5/05/2013

Give a character analysis on The House In Paris

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Character Analysis

The novel, The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen contains the discovery and a better understanding of one’s own identity through life experiences, relationships, time and many other elements incorporated in our own environment. The story is presented through different viewpoints. Yet, one viewpoint is through the innocent insight of a child’s eye in relationship towards its surroundings. The child is in search of his unknown parents, and the parents are in search of their unknown child. With relevance to the plot and different points of view, the reader is able to get a sense of Leopold’s character.

Thus within the first part of the novel, “The Present”, as Leopold seems to be attempting to define, or assert, his own identity he is brought to this Anglo-French house in Paris. He is portrayed, in the beginning, as a seemingly arrogant and egotistical person acting like a prince who has an “impersonal air of a royal child.” However, it seemed that through his search of identity as he was brought up by his adopted parents, Leopold was “over-understood” throughout the course of time. For,

“The repercussions of all that he said and did echoed through the hollow rooms of the villa, and he knew too well these people found him remarkable. The chosen childish children with whom he played made a crook of him, and all the time he impressed them...Where he came from, kindness thickened the air and sentiment fattened on the mystery of his birth.”

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Kindness by the adults towards Leopold “thickened the air” as his childhood had been shaped mainly through grown-ups. Adults around him always felt the need to protect him, as if he was in a “bubble”, from any outside harm. They treated him like he was very fragile and delicate to possibly “crack” and break. Ignorant of his nature and needs, Leopold’s situation is emphasized even more once he reads the letters from his adopted parents. This presents the theory of past wounds and the result of them scarring over. In other words, even though one has a wound the only possible remedy is to ease the pain of the wound. The scar will still be there as a remembrance of the past. Nevertheless, it appears that the adults around Leopold are trying to only ease his pain from his past memories.



Consequently, even though Leopold needs to grow through the continuity of time from the past to the present to the future, he realizes he has been growing in a “fairy-tale”. In which, all the apparent attempts by the adults around him is not only to protect him from painful memories of his past but also to keep the details of his past a secret as much as possible. Therefore, Leopold’s unawareness of his past makes him feel like he doesn’t exist because he basically has no history. Hence, he believes he was named “Grant Moody” because “no on knows I’m born.” Especially, since he was adopted it makes him probably feel like less of a person. Also, from the non-appearance of his mother, which was referred to by Naomi as a “change,” Leopold once again feels that everything around him feels “unnatural” and “unreal” because Leopold’s account of his origins seemed to be coming from an “imaginary mother, like a work of art.” At the same time, the author describes the mother as being



“The mother who did not come to meet Leopold…remained his creature, able to speak the truth…He did not have to hear out with grave discriminating intelligence that grown-up falsified view of what had been once that she…might have given him. She, in the flesh, could have offered him only that in reply to the questions…’Why am I? What made me be?’”

To poor little Leopold it seemed that such a meeting as this would have only been possible in a “fairy-tale”; in a perfect little world like “Heaven.” Nonetheless, it is only in the end by Ray Forrestier, his father, that Leopold is truly able to move on through time and define his identity in action.





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3/25/2013

Hamlet

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Hamlet’s Noble Performance

Madness is a condition of the mind, which eliminates all rational thought, leaving the mind without accurate conception of events surrounding it. In William Shakespeare’s masterpiece Hamlet, there are many debates surrounding the protagonist character, Hamlet, and whether or not his madness is real or feigned. Many aspects of Hamlet’s demeanor support the loss of control in his actions, while other parts uphold his mental ability. The issue can be discussed both ways and can collectively provide significant support to either theory. Throughout the play, there are indications shown through Hamlet’s words and actions that question his mind’s well being.

It was a disastrous and overwhelming time for Hamlet. His father had just passed away, his uncle had taken his kingship by wedding his mother, and then the ghost of his deceased father appears to Hamlet with the news that Claudius had murdered him and that he wanted Hamlet to avenge his death. Furthermore, the love of his life, Ophelia, is instructed by her father, Polonius, to never see Hamlet again. “Do not believe his vows; for they are brokers” are the words that Polonius uses to persuade Ophelia that Hamlet is not true to his words (Act I, Scene III, line 17). This would seem to be reason enough for anyone to turn mad, but this was not the case for a brilliant and strong-minded individual like Hamlet.

Hamlet’s mood is altered throughout the play. Hamlet appears to act mad when his is informed that his father was murdered, by speaking “wild and whirling” words when he says, “Why, right, you are in the right. And so, without more circumstance at all, I hold it fit that we shake hands and part…” (Act 1, Scene V, lines 17-1). It seems as if there are two Hamlets present throughout the play, one that is sensitive and an ideal prince, and quite opposite, one that appears to be an insane madman, who from an explosion of rage slays Polonius with no feeling of regret. Then after Hamlet murders Polonius, he refuses to tell anyone where his body is. Instead, he assumes his contradictory state, which most everyone around him perceives as madness. “Not where he eats, but where ‘a is eaten. A certain convocation of political worms a e’en at him” (Act IV, Scene III, lines 0-1). Furthermore, Hamlet proceeds to tell Larates that he killed his father in a fit of madness. “That might our nature, honour and exception, Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness” (Act V, Scene II, lines 0-04).

