Analysis of The Man Who Lived Underground

Topics: Paragraph, Citation, Parenthetical referencing Pages: 11 (3209 words) Published: November 13, 2013
Richard Yu
Mensah
English 102w
14 September 2013

In Wright’s “The Man Who Lived Underground”, Fred Daniels struggles with questions on guilt and identity as he wanders through the macabre underground. For example, a decorated dirt cave or wandering yellow lights are meaningful elements of setting that allows Daniels’ thoughts to manifest and change vague-manifest and change in what way?. Gradual mental changes what is a mental change? Be specific are elucidated by other literary techniques such as the metaphorical nature of water or classical references to illusory? blood in hallucination not clear. Daniels’ mental state shifts from guilty fear to maniacal pleasure and back. This is caused by his realization of the relationship between the freedom he obtains during his underground sojourn and aboveground life.

Primarily, Wright uses sanguine hallucinations construct Daniels’ something is missing here mood and water to symbolize his deliberations over freedom and guilt. The theme of a dangerous, ambiguous current of water is essential to showing Daniels’ feelings. Good Wright uses phrases such as “fearful velocity”, “hearing the water speed in the somber shadows”, and “felt the streaking water tugging violently at his body” (Wright 1440). Water has a foreboding presence throughout the story. This menacing nature of the water outlines the intent with which the aboveground society ascribes guilt to Daniels and blacks in general Excellent point. The reflective quality of water symbolizes how Daniels feels immense guilt as he reflects on himself throughout various points in the story. The deadly and reflective nature of water employed here is comparable to that of the Myth of Narcissus, where the titular character drowns while staring into his own image in water. Good New paragraph Further, Wright’s blood imagery strongly parallels a scene in Shakespearean literature when he describes Daniels during a bloody hallucination. “Red darkness”, “smooth silent stream that looked like a spout of blood”, “rich lather bloomed in his cupped fingers – like a scarlet sponge”, and “scrubbed and rinsed his hands meticulously” are phrases used to described Daniels’ perceptions and behaviors (Wright 1442). The use of color imagery in the form of differing shades of red represent blood, subsequently illustrating the extent of guilt that has been imposed on Daniels Good.  Guilt causes him to temporarily go insane and become delusional. This scene is reminiscent of another scene in Macbeth, where Lady Macbeth meticulously washes her hands, but cannot cleanse them. The famous lines, “Out, damned spot! Out, I say…who would have thought the old man would have so much blood in him” show how much the guilt of the murder weights on Lady Macbeth (Shakespeare). This parallels the weight of the guilt Daniels feels. Okay, but how does guilt manifest itself in Daniels. How is his actions similar to Lady Macbeth’s?Finally, foreshadowing further emphasizes the lethal nature of water. Your ideas are not organized well here—one paragraph for water, another for blood When Daniels encounters a rat, its death occurs with striking resemblance to that of Daniels’ own: “He grabbed the pole and let it fly against the rat’s body; there was shrill piping and the grizzly body splashed into the dun-colored water…” (Wright 1438). Eventually, by ruminating about himself and exploring the underground Daniels makes discoveries about his identity and the nature of pleasure and freedom. However, it is this very discovery that leads to his death, symbolized by his drowning in water: a physically reflective material that serves as a metaphor for Daniels’ inner reflections and realizations.

Moreover, through a chase, a series of pranks, and biblical imagery Wright shows how guilt shapes Daniels’ intentions as well as how a temporary freedom from guilt affects his actions and thoughts. Daniels’ escape contains vivid language that shows his main concerns and mental...

Cited: page is included if required.
2 The author does not cite most of the outside sources used for the paper, or, most of the author’s citations are improperly
formatted.
1 The author has a very poor command of MLA citation methods.
0 The author’s paper has no citations. Total MLA Grade:
Total Grade for Paper: 89/100 +3=92 A-
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