This there was no great difficulty in doing; for the smack flew round steadily enough, and upon an even keel—only swaying to and fro, with the immense sweeps and swelters of the whirl. Scarcely had I secured myself in my new position, when we gave a wild lurch to starboard, and rushed headlong into the abyss. I muttered a hurried prayer to God, and thought all was over. For some seconds I dared not open them—while I expected instant destruction, and wondered that I was not already in my death-struggles with the water.
But moment after moment elapsed. I still lived. The sense of falling had ceased; and the motion of the vessel seemed much as it had been before, while in the belt of foam, with the exception that she now lay more along. I took courage, and looked once again upon the scene. The boat appeared to be hanging, as if by magic, midway down, upon the interior surface of a funnel vast in circumference, prodigious in depth, and whose perfectly smooth sides might have been mistaken for ebony, but for the bewildering rapidity with which they spun around, and for the gleaming and ghastly radiance they shot forth, as the rays of the full moon, from that circular rift amid the clouds which I have already described, streamed in a flood of golden glory along the black walls, and far away down into the inmost recesses of the abyss.
The general burst of terrific grandeur was all that I beheld. When I recovered myself a little, however, my gaze fell instinctively downward. In this direction I was able to obtain an unobstructed view, from the manner in which the smack hung on the inclined surface of the pool. She was quite upon an even keel—that is to say, her deck lay in a plane parallel with that of the water—but this latter sloped at an angle of more than forty-five degrees, so that we seemed to be lying upon our beam-ends. I could not help observing, nevertheless, that I had scarcely more difficulty in maintaining my hold and footing in this situation, than if we had been upon a dead level; and this, I suppose, was owing to the speed at which we revolved.
This mist, or spray, was no doubt occasioned by the clashing of the great walls of the funnel, as they all met together at the bottom—but the yell that went up to the Heavens from out of that mist, I dare not attempt to describe. Round and round we swept—not with any uniform movement—but in dizzying swings and jerks, that sent us sometimes only a few hundred yards—sometimes nearly the complete circuit of the whirl.
Our progress downward, at each revolution, was slow, but very perceptible. Both above and below us were visible fragments of vessels, large masses of building timber and trunks of trees, with many smaller articles, such as pieces of house furniture, broken boxes, barrels and staves. I have already described the unnatural curiosity which had taken the place of my original terrors.
It appeared to grow upon me as I drew nearer and nearer to my dreadful doom. I now began to watch, with a strange interest, the numerous things that floated in our company. I must have been delirious—for I even sought amusement in speculating upon the relative velocities of their several descents toward the foam below. At length, after making several guesses of this nature, and being deceived in all—this fact—the fact of my invariable miscalculation—set me upon a train of reflection that made my limbs again tremble, and my heart beat heavily once more.
This hope arose partly from memory, and partly from present observation. By far the greater number of the articles were shattered in the most extraordinary way—so chafed and roughened as to have the appearance of being stuck full of splinters—but then I distinctly recollected that there were some of them which were not disfigured at all.
Now I could not account for this difference except by supposing that the roughened fragments were the only ones which had been completely absorbed —that the others had entered the whirl at so late a period of the tide, or, for some reason, had descended so slowly after entering, that they did not reach the bottom before the turn of the flood came, or of the ebb, as the case might be.
I conceived it possible, in either instance, that they might thus be whirled up again to the level of the ocean, without undergoing the fate of those which had been drawn in more early, or absorbed more rapidly. I made, also, three important observations. The first was, that, as a general rule, the larger the bodies were, the more rapid their descent—the second, that, between two masses of equal extent, the one spherical, and the other of any other shape , the superiority in speed of descent was with the sphere—the third, that, between two masses of equal size, the one cylindrical, and the other of any other shape, the cylinder was absorbed the more slowly.
I resolved to lash myself securely to the water cask upon which I now held, to cut it loose from the counter, and to throw myself with it into the water. I thought at length that he comprehended my design—but, whether this was the case or not, he shook his head despairingly, and refused to move from his station by the ring-bolt. As it is myself who now tell you this tale—as you see that I did escape—and as you are already in possession of the mode in which this escape was effected, and must therefore anticipate all that I have farther to say—I will bring my story quickly to conclusion.
It might have been an hour, or thereabout, after my quitting the smack, when, having descended to a vast distance beneath me, it made three or four wild gyrations in rapid succession, and, bearing my loved brother with it, plunged headlong, at once and forever, into the chaos of foam below. The barrel to which I was attached sunk very little farther than half the distance between the bottom of the gulf and the spot at which I leaped overboard, before a great change took place in the character of the whirlpool. The slope of the sides of the vast funnel became momently less and less steep.
The gyrations of the whirl grew, gradually, less and less violent. By degrees, the froth and the rainbow disappeared, and the bottom of the gulf seemed slowly to uprise. It was the hour of the slack—but the sea still heaved in mountainous waves from the effects of the hurricane. A boat picked me up—exhausted from fatigue—and now that the danger was removed speechless from the memory of its horror. Those who drew me on board were my old mates and daily companions—but they knew me no more than they would have known a traveller from the spirit-land.
My hair which had been raven-black the day before, was as white as you see it now. They say too that the whole expression of my countenance had changed. I told them my story—they did not believe it. I now tell it to you —and I can scarcely expect you to put more faith in it than did the merry fishermen of Lofoden. My object is simply, in the first place, to say a few words of Von Kempelen himself with whom, some years ago, I had the honor of a slight personal acquaintance , since every thing which concerns him must necessarily, at this moment, be of interest; and, in the second place, to look in a general way, and speculatively, at the results of the discovery.
It may be as well, however, to premise the cursory observations which I have to offer, by denying, very decidedly, what seems to be a general impression gleaned, as usual in a case of this kind, from the newspapers , viz. Kissam, of Brunswick, Maine, appears to me, I confess, a little apocryphal, for several reasons; although there is nothing either impossible or very improbable in the statement made. I need not go into details. My opinion of the paragraph is founded principally upon its manner. It does not look true. Persons who are narrating facts, are seldom so particular as Mr.
Kissam seems to be, about day and date and precise location. Besides, if Mr. Kissam actually did come upon the discovery he says he did, at the period designated—nearly eight years ago—how happens it that he took no steps, on the instant, to reap the immense benefits which the merest bumpkin must have known would have resulted to him individually, if not to the world at large, from the discovery? It seems to me quite incredible that any man of common understanding could have discovered what Mr.
Kissam says he did, and yet have subsequently acted so like a baby—so like an owl—as Mr. Kissam admits that he did. By-the-way, who is Mr. It must be confessed that it has an amazingly moon-hoaxy-air. Very little dependence is to be placed upon it, in my humble opinion; and if I were not well aware, from experience, how very easily men of science are mystified, on points out of their usual range of inquiry, I should be profoundly astonished at finding so eminent a chemist as Professor Draper, discussing Mr.
This pamphlet was not designed for the public eye, even upon the decease of the writer, as any person at all conversant with authorship may satisfy himself at once by the slightest inspection of the style. The fact is, Sir Humphrey Davy was about the last man in the world to commit himself on scientific topics.
Not only had he a more than ordinary dislike to quackery, but he was morbidly afraid of appearing empirical; so that, however fully he might have been convinced that he was on the right track in the matter now in question, he would never have spoken out, until he had every thing ready for the most practical demonstration. Whether it escaped the flames by good fortune or by bad, yet remains to be seen. That the passages quoted above, with the other similar ones referred to, gave Von Kempelen the hint, I do not in the slightest degree question; but I repeat, it yet remains to be seen whether this momentous discovery itself momentous under any circumstances will be of service or disservice to mankind at large.
That Von Kempelen and his immediate friends will reap a rich harvest, it would be folly to doubt for a moment. My acquaintance with him was casual altogether; and I am scarcely warranted in saying that I know him at all; but to have seen and conversed with a man of so prodigious a notoriety as he has attained, or will attain in a few days, is not a small matter, as times go.
The family is connected, in some way, with Maelzel, of Automaton-chess-player memory. In person, he is short and stout, with large, fat, blue eyes, sandy hair and whiskers, a wide but pleasing mouth, fine teeth, and I think a Roman nose. There is some defect in one of his feet. His address is frank, and his whole manner noticeable for bonhomie. His principal topics were those of the day, and nothing that fell from him led me to suspect his scientific attainments.
He left the hotel before me, intending to go to New York, and thence to Bremen; it was in the latter city that his great discovery was first made public; or, rather, it was there that he was first suspected of having made it. This is about all that I personally know of the now immortal Von Kempelen; but I have thought that even these few details would have interest for the public.
The following anecdote, at least, is so well authenticated, that we may receive it implicitly. Von Kempelen had never been even tolerably well off during his residence at Bremen; and often, it was well known, he had been put to extreme shifts in order to raise trifling sums. He was at length arrested, but nothing decisive appearing against him, was in the end set at liberty. His agitation is represented as so excessive that the officers had not the slightest doubt of his guilt. After hand-cuffing him, they searched his room, or rather rooms, for it appears he occupied all the mansarde.
