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drag on A thing of beauty is a joy for

'A thing of beauty is a joy forever'.  How far and in what ways does Keats communicate this belief in his odes.
Emotion was the key element of any Romantic poet, the intensity of which is present in all of Keats poems.  Keats openly expressed feelings ignoring stylistic rules which suppressed other poets.
Keat’s poems display a therapeutic experience, as many of his Odes show a sense of struggle to accept, and a longing to search for an emotion which he could feed off for his eternity.  As romantics emphasised beauty in order to replace the lack of religion. The quote 'A thing of beauty is a joy forever', I believe tormented him ever since he wrote 'Endymion', the Odes to be discussed are hence almost a progression of thought and understanding of his own beliefs.
‘Ode to Autumn’ is perhaps the greatest of nature poems written , and I can only agree when Cedric Watts wrote that it is a 'richly resourceful yet alert and unsentimental’.  Keats creates a sumptuousness which reflects the beauty he has found in Autumn.  The intonation within the first stanza is almost of excitement, as if this beauty has suddenly unleashed itself  onto his senses, its effect is more powerful than the drug induced mood in 'Nightingale'.  The first line introduces us to the personified autumn.  The exclamatory phrase 'mellow fruitfulness' heightens the syntax tone immediately and prepares the reader for a stanza rich in tactile and visual images which intensify this opening.
The beauty of autumn is emphasised through phrases like; 'ripeness to the core', 'swell the gord', ' o’verbrimmed their clammy cells’.  Keat’s use of the adjective 'plump' as a verb excels this 'ripeness' and together intensifies the beauty, which is emphasised through the repetition of 'more' and 'still more'.  Keats almost forces his subject at us.
The central stanza is almost a 'breathing space' for the reader, to interact with the poem.  Keats creates a hypnotic mood almost lethargic.  Keats achieves this through his language.  The use of 'carless' and 'soft-lifted'.  The alliteration of 'winnowing winds' and the assonance of 'sound asleep', almost attack our aural senses and draws us deep into an almost dream like state: 'Winnowing wind, or on  a half-reaped furrow sound asleep, Drowsed with the fume of poppies’.
The use of 'drowsed’ is deliberate and for emphasis, to achieve this tiredness, as does the sensual smells of 'poppies'.
The punctuation emphasises the intonation.  The pause after the 'poppies' is symbolic as it arouses us and tempts us to smell and hence we are enticed by the drug.  The pause after ' grannery floor', reflects the carelessness mentioned and because it’s a natural process to pause after sitting.  Keats is helping the reader to visualise Autumn’s movements through the stanza.  In this stanza the syntax is longer unlike the first verse.  In the line  ' or by a cider-press, with patient look’ Keats creates balance with the pause, which implies order and emphasises the patience, almost reflecting Keats studied view of Autumn.
The lethargic mood is increased in the second stanza , in the final line with: 'last oozings hours by hours', as the vowel sounds soften the syntax, and the repetitive 'hours' almost drags the sentence along.
The third stanza’s sudden questions 'where are th songs of spring?  Ay, where are they?’ are too forceful and abrupt from the mood set in the previous stanza, it is almost annoying.  It could almost be read as Keats projecting his thoughts, as if he was engulfed in Autumn’s beauty that he forgot ‘spring’.  I believe Keats challenges us.  We are so taken in with Autumn as he hypnotises our thoughts, that he deliberately breaks our concentration as he too has realised that seasons change and we should change with them.  True, spring has its songs, but so does autumn!  Keats realises that this beauty will not last forever, as seasons change, but this change brings new beauty.
The onomatopoeia in the third stanza instigates a more active tone , the increasing rhythm almost represents a celebration, for the 'Wailful choir the small gnats mourn’ is contrasted with the 'loud bleat’,'hedge-crickets sing’, 'redbreast whistles’ ... more

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Moby Dick By Herman Melville

