eXPLORE HOW TIME AND PLACE ARE USED IN LA BELLE DAM SANS MERCI AND WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE TO SHAPE THE READERS UNDERSTANDING OF IMAGINITIVE JOURNEYS bY lAUREN o’NEILL
Imaginative journeys can be explored using the aspects of time and place through numerous different elaborate ways, this is exhibited in the exploration of Keats’ poem ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ and the children’s text ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ which was written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Both these texts were written during different eras, with Keats’ poetry being written in the 18th century, in comparison to Sendak, who first published his novel in 1963. These varying contexts greatly affected how the texts were written and presented the ideas of imaginative journeys. Keats’ lived in an era that was rife with the romanticism movement, an arts and literature based movement which originated in Europe and lead to highly structured poetry, strongly exhibited in all of Keats’ works, but especially so in La Belle. These movement were accompanied with anti-intellectualism, those that were believers in anti-intellectualism theorised that nothing could be rationalised, with nature being valued among all else, which is also a large aspect of Keats’ writing. In the medieval ballad this love of nature is witnessed with “The sedge has withered from the lake”, as Keats beautifully entwines natural sympathy with a metaphor that suggests that the protagonist of the poem, the “knight-at-arms” is close to death, this could also further symbolise his imaginative journey coming to an end. Sendak’s context is highly differentiated from Keat’s, as he was belonging to the 20th century, with modernist and post-modernist literature being all the rage during this time period. Though both authors shared the love of nature. The use of nature is a large aspect of The Wild Things setting, in both a visual and written sense. Sendak uses nature to his advantage through lines such as “a forest grew… and grew… and...
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