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joi, 19 iunie 2014

Literary texts



Passage 1
From A Sermon on the Mount
Whoever comes to me, hears what I say, and follows it is like a man who built a house. He dug deep and laid the foundation on solid rock. When a storm rose up and lashed the house, it stood firm, for it was built on rock.
But whoever hears what I say and does not follow it is like a man who built a house on sand, with no foundation. When the storm came and lashed this house, it fell into ruins.
Luke 6:48-49 (paraphrase of KJV)

 
Passage 2
From "The Fall of the House of Usher"
by Edgar Allen Poe
During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was--but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasureable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me--upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain--upon the bleak walls--upon the vacant eye-like windows--upon a few rank sedges--and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees--with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium--the bitter lapse into everyday life--the hideous dropping off of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart--an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it--I paused to think--what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher? It was a mystery all insoluble; nor could I grapple with the shadowy fancies that crowded upon me as I pondered. I was forced to fall back upon the unsatisfactory conclusion, that while, beyond doubt, there are combinations of very simple natural objects which have the power of thus affecting us, still the analysis of this power lies among considerations beyond our depth. It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression; and, acting upon this idea, I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of a black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled lustre by the dwelling, and gazed down--but with a shudder even more thrilling than before--upon the remodelled and inverted images of the grey sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows.
Nevertheless, in this mansion of gloom I now proposed to myself a sojourn of some weeks. Its proprietor, Roderick Usher, had been one of my boon companions in boyhood; but many years had elapsed since our last meeting. A letter, however, had lately reached me in a distant part of the country--a letter from him--which, in its wildly importunate nature, had admitted of no other than a personal reply. The MS gave evidence of nervous agitation. The writer spoke of acute bodily illness--of a mental disorder which oppressed him--and of an earnest desire to see me, as his best, and indeed his only personal friend, with a view of attempting, by the cheerfulness of my society, some alleviation of his malady. It was the manner in which all this, and much more, was said--it was the apparent heart that went with his request--which allowed me no room for hesitation; and I accordingly obeyed forthwith what I still considered a very singular summons.
Although, as boys, we had been even intimate associates, yet I really knew little of my friend. His reserve had been always excessive and habitual. I was aware, however, that his very ancient family had been noted, time out of mind, for a peculiar sensibility of temperament, displaying itself, through long ages, in many works of exalted art, and manifested, of late, in repeated deeds of munificent yet unobtrusive charity, as well as in a passionate devotion to the intricacies, perhaps even more than to the orthodox and easily recognisable beauties of musical science. I had learned, too, the very remark able fact, that the stem of the Usher race, all time-honoured as it was, had put forth, at no period, any enduring branch; in other words, that the entire family lay in the direct line of descent, and had always, with very trifling and very temporary variation, so lain. It was this deficiency, I considered, while running over in thought the perfect keeping of the character of the premises with the accredited character of the people, and while speculating upon the possible influence which the one, in the long lapse of centuries, might have exercised upon the other--it was this deficiency, perhaps, of collateral issue, and the consequent undeviating transmission, from sire to son, of the patrimony with the name, which had, at length, so identified the two as to merge the original title of the estate in the quaint and equivocal appellation of the "House of Usher"--an appellation which seemed to include, in the minds of the peasantry who used it, both the family and the family mansion.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Shaking off from my spirit what must have been a dream, I scanned more narrowly the real aspect of the building. Its principal feature seemed to be that of an excessive antiquity. The discoloration of ages had been great. Minute fungi overspread the whole exterior, hanging in a fine tangled web-work from the eaves. Yet all this was apart from any extraordinary dilapidation. No portion of the masonry had fallen; and there appeared to be a wild inconsistency between its still perfect adaptation of parts, and the crumbling condition of the individual stones. In this there was much that reminded me of the specious totality of old wood-work which has rotted for long years in some neglected vault, with no disturbance from the breath of the external air. Beyond this indication of extensive decay, however, the fabric gave little token of instability. Perhaps the eye of a scrutinizing observer might have discovered a barely perceptible fissure, which, extending from the roof of the building in front, made its way down the wall in a zigzag direction, until it became lost in the sullen waters of the tarn.

 
Passage 3
"The Deserted House"
by Alfred Lord Tennyson
1 Life and Thought have gone away
Side by side,
Leaving door and windows wide:
Careless tenants they!
2 All within is dark as night:
In the windows is no light;
And no murmur at the door,
So frequent on its hinge before.
3 Close the door, the shutters close,
Or thro' the windows we shall see
The nakedness and vacancy
Of the dark deserted house.
4 Come away: no more of mirth
Is here or merry-making sound.
The house was builded of the earth,
And shall fall again to ground.
5 Come away: for Life and Thought
Here no longer dwell;
But in a city glorious--
A great and distant city--have bought
A mansion incorruptible.
Would they could have stayed with us!

 What purpose does the object serve in Passage 1? 

The house is used in figurative speech. It becomes the inner center of a man, the only thing that cannot be shook up by storms, it is built on solid foundation of morals. It is a comparison on how you lead your life. Passage 1 uses the image of building a house as a point of comparison to illustrate a point about the results of listening to or rejecting Christ's words. 

What purpose does the object serve in Passage 2? (see especially paragraph 4) 

 In passage 2 we can find the personification of an object, meaning that it is given human qualities to nonhuman things. The house is like a person that has a life of its own. The house here is linked to the mental state of its owner.The ancient, weather worn house with a "barely perceptive fissure" in its walls foreshadows the doom of Roderick Usher.

Is that object being described in a literal sense or a figurative sense in each passage? Explain. 

The house appears in a figurative sense. In the first text it is a simile, in the second a personification and in the third we can find the house as a metaphor.  Passage 1 includes the description of two houses, predominantly their foundations. Passage 2 include extensive description of a literal house and passage 3 treats the house completely figuratively, using its features to describe a person's body.

Which of the three passages is closest to poetry? Why? 

Passage 3 is a poem ( poetry) because it has stanzas, verses, figurative language and sentence structure to create artful forms to express thought and emotion.It uses trochaic meter, rhyme (abba, cddc, effe, ghhg, ijji), stanzas (five) and other features characteristic of poetry All three texts use the image and features of a house in order to make important points about human existence.

 What purpose does the object serve in Passage 3?

 The empty house in this text is a metaphor for a dead body after the soul has left it. The Deserted House touch upon the idea that The Most High granted deprive to the people of a dying world. The house becomes old or dead. The last stanza of the poem laments on the idea that this house, body, has not been able to become part of the "city of glorious".

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