Literary Analogies

“Literary Analogies” Cory Cox June 6, 2011 It is important when applying critical reading that you are able to draw upon previously read literary works and use them in comparison while reading another. This allows you to analyze each story in light of another. This type of comparison can be done in the form of analogies. Here we will be discussing “A Mystery of Heroism” by Stephen Crane, “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” by Richard Wright and “A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner.

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Stephen Crane’s “A Mystery of Heroism” is like a leap of faith whereas Richard Wright’s “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” is more like a journey of life because in Crane’s writing the circumstances that have placed the character on the path that he is following came without thought, expectations, or knowledge. The main character is met with a situation that required him to have faith and fortitude to achieve the desired result. When Collins faced the meadow and walked away from the regiment, he was vaguely conscious that a chasm, the deep valley of all prides, was suddenly between him and his comrades” (Crane 1986). As Crane describes Collins’s state we see in his character that his step towards heroism was not one that he had anticipated. The main character in “The Man Who Was Almost a Man”, takes steps forward to reach what he believes to be his destiny. The processes that he undertakes are thought out and planned all in order to reach a certain goal that he set for himself.

Crane’s characters are to strength what Wright’s characters are to weakness in the fact that Crane’s characters find strength within themselves to reach heroic levels of acts. Wright’s characters fall upon their weaknesses to determine the acts that they set forth on and run from. Dave, Wrights main character, is fraught with a desire to be respected and be perceived as a man. In writing “And if he were holding his gun in his hand, nobody could run over him; they would have to respect him”. Wright 1961) it gives us a look into the characters weakness and belief that he must take matters into his own hands in order to gain the respect that he wishes. He feels that he must hold the gun to be a man instead of his actions making him a man. In conclusion we can now see how we can learn and gleam more out of story by bringing in other stories that we spent our time critically reading. Balty, D. (comp) The Pearson custom library of American literature. (2005) Pearson Custom Publishing: Boston, MA.

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