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Comparison/contrast essay topics: Seasons in Emerson's and Pushkin's creative heritages
Due to the fact that natural changes affect psychological and emotional background, the so-called mood, the individuals, especially introspective and inspired, need to express their feelings and reflections in poetry or prose. In fact, practically each poet has at least one verse about seasonal changes, and, using metaphoric and hypertextual languages, the lyricist guises his/her own spiritual insights under the mask of natural metamorphoses. In reality, human are natural beings and therefore need more unity with the beauty of rural environment. This means, different seasons are depicted in poetry as distinct states of mind.
Major thesis statements:
1) Whereas poetry is a tool of human self-expression, weather can be metaphorically viewed as the manifestation of natural 'mood'.
2) The most common symbols, describing the interrelation between seasons and the poet's mood are the depiction of rain drops as tears, warm sea as personal warmth or smile and deep forest as a complicated personal problem that should be radically solved.
3) Interestingly, all peoples have poetic depictions of the seasons, regardless of the nation's geographic location.
Primary issues to discuss:
1) Cite the most impressive verse about seasons or certain season.
2) Compare the depictions of four seasons in Emerson's and Pushkin's creative heritages.
3) Seasons exist because human always need to make distinction. Is that right, in your opinion?
4) In fact, each reason has romantic sides as well as completely prosaic and earthy aspects. How do poets (of your choice) manage to poetize them?
5) Poets, as sensible and perceptive personalities, often to compare their pain or sorrow to the seasonal natural phenomena, and cherish the hope for tomorrow's spring or summer. Discuss this contextual technique of temporality in terms of personal negative emotions.
1) The Complete Poems of Heinrich Heine. A Modern English Version by Hal Draper. Suhrkamp/Insel Publishers Boston, 1982.
2) Holte, C. L. The Black in Pre-Revolutionary Russia. African Presence in Early Europe, edited by Ivan Van Sertima. New Brunswick: Transaction Press, 1985: pp.261-275
3) McAleer, J. Ralph Waldo Emerson: Days of Encounter. Boston: Little, 1984.
4) Whitman, W. Leaves of Grass, 1900. Available online at: http://www.bartleby.com/142/index1.html, 2003
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Selected topics for comparison/contrast essay were split into two categories:
Urban v. rural life
Urban and rural infrastructures
Urban and rural lifestyles
Nature and seasons
Seasons as natural periods
Emerson and Pushkin
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