heart of Darkness shows that human beings are prone to creating wrong impressions about others. Marlow, after witnessing the atrocities that Kurtz committed against the natives of the Congo, arrived at the assumption that Kurtz was the real heart of darkness, the savage who killed and robbed without remorse. This understanding of Kurtz, however, is challenged when he meet his long suffering love, the fiancé who awaited Kurtz in Europe. He learns that she really loved Kurtz, and lived in the deceptive lie that Kurtz loved her in turn. Marlow understands that Kurtz was not a loving man, and did not believe for an instant that he can inspire love in others. His fiancé’s words showed how wrong Marlow was in his assumptions. She states: “Forgive me. I--I--have mourned so long in silence--in silence. . . . You were with him--to the last? I think of his loneliness. Nobody near to understand him as I would have understood” (Conrad 106). This statement shows that people can easily make wrong conclusions concerning the lives of others. In this case, Marlow could not have envisioned Kurt as deserving of love in the manner that his fiancé expressed. Because he did not wish to disappoint her, he lies to her that Kurtz’s last words were her name. Marl...
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