Compare and Contrast Alan Bradley´s Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and Edward Estlin Cumming´s Somewhere I Have Never Travelled

Compare and Contrast Alan Bradley´s Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and Edward Estlin Cumming´s Somewhere I Have Never Travelled

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Alan Bradley’s novel, entitled Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and Edward Estlin Cumming’s poem, somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond, both underscore the thematic concepts of mystery, adventure, and love, but are shaped from different standpoints. The novel is an old-fashioned whodunit set in a 1950s English countryside filled with odds and ends. Taking inspiration from the illustrious Sherlock Holmes, Bradley features Flavia, an eleven year old aspiring chemist who singlehandedly solves a murder case. The poem, written in 1931, details the intense affection that the poet feels for his beloved by using simple prose to express the abstract complexities of love through imagery and symbolism. The three underlying themes are essentially presented physically in the novel, and mentally in the poem. When the inquisitive prodigy stumbles upon a mysterious dead man in her garden, her unique advantage of age propels her on a thrilling journey through various people and places, and while her love remains fixed on chemistry, her interpersonal relationships fall short. On the contrary, the poem portrays the speaker marvelling over the mysterious power his beloved has over him, as he contemplates the inner adventures he will take with her through an exclusively interpersonal love journey. While holding one’s true passion and love close to heart, a wild adventure that stems from the wonders of the unknown offers insightful reality and meaning into both brilliant pieces of literature.

Mystery is a principal theme revealed in both Bradley’s novel and Cumming’s poem. A mystery is something of an obscure nature that remains inexplicable. In both pieces of literature, the narrators reflect on the “unknown” as the driving f...


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...er emotional vulnerability send the reader on a mystery through a variety of people, places, and even time. With a quirky personality, the young heroine`s fearlessness and curiosity, on top of her excellent benefit of age sends her on an exceptional adventure while hints of familial love buried deep down begin to surface near the novel’s end. The poet, E.E. Cummings, is a sophisticated lover who speaks devotedly of his beloved and her mysterious power over him. With a loyal and passionate heart, the ardent poet marvels at the inner mystery, concluding that the mysteries of love and nature are best left alone because if one was to know precisely why they love another, some passion would be stolen. The curiosity, impetus, imagination, and bottomless passion in both narrators reveal that there is much more to mystery, adventure, and love than what meets the eye.

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