Tennyson Paper

This essay has a total of 1737 words and 7 pages.

Tennyson


Just a note. i did poorly on this, not becaus the essay completely sucks, but because i
completely ignored the topic. It could be tremendously useful for someone not writing a
research paper, as I was supposed to have done




Many words have been written on the subject of love. Many words have also been written on
the subject of industrial change, specifically the Industrial Revolution. Both have
appeared frequently in prose and poetry alike, yet the two subjects are not often
connected in the mind. They pose different questions and dilemmas; one tackled primarily
from an emotional perspective, the other from a highly intellectual standpoint. Yet, in
his poem “Locksley Hall”, Lord Alfred Tennyson tackles both of these issues in one poem.
His approach is unique, linking his topics together on the basis of his own indecision,
drawing parallels that make perfect sense, but that otherwise would not likely be
considered. His use of poetry to achieve this purpose of exposing two issues, and
remaining without resolution is crucial. This objective could not be achieved in
argumentative prose, where the simple expectation of flow and logic inhibits the ability
to combine unrelated ideas. Thus, by using poetry, Tennyson is able to successfully
combine emotional love, and intellectual thoughts on the industrial age by tying them
together with his own lack of decisiveness.


Tennyson’s use of rhyming couplets is the first thing that one notices when reading the
poem. Thoughts are quick, and often are left without expansion. The fifteen syllable lines
force ideas to develop quickly, creating a sense of the fast paced times that Tennyson was
a part of. The poem is told from the perspective of a man who is trying to overcome the
emotions he feels about the fact that his love has been lost to a rich landowner.
Obviously upset by this, the poem deals with his lack of action in the matter, as he
chooses to simply watch the events and comment on them. His lack of action however, can be
justified by the idea that he feels virtually helpless in the situation. Tennyson is able
to voice the storyteller’s emotions effectively by making use of the urgency and
desperation that is created by the couplets. Tennyson writes of the lost love, “O my
cousin, shallow-hearted! O my Amy, mine no more!/ Of the dreary, dreary moorland! O the
barren, barren shore!/ Falser than all fancy fathoms, falser than all songs have sung,/
Puppet to father’s threat, and servile to a shrewish tongue.”(39-42).


His thoughts here are choppy, yet concise. The repetition of the simple word “O” causes
the lines to carry with them a certain plea, and a sense of despair. Similarly, repeating
both the words “dreary” and “barren” accentuate the narrator’s sense of loss and of being
completely alone. Isolation is further dealt with in line 40 with the simple phrase “O the
barren, barren shore!” The immediate image is of someone alone on the shore of a great
body of water, with endless empty beach in either direction, just staring out into a
hollow sea. It allows the reader to identify with the sensation of helplessness over
having lost a romantic love, even if the reader has never experienced this first hand.
Tennyson, while trying to pull the reader into empathizing with the narrator’s situation,
also attempts to remove himself from the situation, pushing away any responsibility,
claiming that Amy is simply doing what her father would like, that she is a slave to his
tricky words. In doing this, he abandons personal responsibility, resting it solely on her
weakness. Tennyson skillfully manages to elude blame by using phrasing that evokes
sympathy, and images that demand attention.


While Tennyson’s feelings of desperation are true of his relationship with Amy, they also
hold true in his relationship with the world around him. He makes use of the nature of the
verse again to draw attention to the fast-paced world that is whirling around him.
Tennyson makes the jump from talking about his lost love, to discussing industrialization
by pretending to jump backwards in time, and then look forward at the future he perceives
to be coming. His words, while attempting to remain positive, carry a strange negative
undertone, as though he can’t successfully pretend to imagine what he was thinking years
ago, when he is living in the times he once imagined. In the same hasty tone as when
describing Amy, he writes

Continues for 4 more pages >>




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