Opening into the garret where they caught him, was a closet, ten feet by eight, fitted up with some chemical apparatus, of which the object has not yet been ascertained. In one corner of the closet was a very small furnace, with a glowing fire in it, and on the fire a kind of duplicate crucible—two crucibles connected by a tube. One of these crucibles was nearly full of lead in a state of fusion, but not reaching up to the aperture of the tube, which was close to the brim.
The other crucible had some liquid in it, which, as the officers entered, seemed to be furiously dissipating in vapor. They relate that, on finding himself taken, Kempelen seized the crucibles with both hands which were encased in gloves that afterwards turned out to be asbestic , and threw the contents on the tiled floor. It was now that they hand-cuffed him; and before proceeding to ransack the premises they searched his person, but nothing unusual was found about him, excepting a paper parcel, in his coat-pocket, containing what was afterward ascertained to be a mixture of antimony and some unknown substance, in nearly, but not quite, equal proportions.
All attempts at analyzing the unknown substance have, so far, failed, but that it will ultimately be analyzed, is not to be doubted. They here rummaged some drawers and boxes, but discovered only a few papers, of no importance, and some good coin, silver and gold. At length, looking under the bed, they saw a large, common hair trunk, without hinges, hasp, or lock, and with the top lying carelessly across the bottom portion. Putting his feet, now, against the wall so as to get a good purchase, and pushing with all his force, while his companions pulled with all theirs, the trunk, with much difficulty, was slid out from under the bed, and its contents examined.
The idea of its being gold never entered their brains, of course; how could such a wild fancy have entered it? The opinions of Arago are, of course, entitled to the greatest consideration; but he is by no means infallible; and what he says of bismuth, in his report to the Academy, must be taken cum grano salis. The simple truth is, that up to this period all analysis has failed; and until Von Kempelen chooses to let us have the key to his own published enigma, it is more than probable that the matter will remain, for years, in statu quo.
If many were prevented from adventuring to California, by the mere apprehension that gold would so materially diminish in value, on account of its plentifulness in the mines there, as to render the speculation of going so far in search of it a doubtful one—what impression will be wrought now, upon the minds of those about to emigrate, and especially upon the minds of those actually in the mineral region, by the announcement of this astounding discovery of Von Kempelen? It is, indeed, exceedingly difficult to speculate prospectively upon the consequences of the discovery, but one thing may be positively maintained—that the announcement of the discovery six months ago would have had material influence in regard to the settlement of California.
In Europe, as yet, the most noticeable results have been a rise of two hundred per cent. If I were awake I should like to die, but now it is no matter. The mesmeric condition is so near death as to content me. I am willing to do so, but it requires more effort than I feel able to make. You do not question me properly.
You know that the beginning is GOD. There is no immateriality—it is a mere word. That which is not matter, is not at all—unless qualities are things. Nor is he matter, as you understand it. But there are gradations of matter of which man knows nothing; the grosser impelling the finer, the finer pervading the grosser. The atmosphere, for example, impels the electric principle, while the electric principle permeates the atmosphere. These gradations of matter increase in rarity or fineness, until we arrive at a matter unparticled —without particles—indivisible— one and here the law of impulsion and permeation is modified.
The ultimate, or unparticled matter, not only permeates all things but impels all things—and thus is all things within itself. This matter is God. The metaphysicians maintain that all action is reducible to motion and thinking, and that the latter is the origin of the former.
Yes; and I now see the confusion of idea. Motion is the action of mind —not of thinking. The unparticled matter, or God, in quiescence, is as nearly as we can conceive it what men call mind. And the power of self-movement equivalent in effect to human volition is, in the unparticled matter, the result of its unity and omniprevalence; how I know not, and now clearly see that I shall never know.
But the unparticled matter, set in motion by a law, or quality, existing within itself, is thinking. Can you give me no more precise idea of what you term the unparticled matter? The matters of which man is cognizant, escape the senses in gradation. We have, for example, a metal, a piece of wood, a drop of water, the atmosphere, a gas, caloric, electricity, the luminiferous ether. Now we call all these things matter, and embrace all matter in one general definition; but in spite of this, there can be no two ideas more essentially distinct than that which we attach to a metal, and that which we attach to the luminiferous ether.
When we reach the latter, we feel an almost irresistible inclination to class it with spirit, or with nihility. The only consideration which restrains us is our conception of its atomic constitution; and here, even, we have to seek aid from our notion of an atom, as something possessing in infinite minuteness, solidity, palpability, weight. Destroy the idea of the atomic constitution and we should no longer be able to regard the ether as an entity, or at least as matter. For want of a better word we might term it spirit.
Take, now, a step beyond the luminiferous ether—conceive a matter as much more rare than the ether, as this ether is more rare than the metal, and we arrive at once in spite of all the school dogmas at a unique mass—an unparticled matter.
For although we may admit infinite littleness in the atoms themselves, the infinitude of littleness in the spaces between them is an absurdity. There will be a point—there will be a degree of rarity, at which, if the atoms are sufficiently numerous, the interspaces must vanish, and the mass absolutely coalesce. But the consideration of the atomic constitution being now taken away, the nature of the mass inevitably glides into what we conceive of spirit.
It is clear, however, that it is as fully matter as before. The truth is, it is impossible to conceive spirit, since it is impossible to imagine what is not. When we flatter ourselves that we have formed its conception, we have merely deceived our understanding by the consideration of infinitely rarified matter. There seems to me an insurmountable objection to the idea of absolute coalescence;—and that is the very slight resistance experienced by the heavenly bodies in their revolutions through space—a resistance now ascertained, it is true, to exist in some degree, but which is, nevertheless, so slight as to have been quite overlooked by the sagacity even of Newton.
We know that the resistance of bodies is, chiefly, in proportion to their density. Absolute coalescence is absolute density. Where there are no interspaces, there can be no yielding. An ether, absolutely dense, would put an infinitely more effectual stop to the progress of a star than would an ether of adamant or of iron. Your objection is answered with an ease which is nearly in the ratio of its apparent unanswerability. There is no astronomical error more unaccountable than that which reconciles the known retardation of the comets with the idea of their passage through an ether: for, however rare this ether be supposed, it would put a stop to all sidereal revolution in a very far briefer period than has been admitted by those astronomers who have endeavored to slur over a point which they found it impossible to comprehend.
The retardation actually experienced is, on the other hand, about that which might be expected from the friction of the ether in the instantaneous passage through the orb. In the one case, the retarding force is momentary and complete within itself—in the other it is endlessly accumulative. But in all this—in this identification of mere matter with God—is there nothing of irreverence?
Can you say why matter should be less reverenced than mind? God, with all the powers attributed to spirit, is but the perfection of matter. In general, this motion is the universal thought of the universal mind. This thought creates. All created things are but the thoughts of God. The universal mind is God. For new individualities, matter is necessary. Yes—to avoid confusion. Yes; for mind, existing unincorporate, is merely God. To create individual, thinking beings, it was necessary to incarnate portions of the divine mind.
Thus man is individualized. Divested of corporate investiture, he were God. Now, the particular motion of the incarnated portions of the unparticled matter is the thought of man; as the motion of the whole is that of God. And this is true. Man thus divested would be God—would be unindividualized. But he can never be thus divested—at least never will be —else we must imagine an action of God returning upon itself—a purposeless and futile action. Man is a creature. Creatures are thoughts of God. It is the nature of thought to be irrevocable. There are two bodies—the rudimental and the complete; corresponding with the two conditions of the worm and the butterfly.
Our present incarnation is progressive, preparatory, temporary. Our future is perfected, ultimate, immortal. The ultimate life is the full design. We , certainly—but not the worm. The matter of which our rudimental body is composed, is within the ken of the organs of that body; or, more distinctly, our rudimental organs are adapted to the matter of which is formed the rudimental body; but not to that of which the ultimate is composed.
The ultimate body thus escapes our rudimental senses, and we perceive only the shell which falls, in decaying, from the inner form; not that inner form itself; but this inner form, as well as the shell, is appreciable by those who have already acquired the ultimate life. You have often said that the mesmeric state very nearly resembles death. How is this? When I say that it resembles death, I mean that it resembles the ultimate life; for when I am entranced the senses of my rudimental life are in abeyance, and I perceive external things directly, without organs, through a medium which I shall employ in the ultimate, unorganized life.
Yes; organs are contrivances by which the individual is brought into sensible relation with particular classes and forms of matter, to the exclusion of other classes and forms. The organs of man are adapted to his rudimental condition, and to that only; his ultimate condition, being unorganized, is of unlimited comprehension in all points but one—the nature of the volition of God—that is to say, the motion of the unparticled matter.
You will have a distinct idea of the ultimate body by conceiving it to be entire brain. This it is not ; but a conception of this nature will bring you near a comprehension of what it is. A luminous body imparts vibration to the luminiferous ether. The vibrations generate similar ones within the retina; these again communicate similar ones to the optic nerve. The nerve conveys similar ones to the brain; the brain, also, similar ones to the unparticled matter which permeates it. The motion of this latter is thought, of which perception is the first undulation. This is the mode by which the mind of the rudimental life communicates with the external world; and this external world is, to the rudimental life, limited, through the idiosyncrasy of its organs.
