Perserving The Classics In The Portable Phonography By Walter Van Tilburg Clark

1146 words - 5 pages

“When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted, or take them with gratitude.” This quote by G. K. Chesterson, representing people’s struggle to show future generations what life was like by preserving classics. This is shown by the phonograph in “The Portable Phonograph” by Walter Van Tilburg Clark. “The Portable Phonograph” has many examples of symbolism including the portable phonograph, the needle, the records, the lead pipe, the books, and elements of setting including the prairie, the cell and the cell block, and the black cloud strips.
The first tangible objects in the story that is symbolic are the phonograph, the needles and the records, which symbolize the characters’ desire to hold onto civilization. The phonograph is symbolic to the characters’ desires when the narrator states:
“He returned and placed tenderly upon the packed floor, where the firelight might fall upon it, an old portable phonograph in a black case. He smoothed the top with his hand, and then opened it.” (Clark 141)
This quote expresses the main character’s want to hold onto civilization by trying to preserve the phonograph for future generations to use. By the main character, also known as the host and the old man, preserving the phonograph, this symbolizes that he wants to keep this phonograph safe, so future generations could see what life was like for him and his generation. Next, the needles typify the characters desire to hold onto civilization. When the narrator states:
“’I have been using thorns as needles,’ he said. ‘But tonight, because we have a musician among us’ . . . ‘I will use a steel needle. There are only three left.’ . . . ‘Oh, don’t,’ cried the young man, as if he were hurt. ‘The thorns will do beautifully.’ ‘No,’ the old man said, ‘I have become accustomed to the thorns, but they are not really good. For you, my young friend, we will have good music tonight. After all,’ … ‘they can’t last forever.’” (Clark 141-142)
This quote shows that even though it may not seem like civilization is dying away and some of the men are not noticing, the host does notice. Just like the needles will not last forever as stated in the quote, neither will their civilization, which is why the host tries to preserve the phonograph. Finally, the records symbolize the yearn for keeping their civilization. This is shown in the story when the host begins to play the phonograph. When the phonograph was played, everyone sat in silence, waiting for the “wet, blue-green notes” to be played. (Clark 143) The “wet, blue-green notes” symbolize the sadness of the characters that their civilization may be lost. (Clark 143)
The next tangible objects in “The Portable Phonograph” that are symbolic are the lead pipe and the books, which also symbolize the characters’ desire to hold onto civilization. The lead pipe represents their want to hold onto civilization and is shown when the narrator says, “On the inside of the bed, next to the wall, he could...

Find Another Essay On Perserving the Classics in the Portable Phonography by Walter Van Tilburg Clark

eBooks: The portable debacle Essay

1300 words - 6 pages one’s eBook reading. Therefore the eBook model requires people to continually spend money without getting anything back monetary wise. Besides price, the usage of portable technologies in the classroom has its own problems. The inabilities of portable technologies, such as note-taking and the availability of e-books, makes them a disadvantage to use in the classroom. Depending on class content, smartphones and tablets may or may not be useful

"The Lie" by Sir Walter Raleigh

1202 words - 5 pages Sir Walter Raleigh’s The Lie is a Renaissance poem which explores universal political and social ideas. The poem was written in the year 1618, as the poet awaited his execution in a chamber in the Tower of London.Raleigh says “Tell men of high condition, that manage the estate, their purpose is ambition; their practise only hate.” Raleigh speaks of customs no longer followed as he refers to the rich as owning an estate, but also

In The Footsteps Of Lewis And Clark

1437 words - 6 pages meat, pork and more. The meeting ceremony with Indian tribes became a ritual, where the captains explained to the Indian chiefs that they now belonged to the USA, and that they would be taken care of by the great father, Thomas Jefferson. After handing over the presents, Lewis and Clark’s men performed a parade by marching in uniforms and shooting their guns. Lewis, Clark and their men met about 50 tribes during those years and discovered

Love in the Present and Future: "The Nymph's Replay To The Shepherd" by Sir Walter Raleigh

691 words - 3 pages The poem "The Nymph's Replay To The Shepherd" is written by Sir Walter Raleigh. This poem is reactiaction for the poem "The passionate Shepherd to His Love" by Christopher Marlowe's. "the passionate Shepherd to His love" poem talks about the about the moment love and the pleasure of the moment love. Malowe's believed that love should includes any future planning or promises and he emphasies living in the moment idea. The poem " The passionate