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Hamlet’s erratic behavior toward Ophelia is inconsistent throughout the play. He jumps into Ophelia’s grave, where he ends up in a fight with Laertes. During the fight with Laertes, Hamlet professes how much he loves Ophelia when he proclaims that, “Forty thousand brothers could not, with all their quality of love, make up my sum” (Act V, Scene I, lines 7-8). This proclamation seems quite odd considering he told Ophelia that he never loved her when she returns his letters and gifts.

Hamlet has a violent outburst toward his mother when he sees his father’s ghost and his mother does not. During this scene Hamlet appears to be irrational and silly. “On him, on him! Look you how pale he glares! His form and cause conjoined, preaching to stones would make them capable” (Act III, Scene IV, lines 16-18). Perhaps he feels insane given that every other time he had seen his father’s ghost, someone else had seen it too.

Persistent supporting factors that argue Hamlet’s sanity are shown throughout the play, which all seem to compromise his madness. Hamlet tells Horatio that he is going to feign madness and that if Horatio notices any strange behavior from him, it is because he is putting on an act. Hamlet also tells his mother that he is not mad, “but mad in craft” (Act III, Scene IV, line18).

More contradicting evidence about Hamlet’s sanity is that his madness only surfaces when he is in the presence of certain characters. When he is around Polonius, Claudius, Gertrude, Ophelia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, he acts irrational and mad. However, when Hamlet is in the presence of Horatio, Bernardo, Francisco, the Players, and the Gravediggers, he behaves normal.

Other characters confess that Hamlet’s actions are still strange, and debate whether his insanity is authentic or not. Claudius confesses that Hamlet’s actions “though it lack’d form a little, was not like madness” (Act III, Scene I, lines 154-155). Claudius then proceeds to tell Polonius that

There’s something in his soul, O’er which his melancholy sits on brood; and I do doubt the hatch and the disclose will be some danger which for to prevent, I have quick determination. (Act III, Scene I, lines 156-160)

Polonius admits that he feels that Hamlet’s actions and words have a method to them and that they appear to have a reason behind them which is logical in nature. “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t” (Act II, Scene II, line 00).

Whether Hamlet was sane or insane is answered nonchalantly throughout the play. Since it is somewhat agreeable that Ophelia was crazy, it is possible to use her character to validate my argument that Hamlet was sane. Hamlet and Ophelia both shared premeditated thought patterns, such as Ophelia’s singing and Hamlet’s verbal attacks. Quite interestingly enough, Hamlet did not shout harsh remarks before he died, while Ophelia had, on the other hand, sung floating down the river! They both seemed to share the same calmness before both of their deaths. If Hamlet were mad, like Ophelia seemed to be, he would have remained hectic and violent in words up until the time and after the duel. In fact, Hamlet even reasoned with what death was for him, finishing his question of whether life was worth living. Hamlet can truly be seen as reasonably sane when he speaks the ever so profound question “To be or not to be” (Act III, Scene I, line 56). The fact that Hamlet was smart and swift in thinking and that Hamlet’s emotions reversed from the death of Polinous to the end only points to the truth that Hamlet was a great performer.



SORRY DONT HAVE ONE

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3/11/2013

Homlessness

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Bittersweet Steps in the Right Direction

“Down and out”, “washed up”, “down on your luck”, and “in a slump” are all phrases that describe each of us at some point in our lives. Poor decisions bring about countless outcomes depending on the situation. Lack of studying may result in failure in school; the decision to smoke will result in declining health, and so on. Similarly, poor financial decisions can lead to the terrifying road of homelessness. An optimistic point of view would tell you that all problems can be resolved with time. A failing student may retake a course, a long time smoker may quit smoking, and a homeless person may get his/her life back on track by taking appropriate steps. Difficult decisions by communities and their leaders must be made to fix this ever-growing problem. But to help those who are “down on their luck” and those who associate with them we must be willing to pay a price. It is not always all the individual’s fault either. Barbara Buehler of the NYC Department of Planning stated, “The only reason homelessness exists in a land so rich with natural resources is because a person’s need for a home is seen as a means of someone else making profit.” Through decisions made we can help our communities while also re-building the lives of those who have difficulties.

According to Homelessness Factfile, “Around one-third of single homeless people have an alcohol problem.” This poses two immediate problems, one to the community and the other to the individuals themselves. Public drunkenness can sometimes lead to violence or other crimes, putting the individual and public at risk. The city proposes jail-time and the possibility of a $1,000 fine. Critics may view a monetary penalty as being redundant seeing as how most of the nation’s homeless are without money. The lack of money cannot be reason to ignore a citizen’s responsibility to take accountability for their actions. If money is not available, service must be provided until their debt is paid off. By doing this, we show that there are no exceptions to the law thus preventing more and more people from doing so.

