I have chosen ten varieties of works covered during class and I will be analyzing each one of them as I progress. Alice Walker was born in 1994 and was considered as a renowned author, poet, and activist and was born at a time when black children were being used as sources of cheap labor for white farmers. She was shot accidentally in the eye by her brother and that made her so shy that she always chose to remain home and write poems. After high school, she joined Sarah Lawrence College where she graduated in 1965. Walker’s poetic career commenced immediately after college and she is well known for her major works that include: “The Color Purple” published in 1982. The most renowned essay “The Flowers” exposed her into the limelight. She narrates a story of a young black American girl (Myop) whose parents are poor sharecroppers in the rural part of Georgia. Myop is born in the era where racial segregation is rampant and after undergoing the various forms of racism she still affords to lay down her “flowers” as a sign of innocence hence the title of the short story “The Flowers”. Alice Walker has constantly narrated stories that depict themes of racism and gender. Kate Chopin was born by the name Katherine O’ Flaherty in February 1850. She is well known for her works in writing articles that touched the lives of both adults and children. Her main story was “Desiree’s Baby” as well as “The Storm” which depicted various challenges that human beings undergo in their normal lives such as racism; this is probably out of the fact that she had lead a difficult life during her childhood years. She narrated events that touched on women and their persistent struggles to survive in the era of gender insensitiveness. In her short story “The Story of an Hour” she narrates about the challenges that Mrs. Mallard undergoes internally till she dies out of” joy that kills”. Her works are perceived to be so much controversial that other authors feared to discuss them in public lest they were persecuted. Until her unexpected death, she was considered to be one of the most controversial feminists writers of her time.
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William Faulkner was born in 1897 in Mississippi and later engaged himself in writing novels, short stories and essays. Most of his inspiration came from his family as well as the state where they were staying. These influences perfected his skill in humor and portraying themes of intellectual prowess. Despite the fact that he had a weakness in drinking too much, his writing could not be ruled out. His major publications include: “Light in August” and “The Sound and the Fury”. In his story” A Rose for Emily”, he narrates about a woman by the name Emily who has undergone an irrevocable tragedy which no one could bear and when she finally dies she’s kept in her house for almost forty entire years. She is a persistent woman who is not ready to pay any taxes .her father dies leaving her alone at very mature age. After being diagnosed with the long illness she remains indoors till she dies. Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born in March 1806 and was measured as one of the prolific poets of her times. She went to school in England and was immensely interested in studies. Most of her works were associated with metaphysics and deep insight into religions especially Christianity. She also wrote poems that condemned child labor and a good example is “The Cry of the Children” which was so much controversial that it brought with it child reforms. Her poems were so influential to many to-be poets. In her poem “How Do I Love Thee “she writes of her intense love and adoration for her creator: God. She writes the poem in a rather religious way that arouses the attention of the reader in a peculiar manner. Anne Bradstreet was born in 1612 in England. At the age of 16 years, she got married to her husband Simon and the two embarked on a sea voyage to the United States where they experienced far too many difficulties including the death of fellow colleagues. She really loved her husband and much of works were centered towards life experiences and the love she possessed for her family. She was considered to be one of the early feminists although she refuted the claims by her acknowledgement of traditional roles for women. She is well known for her collection of poems published as “The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America” and her poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband” brought her into the limelight as she depicted the love she had for her husband in a rather adorable manner despite the fact that she was both an intellect and a reformer. She never denied that she was comfortable under her husband’s authority and was ready to perform house chores as expected of her by the traditional society. Christopher Marlowe was born in February 1564 and died in March of 1593. He was a renowned dramatist and poet. He studied under scholarship program and finally managed to graduate in 1584 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Corpus Christi College. He was an atheist and was believed to be a homosexual. His works influenced legends like Shakespeare and even in one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, he pays tribute to Marlowe. He always chose to explore and write both plays and poems that dealt with matters of love. Some of his major contributions to literature are the play “The Massacre at Paris” and “Hero and Leander”. In his poem “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” he writes of his endless and immense love for a woman for whom he swears to be a shepherd and will always be there to take care of her. Langston Hughes was an American poet born in May 1992. Apart from poetry, he also engaged himself in activism and writing of plays as well as novels. He was born and raised in Missouri. His father divorced his mother and later escaped to Cuba and then Mexico out of frustrations he underwent as a minority black man. At a tender age Hughes was enlightened on the pride he always carried as a black man and this was the foundation of his interests in liberating the black community from intense levels of racism. As an adult, he did several odd jobs before getting a white-collar job as a personal assistant. He later quit the job and enrolled for university education in Lincoln University where he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in 1929.
Most of his poems are allegedly attributed to his black male lover since he was termed as a homosexual. He spent much of his life in Harlem where he witnessed racial discrimination at first hand and thus wrote poems that reflected this state of living. His major works revolve around politics which blacks of that time had considered unfavorable to cater for the living of a black man in the United States. He wrote: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” in 1921 and this immediately became one his pioneer works into the poetic world. In his well-known poem titled “Song for a Dark Girl”, he narrates an event that depicts elements of both racism and love. It talks about a lover of his that was killed by hanging “way down south in Dixie”. In this poem he is troubled by the death of his young lover and wonders why he cannot receive support from “White Lord Jesus”. This poem has elements of both racism and love as depicted by his contempt towards “White Lord Jesus”. Emily Dickinson was born in December 1830 at Massachusetts. She studied at Amherst Academy and was known to portray a habit of refusing to greet guests. Her works are however unique in the sense that she used very short lines and many at times lacked titles. She concentrated with writing poems that depicted themes of death and immortality. She is believed to be attracted to these themes because of her childhood experience in the seminary. She was a woman of vast level of faith and was too religious. She wrote quite a few poems which were never discovered until her death at her home in 1899. Her major works include poems like: “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” and “The Republican”. Her star shone with her poem dubbed “If I Can’t Stop One Hurt from Breaking” where she freely portrays her commitment in exercising great care for others. She writes that she only feels satisfied and purposeful when she’s managed to save even a single heart from breaking. It’s clearly evident that she was quite familiar with the worlds of pain and challenges and for that reason she was ready to help others not to undergo the same. She writes “If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain”. An indication that she was ready at all times to assist those in trouble. Raymond Carver was born in May 1938 in Oregon. His father was a drunkard and participated in fishing as a source of family income. He got education in Washington and liked very much to read novels written by Mickey Spillane. His short story writing career commenced when he moved to California. He was coached and inspired by novelist John Gardener. Carver was so much interested in his way of life that he always wrote poems and short stories whose main theme depicted the experiences undergone by white-collar professionals. His major works are “Will You Be Quiet Please?” and a collection of poems dubbed ” Near Klamath” where he reflects upon brevity. In his short story “Popular Mechanics” he depicts a disagreement that later is decided by the hurting of a baby. The quarrel that the couple indulges in ends up being decided in a rather inhumane manner hence the two characters are perceived as inconsiderate as they finally kill the baby. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in July 1804 and went to Bowdoin College. His works are based on themes that reflect evilness and the sinful state of humanity. He also wrote stories that focused on romance. His major work is “The Scarlet Letter” which is a romance based story. In his story” Young Goodman Brown” he writes about the existence of humanity state of wickedness as depicted by Goodman loss of faith towards the end of the story. He argues that humans thrive in immorality states. In conclusion, I feel that these authors and poets were in one way or another influenced by different circumstances hence the difference in their styles of writing.