Representations of Death Across Genre

Representations of Death Across Genre
Alaina Davis
ENG 125
Katie Newbanks
April 9, 2011

Representations of Death Across Genre

Short stories, poetry, and drama are all separate genres in the vast world of literature. Within each genre, there are many tools and techniques available to a writer to elicit the desired response from the reader. Every person is different, with different ideas and thoughts on any given subject, and this holds true for writers and their audience alike. Writers put to paper what their senses derive from a particular event, however mundane, in order to allow a reader to experience the same thing. Because of the differences in people, interpretation ...

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of a single concept, such as death, between various authors and genre, allows for greater understanding of literature as a whole and an appreciation of the tools and techniques used in literature that bring a reader to their own interpretations and conclusions of any written work. Theme, symbolism, point of view, and tone are some of the literary tools used by a writer to create an image they want to pass on to the reader. These tools of representation will be compared in three works by different authors using a formalist approach; that is, focusing on the theme, symbolism, and tone of the piece and how the writer uses these tools to provide an insight on how they view death, or at least how they want us to believe they view death.
The short story “I Used to Live Here Once” by Jean Rhys is a prime example of how literary concepts are used to convey the overall theme of a story. Symbolism is at the forefront of this piece, leading the reader further along the journey until a ...

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and “her heart began to beat” shows that the narrator has insight to the woman’s feelings. Toward the end of the story, the theme of mortality and immortality becomes a bit clearer. Given the surprise ending, “this was the first time she knew,” the main character has finally realized that she is dead, and quite possibly a ghost based on the children’s reaction to her. They could not see her they only felt cold. Showing the main character as a ghost, although we do not see this until the end, seems to suggest the author believes in an afterlife of some sort. The overall tone of the story is light and happily retrospective with the tinges of death lurking just outside of view until the ...

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Representations of Death Across Genre. (2011, May 13). Retrieved November 29, 2020, from
"Representations of Death Across Genre.", 13 May. 2011. Web. 29 Nov. 2020. <>
"Representations of Death Across Genre." May 13, 2011. Accessed November 29, 2020.
"Representations of Death Across Genre." May 13, 2011. Accessed November 29, 2020.
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Added: 5/13/2011 04:05:34 PM
Submitted By: Ravyn1
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2209
Pages: 9

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