In a recent debate in Asheville, North Carolina, city Councilwoman Holly Jones stated, “If you’re a human being, you need to sleep somewhere and to urinate somewhere. We all know there’s a problem downtown, but I want to support an ordinance that ensures that our most basic human needs are taken care of.” Communities should be clean and clear of public urination and can do so by providing adequate facilities. If, however, people choose not to use these facilities swift action does need to take place. A community is based on those who working together. Nothing can and should be merely one-sided.

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Alcohol, curfews, panhandling, and drugs are all coincide with this city’s proposed ordinance to decrease the rate of homelessness. It is not the mere fact of getting rid of the problem, but rather solving the problem. Giving those who aren’t as fortunate as the rest of society a way to get out and rejoin the world. This may be a slow and rigorous road to each of the individual homeless we’re trying to help but as the great C.S. Lewis stated, “I do not think that all who choose wrong roads perish; but their rescue consists in being put back on the right road. A wrong sum can be put right but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on… Time does not heal it.” With this ordinance being placed into effect, two outcomes are desired for communities to be healed and also for those individuals who may just be “out on their luck.”

Sources Cited

Housing A Basic Right. Home page. Sept. 00

http//www.housingaright.org

Williams, Melissa. “Public sleeping, urination debated by city council” Jones Oct. 00. http//cgi.citizen.times.com/cgi-bin/story/news/185

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Home page. Sept 00. http//www.nlchp.org

Lewis, C.S. The Great Divorce New York 16



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3/07/2013

GreaA conflict after highschool

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“Hey Erik, turn up that CD bro, that songs hella tight, I haven’t heard Sublime for days.” “For sure, Im so glad track is over, too much to do, you finish rolling that spliff yet B?” “Yeah man, hook me up with that light on the table, puff, puff.” I laid back on Erik’s plush, slightly worn leather couch purchased from the Value Village store downtown and watched as he displayed a phat French inhale. I was in a cloudy state with so much on my mind I didn’t know where to begin. I was once again in the basement bedroom of my closest friend Erik doing what we did best with nothing else to and needing to conversant about life.

I was at a crossroads in my life, finishing up high school, about to make a decision some said was the biggest Id ever make. What to do after high school? And who better to discuss it with than a life long friend, one who had been there more times than I could count. We both shared ideas and dreams of what we wanted to do and see, some alike, some very dissimilar, but we both knew school somewhere would be the decision. I saw many of my friends, those less confident with themselves, join the military in hopes of finding there calling, for them I hope they do, for myself military was never of the question. I had an idea of higher learning, one which was not well understood, unclear of what I might face and what failure it may result in, perhaps that is why it is most appealing, the uncertainty. “Hey man, finish this up and lets roll down to Ryan’s and see what he has going on over at his pad.” Said Erik. “All right” I said. As we got up and headed outside towards my shiny green, German sports sedan, eyes startled by the bright, spring, afternoon sun as we exited the front door.

Erik and I had both been excepted to Western and kept it in mind as a good option and often fathomed what it might be like to attend the same school, like we had through middle and high school. Many of my classmates and friends were being accepted by large, famous Universities far from home, some for academics, some for athletics, and others with wealthy parents. For these people I had much happiness, but at the same time a slight jealousy arose wishing I had pursued a larger school. Lack of funds, laziness in the classroom, and a fear of being to far away from home pushed me away from this type of idea. Many of my closer friends were going to attend universities in Washington or in neighboring states, this had created a friendly competition among us for who would be the most successful and who would have the most fun.

Another close friend of mine was Danny, a true friend from which a relied on many of times. Danny and I had met in high school during a freshman geometry class, and right away shared many of the same interests. We had played football together and also ran track in the spring, we went through Spanish together, we got in weekend party fights together, with this man I shared much, which made it hard to separate near the summers end. Danny as well as myself had been excepted to ITT Tech. in Phoenix Arizona, this was a serious consideration for my future, to learn a growing trade with a prosperous salary. I would have the security of a good friend in a strange new place, but I just didn’t know what I wanted to do! Danny spent hours trying to convince me of the job possiblities in computers, and the money I would be able to spend after only two years of school. I questioned him about what if computers didn’t turn out to be my “thing” and I decided to peruse a different carrier, I would have no transferable credits and be forced to start all over again. Danny had understood my concerns and continued to offer what support he could, but I was decided that basic freshman classes were what I wanted. I wanted a strong foundation from which to build my future, one I could take anywhere I went, and apply it to any profession I wished. At this point in my life, not knowing what I want to with my uncertain future, could I spend so much money on a school that would only educate me about one thing I wasn’t even sure if I really liked. Danny understood my concerns and offered what advice and opinions he had, but they were of no influence. I wished him the best of luck, knowing he would do well and assured him we’d stay in touch.

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Danny left for school in early August, his phone calls to me are what caused the questions in my head, doubting I had made the right decision not join him in Phoenix. Danny bragged about his luxurious apartment, informed me that school was going by with ease that his school had found him a local job paying well in his field of computer networking. I was happy for him but wasn’t sure if I had made the right decesion to not go, here he was having so much success and I wasn’t even sure what school I was going to attend! It was time for myself to make a decision, there uncertainty of my life was making me mad, I was so close to a decision but I wasn’t sure, I needed time alone to figure out what was right.

