One of the Many Human Characteristics Essay

One of the Many Human Characteristics Essay

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At one point in time, we are all desperate for something. As humans, our complete helplessness sometimes leads us to become desperate. It is human nature to become desperate in our time of great need, and as humans, our desperation is not cured until we gain a sense of security. To cure our desperation, we must communicate our need to others. Whether we communicate spiritually, physically, or both, humans are social creatures and thrive on communication. In John Donne and Stevie Smith’s poems, the authors truly capture the essence of helplessness through their characters who express desperation in their poems. In “Batter my heart three-personed God, for You” by John Donne, the author depicts an individual desperately crying out for spiritual help to achieve a sense of goodness and security. Parallel to John Donne’s poem, Stevie Smith expresses desperation through a man depicted as crying out for earthly help in “Not Waving but Drowning.” Through imagery, sounds, and language, these two poems are examples that complete helplessness leads us to desperation, and desperation can only be cured through expressing and communicating that desperation to others.
In John Donne’s “Batter my heart three-personed God, for You,” the author uses vivid imagery to fully express the troubles that led the main character to become so overwhelmed that he became desperate for help. In the middle of the poem, the individual states, “I, like an usurped town to another due / Labor to admit You, but Oh! to no end” (5-6). Through comparing the character to a town, the audience gets a descriptive image of an enslaved town trying to get help but always failing. Through this imagery, the author gives his audience a feeling of forever and never-ending desperat...


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...Explicator 42.1 (1983):
58. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 20 Mar. 2011.

Donne, John. "Batter my heart three-personed God, for You." Literature: An Introduction
to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 6th ed. New York: Pearson Prentice, 2010. 453. Print.

Smith, Stevie. "Not Waving but Drowning." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 6th ed. New York: Pearson Prentice, 2010. 493. Print.

Walsh, Jessica. "Stevie Smith:vGirl, Interrupted." Papers on Language & Literature 40.1
(2004): 57-87. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 24 Mar. 2011.

Zunder, William. "Batter My Heart (holy Sonnet 14): Overview." Reference Guide to
English Literature. Ed. D. L. Kirkpatrick. 2nd ed. Chicago: St. James Press, 1991. Literature Resources Center. Web. 16 Mar. 2011.

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