Literary Analysis

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Painting the Pages with Abstract Words: Creative writing is a tool that can effectively evoke connections with a reader and a piece of writing. Whether these connections are personal, or simply thought provoking, I believe it better helps us become immersed in such writings as “Tabula Asiae”, by Michael Ondaatje. The use of a sense of place forces one to picture themselves in the story being told. Tabula Asiae uses metaphoric phrases that makes the essay much more interesting to read. “the wife of many marriages, courted by invaders who stepped ashore and claimed everything with power of their sword or bible or language” (Ondaatje 99). The sentence used here by Ondaatje creatively elaborates on the historical tale of Ceylon, which describes that “The island seduced all of Europe” (99). This is where I believe a slice of history makes an appearance in the essay. Although Ondaatje’s essay seems a bit imaginary and dreamy, it definitely does have historical references and occurrences mentioned within its body. When one compares an essay like “Tabula Asiae” with other nonfiction essays like “How I Learned to Read and Write” by Frederick Douglass, it becomes abundantly clear that Douglass’ essay is a nonfiction piece focused more on personal experiences as the primary nonfiction form of writing. Once you start reading Douglass’ essay, you instantly become impressed with his cleverness, heart, and strives to become a fluent reader and writer. An example of the personal experience form is used in most of the body of Douglass‘ essay, especially this sentence- “I was now about twelve years old, and the thought of being ~a slave for life~ began to bear heavily upon my heart. Just about this time, I got hold of a book entitled The Columbian Orator. Every opportunity I got, I used to read this book.” (Douglass 89.) For me, Douglass immediately establishes a link, which gives me an astonishing need to cheer him on to become the man he wants to become. The two essays...
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