After a nights rest at home and a solemn day at school, I decided to stop by Erik’s house after class and see what he was up to and do what we normally about this time of day. I rolled into Erik’s drive way around o’clock on another beautiful spring afternoon, I parked my car beneath an old willow tree that stood about eighty feet tall. I stoped and gazed in awe as the sun lit up a bright background above the old willow tree and the light blue sky bordered its sagging branches forming a well defined silhouette. The warmth felt good on my skin as the sun beat down and the smell of fresh cut grass passed my nose while the sounds a distant guitar were heard in the back ground. I walked around to the back of Erik’s house and up to the porch were he was sitting on an old wooden swinging bench practicing a few tunes. I had come to my decision on where to attend school, and I was going to tell him. I wanted to live on the west side of the state, and I was going to Western. I walked up the stairs and sat on a chair across the deck.. “How did your day go?” I asked. “Not bad, not bad, just Delia causing me drama, you know how she is. You think anything more about where your going to school?” “Yeah man, Im going to give Western a try, what about you? I replied. “My parents and I were thinking the same thing last night!” “Damn yo, were going to go to school together again.” We decided not to room together from stories heard by older friends and their past experiences. At this point my mind was at rest, I had figured out the beginning of a plan for the future of my life, how much more complicated could it be I thought?

Later that same evening I went home to have dinner with parents, my mom usually cooks somthing up around 7 o’clock every night. I was going to tell them of my decision to attend Western, I was unsure of what I wanted to be but felt that a university was the place for my head to be. Im an only child so my decision was very waited upon, but defiantly not rushed. My mom hollered down stairs that dinner was ready, I went up stairs and sat beside my dad at the dinner table. We carried on a normal daily conversation discussing weather, and how my last week of school was going. I told them I was going to western. Both were excited I had made a decision to further my education and said they were going to help me as much as they could, they also made sure I was going to work for money and grades. Of this I was not concerned and was aware of the sacrifices I must make and I give appreciation to my parents for their help.

As the first quarter of school went by allot happened, and allot was noticed, that of myself, my friends, and those who surrounded me. Grades were descent and I was having a good time. The same could not be said for Erik, we were still close and hung out almost every day but something was changing in both of us, he had not yet adapted to life away from home and couldn’t get use to classes. We talked to each other about our problems but his could not be solved, Erik moved back home on Christmas break. I now had no attachments of back home, and it wasn’t bad, I was meting new people and enjoying my freedom. I had grown to realize everyone needs to be on there own and experience new things for themselves, I know now I made the right choice for myself by attending Western and wouldn’t want it any other way.



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2/12/2013

great gatsby - theme of success

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The Great Gatsby Success

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s detailed descriptions of the landscapes in The Great Gatsby, which use several rhetorical devices, emphasize the theme of success. The rhetorical devices reveal more about this theme as they add style, clarity, and effectiveness to the writing. Both the ideas of being successful as well as unsuccessful are conveyed by Fitzgerald through the different landscapes. The description of Louisville, Gatsby’s mansion, and Gatsby’s funeral highlight the success that Gatsby achieved.

Fitzgerald’s description of Gatsby and Daisy in Louisville show Gatsby’s success early in his life. Fitzgerald describes Gatsby’s fascination with Daisy in this Louisville setting through effective diction and imagery. The imagery used in the description Daisy’s mansion provides the reader with a better idea of what he wanted in his life. The mansion amazed Gatsby with its “ripe mystery about it, a hint of bedrooms upstairs more beautiful and cool than other bedrooms…and redolent of this years shining motor cars.” (155). This mansion symbolized the wealth Gatsby wanted in life. Fitzgerald also describes Daisy as being “excitingly desirable,” (155) to Gatsby. The words “excitingly desirable” show the priority Gatsby placed on being with Daisy. Gatsby first kisses Daisy on a moonlit evening in Louisville before the war. This kiss signified Gatsby’s accomplishment of his goals early in his life. During their time in Louisville, Gatsby and Daisy became very much in love, she “brushed silent lips against his coat’s shoulder,” (158) and he “touched the end of her fingers, gently, as though she were asleep.” (158). The imagery adds feeling to the writing and this helps to emphasize the theme of Gatsby’s success in this part of the novel.

Fitzgerald describes Gatsby’s mansion more thoroughly than any other setting in the book. The mansion symbolized both the success in Gatsby’s life as well as the success he did not achieve. Fitzgerald uses imagery, diction, and figurative language to describe this setting. Imagery is used to describe Gatsby’s parties where “men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” (4). This popularity portrays Gatsby as a successful person. There is more imagery when Fitzgerald describes the inside of Gatsby’s mansion, which has “period bedrooms swathed in rose and lavender silk poolrooms…and a toilet set of pure dull gold.” (6). The detailed portrayal of Gatsby’s home show his success from a materialistic point of view. While his mansion seems to represent the great success he achieved, Gatsby’s mansion is later described as a “huge incoherent failure of a house.” (188). The words “huge incoherent failure” used together emphasize the idea that Gatsby was actually not successful. Also, Fitzgerald writes that one guest did not realize the “party was over,” (188) and this metaphor contributes to the idea that Gatsby’s extravagant life was just a cover for his unsuccessful life. The description of this setting is used to show that Gatsby could be perceived as successful in some ways, but unsuccessful in other areas of his life.

