Living in Darkness Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:25:15
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Category: Darkness

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Living in darkness is something that a lot of people can relate to when reading certain poems, stories and plays. The dark setting is common in literature as it transmits to the reader the emotions that the author and characters feel. This is demonstrated by three different works where the element of darkness and abandonment is common: A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner, Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka and The Raven, by Edger Allan Poe. Darkness can be a scary thing in a person life as it isolates them and encloses a person to react or do things that are not otherwise seen as normal.

The darkness that is perceived in William Faulkners A Rose for Emily is viewed through the eyes of the town. It starts out with Emilys funeral and how the men of the town assisted the funeral out of obligation while the ladies of the town attended out of curiosity since no one has been in Emilys house for many years. In this story the feeling of darkness is transmitted through the way Emilys life was describe, her father passed away leaving her with nothing and she did not handle it well.

She led a quiet, isolated life until she was forty, when she conducted china-painting classes for several years. When that period ended, she resumed her isolation (DiYanni, pg. 82). . Her father plotted this life for her and did not let her live freely as no one was ever good enough for her. After his death, the town always criticized the way she lived. She eventually developed a relationship with Homer, a construction worker, who she ended up killing and keeping his body in her house, as she feared the fact that he would leave her to.

The day of the funeral they discovered his body in one of the rooms and realized that for years time Emily was sleeping next to his dead body. The element of darkness is viewed through the way Emily viewed things. Her fathers death affected her so much and left her with an internal emptiness. That is why she closed her self from the town and tried to live a life that in her eyes was best, but she ended up dragging other people along the way with her. As scary as darkness can be, imagine waking up one day looking like a giant roach.

That is what happened in Franz Kafkas, Metamorphosis. Gregor, who was the head of household and worked very hard as a salesman to provide for his family and pay off his parents debt, woke up one day looking like a giant roach. His family kept him locked in his room because they were somewhat embarrassed of what he had become. To Gregor it seem that his family were worried more about what they were going to do to come up with money than to what was happening to him.

The neglect he was receiving from his family was very painful for Gregor, which is why he was kept in his room living in darkness and despair. His life ended due to an infection that was caused by his father who struck him with an apple trying to get Gregor back in his room. The apple caused him an infection that resulted to his death. Although his life had ended due to an infection it seems that his isolation and the neglect he was receiving from his family had ended his life a long time ago.

Edger Allan Poe in The Raven, held a darkness feeling as this poem was about a man who was depressed and felt isolated after his wife Leonors death. He tries to ease his sorrow for the lost Lenore, (DiYanni, pg. 1173) by distracting his mind with old books of forgotten lore (DiYanni, pg. 1173). He is interrupted while he is nearly napping, by a tapping sound on his chamber door, as he opens the door he sees nothing but darkness and he whispered Leonor in hopes of his lost love coming back, but all he heard was an echo that murmured back the word Lenore!

(DiYanni, pg. 1173) He then heard a loud tapping coming from the window he opens the shutter and discovers a raven, which flies into the room and lands above the door on a bust of Pallas, the goddess of wisdom and war in Greek mythology. It says Nevermore to all his thoughts and wishes. The raven is a symbol of death, tells the man he will nevermore see his beloved, never again hold her not even in heaven. His soul from out that shadow that the raven throws on the floor from the reflection of the lamp Shall be lifted ” Nevermore! (DiYanni, pg. 1173).

The darkness he felt was cause by the tragic reaction that the person he most loved will never be with him again. All three works represent different types darkness, isolation and abandonment. In A Rose for Emily, the darkness was transmitted through the way the town people viewed Emily to be as for Metamorphosis & The Raven they established their own darkness by living in isolation. In Metamorphosis Gregor was secluded in his room because he did not want anyone to see the type of monster he had become and in The Raven, the man felt abandoned after the death of his love as he knew that he will never see her again.

Darkness can be viewed in different ways and can represent a lot of different things. When a person is feeling depressed and reads a poem a story that already had that element integrated it is easier to connect the emotion with the story or poem. The narrator of: A Rose for Emily provides this imagery of words to describe the type of darkness and isolation Emily lived in: It smelled of dust and disuse”a close, dank smell. The Negro led them into the parlor. It was furnished in heavy, leather-covered furniture.

When the Negro opened the blinds of one window, they could see that the leather was cracked; and when they sat down, a faint dust rose sluggishly about their thighs, spinning with slow motes in the single sun-ray. On a tarnished gilt easel before the fireplace stood a crayon portrait of Miss Emilys father (DiYanni, pg. 84). The reader can picture the dust rising in the air giving a sense that Emily kept herself in her house sheltered from the outside world in her house.

