Evil has been described throughout time and in all places of the world in numerous ways. Tradition has taught both scholars and average individuals to appreciate the delicate balance between good and evil; right versus wrong; bad versus good. Hell has long been feared by many as the permanent resting place for tortured souls that committed unforgivable sins on Earth. To some, it is the simple fear, such as a monster underneath one’s bed, which lingers from that person’s childhood continuing to challenge the senses. To others, it is the inner voices within the mind expressing the ultimate freedom that can only be obtained by taking another life in a gruesome fashion. History has even allowed for the celebration preceding the Christian feast of All Saints Day. The observances connected with Halloween are thought to have originated among the ancient Druids, who believed that on that evening, Saman, the lord of the dead, called forth hosts of evil spirits. (Halloween np).
Clearly, evil has a past, and a very active future. The many variations of evil will be compared and contrasted through instruments such as poetry, art, and musical selections to gain a heightened awareness of what existed in the past, and still exists today.
Webster defines evil as, “morally wrong or bad; wicked; causing pain or trouble; threatening or bringing misfortune; unlucky; offensive, or anything causing harm.” (Neufeldt 471).
Although large in breadth and depth, this definition is symbolic of what most people relate to when they think of evil. However, the non-typical association with evil arrives in the form of mental torment or torturous thoughts ranging from negativity to self-destruction. Obvious to many, yet hidden from some, evil can manifest itself into one’s very being and begin a dangerous journey.
... a thing as good or evil. What is good and evil? Is evil a part of every human ... this supports the idea that man is inherently evil “she was black and pink: and the great ... flew.” (180). this says that man is inherently evil because piggy helpless was standing there and Roger ... body, which will heal over time. “Nothing is evil which is according to nature.” -Marcus Aurelius. This ...
The first poem to be analyzed is “The Slave Auction” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. (Harper 13).
[see appendix A]. This piece of work expresses evil in the states of brutality and sadness. Slavery is thought by some, as being “morally wrong.” In the poem, a woman describes the ruthlessness of the slave auction and the sadness which it induces. The woman speaks of young, defenseless girls crying and heartbroken mothers losing children and spouses. Tyrants tore apart families and ultimately dictated the people’s very existence. The woman states, “and mothers stood with streaming eyes, and saw their dearest children sold; unheeded rose their bitter cries, while tyrants bartered them for gold.” The woman portrays the slave drivers to be heartless tyrants who only care only about themselves. The woman concludes by saying, “ye who have laid your love to rest, and wept above their lifeless clay, know not the anguish of that breast, whose lov’d are rudely torn away.” The woman claims that the misfortune of losing a dear loved one cannot correlate to the physical and emotional eradication of having a someone “rudely torn away.” This poem expresses evil in its most primal state; cruelty. Cruelty is found all over the world on a daily basis ranging from childish ridicule to appalling murder. The poet, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, was born in Baltimore in 1825. Harper played a large part in the Anti-slavery movement and was a lecturer for the Anti- Slavery Society of Maine. Harper was considered one the most popular poets of her day. (Harper 12).
The second poem chosen is “Year That Trembled and Reel’d Beneath Me” by Walt Whitman. (Schmidgall 28).
[see appendix B]. Whitman explains how the past year has found the main character in a state of depression. In spite of efforts made to overlook the obstacles one is faced with, the main character becomes distraught. Whitman claims that “a thick gloom fell through the sunshine and darken’d me.” It is as if the sunshine is what the writer wants life to be, or what the writer attempts to see it as. The “thick gloom” represents the state of melancholy that Whitman finds himself in. Struggling with the thought of giving up and claiming defeat, Whitman asks the question of whether or not to “learn to chant the cold dirges of the baffled” and “sullen hymns of defeat.” This was clearly a battle of good versus evil. Whitman is fighting for sanity against an evil force of mental destruction. Whitman was considered one of the greatest of American poets. Europe had awarded Whitman recognition for of Leaves of Grass. However, the United States didn’t give full recognition to Whitman until after death. Today, Leaves of Grass is almost universally recognized as a masterpiece. (Allen 246).