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The description of Gatsby’s funeral marks the final idea of Gatsby not achieving success in his life. Fitzgerald uses strong imagery and a depressed tone to describe this setting. The funeral is a pitiful affair that occurs on a gloomy, rainy day. Only a few of Gatsby’s servants, Nick, Gatsby’s father, and the man from Gatsby’s library show up. There was a “sad procession of cars,” (18) on the way to his burial led by a “motor hearse, horribly black and wet.” (18). This setting sums up Gatsby’s life, which turned out to be quite unsuccessful.

The settings that are emphasized by Fitzgerald add to the theme of success through detailed descriptions and the language and words used. The descriptive writing makes each setting impact the theme greatly. Gatsby looked successful on the outside, but he died without achieving happiness and the settings help to convey the this theme to the reader.



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2/11/2013

How did shakespeare show the inevitability of Romeo and Juliets love ending in tragedy?

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“Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude”, translation by S.H Butcher. Aristotle tells us that drama is shown by drama, not told in narrative and is more philosophical than history because history tells us what has happened rather than tragedy dramatizing what may happen.

Events that have happened may be subject to coincidence or accidents, and may not have a clear cut cause and effect chain that reveals what may happen at any time and place because it is the way that the world operates, meaning they have little relevance to other people. Because of this, tragedy not only arouses pity but also fear, because the audience can envision themselves inside this cause and effect chain.

Katharsis is an Aristotelian term. It has caused a lot of debate. The word itself means “purging,” and Aristotle seems to be using a medical metaphor�tragedy arouses the emotions of pity and fear in order to purge away their excess, to reduce these passions to a healthy, balanced proportion. Aristotle also talks of the “pleasure” that is proper to tragedy, meaning the aesthetic pleasure people gets from thinking about the pity and fear that are caused through an intricately constructed work of art.

The purpose of the Romeo and Juliet is to provide entertainment on several different levels. For instance there are the so-called “ Penny Pitter’s “ who paid a penny to see the play and stood up in “ pits “ near the stage, who did not appreciate the more complicated works of Shakespeare such as the 14 line rhyming sonnets and liked the play for its crude sexual references instead. As a contrast to this, there were also the richer classes who paid vast amounts of money and sat up in the “ Gods “, where they could better listen to and appreciate the beauty of Shakespeare’s work.

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It can also be said that there is also a large message about love embedded in the play, showing not only the tragic consequences of love but the good things it can bring i.e. the joy and happiness of Romeo and Juliet at the beginning of their Romance, and the union of the two families at the end of Romeo and Juliet, whilst grieving over their lost loved ones.

All throughout the play there are several references to the stars, moon, darkness and light and higher, supernatural powers. At the time lots of people would believe in their fate being determined by astrology, so it would have had relevance to them. These prophecies give the audience hints to the twist in the play and the tragic outcome.

The first prophecy appears in the prologue. There are several references to fate and the lover’s romance ending in tragedy. Romeo and Juliet are referred to as “ star-crossed lovers,“ indicating their Romance was a work of fate. Their love is also referred to as “ death marked.” This gives the impression that their love was fated to end in tragedy from the start.

In the first scene a conflict is played out between the Montagues and Capulets. This scene makes for an effective opening to the play because it sets up the idea of the vicious feuding and hatred between the two rival houses. From the very first scene the audience is given the impression of how unusual and dangerous Romeo and Juliet’s love because of the strong bad history between the two families. In this scene you also see the princes warning to the two families that if they fight again they will pay with their lives. “ If you ever disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.” This has a large part to play later on in the play when Romeo is banished for slaying Tybalt.

After this there is a very long section of the play that shows the audience Romeos longing for the love of Rosaline. Romeo becomes very depressed with this, “ bid a sick man in sadness make his will, a word ill urged to one that is so ill. In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman”. The fact that Romeo loves Rosaline so much without even really knowing her gives the impression that he is more in love with the idea of being in love rather than actually properly falling in love with someone. This is reinforced later on in the play because he supposedly falls in love with Juliet as soon as he meets her. Maybe this plays a part in the Romance ending in tragedy because they’re so blinded by this they don’t think reasonably and take snap, rash decisions. This scene gives the audience a good impression of Romeos character and his views on love.

The deception of several characters has a large part to play in the tragic ending of the play. Deception runs strong throughout the play, starting with Romeo gate-crashing the Capulet ball in disguise, going somewhere he knew he was not welcome. After the ball Romeo also sneaks back to the Capulet mansion to try and see Juliet, and does the very dishonourable act of eavesdropping on Juliet speaking of her feelings, “ Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this? “. Romeo knows he should be honest and make his presence known but instead waits until he has fully heard Juliet’s opinion of him. Friar Lawrence, although his intentions were good went behind both Capulet and Montague’s back and married Romeo and Juliet, knowing their families wouldn’t approve. This is very surprising as he is a holy man he is expected to be honest and good. Friar Lawrence does not only marry Romeo and Juliet without their parents consent he does not tell the families afterwards and keeps the deception up until the very end of the play, also formulating the devious plot of faking Juliet’s death to prevent her marriage to Paris.