But in the ultimate, unorganized life, the external world reaches the whole body, which is of a substance having affinity to brain, as I have said, with no other intervention than that of an infinitely rarer ether than even the luminiferous; and to this ether—in unison with it—the whole body vibrates, setting in motion the unparticled matter which permeates it.
It is to the absence of idiosyncratic organs, therefore, that we must attribute the nearly unlimited perception of the ultimate life. To rudimental beings, organs are the cages necessary to confine them until fledged. But for the necessity of the rudimental, prior to the ultimate life, there would have been no bodies such as these. Each of these is tenanted by a distinct variety of organic, rudimental, thinking creatures. In all, the organs vary with the features of the place tenanted. At death, or metamorphosis, these creatures, enjoying the ultimate life—immortality—and cognizant of all secrets but the one , act all things and pass everywhere by mere volition:—indwelling, not the stars, which to us seem the sole palpabilities, and for the accommodation of which we blindly deem space created—but that SPACE itself—that infinity of which the truly substantive vastness swallows up the star-shadows—blotting them out as non-entities from the perception of the angels.
But why this necessity? In the inorganic life, as well as in the inorganic matter generally, there is nothing to impede the action of one simple unique law—the Divine Volition. With the view of producing impediment, the organic life and matter, complex, substantial, and law-encumbered, were contrived. The result of law inviolate is perfection—right—negative happiness.
The result of law violate is imperfection, wrong, positive pain. Through the impediments afforded by the number, complexity, and substantiality of the laws of organic life and matter, the violation of law is rendered, to a certain extent, practicable. Thus pain, which in the inorganic life is impossible, is possible in the organic. All things are either good or bad by comparison. A sufficient analysis will show that pleasure, in all cases, is but the contrast of pain. Positive pleasure is a mere idea. To be happy at any one point we must have suffered at the same.
Never to suffer would have been never to have been blessed. But it has been shown that, in the inorganic life, pain cannot be thus the necessity for the organic. The pain of the primitive life of Earth, is the sole basis of the bliss of the ultimate life in Heaven. We must not regard it as a quality, but as a sentiment:—it is the perception, in thinking beings, of the adaptation of matter to their organization.
There are many things on the Earth, which would be nihility to the inhabitants of Venus—many things visible and tangible in Venus, which we could not be brought to appreciate as existing at all. As the sleep-waker pronounced these latter words, in a feeble tone, I observed on his countenance a singular expression, which somewhat alarmed me, and induced me to awake him at once.
No sooner had I done this, than, with a bright smile irradiating all his features, he fell back upon his pillow and expired. I noticed that in less than a minute afterward his corpse had all the stern rigidity of stone. His brow was of the coldness of ice. Had the sleep-waker, indeed, during the latter portion of his discourse, been addressing me from out the region of the shadows?
OF course I shall not pretend to consider it any matter for wonder, that the extraordinary case of M. Valdemar has excited discussion. It would have been a miracle had it not-especially under the circumstances. Through the desire of all parties concerned, to keep the affair from the public, at least for the present, or until we had farther opportunities for investigation—through our endeavors to effect this—a garbled or exaggerated account made its way into society, and became the source of many unpleasant misrepresentations, and, very naturally, of a great deal of disbelief.
It is now rendered necessary that I give the facts—as far as I comprehend them myself. They are, succinctly, these:. My attention, for the last three years, had been repeatedly drawn to the subject of Mesmerism; and, about nine months ago it occurred to me, quite suddenly, that in the series of experiments made hitherto, there had been a very remarkable and most unaccountable omission:—no person had as yet been mesmerized in articulo mortis.
It remained to be seen, first, whether, in such condition, there existed in the patient any susceptibility to the magnetic influence; secondly, whether, if any existed, it was impaired or increased by the condition; thirdly, to what extent, or for how long a period, the encroachments of Death might be arrested by the process.
There were other points to be ascertained, but these most excited my curiosity—the last in especial, from the immensely important character of its consequences. In looking around me for some subject by whose means I might test these particulars, I was brought to think of my friend, M.
Valdemar, who has resided principally at Harlaem, N. His temperament was markedly nervous, and rendered him a good subject for mesmeric experiment. On two or three occasions I had put him to sleep with little difficulty, but was disappointed in other results which his peculiar constitution had naturally led me to anticipate. His will was at no period positively, or thoroughly, under my control, and in regard to clairvoyance, I could accomplish with him nothing to be relied upon. I always attributed my failure at these points to the disordered state of his health.
For some months previous to my becoming acquainted with him, his physicians had declared him in a confirmed phthisis. It was his custom, indeed, to speak calmly of his approaching dissolution, as of a matter neither to be avoided nor regretted. When the ideas to which I have alluded first occurred to me, it was of course very natural that I should think of M. I knew the steady philosophy of the man too well to apprehend any scruples from him; and he had no relatives in America who would be likely to interfere. I spoke to him frankly upon the subject; and, to my surprise, his interest seemed vividly excited.
I say to my surprise, for, although he had always yielded his person freely to my experiments, he had never before given me any tokens of sympathy with what I did. His disease was of that character which would admit of exact calculation in respect to the epoch of its termination in death; and it was finally arranged between us that he would send for me about twenty-four hours before the period announced by his physicians as that of his decease.
It is now rather more than seven months since I received, from M. Valdemar himself, the subjoined note:. You may as well come now. D—— and F—— are agreed that I cannot hold out beyond to-morrow midnight; and I think they have hit the time very nearly. I had not seen him for ten days, and was appalled by the fearful alteration which the brief interval had wrought in him. His face wore a leaden hue; the eyes were utterly lustreless; and the emaciation was so extreme that the skin had been broken through by the cheek-bones.
His expectoration was excessive. The pulse was barely perceptible. He retained, nevertheless, in a very remarkable manner, both his mental power and a certain degree of physical strength. He spoke with distinctness—took some palliative medicines without aid—and, when I entered the room, was occupied in penciling memoranda in a pocket-book. He was propped up in the bed by pillows. Doctors D—— and F—— were in attendance. The left lung had been for eighteen months in a semi-osseous or cartilaginous state, and was, of course, entirely useless for all purposes of vitality. The right, in its upper portion, was also partially, if not thoroughly, ossified, while the lower region was merely a mass of purulent tubercles, running one into another.
Several extensive perforations existed; and, at one point, permanent adhesion to the ribs had taken place. These appearances in the right lobe were of comparatively recent date. The ossification had proceeded with very unusual rapidity; no sign of it had been discovered a month before, and the adhesion had only been observed during the three previous days. Independently of the phthisis, the patient was suspected of aneurism of the aorta; but on this point the osseous symptoms rendered an exact diagnosis impossible.
It was the opinion of both physicians that M. Valdemar would die about midnight on the morrow Sunday. It had not been their intention to return; but, at my request, they agreed to look in upon the patient about ten the next night. When they had gone, I spoke freely with M. Valdemar on the subject of his approaching dissolution, as well as, more particularly, of the experiment proposed. He still professed himself quite willing and even anxious to have it made, and urged me to commence it at once. A male and a female nurse were in attendance; but I did not feel myself altogether at liberty to engage in a task of this character with no more reliable witnesses than these people, in case of sudden accident, might prove.
I therefore postponed operations until about eight the next night, when the arrival of a medical student with whom I had some acquaintance, Mr. Theodore L—l, relieved me from farther embarrassment. It had been my design, originally, to wait for the physicians; but I was induced to proceed, first, by the urgent entreaties of M. Valdemar, and secondly, by my conviction that I had not a moment to lose, as he was evidently sinking fast.
L—l was so kind as to accede to my desire that he would take notes of all that occurred, and it is from his memoranda that what I now have to relate is, for the most part, either condensed or copied verbatim. L—l, whether he M. Valdemar was entirely willing that I should make the experiment of mesmerizing him in his then condition. While he spoke thus, I commenced the passes which I had already found most effectual in subduing him. I explained to them, in a few words, what I designed, and as they opposed no objection, saying that the patient was already in the death agony, I proceeded without hesitation—exchanging, however, the lateral passes for downward ones, and directing my gaze entirely into the right eye of the sufferer.
By this time his pulse was imperceptible and his breathing was stertorous, and at intervals of half a minute. This condition was nearly unaltered for a quarter of an hour. At the expiration of this period, however, a natural although a very deep sigh escaped the bosom of the dying man, and the stertorous breathing ceased—that is to say, its stertorousness was no longer apparent; the intervals were undiminished. At five minutes before eleven I perceived unequivocal signs of the mesmeric influence.
