Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Theme of Death in British Literature

In commemoration of final exams at Grove City College this week, and in honor of my eldest, finishing her freshman year there, I want to present her opening paragraph from a take-home exam question for a British literature course. Abby is tracing the theme of death through these poems, beginning with "Ozymandias," as you will see hinted at in this nice paragraph.

Way to go, Abs! :-)

Death is a great leveler: It takes a brilliant theologian and a trucker and lays them gently side by side in a quiet cemetery. It tenderly pries a man’s grand artifices of arrogance and conceit from his cold fingers, steals his monuments to himself from him, and shifts them together deep in the sands of a desert. In the end, no matter how hard a man tries to leave lasting mementoes of his existence for future generations, death takes him, the only man who had a personal interest in his affairs.

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