Notes for Comparison of Donne and W; T

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  • Topic: Religion, Faith, Science
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Comparison of Donne and W;t

Names
-Ashford, Bearing, Monhan are British names
-However Kelekian has Middle Eastern origin and Posner is Polish Jewish -Multiculturalism
-Christianity is no longer an assumed norm

Context
DonneW;t
-England was going through a time of rapid change
-Renaissance and the Reformation of the Church
-Highly religious era, spiritual connection and faith very important -Dealing with death in this age of limited science knowledge -Reliance on religious means in order to accept the inevitability of death -Promise of salvation

-Connection with God-Time of rapid change in technology and scientific knowledge -Religion losing importance in people’s lives
-Cold, depersonalisation of the medical world
-Existential view of world – evaluation of ones own worth through achievements and social status

Vivian’s Movement towards enlightenment:
Use of ellipse and the shift to more colloquial language •Her own understanding of life and death and their true meaning •Rejection of Donne
Abandons her arrogant pride in her intellect and academic accomplishments “now is not a time for… metaphysical conceit…now is a time for…simplicity…kindness”

Vivian’s Loss of Control over her own Actions
Symbolized by her uncontrollable vomiting, her interrupted reminiscences of a lecture she gave on If Pysonous minerals -Her fruitless attempts to reassert control by reciting Donne’s poetry -Use of words to defend herself against her fear of death

Redemption
Having learnt the meaning of compassion and importance of human connection – able to rest in peace and move on •Symbolised by Vivian’s ascent towards the light

Similarities
DonneW;t
“Death be not proud”
“Thou art slave”
Donne personifies Death and strips Death of its “mightiness”. •Disempowers deathVivian chooses to be “DNR”
Disempowers death
Chooses her own fate
Willingness to die
Personal Crisis – IDENTITY
“This is my playes last scene”
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