The glassy roll of the eye was changed for that expression of uneasy inward examination which is never seen except in cases of sleep-waking, and which it is quite impossible to mistake. With a few rapid lateral passes I made the lids quiver, as in incipient sleep, and with a few more I closed them altogether. I was not satisfied, however, with this, but continued the manipulations vigorously, and with the fullest exertion of the will, until I had completely stiffened the limbs of the slumberer, after placing them in a seemingly easy position.
The legs were at full length; the arms were nearly so, and reposed on the bed at a moderate distance from the loin. The head was very slightly elevated. When I had accomplished this, it was fully midnight, and I requested the gentlemen present to examine M. After a few experiments, they admitted him to be an unusually perfect state of mesmeric trance.
The curiosity of both the physicians was greatly excited. D—— resolved at once to remain with the patient all night, while Dr. F—— took leave with a promise to return at daybreak. L—l and the nurses remained. We left M. F—went away—that is to say, he lay in the same position; the pulse was imperceptible; the breathing was gentle scarcely noticeable, unless through the application of a mirror to the lips ; the eyes were closed naturally; and the limbs were as rigid and as cold as marble. Still, the general appearance was certainly not that of death.
As I approached M. Valdemar I made a kind of half effort to influence his right arm into pursuit of my own, as I passed the latter gently to and fro above his person. In such experiments with this patient, I had never perfectly succeeded before, and assuredly I had little thought of succeeding now; but to my astonishment, his arm very readily, although feebly, followed every direction I assigned it with mine. I determined to hazard a few words of conversation.
At its third repetition, his whole frame was agitated by a very slight shivering; the eyelids unclosed themselves so far as to display a white line of the ball; the lips moved sluggishly, and from between them, in a barely audible whisper, issued the words:. I here felt the limbs and found them as rigid as ever. The right arm, as before, obeyed the direction of my hand. I questioned the sleep-waker again:. I did not think it advisable to disturb him farther just then, and nothing more was said or done until the arrival of Dr.
F—, who came a little before sunrise, and expressed unbounded astonishment at finding the patient still alive. After feeling the pulse and applying a mirror to the lips, he requested me to speak to the sleep-waker again. I did so, saying:. As before, some minutes elapsed ere a reply was made; and during the interval the dying man seemed to be collecting his energies to speak. At my fourth repetition of the question, he said very faintly, almost inaudibly:. It was now the opinion, or rather the wish, of the physicians, that M. Valdemar should be suffered to remain undisturbed in his present apparently tranquil condition, until death should supervene—and this, it was generally agreed, must now take place within a few minutes.
I concluded, however, to speak to him once more, and merely repeated my previous question. While I spoke, there came a marked change over the countenance of the sleep-waker. The eyes rolled themselves slowly open, the pupils disappearing upwardly; the skin generally assumed a cadaverous hue, resembling not so much parchment as white paper; and the circular hectic spots which, hitherto, had been strongly defined in the centre of each cheek, went out at once. I use this expression, because the suddenness of their departure put me in mind of nothing so much as the extinguishment of a candle by a puff of the breath.
The upper lip, at the same time, writhed itself away from the teeth, which it had previously covered completely; while the lower jaw fell with an audible jerk, leaving the mouth widely extended, and disclosing in full view the swollen and blackened tongue. I presume that no member of the party then present had been unaccustomed to death-bed horrors; but so hideous beyond conception was the appearance of M.
Valdemar at this moment, that there was a general shrinking back from the region of the bed. I now feel that I have reached a point of this narrative at which every reader will be startled into positive disbelief. It is my business, however, simply to proceed.
There was no longer the faintest sign of vitality in M. Valdemar; and concluding him to be dead, we were consigning him to the charge of the nurses, when a strong vibratory motion was observable in the tongue. This continued for perhaps a minute. At the expiration of this period, there issued from the distended and motionless jaws a voice—such as it would be madness in me to attempt describing.
There are, indeed, two or three epithets which might be considered as applicable to it in part; I might say, for example, that the sound was harsh, and broken and hollow; but the hideous whole is indescribable, for the simple reason that no similar sounds have ever jarred upon the ear of humanity. There were two particulars, nevertheless, which I thought then, and still think, might fairly be stated as characteristic of the intonation—as well adapted to convey some idea of its unearthly peculiarity.
In the first place, the voice seemed to reach our ears—at least mine—from a vast distance, or from some deep cavern within the earth. In the second place, it impressed me I fear, indeed, that it will be impossible to make myself comprehended as gelatinous or glutinous matters impress the sense of touch. Valdemar spoke—obviously in reply to the question I had propounded to him a few minutes before. I had asked him, it will be remembered, if he still slept. He now said:. No person present even affected to deny, or attempted to repress, the unutterable, shuddering horror which these few words, thus uttered, were so well calculated to convey.
L—l the student swooned. The nurses immediately left the chamber, and could not be induced to return. My own impressions I would not pretend to render intelligible to the reader. For nearly an hour, we busied ourselves, silently—without the utterance of a word—in endeavors to revive Mr. When he came to himself, we addressed ourselves again to an investigation of M. It remained in all respects as I have last described it, with the exception that the mirror no longer afforded evidence of respiration.
An attempt to draw blood from the arm failed. I should mention, too, that this limb was no farther subject to my will. I endeavored in vain to make it follow the direction of my hand. The only real indication, indeed, of the mesmeric influence, was now found in the vibratory movement of the tongue, whenever I addressed M. Valdemar a question. He seemed to be making an effort to reply, but had no longer sufficient volition. To queries put to him by any other person than myself he seemed utterly insensible—although I endeavored to place each member of the company in mesmeric rapport with him.
In the afternoon we all called again to see the patient. His condition remained precisely the same. We had now some discussion as to the propriety and feasibility of awakening him; but we had little difficulty in agreeing that no good purpose would be served by so doing.
It was evident that, so far, death or what is usually termed death had been arrested by the mesmeric process. It seemed clear to us all that to awaken M. Valdemar would be merely to insure his instant, or at least his speedy dissolution. From this period until the close of last week—an interval of nearly seven months—we continued to make daily calls at M. All this time the sleeper-waker remained exactly as I have last described him. It was on Friday last that we finally resolved to make the experiment of awakening or attempting to awaken him; and it is the perhaps unfortunate result of this latter experiment which has given rise to so much discussion in private circles—to so much of what I cannot help thinking unwarranted popular feeling.
For the purpose of relieving M. Valdemar from the mesmeric trance, I made use of the customary passes. These, for a time, were unsuccessful. The first indication of revival was afforded by a partial descent of the iris. It was observed, as especially remarkable, that this lowering of the pupil was accompanied by the profuse out-flowing of a yellowish ichor from beneath the lids of a pungent and highly offensive odor.
I made the attempt and failed. F—then intimated a desire to have me put a question. I did so, as follows:. There was an instant return of the hectic circles on the cheeks; the tongue quivered, or rather rolled violently in the mouth although the jaws and lips remained rigid as before; and at length the same hideous voice which I have already described, broke forth:.
I was thoroughly unnerved, and for an instant remained undecided what to do. At first I made an endeavor to re-compose the patient; but, failing in this through total abeyance of the will, I retraced my steps and as earnestly struggled to awaken him. In this attempt I soon saw that I should be successful—or at least I soon fancied that my success would be complete—and I am sure that all in the room were prepared to see the patient awaken. For what really occurred, however, it is quite impossible that any human being could have been prepared.
Upon the bed, before that whole company, there lay a nearly liquid mass of loathsome—of detestable putridity. FOR the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not—and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburthen my soul. My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events.
In their consequences, these events have terrified—have tortured—have destroyed me. Yet I will not attempt to expound them. To me, they have presented little but Horror—to many they will seem less terrible than barroques. Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to the common-place—some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive, in the circumstances I detail with awe, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects.
From my infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my disposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the jest of my companions. I was especially fond of animals, and was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets. With these I spent most of my time, and never was so happy as when feeding and caressing them. This peculiarity of character grew with my growth, and in my manhood, I derived from it one of my principal sources of pleasure.
To those who have cherished an affection for a faithful and sagacious dog, I need hardly be at the trouble of explaining the nature or the intensity of the gratification thus derivable. There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man. I married early, and was happy to find in my wife a disposition not uncongenial with my own.
Observing my partiality for domestic pets, she lost no opportunity of procuring those of the most agreeable kind. We had birds, gold-fish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey, and a cat. This latter was a remarkably large and beautiful animal, entirely black, and sagacious to an astonishing degree. In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise. There are many functions that these juxtapositions play.
The title already sets up the idea of comparison, in that there are two cities, and indeed the entire novel is full of doubles. This passage sets up the expectation of that theme continuing, while also showing the intense struggle between love and hatred, freedom and oppression, and good and evil that lead up to the French Revolution. Example 3 Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Tolstoy posits a difference between happy families and unhappy families, and the ways in which they function.
Whether the juxtaposition leads to a true statement is highly debatable, yet the quote is often repeated. This line creates the desire in the reader to know the exact way in which the unhappy family in the novel is unhappy. Example 4 Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
While a simile states that one thing is like another, a metaphor asserts that one thing is the other, or is a substitute for the other thing. A metaphor asserts a correlation or resemblance between two things that are otherwise unrelated. Rhetoricians have further elaborated on the definition of metaphor by separating and naming the two key elements. In this example, the world is the primary subject, and it gains attributes from the stage ie, from theater. Other examples of analogies are similes, allegories, hyperboles, and puns.
