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Example research essay topic: X J Kennedy Literature An Introduction - 782 words

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In the Unholy Sonnet; after the Praying by Mark Jarman and Batter my Heart, Three-personal God, for You by John Donne, there lies very common subject matters. Both poems are expressing a feeling that the author has about his religion and its purpose in his life. Yet, although the subjects both poems are addressing are the same, the messages being delivered are slightly different. The likenesses within both of the poems are very great. They are similar in that the both are talking about their common religion, which seems to be Christianity. The common theme in both poems is centered on what the speaker in the poem wants God to help him do.

Both speakers share the belief that being sin free is very hard work. This is shown in Jarman's poem when the speaker states, After the praying, after the hymn singing, / After the communion, after the hand wringing (Jarman 1, 4). This is shown in Donne's poem when the speaker states, That I may rise and stand, overthrow me, and bend / Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new (Donne 3). So as you see one of the main common themes is that being good and pure is no easy task. Although both poems are very similar, the points of views are very different.

In the poem by Jarman, the author is trying to portray the feeling that one gets after he or she is done repenting for past sins and praying for forgiveness. It is present in the uncomfortable feeling that the sinner is still not fully clean, and that personal desires will always be present. In the lines stating, There is, as doctors say about some pain Discomfort knowing that despite your prayers Your listening and rejoicing, your small part In this communal stab at coming clean, There is still one stubborn remnant of your cares intact (Jarman 9), This is where Jarman's major point is made. In reading these lines, one can confer that the speaker doesnt really hold much worth in what he does in the church. It is almost like he is in a play portraying the character of an honest person but when the show is over he is still that same person he is. In Donne's poem the point of view is of a sinner that feels as if he has no control over his body and is sort of begging God to do what ever he can to cleanse the evil out.

In the title alone, Batter my Heart, one can perceive that this person is in a struggle and wants to be saved by any means. This is shown in the lines, Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain, But am betrothed unto Your enemy; Divorce me, untie or break that knot again; Take me to You, imprison me, for I, Except You enthrall me, never shall be free, (Donne 9). Especially in the second to last line, Except You enthrall me, never shall be free, the speaker really tells the reader that, unless God use his supreme power to release this sinner from the devil, he will never be free. This is a very powerful statement.

It shows that the speaker has great faith in his religion with out any doubts. Another distinction between the poems is that, in Jarman's poem the speaker is sort of expressing the fact that although he keeps sin in his heart, it is no one elses fault but his. On the other hand in Donne's poem, the reader gets the sense that sole responsibility is being put on God because the speaker feels that he has no control over his own sinning. This is very important because it shows more stability, and therefore the statements made by speaker in Jarman's poem seem more valid to the reader.

In reading both poems, the reader gets a sense that each poem represents a stage in the speakers life in terms of his religion. In Donne's poem the speaker still wants to fight the evilness and be good. But in Jarman's poem the speaker is at that point where he realizes that no amount of fighting is going to save him or make him good. Sort of like a realization that what he has been told all along is untrue. Works Cited Donne, John.

Batter My Heart, Tree-personal God, For You. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Eds. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia.

New York: Longman, 1999. 704. Jarman, Mark. Unholy Sonnet: After the Praying. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Eds. X.

J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Longman, 1999. 820 - 821.


Free research essays on topics related to: poetry and drama, fiction poetry, york longman 1999, literature an introduction, x j kennedy

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