A World Lit Only By Fire

2128 words - 9 pages

„A World Lit Only by Fire”, written by William Manchester and published in 1992, is a non-formal retelling of the history of the Middle Ages. The author is a journalist, and that is why the book is so interesting- the language is vivid and sparkling and the book is written in such an interesting manner that it seems like one is reading a work of fiction, not a book of history (but that can probably be explained by the fact that the most of the book-writing historians are not outstanding journalists).
The book consists of three parts: The Medieval Mind; The Shattering; One Man Alone. In each part of the book the author examines specific phenomena and events that took part during the Middle Ages, thus explaining the medieval man’s and woman’s thinking pattern and the chain of events that brought this way of thinking to its end.
In the first part of the book, “The Medieval Mind”, Manchester introduces the reader with the environment of the medieval times and the customs of that time as well as the medieval people’s access and understanding of Christianity, which is crucial in understanding the times.
The Middle Ages started with the collapse of the Roman Empire, which was initiated in 410 when the Visigoth Alaric led forty thousand Goths, Huns, as well as freed Roman slaves into Rome [1;4], demolishing a huge part of the city and destroying priceless pieces of art, thinking only of the material gain (they even melted down artefacts made of valuable metal).[1;5] After that, Huns, Goths, Alans, Burgundians, Thurigians, Frisians, Gepidae, Suevi, Alemanni, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Lombards, Heruli, Quadi, and Magyars saw their opportunity to steal, rape, and ravage as well, thus invading what was left of the Empire and destroying the remains of the Roman civilization and their way of thinking. However, the conquerors brought their own moral values and traditions with them, and it was in the shadow of their customs where the notorious brutality and bloodthirstiness of the Middle Ages was created [1;5]. However, as paradoxical as it may seem, the process of converting the barbaric tribes into Christianity was surprisingly fast, hence turning the medieval community into devout, yet ruthless Christians [1;6]. It was discovered that successfully converting them and successfully teaching them the lessons of the Bible were two different things, of which only the conversion could be achieved. Christ’s lessons were interpreted to fit their logic and way of thinking. As W. Manchester writes, “Medieval Christians, knowing the other cheek would be bloodied, did not turn it.”[1;7]
However, a phenomenon that earns recognition was the medieval man’s lack of ego. “Even those with creative powers had no sense of self. Each of the great soaring medieval cathedrals, our most treasured legacy from that age, required three or four centuries to complete. [..] Yet we know nothing of the architects or builders. They were glorifying God. To them their identity in this life...

Find Another Essay On A World Lit Only by Fire

The Build a Fire by Jack London

1541 words - 7 pages The short story “To Build a Fire” written by Jack London tells the tale of one mans journey to find his fellow hikers campsite in dangerously cold temperatures. The man’s journey ends when Mother Nature gets the best of him and he perishes in the cold. While it may seem as though the main conflict, man against nature, is what killed the man, the man’s internal conflict, his pride and masculinity versus his humility is what actually kills him

To Build a Fire, by Jack London

1091 words - 4 pages young boys’ magazine. Others, however, may enjoy the mystery and details provided in the 1908 version. While any story can create a brand new image by changing a few sentences, removing the main character’s name, reducing the level of confidence, and diminishing preparedness are some of the more obvious and worthwhile variations found between the 1902 and 1908 versions of Jack London’s “To Build A Fire,” a short story of the superior class. As

"To Build a Fire" by Jack London

2935 words - 12 pages Abstract: In this essay, I intend to review the short story of To Build a Fire by Jack London in three aspects: the setting, the characters and my thought about the theme of this novel.Instruction: since the main purpose is to present my thought about the theme of the story, I have no intention in wasting a lot of words on the useless summary of the novel downloaded form the Internet. Besides, discussion about the author Jack London is also

Fire and Ice a Poem by Robert Frost

807 words - 4 pages In Robert Frost’s poem “Fire and Ice”, it presents an all out debate about the end of the world. It is clear that, through the title, the poem demonstrates the distinctions in which the world will either be engulfed in flames or covered in ice but the idea of the “lost paradise” is interpreted in a different manner. Frost’s poem is described as humorous or sardonic but there is a bit of irony in the speaker’s tone (230). Frost’s use of “natural

Conflicts of "To Build a Fire" by Jack London

848 words - 4 pages Literature focuses on many aspects to form a coherent and captivating story, mainly those aspects retaining to characters and conflict. Within any story, a conflict arises for a character to overcome which drives the whole story. Conflict, the struggle against many forces of multiple varieties, creates the obstacle or issue a character must face to advance past the problem. In "To Build a Fire" by Jack London, conflict plays a major role in