Hyperbole Hyperbole: Hyperbole compares or describes things in an exaggerated way for the sake of emphasis. The state of starvation is much more dire than mere hunger, and so we say we are starving to emphasize the need for food. Pun Pun: Like metaphor, a pun uses comparison to create cognitive links between two things. The difference between the two terms is that a pun does so for comedic effect. Examples of Metaphor from Common Speech Many common sayings are metaphors. It was raining cats and dogs. Never look a gift horse in the mouth.
People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. A watched pot never boils. This is not only because metaphor is a highly useful literary device, but also because it is such a vital part of all language and communication. Many cognitive theorists have researched and written about the importance of metaphor in the way we understand the world around us. The metaphorical comparison of these two concepts ends up influencing the way people in cultures actually perceive time. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that there are examples of metaphor in literature from every culture.
The use of metaphor allows authors to present unfamiliar ideas or situations in ways that the reader is able to comprehend by comparing unknown things to known things. This can be a good technique for fantasy writers or science fiction writers to make the worlds they create seem more familiar to the reader. Metaphors can also be used, however, to compare very common things to one another.
This type of usage forges a cognitive link between previously unrelated objects and makes readers appreciate them in a new way. Examples of Metaphor from Literature Example 1 But, soft! It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. In this line, Romeo uses the metaphor of Juliet being the rising sun to demonstrate his devotion. Sunrise can signify new hope, which is how Romeo views his relationship with Juliet. Furthermore, the planet revolves around the sun and Romeo feels that his world now revolves around Juliet.
Stock your mind, stock your mind. You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace. This lovely excerpt, however, demonstrates how he was able to conceptualize his life as having a large amount of potential. Even though McCourt was poor, he could think of his mind as a palace and therefore have riches beyond belief available to him. Example 3 I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked… …who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fireplace Chicago.
Analogy Is a comparison between two things. Analogies function to describe or explain one thing by examining its similarities with another thing. The two things may be very dissimilar and the analogy forces the reader or listener to understand the connection between them. On the other hand, the analogy could provide a comparison between two very similar things, one of which might be more obscure; the analogy provides a way for a reader or listener to understand the more obscure thing by picturing the more common thing.
Many common literary devices are examples of analogy, such as metaphor, simile, allegory, parable, and exemplification. We examine the differences between these devices below. Analogy comes from the Greek word analogia, which is a combination of the prefix ana- upon, again, or back and the suffix -logos ratio, word, or speech. These symbols can be interpreted to have deeper significance and may illustrate moral truths or a political or historical situation.
Parable: Similar to allegory, though more condensed, a parable is a simple story used to illustrate an instructive lesson or principal. Exemplification: Exemplification is the relation between a sample and what it refers to. Common Examples of Analogy Analogy is not only a literary term. Indeed, the concept of analogy is used in many different fields, from math to biology to philosophy. Analogy is an important part of high-level perception in humans; the ability to form and understand analogies requires high cognitive functioning. Analogies have been used as a part of the American SAT exam to test cognitive functioning.
Analogy helps readers and listeners explore relationships between like and unlike things, thereby expanding connective tissue between concepts. Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle theorized about analogy, calling it a shared abstraction. The objects being compared shared a pattern, idea, philosophy, or effect, and the analogy helped clarify this mutual attribute. Authors use analogies in all types of literature for many reasons, such as to provide comparisons between like and unlike things, to create deeper significance in their works, and to help readers visualize characters and places.
Examples of Analogy in Literature Example 1 So. The Spear-Danes in days gone by And the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness.
There was Shield Sheafson, scourge of many tribes, A wrecker of mead-benches, rampaging among foes. This terror of the hall-troops had come far. A foundling to start with, he would flourish later on As his powers waxed and his worth was proved. In the end each clan on the outlying coasts Beyond the whale-road had to yield to him And begin to pay tribute. That was one good king. In the above excerpt, which is the opening paragraph of Beowulf, there are several kennings.
The metaphorical meaning is that the sea is the road that whales use. Kennings were a very popular type of analogy in Old English, but have fallen almost completely out of favor in modern English. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Shakespeare used analogy examples in all of his works. In these three lines there are a few analogies. Example 3 Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Example 4 The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. At the end of the novel men come to the farm to talk with the pigs, and the other farm animals outside cannot tell which creature is which. This is an example of analogy because the reader is forced to think about the ways that the pigs have taken on the very characteristics they meant to work against.
It is sometimes known as fallacy of ambiguity, which you can interpret in multiples ways. Ambiguous statements or words create vagueness and that constitutes the basis of unintended comedy. The readers are led to believe that the onlooker saw a dead cow walking, which is completely senseless. This dual nature of meanings creates ambiguity and makes the audience confused. However, they can resolve such ambiguity by understanding the context of the situation.
Significance of Ambiguity in Literature In literary pieces, ambiguity can become a source of deeper meaning. Through ambiguous statements, writers allow their readers a chance to interpret different meanings in multiples ways. It is due to this ambiguity that readers are able to use their imaginations to find out other hidden meanings. Hence, it gives freedom to the audiences to take part in the reading of prose or poetry. Difference Between Ambiguity and Irony Ambiguity and irony are two different terms, though you may not see it at first. Irony takes place when the intended meaning is different from what is apparent.
Ambiguity means the use of words, which have several different layers and meanings. Ambiguity, on the other hand, does not necessarily have any negative emotional quality. Have a look at the following: A fire hydrant is burning. The firefighters are on fire because of the unfair and negative comments about their firefighting skills by the mayor.
The sentence as a whole is ambiguous and you cannot understand the meaning easily. Example 2 The son saw his father drunk. Here, the structure of the sentence is what creates ambiguity. Example 3 The angry tailor pressed a suit in his shop and another in the local municipal court. Example 4 The pig is ready to eat. Is the pig ready to eat something? Or is it ready to be eaten? Are there no interesting shows on TV or is the broadcast not coming in at all? Let us consider some prominent examples in literature. Example 1 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald employs narrative ambiguity in a successful way.
Narrative ambiguity is the most practiced form of ambiguity in literature. It takes place when the reader is unable to determine the real nature of a character. The writer has skillfully used narrative ambiguity by making the leading character, Gatsby, ambiguous in the sense that a reader cannot easily determine if Gatsby is genuinely great or evil. The writer complicates ambiguity further though the narration by Nick Carraway, who is clearly a good character in the novel. Example 2 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is an excellent example of moral ambiguity.
This kind of ambiguity takes place when a piece of writing forces us to question right and wrong. Joseph Conrad develops a fantastically ambiguous character, Kurtz, in his novel. The reader is unable to understand whether the evil in Kurtz is just present in him or exists in all of us. Because of the atmosphere of ambiguity created by Kurtz, the whole novel demands more than usual concentration from the reader.
Example 3 Lord of the Flies by William Golding also has ambiguity at the very start when a boy with a mulberry birthmark disappears in an ambiguous way. There are signs such as the ominous drum roll of fire, which clarify the reason for the disappearance a little, but not completely. The reader can judge that this incident is meaningful when it is taken at a symbolic level.
It suggests that the survival of other boys on the island is in risk, though it does not explain exactly why. Within the context of the play, such an ambiguous statement gives rise to confusion and multiple meanings. The ending of the novel is especially ambiguous. The reader is unable to understand it clearly, as the novel is open to more interpretations than one.
You cannot easily understand why Hester comes back, and Hawthorne does not fully explain what happens to Pearl. There is no indication as to whether Hester has a sense of remorse for her behavior. The use of ambiguity towards the end of the novel makes it all the more complex. This literary device occurs in almost all types of language, written and spoken, but it is essential in poetry. Rhythm could also be defined as a pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in written or spoken language, specifically in poetry.
Rhythm is literally the heartbeat of the poem, and serves as the background through which the imagery and ideas flow. Significance of Rhythm in Literature and Poetry The importance of rhythm in writing is similar to a beat in music. In speech, we often use rhythm intentionally or unintentionally to create identifiable patterns. Rhythm forcefully stresses certain words for a longer period of time than other words. This repetition creates rhythmic effects. Rhythm is something that readers can expect from music and poetry and sometimes even from prose. It involves qualities of repetition, pattern, and movement which are essential to heighten the sense of musicality in songs and poetry.
Pose may also exhibit same qualities, though in a less organized sense. Rhythmic patterns provide a sense of harmony to the readers, leading to an increase in emotional responses. Poets employ rhythm in their poems in three different ways.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The second is through the use of enjambment, which occurs when an idea from one line moves into the next line. S Eliot. The third way is by using emphasis to change from iambic pentameter to trochaic hexameter, where readers notice a considerable change in rhythm or shift from one type of meter to another. Difference Between Rhythm and Meter There is a slight difference between these two terms. Rhythm is a generalized term that involves a pattern of accented and unaccented syllables in the lines of a poem, which is intended to create a sound pattern.
