EVERYTHING IS PERSONAL.
Each writer aspires to make his or her work, may it be in prose or poetry, worthy enough to put readers at their fingertips, to keep the pages turning.
To achieve this, writers like Carol Ann Duffy fondly use enjambment in their works. Enjambment is a writing technique that cuts off lines or stanzas yet still retain sense. It can also mean to emphasize certain ideas.
A fine example of enjambment in action would be Carol Ann Duffy's poem "Warming Her Pearls," which is about a maid's unrequited love for her mistress.
In the poem's starting line, "Next to my own skin, her pearls." The phrase 'her pearls' is emphasized over 'Next to my own skin.' It gives the semblance of the mistress' authority over her maid. Also, in the transition between the penultimate and the last stanza, the servant's streams of consciousness not only break but shift from her mistress' nightly routine to the maid's burning desire.
Binary opposition was present as well in the poem. Words like cool, warm, and the implication of black and white (courtesy of the poem's first line) are such proof. Another writing technique would be the usage of literary devices. These devices evoke the readers' responsiveness since it involves metrical, verbal, and visual elements. Similes, metaphors, personification, hyperbole, and irony are only but a few that fall under this category.
An excellent example of the usage of literary devices, specifically personification, would be Margaret Atwood's poem "The Moment."When an inanimate object is given human characteristics, it is called personification, and in this case, nature is given feelings of anger.
The Moment is about nature venting out her wrath at humanity's greed, as shown in claiming her lands as their own. She says threats like how she will take back the very oxygen that mankind breathes, suffocating them in the process. Another detail of the poem is, it is written in the second person as the pronoun 'You' is repeated throughout the stanzas. It creates the assumption that nature herself is talking to the reader.
One more technique that Margaret Atwood uses is literary tropes. A trope is synonymous with a cliche, a stereotype that is used across all genres. In the poem 'The Siren,' she utilizes the damsel-in-distress and the chosen-one tropes to ensnare the reader with the siren's story further. Eventually, the reader succumbs to the siren's call as he or she finishes the poem. Aside from poetry, the 'unreliable narrator' trope is present in George Orwell's 1984. Winston's validity is questionable since the novel's communist-like events are not arranged in any chronological order.
Overall, these writing techniques like enjambment, literary devices, and tropes are not only used to nake literature aesthetically appealing but also to tickle the readers' imaginations. Leaving cliffhangers to make them want more is one goal. Composing word rhythms to please their auditory senses is another. To fully immerse them in the narrative is what makes a masterpiece.
Ever since time immemorial, women have always been an unheard voice in history. In William Shakespeare's Othello, their unheard voice becomes an echo of societal expectations.
At first, Desdemona was quite a rebel since she secretly married a Moor (Othello) and unknowingly left her father's household. Having done these sorts of deeds went against Brabantio's ideal Venetian daughter, ladylike and lenient.
However, her rebelliousness disappeared, as seen in her actions within her marriage to Othello. She crawled back to leniency as she addresses him 'my Lord' and blindly obeys his commands. One such event that proves this was when Othello smacked her in front of Lodovico told her to go away, and, then, called her again. Unsurprisingly, she did return for another round of humiliation at Othello's patronization of her tears. Her last act of 'loyalty' was when she, with her dying breath, defended Othello, her murderer.
On the other hand, Emilia, Desdemona's lady-in-waiting, is shown to have more 'experience' in marital and sexual affairs than her mistress. This is shown during the scene wherein she offers advice to the confused and forlorn Desdemona. In the process, this showcases between the rich and the poor, the exposed Emilia, and the sheltered Desdemona.
Shakespeare's portrayal of women as nothing more than breeding stock and wives is just a mere reflection of the social norms in his time, the Elizabethan age. Removing the female inferiority complex is futile since it has been drilled into mind for centuries. It has reached to the extent that women unconsciously accede to sexist standards, locking themselves in a misogynistic cage and throwing the key.
The present situation is no different from the past as women receive second-class treatment from domestic life to the workplace. If they want to enter the entertainment industry, they have to comply with the stereotypical beauty of Coca-Cola bodies and huge busts. Lack of education or financial opportunities force women to resort to prostitution.In the Philippines, women in the lower socio-economic echelon are often uneducated and become mothers at an early age.
What worsens the situation is the lack of female representation in male-dominated power-playing fields like politics. Despite the socio-technological advancements, women still struggle to speak up. There are more and more Desdemonas each day as society goes morally backward.
During my preparation for the exam, I looked over the questions that Ms. Cho gave and picked out, in my opinion, the most confidently answerable. Then, I made an outline of what will I write. During the exam itself, I think I rushed since I made a lot of grammatical errors. Also, I added information that I may not have explained further, like the binary opposition section and the Geroge Orwell reference. I noticed I have written a hasty generalization of Shakespeare's perspective on women. Overall, I think I did better than I expected from myself. I believe I improved my academic writing, but I still lack knowledge of the text part.