Literature: Compare and Contrast - Literary Devices

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Literature: Compare and Contrast
Literary Devices
Kathy J. Shannon
University of Phoenix
Mickeal M. Donald, Instructor
September 3, 2010

Compare and Contrast
Literature offers a variety of literary works by authors of all ages, writing non-fiction and fictional stories, poetry, and essays. The act of analyzing two different authors by both comparing their work and isolating their contrasting elements, can be difficult, yet rewarding. Oedipus Rex (Sophocles'), written in 429 B.C., offers the author's use of Greek Mythology, oracles, Greek gods, deception, and murder. Throughout the series of events, the reader is given clues to the true identity of the murderer resulting in a traumatic climax. Sophocles' writes with certainty yet leaves the reader in virtual suspense anticipating the next event adding to the mystery. Is this done with deliberation? Can the reader actually conclude who the murderer is before the end of the story? Written in a way to confuse yet clarify the identity there is reason to believe this is purposeful and may be considered too revealing. The action is fast-paced, hurried, as though providing more background and detail is too consuming. I would offer that more detail, background, and history could enhance the effects on the reader in a positive way. The second literary work used to compare and contrast the writings is The Yellow Wallpaper (Gilman), set in the late 19th century, offering suspense and intrigue. The lady of the house has just given birth and her husband, the physician, sweeps her off to the countryside to recover from her unusual mental and physical state. The gradual twists by the writer begin to provide evidence of her mental state caused, in part, by the controlling nature of her husband. Her continued obsession with the yellow wallpaper that, in her mind seems to move, leads to a sudden end.

Gilman presents a type of fiction that, unlike Oedipus Rex, the reader can relate to due...
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