On the other hand, meter is a specific term referring to a particular pattern or type of rhythm. In simple words, we can say that rhythm is a pattern of beats, while meter organizes these beats in an understandable way such as in iambs, trochees, and spondees. Types of Rhythm Depending upon the method of metrical arrangement, there are five basic rhythms in poetry: iambic, trochaic, spondaic, anapestic, and dactylic. Rhythm and rhyme together form a recurrence of sound patterns in poetry, prose, and music.
The most common rhythm in poetry is iambic pentameter, which has five feet and ten syllables in each line. Example 1 If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever wife was happy in a man, Compare with me, ye women, if you can. I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold Or all the riches that the East doth hold. All iambs have been bolded so that you can see the pattern. Example 2 On the day of the explosion Shadows pointed towards the pithead: In the sun the slagheap slept. Down the lane came men in pitboots Coughing oath-edged talk and pipe-smoke Shouldering off the freshened silence….
It is widely used in poetry, though iambic remains the most popular metric form. As its name shows, it has four stressed syllables out of eight. Example 3 The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee. It is also called antidactylus. Since it ends in a stressed syllable, it creates a powerful music in the lines.
Example 4 Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime, Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle, Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime? This rhythmic pattern consists of three syllables: an accented or long syllable followed by two short or unaccented syllables. This type of rhythm is quite rare in English poetry. Example 5 Break, break, break, On thy cold grey stones, O Sea! And I would that my tongue could utter The thoughts that arise in me. This meter is not common in poetry.
Here, the poet uses it in combination with other meters. When iamb is used in combination with spondee, as shown here, it usually slows down the momentum of a line. Flashback A flashback is a device in a narrative that enables the writer to insert an event from the past in the current action. Writers employ this technique in their narratives to provide context or background for a current event. Flashbacks are introduced in the narrative with the help of various methods which include dream sequences, memories, and sudden remembrance.
Because they convey this sort of information, the use of flashback in a story can deepen the inner conflict. A flashback creates stimulus for the conflict, allows the reader to feel sympathy even for the villain , and deepens the moving effect of the story. The purpose of a flashback in a narrative is to enhance the tension. The use of flashback makes the reader wish to know more about the secrets and the untold past, so he keeps reading on to discover what secrets lie beneath a terrible incident or moving character. All this provides motivation for the creation of conflict.
Differences between Flashback and Foreshadowing Flashbacks and foreshadowing are completely opposite from each other. Flashback takes place when the current action in a narrative is interrupted by an incident from the past in the form of a memory, dream etc. In literature, writers use foreshadowing by hinting at elements of an incident which will happen later in the story. A flashback is completely different from foreshadowing, as in a flashback, the present action is interrupted and the reader is taken back to the past of a character.
Flashbacks and foreshadowing have completely opposite applications in literature. Common Examples of Flashbacks Take a look at the following example of a flashback from everyday life: Gazing at the school gate, I remembered how, as a child, I would enter that school rather unwillingly and leave it so excitedly. Today, I was here to collect my child who, perhaps just like me, had the same unwillingness to come to school. Example 1 In Hamlet, Shakespeare uses flashbacks quite skillfully by presenting a play within the play.
With the help of these flashbacks, the author can explain the happenings to the reader efficiently. Most of these events have taken place even before the play starts. Example 2 To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf is one of the most significant novels in English literature that uses flashbacks very often to enhance the appeal of the plot.
When after the death of Mrs. Ramsay, the whole family is going to visit the lighthouse, Woolf again uses the technique of flashback to show how the family remembers Mrs. The whole novel seems scattered with flashbacks and gets even greater attention from the reader because of the appealing use of these flashbacks.
Example 3 F. Nick Carraway, the narrator of the novel, describes the story of Jay Gatsby through his own flashbacks. This novel is a prime example of the effective use of flashbacks to relate the incidents which have already taken place and their possible impact on the current action. When the novel opens, Nick Carraway is already affected by the time he has spent in New York in the company of Jay Gatsby. Example 4 In the novel Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, the central character, year-old Brian Robeson, sees flashbacks related to his mother.
In Chapter 7, when Brian is all alone on the island, he sees some of the most painful events of his life through flashbacks. The writer uses the technique of flashbacks to detail the pain and agony that this character goes through as a result of his tormented past, especially the weak character of his mother. In many ways, the novel achieves a better level of narrative and attracts more attention from the reader because of the use of flashbacks. The inner conflict that Brian faces becomes even more evident due to the flashbacks used by the writer.
Example 5 In the satirical novel Catch by the American novelist Joseph Heller, we see the writer employ flashbacks to enhance the intensity of the climax. Yossarian is given two choices, and one of these choices relies heavily on the use of flashback in the novel. Example 6 J. In the same way, the novelist employs flashbacks to tell the details of the battle where the forces of good managed to defeat the forces of evil. The novel is a good example of a narrative which fits in flashbacks very nicely.
The tool of flashbacks lets Tolkien help the reader understand the intricacies of the past of the dwarves and their sinister enemies. Syntax Syntax is the arrangement of words into a sentence that make sense in a given language. Syntax also refers to the rules and principles that govern sentence structure in a language, i.
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Syntax therefore is not a strictly literary device, but instead is part of every utterance and written line, and even the majority of thoughts. Syntax varies widely in different languages. The word syntax comes from the Ancient Greek word syntaxis, which means to arrange or put in order. Difference Between Syntax and Diction Syntax and diction are both equally integral parts of the formation of meaning into sentences.
However, diction refers to the meanings of the words used while syntax refers to the arrangement of words. An author must make choices of both diction and syntax to properly convey a certain voice, and the two concepts together create a unique style for the author. Common Examples of Syntax As stated above in the definition of syntax, every proper grammatical sentence or utterance is an example of syntax.
Here are some examples of how syntax governs English. Agreement: She is a person. Case: He took me to the restaurant. Reflexive pronouns: I bought myself a new shirt. Word order: We ate fish for dinner. Note again that these are all very specific to English. Other languages may have similar syntactical phenomena, but different applications and possibilities. German also allows for many different word order possibilities than English. Poets are especially known for playing with syntax, rearranging words into unusual orders. Love is a thing as any spirit free.
Indeed, even though it is modernized it still carries hints of the Middle English syntax. He is saying that love is like a free spirit, but in a more poetic way. Of his bones are coral made. Those are pearls that were his eyes. Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange. Example 3 The woman brought two glasses of beer and two felt pads.
She put the felt pads and the beer glass on the table and looked at the man and the girl. The girl was looking off at the line of hills. They were white in the sun and the country was brown and dry. He rarely even used adjectives and almost never used adverbs. The entire story seems very straightforward, and yet there is a very serious subtext.
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Euphemism Euphemism means the use of indirect and polite expressions to replace impolite and harsh words and phrases. These polite words and indirect expressions can also be used to replace words that suggest something bitter or unpleasant. Euphemism can also be when an idiomatic expression is intentionally deprived of its literal meaning to refer to something else to lessen or hide bitterness and unpleasantness. Techniques Used in the Creation of Euphemism Euphemism masks an impolite or rude expression and conveys the idea politely and clearly.
Different techniques and methods are employed for the use of euphemism. Technical terms may also be employed to minimize the rudeness conveyed by direct and bitter words, and, similarly, the deliberate mispronunciation of offensive words may reduce the severity of the blunt and direct words. A writer skillfully chooses suitable words to discuss or refer to a subject in an indirect manner. In this way, the unpleasant and embarrassing words that cannot be published because of strict social censorship, such as political theories, religious fanaticism, death, and sexuality can be incorporated into literary works.
In this way, euphemism becomes a handy tool for writers to figuratively discuss concepts and ideas which have become libelous issues. The Victorian and Elizabethan Ages are among the literary ages where euphemisms were very frequent because of the strict social disapproval of direct and open words for sex, drinking, death, etc. This is the reason we find literary pieces produced in these two ages abundantly employing euphemism.
Euphemism provides writers with the opportunity to discuss concepts and notions which are otherwise virtually impossible to discuss openly. It gives writers an effective outlet to present even those concepts which may not be received without a sense of disapproval by their readers if discussed directly.
Difference between Euphemism and Irony Euphemism and irony may look similar because they are both indirect expressions, but actually, the difference between the two is crystal clear. Though both of them are employed intentionally, they serve opposite purposes. Euphemism is the intentional use of less impolite words in an attempt to reduce the bitterness of direct and impolite words.
Contrary to this, irony is an indirect use of words and phrases to expose the follies of a person or institution. Irony is the use of tricky words which are indirect, but are intended to unveil some weakness, shortcoming, or vice of the targeted person or thing. Common Examples of Euphemism Euphemism is commonly used in everyday life to reduce the unpleasantness associated with certain ideas, concepts, and situations.
