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Tennyson Essay

4975 words - 20 pages

Reading Tennyson is like stepping aboard the world's strangest roller coaster. The title of the ride looks to be safe enough, but when the cart-man straps on the safety belt you're jolted in a way that you did not even know was a direction. It's not down or up, left or right. It is an adventure to in-side yourself as seen through the life of another. You're caught off card, and then you're calmed down. You think it's over, and then there's the loop'd loop. You don't know if you're ready to throw up or eat the sweet dessert like lines in the next stanza. By the time this moral rollercoaster comes to a stop you're so ready to get back on that your knees shake and your mind races. Well...that's what it's like for me anyway.I can see in Tennyson the pain and suffering of a man who knew too much about the world to accept in himself for who he was verses who he could be; this evident in works like Supposed Confessions as opposed to In Memoriam. Supposed Confessions is the work of a man who is spiritually sound, but undergoes a transformation within himself. The speaker in the poem is a sinner, a man set apart even from himself. In lines one through ten the speaker rages at God. Though the speaker truly believes in God, he is beginning to doubt the presence of God in his on life. This is evident when the speaker laments against God, and begs for some symbol saying,In this extremist miseryOf ignorance, I should require A sign!The speaker reasons that this would only make his faith stronger; when no sign is given the speaker begins to doubt his own faith. The speaker goes on to reminisce about his childhood, a time when the idea of God's presence in his life was a certain as his mothers lap. As the speaker grows older, he yearns for the lap of God to comfort his fears, and take away his uncertainty. A conical of Tennyson's worries and doubts can be felt as the reader surveys lines 76 through 122. Somewhere in the years between puberty and manhood religious doubt was born. I find this passage to be one of the most powerful of all Tennyson's works. I can literally feel the devotion to the Lord this man had. He wanted so badly to be in the presence of the Lord, that when the Lord gave him no affirmation back, he doubted the very idea of a higher power. In his doubt, the speaker finds the answers he is looking for. The speaker sees life for what its, and not what he feels it should be. In this realization he begs for forgiveness and prays that God may educate his spiritual needs before his time on earth is over. This stanza of the poem deals with the human state after one has accepted oneself. I read the final lines of the poem it is as if Tennyson is staring down on me from above and saying "Well lad'O, this is life. It is what it is, 'A damned vacillating state'" (10).I believe a contrast and comparison is necessary for next two poems in review as it was Tennyson's objective. The Poet and The Poets Mind were written in respect to one-in-other; by observing...

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