Love in Carl Sandburg's Poems Love is one of the most frequently deployed themes in poetry, and it is understandable people are more willing to read and think about something that concerns them and affects their personal well being rather than something abstract. Love comes in different appearances as we look at different poets works, each of them has unique style and conceptualization, and Carl ...
The final poem to be analyzed is “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe. (Selected np).
[see appendix C]. This work describes the pain and mental anguish associated with death. The main character was deeply in love with Annabel Lee. “I was a child and she was a child, in this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love that was more than a love– I and my Annabel Lee; with a love that the winged seraphs of heaven coveted her and me.” Obviously the main character felt that while the two were young, love remained intensely strong and passionate, even having angels in heaven being jealous. Annabel Lee dies in the poem and the main character begins the grieving process, which includes anger resulting from loss. Poe states, “and neither the angels of heaven above, nor the demons down under the sea, can ever dissever my soul from the soul of the beautiful Annabel Lee.” Tortured and tormented, longing to be with Annabel Lee, the main character lays down beside the grave of his lost love and continues to mourn to the point of death. Even though this type of evil does not represent the typical impressions, it clearly defines evil. The author, Edgar Allan Poe, has been regarded as a tormented individual with a colorful past. Poe was born in Boston, MA on January 9, 1809. Poe married Virginia, a cousin of the Poe family who was only 13 at the time. When Virginia died, Poe became increasingly depressed and erratic. (Poe np).
Jorge Graham's invention of her distinct literary style makes it possible to assume the complicated glamour of her poems is an examination of a deeper importance. In her more recent book, The Errancy, Graham explicitly rests upon the reader a sense of uneasiness as she explores the course of consciousness through its various guises: spiritual, sexual, ethical, and epistemological. This quest for ...
It is not difficult to absorb Poe’s feelings and intentions throughout this poem.
The Musical piece chosen to represent evil is Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony.” [see appendix D]. Although this piece of music is extensively popular, it could leave the listeners with a feeling of confusion as well as terror. Beethoven was one of the most famous and influential German composers of the 1800’s. Upon 28, Beethoven began to struggle against poverty, ill health, and growing deafness. (Rosenwald 167).
The work of art selected is “The Damned Cast Into Hell” by Luca Signorelli, which is located in San Brizio Chapel, Orvieto Cathedral, in Italy. (Janson 667).
[see appendix E]. This painting is perhaps the epitome of evil to most individuals. It depicts people falling from grace into a sea of demons in hell. As the people fall into eternity, the faces hold expressions of terror and pain. Upon first glance, it appears very intimidating. However, with interpretation, one could find value in the resolution to the age old question of where their destiny will reside. While this painting is archaic, it still holds a very prevalent spot in today’s culture. With the ongoing Christian movement, most individuals are asking the very same question as those in the painting. Luca Signorelli, was an Italian painter from the 15th century. Signorelli was highly regarded as a master of anatomy and one that could capture the depth of refinement within his own emotions. (Signorelli np).
Again, through interpretation one could view the painting to include perhaps Signorelli’s own personal fears of evil, and ultimately hell.
As demonstrated above, evil can assume many different definitions and roles within one’s own mind and soul. Depending upon one’s beliefs, evil can be a positive or a negative force filled with various emotions ranging from elation to paralyzing fear. One can observe today’s society as one that searches for answers to alleviate the pressures of daily life, including those demons within the mind. Regardless of the instrument analyzed, the common theme remains. Evil is extremely individualistic in nature, not grounding itself in traditional manifestations.
Anti-Transcendentalism in the Work of Edgar Allan Poe Life and death are concepts that are widely known by men and women of all cultures. Many pieces of literature are written about these topics since they are well known but not everyone understands the meaning of living and dying. Death seems to be the tougher of these two concepts to be discussed. This is most likely due to the fact that once a ...
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