One of the best examples is the concept of death for the leading character, Oliver. For others, death is represented by pain, black colors, and fear, but this is not the case with Oliver. The writer employs euphemism for death and in this way effectively conveys to us the feelings of the leading character towards the undesirable and painful reality of his life. Example 2 Mark Twain employs euphemism in his novel Huckleberry Finn and impressively explains some of the most prominent taboos of contemporary society.
Different euphemisms have been employed to show the nature of the Duchess and barbarism of the command the Duke gave to kill her. He considered that the Duchess was trifling with his rank by being pleased with gifts from every other person. Subsequently, he uses another euphemism when describing her murder.
Consonance Consonance is a literary device in which a consonant sound is repeated in words that are in close proximity. The repeated sound can appear anywhere in the words, unlike in alliteration where the repeated consonant sound must occur in the stressed part of the word. Consonance is also a similar concept to assonance, which refers to the repetition of vowel sounds in quick succession. Difference Between Consonance and Assonance Consonance and assonance are related, yet opposite, poetic devices.
As stated above, consonance refers to the repetition of consonant sounds in nearby words whereas assonance refers to the repetition of vowel sounds. In both cases it does not matter where in the words the repeated sounds occur. Special Cases of Consonance Alliteration Alliteration is a well-known form of consonance. It refers to the repetition of consonant sounds, but only in the stressed part of a word. Sibilance: Sibilance is a special case of consonance because it involves the repetition of consonant sounds, but only of sibilant consonants, i.
The early bird gets the worm. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Curiosity killed the cat. A blessing in disguise. I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
It is especially significant in English, and has been found in works dating back to Old English epics, such as Beowulf. Consonance, therefore, is used frequently in poetry and drama as a technique to add aural harmony and rhythm. Consonance can also be found in prose, but it is not as common or obvious of a technique as in poetry. Sibilance, the special case of consonance, produces sounds that mimic whispering and also the sense of sleepiness.
Poe repeats the name of his lost lover, Annabel Lee, many times in the poem at least once in each stanza. He also uses many words with similar sounds to create unity and rhythm throughout the poem. Example 3 I trust the sanity of my vessel; and if it sinks, it may well be in answer to the reasoning of the eternal voices, the waves which have kept me from reaching you. The consonance between the three images helps to connect them aurally. Foil In fiction, a foil is a character that possesses qualities which are in sharp contrast to those of another character.
This highlights the traits of the other character. Foil is a term that is generally employed to develop a contrast, and draw a comparison to show a difference between two things. In literature, we observe that a foil is a secondary character that contrasts with a major character and enhances the significance of the major character. Significance of Foil in Literature In literature, a foil is of integral value for the portrayal of certain traits in characters. Difference Between an Antagonist and a Foil A foil is a human character in a literary work.
An antagonist is an opposing force, negative character, or destructive situation which necessarily works against the plans and schemes of the protagonist. A foil lacks something in terms of important qualities which are possessed by the protagonist and in this way that the readers notice the significance of those qualities in the protagonist even more. It is important to note that an antagonist can also be a foil. To better understand the difference between an antagonist and a foil, take a look at the following examples of the two: I.
The sharks in the novel are antagonistic forces, as they undo all the hard work by Santiago, the protagonist of the novel. He fights against them to protect the fish that he has killed and hooked and to claim his victory fully, but to no avail. Bingley in Pride and Prejudice is a foil for Mr. The former is a rather naive character, and lacks certain positive qualities which the protagonist possesses. Bingley is not necessarily an opponent of Darcy; rather the two are very good friends of each other.
So, he is a foil for Darcy, but not an antagonist. Hetty wants to be admired and have a rich husband. She is a spoiled girl, unrealistic and proud of her beautiful looks. Contrary to this character, the closest girl to her, Dinah Morris, is a well-rounded character as she is realistic, sensible, and a responsible lady. The novelist presents a sharp contrast between the two with the help of these opposing traits.
Due to the missing qualities in Hetty Sorrel, the reader is made to realize the significance of good qualities in and sublimity of Dinah Morris, who otherwise could have been completely overshadowed because of the awesome beauty of Hetty Sorrel. Example 2 Shakespeare employs a foil in Othello by showing a sharp contrast between Desdemona and Emilia. Contrary to this leading character, Emilia is cunning and a worldly character, and helps her husband Iago in his evil plot against Othello. Only towards the end of the play does Emilia feel regret at having wronged Desdemona and Othello, but by that point, the reader is in a position to see the sharp contrast between the two female characters.
Definition of Mood As a literary device, mood is the emotional feeling or atmosphere that a work of literature produces in a reader. All works of literature produce some sort of emotional and psychological effect in the audience; though every reader may respond differently to the same work of literature there is often a similar type of mood produced.
For example, in a thriller most readers will feel some sort of suspense, while dramatic novels may produce a sense of sentimentality. Authors use many different factors to create mood, including setting, theme, voice, and tone. Difference Between Mood and Tone Though mood and tone are related and often confused, they are very different literary devices.
Thus, the difference can be understood in this way: tone is how the author feels, while mood is how the reader feels. Politicians use their speeches to create a certain feeling in the audience, including everything from hope to anger. Politicians try to provoke these feelings to advance their own agendas, win votes, sway opinions, and so forth. Advertisers also try to produce certain emotions such as nostalgia or fear to influence customers to buy their products. Here are examples of mood in these two cases: Political speeches In his presidency, Barack Obama has given speeches to arouse many different types of moods.
In this first example, he is trying to make his listeners feel hopeful and united: The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into red states and blue states; red states for Republicans, blue states for Democrats. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.
We do not have time for this kind of silliness. Advertisements Many advertisements, such as the following one from Listerine in the s, try to inspire fear in the consumer so they will think they need a certain product so as not to fail: Jane has a pretty face. Men notice her lovely figure but never linger long. Because Jane has one big minus on her report card — halitosis: bad breath. Other advertisements try to make customers think about how much happier they will be when they have the product. Coca Cola: Open happiness. Holiday Inn: Pleasing people the world over.
Readers often appreciate literature more when the emotional and psychological payoff is greater. However, if the book establishes good characterization and the reader feels a connection to a particular character, the reader will be much more affected emotionally if the character dies later in the book. All literature creates some sort of feeling in the reader, whether it is positive, negative, or neutral.
Even indifference is an example of mood.
The mood that a work provokes often changes many times throughout the book. So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. Shakespeare does this by describing his feelings of eternal passion for his beloved. The mood that this poem provokes in the reader is generally one of sadness and nostalgia. This exchange provokes a feeling of bemusement in the reader.
Epiphany Sometimes we face life-changing incidents in our lives, when we get a sudden realization or an insight into reality in a new way that alters our whole perception and mindset about that particular thing, idea or incident. Following this revelation, we change our actions. This sudden realization, thought or an insight into something or someone in literary works is known as a moment of epiphany.
Epiphany as an intuitive perception awakens our consciousness about something good. For example, for Hamlet this moment comes at the end when it dawns up him that his doubt about Claudius is true. In a narrative, this is the defining moment in the life of a character. Another important function of epiphany is to give a character a new vistas of perceptions about others, about the situation he is living in, or about the culture, he is going to live in.
It could also be an indication of how the story is going to conclude and provides a rationale how a plot will twist. Besides, it can reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the characters. Street lights winked down the street all the way to town. I had never seen our neighborhood from this angle. I could even see Mrs. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. This is an example of epiphany, where entire plot reveals awakening of her consciousness. Scout felt herself grown up, and experienced at this point in her life.
How like a mirror, too, her face. Impossible; for how many people did you know who reflected your own light to you? People were more often—he searched for a simile, found one in his work—torches, blazing away until they whiffed out.
- The Personality Cult of Stalin in Soviet Posters, – - ANU
Montag, the protagonist, comes to know how dull and meaningless his life is through the conversation of a young girl, Clarisse. This makes him realize that he needs to reform his life. He seeks solace and answers through banned books. This becomes a source of his social disobedience, which leads to another epiphany for him. And the eyes of those two Indian ponies Darken with kindness. They have come gladly out of the willows To welcome my friend and me. We step over the barbed wire into the pasture Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness That we have come. They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other. There is no loneliness like theirs. At home once more, They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness. I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms, For she has walked over to me And nuzzled my left hand. Several of his poems are merely descriptions of the speakers.
In the last three lines, the poem takes an epiphanic turn. The speaker is at one with the nature and the time and it seems to him that spring will burst out of him. In this moment, he is overflowing with life. Example 4 Goodman Brown is a beautiful short story in which the protagonist takes a journey into a forest to meet the devil.
He sojourns with the devil and goes through several experiences with him. This makes Goodman Brown bitter. It is revealed to him that all his associates are bad and he reflects this bitterness onto everyone, including church authorities and his parents. She thought I knew a lot because I knew different things from her. What was the use of doing great things if I could have a better time telling her what I was going to do? Scott Fitzgerald The readers of this story feel that the simple story of Gatsby and Daisy has suddenly become the story of American ambition throughout history.