As I was reading this story I felt sorry for Emily because her isolation was perhaps making her go insane. It seemed as if her father was all she had and his death affected her in many ways making her want to be alone and away from everyone all the time. Which is why she killed Homer because she was afraid of living through the same thing she lived with her father and she wanted to be able to keep him next to her all the time. In contrast the darkness that was transmitted in Metamorphosis was very different to the one that was conveyed in A Rose for Emily.

In Metamorphosis Gregor lived in darkness because his family kept him secluded in his room as they were embarrassed of the way he looked. As I was reading this story I realized that his depression was what was striking his darkness. He felt hopeless because he was the one his family looked up to as he was the sole provider taking care of all their need and from one day to another his family put him completely aside after he turned into a giant roach.

He realized that you are not worth anything if you do not put out as he did for years. His father would only enter his room twice a day to feed him and did not care of how he was doing; this struck me as if I were Gregor and it made me feel sad. After reading how his family had treated him it shows that we should only live and work to make ourselves happy and not try to please everyone else. Gregor hardly slept at all now, night or day.

He was often haunted by the idea that the next time the door opened he would take the familys affairs in hand again just as he used to do; once again after this long interval, there appeared in his thoughts the figures of the boss and the chief clerk, the salesmen and the apprentices, the messenger boy who was so dull-witted, Two or three friends in other firms, a chambermaid in one of the rural hotels, a sweet and fleeting memory, a cashier in a milliners shop, whom he had courted earnestly but too slowly”they all appeared, together with strangers or people he had quite forgotten, but instead of helping him and his family they were all inaccessible and he was glad when they vanished.

At other times he would not be in the mood to bother about his family, he was only filled with rage at the way they were neglecting him, and although he could not imagine what he might like to eat he would make plans for getting into the pantry to take the food that, after all, was due him, hungry or not. His sister no longer gave a second thought now to what might especially please him, but in the morning and at noon before she went to work hurriedly pushed into his room with her foot any food that was available, and in the evening cleared it out again with one sweep of the broom, heedless of whether it had been nibbled at, or”as most frequently happened”left completely untouched (DiYanni, pg. 613). This part was very sad and the emotions were fully transmitted through the words.

Gregor always wanted the best for his family and made sure he worked hard in order for them to live a good life, but they did not care about him at all. As time went by the neglect became more obvious making Gregor live more in this darkness that had become his new life. This shows that one should always make our life a priority rather than trying to please others because at the end the other people only look out for themselves! The poem The Raven, the darkness that was lived by the narrator is similar to the one that was lived by Emily in A Rose for Emily. The man in the poem is living in darkness and sorrow due to the death of his wife Leonor. He is kept in his room reading old books as he remembers his love in hopes of him seeing her again.

In comparison to Emily, as she griefs over her fathers death making her in denial in wanting to believe that her father was not dead, the narrator of The Raven is also in denial as he still holds hopes of some day seeing his wife again. Loosing someone that means so much to you can be heart broken and never understood. In The Raven he realizes that he will never see his beloved through a raven that only says nevermore as he asks questions that all result to the same answer. The emotions that are being transmitted through this poem are inevitable as it is someone that is brokenhearted because he lost the one thing that meant the world to him. When reading this poem and feeling what the narrator is putting out gives you the chills as you begin to feel the sadness of the words.

-Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, Lenore! This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, Lenore! Merely this and nothing more(DiYanni, pg. 1173). - Then, me thought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. Wretch, I cried, thy God hath lent thee by these angels he has sent thee Respite respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore! Quoth the raven, Nevermore. (DiYanni, pg. 1173). He knew that only in his dreams would he ever see or feel her again, while sitting in the dark made him miss her even more. After the raven answered all his questions with one single word did he realize that Leonor would only live in his memories and nothing more. He knew that being in denial would only cause him to isolate himself more from the reality. The main element that ties all three works together is the emotion of feeling sad, isolated and secluded. All three works represented darkness as they took place in a house or a room that kept them cut off from reality.

A lot of people can relate to these types of stories or poems because there are times when they feel depressed after loosing a loved one or when things do not turn out the way they wanted. They turn to literature perhaps for advice or simply to let out stress and when they come across work that relates to their life it some how makes them feel relief. Literature is sometimes the only thing one can turn to and at times it lets out pressure when you are able to express what you are feeling through a poem or a story. In conclusion, darkness can be very

Reference DiYanni, R. (2007). Literature: reading fiction, poetry, and drama. New York: McGraw Hill Publishing Inc.

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