Running head: INTRODUCTION TO LITERATURE
Introduction to Literature
A short story and poem, no matter how structurally different are two literary pieces where a rich story is embedded. Readers are drawn towards these scripts by means of rhythm (poem), characterization, or a fictional setting in their respective narratives. However, the mere script would not make it entertaining enough. It would depend on the imagination of the readers as they are reading the literary script. Every reader has their own way of visualizing the descriptions and symbolism used by the author. The two literary pieces, “The Road Not Taken” which is a poem and the short story “Used to Live Here Once” are sharing the same theme, which is, every person’s journey is greatly governed by their decisions, and no matter how many paths there maybe, it is still the person who determines the ending of his or her journey. On the other hand, the theme unfolded differently in these two literary pieces. First, Robert Frost in his “The Road Not Taken” hinted in his poem that the character would be going through a journey. And since he used the first person character, which was “I” it was easier to imagine him as the one who is going through the journey. On the contrary, the short story “Used to live Here Once” was written in third person, or “she”. But based on the author’s presentation, I readily imagined an alone woman as the character in the story. I was able to confirm this, because of a certain part in the story where the woman was talking to animals as she was walking like “Out of my way, all you foxes, owls, and beetles”. Because of this characterization, I easily felt solitude in the story. The part where the woman was depicted to be walking uphill is a representation of her struggles in her journey. It is literally hard to walk in an uphill, and considering the woman’s age, it would be even more exhausting for her to reach her destination. This part merely suggests the hard life that the woman is currently living. It is inevitable for the reader to really feel pity over the character. “Used to Live Here Once” used the third person, but either way, it was still able to present solitude in its own distinct way. Some lines that strongly suggest solitude are “She came to the worn steps” and “She was standing by the river”. Basically, the differences in the kind of solitude in the literary pieces were greatly affected by the choices that the character made. A story’s setting also affects the kind of engagement that the readers will have with the story. An illustration would be the title of the Road Not Taken. From the title itself, the reader can already sense the conflict in the poem. In fact, the first line of the poem “two roads diverged in yellow wood” made me contemplate as a reader where the two roads could possibly lead me. Moreover, the first person narrative of the poem makes it easier for a reader like me to relate to it, to put myself into the story and character because of the more personal approach. Frost’s writing allows the reader to take his perspective on things, for instance his description of a certain path “where it bent in the undergrowth” and “grassy and wanted wear”. These descriptions made it clear enough for the readers that there are two distinct paths but are both leading to the same destination. Another interpretation for this is a person’s attachment to something that is special for him. Usually when presented with two paths, an individual would choose to take the path less traveled, but in this poem Frost does not give us this option. It is clear that both paths have the same amount of wear. Poetry is definitely filled with symbolisms since it is one of its features. For example, the color yellow could mean an aging or something that is starting to lose its value. Another interpretation could also be a reference to the character of Dorothy of...
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