This is a true epiphanic moment for the reader. Parallelism Parallelism is the usage of repeating words and forms to give pattern and rhythm to a passage in literature. Parallelism often either juxtaposes contrasting images or ideas so as to show their stark difference, or joins similar concepts to show their connection.
Authors often create parallelism through the use of other literary devices, such as anaphora, epistrophe, antithesis, and asyndeton. Parallelism encompasses all these possibilities of repetition and contrast. Most English speakers thus use grammatical parallelism all the time without realizing it. Common Examples of Parallelism Parallelism is popular in proverbs and idioms, as the parallel structure makes the sayings easy to remember and more rhetorically powerful.
Here are some examples of parallelism in English: What you see is what you get. A penny saved is a penny earned. Easy come, easy go. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. Happiness is wanting what you get. Many different poetic traditions have examples of parallelism. Some languages from around the world use parallelism as the primary aesthetic construction for poetry, such as Nahuatl in Mexico, Navajo in the United States, Toda in India, and in parts of Indonesia, Finland, Turkey, and Mongolia.
Parallelism remains a popular technique in poetry, prose, and plays. This parallelism is therefore also an example of anaphora. He ends the monologue, however, by contrasting all these paradisiacal images with the fact that England has now tarnished its beauty by setting out to conquer other nations. The pattern set up in this paragraph is so striking that it is one of the most famous paragraphs in all of literature. Example 4 To generalize about war is like generalizing about peace. Almost everything is true. Almost nothing is true. That example of parallelism creates drama in the inanimate that begin to tell their own story.
This excerpt shows a brilliant usage of parallelism in just three short sentences. Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia refers to a word that phonetically mimics or resembles the sound of the thing it describes. Common Examples of Onomatopoeia As noted above, almost all animal noises are examples of onomatopoeia. There are hundreds of other onomatopoeia examples in the English language, however.
Here are some categories of words, along with examples of each: Machine noises—honk, beep, vroom, clang, zap, boing Animal names—cuckoo, whip-poor-will, whooping crane, chickadee Impact sounds—boom, crash, whack, thump, bang Sounds of the voice—shush, giggle, growl, whine, murmur, blurt, whisper, hiss Nature sounds—splash, drip, spray, whoosh, buzz, rustle There is a tradition in comic books of using onomatopoeias during fight scenes.
Authors sometimes use combinations of words to create an onomatopoetic effect not necessarily using words that are onomatopoetic in and of themselves. The watch-dogs bark! Hark, hark! I will carry no crotchets. Do you note me? The musician to whom he is speaking picks up on the joke and uses it back at Peter. Example 3 I was just beginning to yawn with nerves thinking he was trying to make a fool of me when I knew his tattarrattat at the door. After Joyce created this word, it is now listed as the longest palindrome in the English language.
Example 4 Hear the loud alarum bells, Brazen bells! What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! In the startled ear of night How they scream out their affright! Too much horrified to speak, They can only shriek, shriek, Out of tune… How they clang, and clash, and roar! What a horror they outpour On the bosom of the palpitating air! Finally, the loud alarum bells, as shown in this excerpt, produced such an effect on Poe that they warranted two stanzas. Irony As a literary device, irony is a contrast or incongruity between expectations for a situation and what is reality.
This can be a difference between the surface meaning of something that is said and the underlying meaning. It can also be a difference between what might be expected to happen and what actually occurs. The definition of irony can further be divided into three main types: verbal, dramatic, and situational. We describe these types in detail below. Irony is sometimes confused with events that are just unfortunate coincidences.
The speaker often makes a statement that seems very direct, yet indicates that the opposite is in fact true, or what the speaker really means. Unlike dramatic and situational irony, verbal irony is always intentional on the part of the speaker. The author Daniel Handler who writes with the pen name Lemony Snicket takes ironic similes to an extreme by qualifying them so they actually become real comparisons. This literary device originated in Greek tragedy and often leads to tragic outcomes. The audience can foresee the imminent disaster.
There are three stages of dramatic irony: installation, exploitation, and resolution. In the case of Othello, the installation is when Iago persuades Othello to suspect that Desdemona is having an affair with a man named Cassio. Situational Irony Situational irony consists of a situation in which the outcome is very different from what was expected. There are contradictions and contrasts present in cases of situational irony. For example, in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the citizens of the Emerald City assume that Oz is great and all-powerful, yet the man behind the curtain is revealed to be an old man with no special powers.
These gods, or the Fates, may play with the lives of humans for their own amusement. The irony lies in contrast between what the humans expect and what actually happens. Historical Irony: Historical irony relates to real events that happened that, when seen in retrospect, had vastly different outcomes than predicted at the time. For example, Chinese alchemists discovered gunpowder when looking for a way to create immortality. The result of their discovery was the opposite of what they were looking for.
Socratic Irony: The philosopher Socrates would pretend to be ignorant about the topic under debate to draw out the nonsensical arguments of his opponent. This is particularly evident in the Platonic dialogues. This technique is an example of dramatic irony because Socrates pretended to have less information than he really did. Difference between Irony and Sarcasm Though there are many similarities between verbal irony and sarcasm, they are not equivalent. However, there are many dissenting opinions about how, exactly, they are different.
For example, the Encyclopedia Britannica simply explains that sarcasm is non-literary irony. Others have argued that while someone employing verbal irony says the opposite of what that person means, sarcasm is direct speech that is aggressive humor. Romeo kills himself with this false knowledge.
Juliet then wakes up and, finding Romeo truly dead, kills herself as well. This irony example is one of dramatic irony as the audience has more information than the characters. However, this example of irony is one of verbal irony, since Mark Antony is in fact implying that Brutus is neither ambitious nor honorable.
Henry In this short story, a young, poor couple struggle with what to buy each other for Christmas. The woman cuts her hair and sells it to buy a watchband for her husband. This is an example of situational irony, since the outcome is the opposite of what both parties expect. Desperate to be with him, the mermaid makes a deal with a sea witch to trade her voice for human legs.
This is an example of dramatic irony where the audience has more information than the prince. An author may use allegory to illustrate a moral or spiritual truth, or political or historical situation. Allegories can be understood to be a type of extended metaphor. An extended metaphor develops a certain analogy to a greater extent than a simple comparison. An allegory, meanwhile, uses a particular metaphor throughout an entire plot. Common Examples of Allegory There are many common stories that we tell which have allegorical meanings. These are especially popular in stories for children, as allegories often mean to teach some lesson or help the audience understand complex ideas and concepts.
We also use real events that have happened to teach lessons. The story of Icarus: Icarus fashions wings for himself out of wax, but when he flies too close to the sun his wings melt. This story is a message about the dangers of reaching beyond out powers. Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss: This story about a turtle who yearns for too much power is actually an allegory about Adolf Hitler and the evils of totalitarianism.
The Hunger Games: This trilogy of Young Adult books and now blockbuster movies is an allegory for our obsession with reality television and how it numbs us to reality. An allegory is a very specific type of story, as it must stay true to the message for the entirety of the story. Allegories thus can be difficult to master, as they can be pedantic when done poorly. However, some works of literature that can be read allegorically gain much strength from their deeper meanings. And this they must do, even with the prospect of death. One person escapes the cave and is able to see reality for the first time.
However, upon reentering the cave and trying to describe the outside world, the people still chained to the wall reject this other interpretation and vision. Example 2 No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves.
But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be? Comrade Napoleon is a symbol for Stalin, while other prominent pigs in the story represent Lenin and Trotsky. We can bide our time, we can keep our thoughts in our hearts, deploring maybe evils done by the way, but approving the high and ultimate purpose: Knowledge, Rule, Order; all the things that we have so far striven in vain to accomplish, hindered rather than helped by our weak or idle friends. There need not be, there would not be, any real change in our designs, only in our means.
The Lord of the Rings by J. Tolkien J. Tolkien insisted that he did not write his Lord of the Rings trilogy as an allegory of good and evil, yet it is very easy to read the series that way. Tolkien also shows how evil can corrupt good. Saruman has been corrupted by power, and wants Gandalf to join his side.
The news stirred up something infinitely black and evil in the town; the black distillate was like the scorpion, or like hunger in the smell of food, or like loneliness when love is withheld. The poison sacs of the town began to manufacture venom, and the town swelled and puffed with the pressure of it. Through the course of the story, Kino encounters greed in every direction, which forces him to flee the town with his wife and son. Kino and his wife end up throwing the pearl back in the ocean as it has only brought them misery. This story is an example of allegory in that it shows the corrupting effect of money and power of greed.
Metonymy Metonymy is a figure of speech in which something is called by a new name that is related in meaning to the original thing or concept. However, there are many more words in common usage that are metonyms. This is a less obvious metonym because often the team name is a group of people the Cowboys, for instance , yet of course the football players who make up the Dallas Cowboys are not, in fact, cowboys.
The definition of metonymy is more expansive, including concepts that are merely associated in meaning and not necessarily parts of the original thing or concept. Ancient Greek and Latin scholars discussed the way in which metonymy changed words and meanings by providing new referents and connections between concepts. Authors have used metonymy for millennia for many different reasons.
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