Connection Paper A Modest Proposal - Georgia Southern University World Lit 2112 - Essay

1162 words - 5 pages Jemi Davis Professor Johnson Connection Paper 2 30 October 2017 Comparison Paper Throughout this paper I will be making a connection between A Modest Proposal and The Metamorphosis. A Modest Proposal, written by Johnathan Swift, was published during the Enlightenment era while The Metamorphosis, written by Franz Kafka, was published in the Modernism era. Although they were both put out during different times, they both share some common themes

Revenge in The Odyssey and Medea - A side by side look - NYU/Ancient Lit - Thematic essay

2001 words - 9 pages , comes a tale of crime and punishment. The story is introduced as Medea, the wife of Jason, totally committed to her husband and her two children. At this point, Medea has already given up everything she has to ensure that her husband is powerful. However, as powerful as he is, Jason decides to abandon his wife for a woman who will even further benefit his social standing. Medea is not only deeply hurt by this move, but she is angered, that after all

A World Manipulated by Imagination

2294 words - 10 pages red compound capital letters that said AEF, and standing about ten feet away from her, was the new Manipulator, represented in green. She grinned, what a great way to introduce what he’s capable of! And back to Max! Max’s eyes were wide, his mind alive with the fire, dancing, licking the ground, it’s bright orange-red mouth swallowing the grass and devouring the people surrounding her. The images of the people who were swallowed up by the

To Build a Fire by Jack London and Into The Wild, by Jon Krakauer

1308 words - 5 pages far ahead enough to come to understand the troubles that awaited him before and during his trip to the wilderness. Speaking about this, a long-short story called To Build a Fire by Jack London had a man that from his own adventurous overlooks, have brought him down to a certain point in which he could not go back the way he used to be. The long-short story tells, “To build a fire he had been forced to remove his mittens, and the fingers had

"Greasy Lake" by Jack London and "To Build a Fire" by T. Coraghessan Boyle

941 words - 4 pages particular short stories who's settings both show that something bad will happen are "To Build a Fire", written by Jack London, and "Greasy Lake", written by T. Coraghessan Boyle. Certain aspects of both these stories give the reader an idea of what is to come, and that it could be dreadful."To Build a Fire" takes place in the Yukon, which is generally a dangerous place to be alone. The man is walking a trail that is not often traveled, so just the

This is a term paper for Western World Lit II (The Tragedy of Greed) Complete with Work Cited page

1190 words - 5 pages In the 1820's, a great literary author was emerging in Russia. Alexander Sengeevich Pushkin, with his varied style of writing, soon became a leader in Russian literature. "His completed masterpieces rank among the best not only in Russian but in world literature of the nineteenth century" (Debreczeny, Paul). In the years he was developing as an author, the art of prose writing had no great accomplishments. With new writers, trends, and the

Similar Essays

A World Lit Only By Fire

972 words - 4 pages A World Lit Only By Fire by William Manchester is not only informative of the conflicts that occurred in Europe, but it is humorous and includes perspectives and anecdotes that are not viewed as impartial. It is structured into three separate sections: The Medieval Mind, The Shattering and One Man Alone. The first section effectively talks about the substantial events that occurred in the year 500; this includes the fall of the Roman Empire

Book Analysis Of "A World Lit Only By Fire."

581 words - 2 pages The novel, "A World Lit Only By Fire", contains information starting back around the Dark Ages, and focuses on daily life and religion around that time. The main focus of the novel was the failure of Europe in the early centuries. The novel covers nearly everything in the early centuries, starting from the Dark Ages and ending with Magellan. This novel contains detailed information, making it easier to understand what happened in the early ages

To Build A Fire By Jack London

1783 words - 7 pages “To Build a Fire” written by Jack London in 1908, is a story of a man, who, left unnamed, sets out to traverse a dangerous trail in the Yukon territory near the end of nineteenth century. Accompanied only by a dog, t¬¬he man travels across the trail, risking his life with every step on the snow-laden path full of frozen ice-water traps. He falls into a trap and wets his feet, incurring the possibility of frostbite. The man manages to build

"To Build A Fire By Jack London

1052 words - 4 pages would delay him at least an hour. His feet and fingers were numb, but he started the fire. He remembered the old-timer from Sulphur Creek who had warned him that no man should travel in the Klondike alone when the temperature was fifty degrees below zero.Analysis: This was merely a simple dramatic pitfall; one of which would be expected by the reader. Although the man is moving from where he started off (in the story), the scenery/setting is