Compare and Contrast Remember and A Birthday by Christina Rossetti Essay

Compare and Contrast Remember and A Birthday by Christina Rossetti Essay

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Compare and Contrast Remember and A Birthday by Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti was born in Victorian England and grew up in the
pre-Raphaelite era. Coming from a well educated family she drew
influence for her poems from her surroundings and experiences. In ‘A
Birthday’, she looks at the celebration of finding new love. She is
overjoyed because her love is reciprocated and wants to make a new
beginning with this man spending the rest of her life with him raising
a family. A Birthday is filled with joy, happiness and anticipation of
what life will be like with her new love. Whereas ‘Remember’ is very
different; she must prepare her lifelong lover/husband for her death.
The tone of joy is therefore replaced by a much sadder tone reflecting
her struggle and unhappiness.

Both poems are carefully structured. ‘A birthday’ is written in two
verses. The first verse contains three similes and a comparative and
the second uses three imperatives (raise me, carve it, work it) and in
the final lines of both verses the reason for the joy and making of
the room are given. Whereas ‘Remember’ is a petrarchan sonnet. It
consists of many short phrases and gentle words which further
illustrates the feeling of tiredness. The punctuation and lines mirror
her difficulties to speak throughout the poem.

In ‘A Birthday’ repletion of the phrase ‘my heart’ is used, this is to
illustrate the feelings in her heart of joy, happiness and excitement
that her love has been reciprocated by the one she loves. It gives the
idea that her heart is the most important thing at this moment and it
is affecting the actions of the rest of her body. In contrast in
‘Remember’ the word ‘remember’ is repeated to emphasise the idea that

... middle of paper ... at first he will spend every moment thinking and grieving for
her but with the gradual progression of time he may forget her from
time to time; and for this he ma feel guilty. She is thinking ahead to
the time when he won’t think of her in the natural flow of time which
is imperceptible to him. The fact he has now accepted she is going to
die she can give him instructions and talk about death and the grave
in a real way. Such as the idea of darkness in the grave and how the
body will decompose. She asks him to hold her in his heart and record
her in his everlasting memories this compares with the idea of
responsibility that comes with love which is described in ‘A
Birthday’. She finally reassure him that if he does forget her he
won’t be a traitor to her because she wants him to be happy and
doesn’t want her death to be the end of his happiness forever.

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