Juliet also had a large part to play in the deception of other characters in the play, such as when she forced the Friar into formulating the plot of Juliet’s fake death by stating in Act 4 Scene 1, “ If in thy wisdom thou canst give no help, do thou but call my resolution wise, and with this knife I’ll help it presently. “ She willing accepts the offer of this deceitful plan, choosing it over the option of coming clean with the rest of her family about her marriage to Romeo. In the act of faking death Juliet also deceives her father as she earlier consented to the marriage, and pretends to be pleased about her forthcoming marriage to Paris and tells her father, “ I met the youthful lord at Lawrence’s cell, and gave him what becomèd love I might, “ which takes place after Juliet visits Friar Lawrence, meaning Juliet lied to her father knowing full well that she would not be marrying Paris and had no intention of ever loving him.

A large amount of the blame for Romeo and Juliet’s death can be placed on their own characters, rather than the interference of other characters and fate. Both Romeo and Juliet are young an inexperienced and are obviously unable to deal with strongly stressful situations that they are not used to. Romeo does not only seem to have a deep capacity for love but for all emotions, and doesn’t seem to be able to control and moderate them. For instance Romeo sneaks into the Capulet mansion just to catch a glimpse of Juliet in Act Scene , and kills his wife’s cousin in a recklessly passionate and pointless duel when Tybalt slays Mercutio. Whilst Romeo knew of the Prince’s warning and knew he should have been slain, he then complains to Friar Lawrence when he is let off lightly and banished so he can no longer see Juliet (Act Scene ). If he had waited a mere day after hearing the news of Juliet’s death to kill himself the play could have ended happily.

Romeo seems to be very immature in the way he acts, and rushes into a marriage when he barely even knows Juliet. On several occasions Romeo gets a feeling of doom but ignores it, such as in Act 1 Scene 5 Romeo claims he had a dream that he is weary of, and when his friend Benvolio claims they will arrive at the Capulet’s ball too late, Romeo says he fears they will arrive too early because his “ mind misgives some consequence yet hanging in the stars shall bitterly begin his fearful date “. Romeo does know that his feeling of dread is justified, and going to the party sparks off the relationship that will end in his death. “ Consequence hanging in the stars “ is also another reference to their fate being controlled by the stars and planets, a theme that runs strongly throughout the play. Romeo receives a dream just before hearing of Juliet’s death, of Juliet kissing his lips whilst he is dead not knowing this is a vision of the future, and maybe even a warning of the cruel trick fate is about to play on him. This quote is also sadly ironic because after this the kisses “ breathed such life that I revived and was an emperor, “ when in reality he remains dead and Juliet kills herself immediately afterwards by his side.

Although these qualities do contribute strongly to the outcome of the play, Romeo also has some very good qualities that appear. Amongst his friends Romeo seems witty, clever, well-liked and very loyal. It is obvious that it was intended for the audience to like Romeo.

At the beginning of the play Juliet appears to be a very obedient, sheltered and naïve child. Juliet does not seem to have thought about marriage, and when confronted with the idea of Paris she responds she will try to see if she can love him. This seems like a very childlike and ignorant conception of love. There is no mention of any friends Juliet’s own age, and she seems uncomfortable talking about sex as you can see in Act 1 Scene when the Nurse goes on about a sexual joke at Juliet’s expense. Despite this Juliet also seems to be stubborn, passionate and very determined. When her relationship with Romeo begins she races head-on into adulthood. She loses some of her previous childlike qualities such as her obedience, and openly defies her father in Act Scene 5 when she hears of her upcoming marriage to Paris, “ I will not marry yet, and when I do, I swear It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate.” Here Juliet does not merely openly disobey both her parents but also try to put more emphasis on it by stating she’d rather marry the murderer of her cousin, almost trying to anger her mother in a show of defiance. This is a complete turnaround of how we saw Juliet’s character at the beginning of the play.

Although Juliet is deeply in love with Romeo, she does not blindly follow him and is still sometimes able to think logically. After Romeo slays Tybalt, Juliet seems to almost turn on Romeo and refer to him in Act Scene 4 as, “ A damned saint, an honourable villain! “ Upon the news of Tybalt’s death Juliet seems so grief stricken that she changes her opinion of Romeo, but when the Nurse puts shame upon Romeo Juliet seems to change her opinion again completely, seeming to be brought to her senses immediately by hearing shame put upon him. “ O what a beast I was to chide at him! “. This also suggests Juliet’s judgement is still affected by her passion. After this, Juliet seems to make a thought-through and heartfelt decision that Romeo must be her priority, and essentially makes a decision that cuts her from the rest of her family and the Nurse, a life long companion. When Juliet awakes from her death-like sleep to find Romeo dead, she does not commit suicide out of feminine weakness, rather than this she kills herself out of the intensity of her love, just as Romeo did. Also, her method of suicide took much more nerve than Romeo’s. Whereas he merely drank poison, Juliet immediately summoned the courage to stab her self through the heart.

