‘Mirror’ appears like a relatively simple poem. However, in no way does it lack depth: narrated from the point of view of a personified mirror, we witness the coming and going of a woman who looks in and reacts bitterly to what she sees. What I found most stunning about this poem were the contrasts. We never know first-hand what […]
A pot of basil, two lovers and a tragedy. It's a plot that will always sound like you've heard it before (save for the pot of basil.) This week, read my take on the tragic Romantic-era poem 'Isabella' by Keats.
It is rare to find that one book on my reading list leads so effortlessly into the next one, but no sooner had I emerged from Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter' did I stumble upon 'Unaccustomed Earth' by Jhumpa Lahiri, opening with this vivid epigraph (above). Long having claimed her place on my 'Favourite Authors' shelf, Lahiri brings her skill with the short story form to a life of travel and rootlessness.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter delves into one woman’s journey through guilt, temptation and societal humiliation. Set in a Puritan New England settlement, a young woman named Hester Prynne has been condemned to wear a ‘scarlet letter’ to shame her for having a child out of wedlock. Her husband, a traveler who is usually abroad, arrives to find her on […]
“What had gone wrong with these first descendants of the first great ocean crossing experiment? Was there not a substantial garden area, regular meals, clean clothes from Marks ‘n’ Sparks, A class top-notch education?” These are the telling words of White Teeth by Zadie Smith. It’s not only a riotous panorama of multicultural England, but also a must-have for any […]
Here's this week's creative experiment - a 200 word paragraph about a child playing in puddles after the rain, inspired by the rich imagery of The Great Gatsby.
In this post, I respond to what I have read in quite a few academic journals (links below) and make summary notes about the context and narrator. With the background knowledge to inspire my own analyses, I’ve sprung off some thoughts about Mansfield’s literary and writing choices. Step 2: Analysing the opening You can’t go wrong with the opening, right? […]