The Characters and Plot
There are numerous characters in Moby Dick, but only a few of them
have any impact on the story.  A common sailor named Ishmael is the
narrator.  The book, however, focuses on Captain Ahab, the one-legged
commander of the whaling ship Pequod.  Ahab has sworn to kill the
gigantic whale Moby Dick, who took away his leg.  Starbuck is the
first mate of the Pequod.  Queequeg, Tashtego, and Daggoo are the
three  harpooners.
The story begins with Ishmael becoming restless.  He decides to go
out to sea on a whaling ship.  In the port of New Bedford, he meets
and shares a room with a harpooner named Queequeg.  The two of them
become close friends, and agree to ship out together.
The day after they reach Nantucket, Ishmael begins searching for a
whaling ship preparing to leave harbor.  Out of three ships ready to
leave, he chooses the Pequod.  The owners of the ship, Captains Peleg
and Bildad are excited to hear of Queequeg from Ishmael and gladly
let him join the crew.  They are told the captain of the ship is
named Ahab.  Peleg and Bildad say that he is a good man, but because
of some strange illness, he is confined to his cabin.
On Christmas day, and with Ahab still in his cabin, the Pequod sets
sail in the Atlantic.  As the weather begins to warm up (several
months after leaving port), Ahab is finally seen on deck.  The
strangest thing about Ahab is his leg.  Instead of flesh and bone, he
has a white ivory peg leg.
As the weeks wear on, Ahab starts to become friendlier.  One day, he
calls the crew before him.  He tells them that the sole mission of
the Pequod is to kill Moby Dick.  Moby Dick is a gigantic sperm whale
with a crooked jaw and a deformed forehead.  He has never been
defeated, and has attacked and sunk entire ships.  Ahab admits he
hates Moby Dick for taking his leg away, and wants revenge.  The crew
agree to this challenge, and swear to hunt him down.  The only who is
not excited about hunting down Moby Dick is first-mate Starbuck.
For many months, the Pequod sails South, through the Atlantic,
around the Cape of Good Hope (the southern tip of Africa), and into
the Indian Ocean.  Along the way, they kill and drain the spermaceti
oil from every sperm whale they encounter.  Each time they meet
another ship, Ahab begins the conversation with Hast seen the White
Whale?.
Finally, after entering the Japanese sea, the Pequod encounters a
whaling ship named the Enderby.  The Enderbys captain had just
recently lost his arm to Moby Dick.  Ahab becomes so excited at the
news that he breaks his ivory leg.  The ships carpenter builds him a
new one.
Once reaching the waters around the equator, the Pequod meets
another whaling ship, the Rachel.  They had seen Moby Dick, and had
become separated from one of the whaling boats during the battle.
Ahab refuses to help them look for the missing men.
At last, Moby Dick is spotted by Ahab.  In the first day of
fighting, the whale is harpooned many times, but escapes after
smashing Ahabs boat.  On the second day, the whale is harpooned
again, but still escapes.  On the third day, Ahabs harpoon pierces
the whale, but the rope catches him by the neck and Moby Dick drags
him to the bottom of the sea.  An angry Moby Dick rams and sinks the
Pequod.  Only Ishmael survives, and he is rescued by the Rachel.
My Response
Moby Dick was not the novel I expected.  I was under the impression
that it would be about seafaring and the whale Moby Dick.  Instead,
Moby Dick is a story about Captain Ahabs obsession.  There is very
little in the story about the revenge itself, just about Ahabs
monomania.  Out of 465 pages, only forty-two of them deal with the
actual battle between Ahab and Moby Dick.
The novel places very little emphasis on actual seafaring.  Ishmael
never even steps on a boat until page seventy-four.  Even when the
ship finally leaves port, the mention of anything involving sailing
or the life of sailors is kept to an absolute minimum.
There is, however, plenty of emphasis is on whaling, the anatomy of
whales, and their behavior.  The book goes into great detail
describing the whalers of Nantucket, and gives in-depth explanations
of the different types of whales, quoting several outside sources in
the process.  The narrator mentions the awesome size of the sperm
whale, ... more

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