This characterisation is very unusual as stereotypically the female would mentally be weaker than the male, but here Juliet thinks things through logically more often than Romeo does and is stronger willed than him.

The actions and expectations of Juliet’s parents seem to effect the choices Juliet makes and in turn effect the outcome of Romeo and Juliet’s relationship and its tragic ending. Lord Capulet, although appearing to be giving Juliet the option whether to Marry Paris or not, soon turns angry and aggressive when she refuses, “ Ill give you to my friend; and you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets. “ This pressure on Juliet for an arranged marriage merely hastens her into the idea that her love for Romeo is true, pure love. If there was no feuding between the parents of Romeo and Juliet there would never have been need for secrecy of the relationship and there would never have been such a tragic outcome. The parent’s attitude towards this relationship forces Romeo and Juliet into secrecy, which is a main cause of the tragic end to the play.

Not only are the biological parents of Romeo and Juliet to blame, but also their “ surrogate “ parents have a large impact. Juliet’s nurse arranges the marriage between Romeo and Juliet, knowing full well that their parents would never approve and there would be bad repercussions. The Nurse also offers absolutely no solace to Juliet when she finds out she will be forced to marry Paris, and even changes her opinion of Juliet’s relationship with Romeo. “ I think it best you married with the County… Romeo’s a dishclout to him, “ was the nurse’s advice to Juliet after Juliet’s row with her father over her arranged marriage in Act Scene 5. This would have given Juliet the feeling of having nobody to confide in and seek advice from. This would also have a negative effect on Juliet’s relationship with the nurse, making her feel as if she has no friends in her own household and therefore no reason to stay there, putting strength in her resolve to be with Romeo.

Friar Lawrence acted as a surrogate father to Romeo, giving him advice and letting Romeo tell him things in confidence from the beginning. The Friar has one of the largest influences on the outcome of the play out of all the characters. It was his decision to marry Romeo and Juliet in secret knowing their parents wouldn’t approve, even if it was in a bid to restore peace to Verona and end the feuding. The Friar panics after Romeo is banished and Juliet threatens to end her life, and comes up in the plan to fake Juliet’s death in haste, without thinking. This in turn caused both Juliet and Romeo to lose their lives. These two acts are two of the biggest causes of the tragic end to the play. Friar Lawrence tries to provide advice to Romeo and Juliet and control the situation as best he can, but ends up making it worse by not thinking through his actions first. Despite these faults Friar Lawrence does give one good piece of advice, “ These violent delights have violent ends…therefore love moderately. “ Friar Lawrence warns Romeo that loving with such blind passion will cause the relationship to end badly, but the advice is ignored and the ending rings true to the Friars prediction.

All throughout the play Shakespeare gives hints of the outcome of the play. Many of the lines of several characters are extremely ironic, giving several references to fate and death, not knowing that there is more meaning in them than they had originally intended.

In Act 1 Scene whilst talking to a servant Romeo claims that he can read “ mine own fortune in my misery. “ This is obviously untrue as Romeo has no idea the twists and turns fate has in store for him later on in the play. Two scenes later Romeo makes a statement about love, “ Is love a tender thing? Is it too rough, too rude, too boist’rous, and it pricks like thorn.” This is very ironic because Romeo does not know the extent of the injury the love will deal him. Also, just one scene later Romeo completely changes his view on love, forgetting what he has just said, after meeting Juliet, he believes that his new love for Juliet is the greatest thing that has ever happened. Romeo does not know that his original idea was the correct one, and does not realise this is later on when love pricks him more than he thought it could.

Later on in the play during Act Scene where Romeo sneaks into the Capulet mansion to see Juliet, Romeo blesses the night, “ O Blessed, blessed night! “ This is ironic because Romeo has no idea he is blessing the night that eventually causes his own death and that of the person he has just fallen in love with.

After Romeo’s banishment and return to Juliet to have their honeymoon, Romeo tells Juliet “ I must be gone and live, or stay and die “. Romeo is again being ironic without knowing it because he does go, but returns and that is the cause of his death. In his next section of speech Romeo seems to jokingly accept death, “ Let me be tane, let me be put to death… Come death and welcome! Juliet wills it so! “ Romeo says this as a joke, tempting fate, now knowing that he will die soon afterwards.

Juliet claims she would rather be dead than marry Paris in Act Scene 5, “ make the bridal bed in that dim monument where Tybalt lies. “ She does not know that she will get her wish, not marry Paris and instead die in the very same monument where Tybalt lies. In the same scene Juliet tells the friar “ If all else fail, myself have the power to die.” Juliet keeps to her word and kills herself when all else does fail.

At the beginning of Act 4 Scene Juliet bids farewell to her mother and nurse, saying, “ God knows when we shall meet again, “ not knowing that the Friars plan would fail and indeed it would be the last time she would see either of these people. Immediately after this Juliet gives a whole list of scenarios where the Friars plan would fail and she would end up dying, but she misses out the one scenario that does come true and results in her death.