The Echo in My Soul and Ready from Within by Septima Clark

2343 words - 9 pages known for her Citizenship schools. They were founded by Clark, Jenkins, and Horton (a founder of the Highlander School); the very first one opened up in 1957 (Franklin). They’re goal was to teach illiterate black adults to read, not just so that they could vote, but so they could be empowered to make changes in society, too. This is around the time that Clark made the connection between “Literacy and Liberation” (Olson). The programs were held in

The Bedroom By Vincent Van Gogh

869 words - 4 pages , like the green on the floorboards, they make you question what is making it that color, is it the green glass reflecting light on the floor, or something that might have stained it. Most likely it was due to damage and discoloration over the years (Brooks, The Paintings). The confusing style that he painted in was post-impressionism. His technic technique was also inspired by Japanese prints (Vincent van Goghs: The Bedroom). Van Gogh, of course

The Bedroom By Vincent Van Gogh

1202 words - 5 pages This painting by Vincent Van Gogh is on display at the Art Institute of Chicago Museum, in the Impressionism exhibit. There are many things going on in this painting that catch the viewer’s eye. The first is the piece’s vibrant colors, light blues and browns, bright greens, and more. The brush strokes that are very visible and can easily be identified as very thick some might even say bold. The furniture, the objects, and the setting are easy to

The String Quartets by Ludwig Van Beethoven

2470 words - 10 pages writing style, but the young Beethoven begins to place in his own ideas. This can be seen in the very first movement (see example 1). Example 1 – Beethoven, Op. 18, No. 1, Allegro con brio, bar 13. Here, Beethoven takes melodic expression to a new level: The appoggiatura in bars, 14 and 16 create a harmonic tension over a diminished 7th chord that creates “the highly expressive progression used by nineteenth-century Romantics for effects of

The Manufacture of Deviance by Walter D. Connor

1270 words - 5 pages norms of society. There are many different theories on what causes a person to perform deviant behavior, including biological explanations, psychological explanations, and sociological explanations. Another intriguing case study I came across and I found very interesting is the topics about deviance. Fortunately I came by a journal which was written by Walter D. Connor called “The manufacture of Deviance.’’ This case study was done in Soviet

Realism in "The Iliad": quotes taken from penguin classics/ Mark Hammond translation

1380 words - 6 pages Homer's "The Iliad" is an epic poem that touches on the lives of the everyday people of Ancient Greece, particularly the soldiers, as well as the "lives" of the gods and goddesses in which they believed. Some critics claim that the crowning achievement in this work is Homer's sense of realism in the characters and plot. Literary Realism, as defined by the Literary Encyclopedia at, is "a genre of fiction in which there

Poem: "The Listeners" by Walter De La Mare

2174 words - 9 pages ", were the only words which she needed and was able to speak. In reply she got the news that the two gentlemen who graced their presence that evening were messengers, Privates sent from the Royal Battalion. A senior British officer had been captured by the Tippoos of Mysore. It was the start of the siege of Seringapatam and the British army required the rising star of the general staff, Edward Kindlewood. Edward was to be posted to southern India to

Similar Essays

Character Analysis For "The Portable Phonograph" By Walter Van Tilburg Clark

564 words - 2 pages Walter Van Tilburg Clark's short story, The Portable Phonograph, is atale about the last survivors in the world after the total destruction of a war.The author gives clues and hints of this throughout the beginning by writing ina narative voice and describing the scene in dark war-like terms. Thecharacters are then introduced as a group of men huddled around a fire. Theolder of the men, Doctor Jenkins, is the leader and his character is full

Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s The Portable Phonograph

943 words - 4 pages Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s “The Portable Phonograph,” In Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s “The Portable Phonograph,” the author makes setting play a major role in understanding the action of the characters within the story. Clark, a writer and an English Professor, lived from 1909 to 1971. During that time, he lived through both World Wars at a relatively young age, which may have influenced this story. Clark has excellent use of setting to make the

The Classics Of The Classical Essay

604 words - 3 pages , Mozart’s work was never appreciated during his lifetime, because of his new style of mixing tempos and rhythms. Mozart died young and broke at the age of 35, with really only one friend, his tutor, Haydn. Born 14 years after Mozart, Ludwig Van Beethoven is one of the most recognizable composers in history. He alone influenced classical music more than anyone else in history. His 5th symphony is one of the most listened to, and identifiable by

A Discussion Of The Problems In Classics Cabinets

1012 words - 4 pages Classics Cabinets Pty Ltd is a company that designs and manufactures custom-built kitchen cabinetry, was founded in Springvale, Melbourne in 2001, and the two owners are siblings Chinh and Anh Chu. Chinh is a high skilled cabinetmaker, and now his role in the company is as the production and operations manager. Anh, on the other side, is an interior designer with qualification, and because she had found an interest in the financial and overall