On two occasions in the play Romeo blames fate for the unfortunate events in the play. After slaying Tybalt in a fit of passion Romeo declares, “ O I am fortunes fool! “, implying that he is at the mercy of fates cruel whims and he is a puppet and none of the previous events were his own fault. Also, after receiving the false news of Juliet’s death Romeo shouts, “ I defy you stars! “, saying again that it was fate that has brought about these events and Romeo is not going to be victim to them anymore. This is sadly ironic because in doing this,“ defying “ fate and travelling to Mantua he accidentally causes both his and his lovers deaths.

“ My grave is like to be my wedding bed.” Juliet makes an ironically accurate prediction about her relationship with Romeo very early on, immediately after finding out his identity, but is quick to forget this when her love for Romeo blinds her.

It seems in several points throughout the play Romeo and Juliet both seem to tempt fate, not knowing the severity of these actions and the outcome.

Part of the reason for the tragic outcome of the play was also just consequence, which almost seems unrealistic in places. For instance the Friars letter not being able to reach Romeo because of the Friars brother not being able to enter Mantua but Balthasar is able to. Added to this the fact that Juliet awakens immediately after Romeo commits suicide.

The blame for the tragedy is shared out into many factors, the actions and character of Romeo and Juliet, their families, their surrogate parents, fate, and coincidence. There isn’t anything that can be said is the single cause of Romeo and Juliet’s death.

Shakespeare uses all of these factors all throughout the play to show the outcome of the play, and almost make it unavoidable. With all of these factors working against their Romance, Romeo and Juliet were doomed almost from the moment they met. Shakespeare utilises his own writing style and the characters personalities and backgrounds to tell the audience of the tragic outcome of the play, leaving them wondering if love is really strong enough to combat fate and the reality of the world, making the audience laugh and then become afraid at an astonishing speed.



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1/24/2013

John Donne's "The Flea"

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“The Flea” is a story of a man trying to convince his lover to surrender her virginity to him, and at the center of his plea is a flea. In this clever poem Donne uses a flea, blood, and the death of the flea as an analogy for the oldest most primal exchange, sex. Donne, through symbolic images, not only questions the validity of coveting virginity but also the importance of sex as it pertains to life. The metaphors in “The Flea” are plentiful, but the symbols repeated throughout the poem are clear, beginning with the most prevalent, the flea. This minute creature is full of symbolic meanings. During the time this poem was written (the Renaissance) the flea was used in many poems about sex. In this particular poem the flea bites is symbolic of the act of sex from the man’s remark in the beginning, “Mark but this flea, and mark in this, how little that which deny’st me is” (886). The flea is small and trivial, and while the man’s lover denies him sex, we see the connection, his comparison of the two as such minute, insignificant things.

Historically speaking, sex in the 17th century was thought of as a mixing of the blood, and so the man begins to rationalize that, in a sense, the flea has mixed the blood of them both, thereby doing what his lover would not.

At this point he argues that since the flea has “mixed their blood”, why shouldnt they? He argues that since their bloods have mingled and are therefore one blood made of two (886), they are essentially of the same flesh and are therefore married! The flea is described as a marriage temple and a carrier of life, but then in the following stanza as something insignificant and small. Donne applies clever duality to the flea and therefore to sex. The metaphor develops more as it relates to the other symbols. Blood is used more than once as a symbol. The speaker talks of the blood reverently and likens it to honor. Blood in this poem is symbolic of life and the soul. The speaker remarks that in the flea his blood and his lover’s blood were mixed, therefore during sex their souls are mingled and become one. This is where the flea becomes a marriage temple. Now, not only has he reinforced his argument for the seduction of his lover, but he has also given a reason not to kill the flea. The flea at this point, at least in the man’s argument, is a symbol of marriage and copulation. Thus he defends it when his lover moves to kill it. He argues that by spilling the mixed blood of both, by killing the flea, she is in a sense committing murder. He also states that she would be guilty of sacrilege by desecrating the holy temple of marriage.

Ultimately when the flea is killed, he twists his argument around and declares that despite the sacred morals he has been preaching, killing the flea did not really denounce his lovers honor and despite the hallowed values she has invoked in refusing to have premarital sex, doing so would not denounce her honor either.

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This is an odd poem, but it shows Donne’s ability to turn unlikely images into detailed symbols of love and romance. Using the image of a flea that has just bitten the two lovers illustrates the bigger issue at hand. “How little that which thou deny’st me is” (886). Donnes insinuation at the erotic without ever directly referring to sex, while at the same time leaving no doubt as to exactly what he means, is as much a source of the poems wit as the ridiculous image of the flea is.



Please note that this sample paper on John Donne's "The Flea" is for your review only. In order to eliminate any of the plagiarism issues, it is highly recommended that you do not use it for you own writing purposes. In case you experience difficulties with writing a well structured and accurately composed paper on John Donne's "The Flea", we are here to assist you. Your cheap custom college paper on John Donne's "The Flea" will be written from scratch, so you do not have to worry about its originality.

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