I Am Vertical Analysis

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Death is a topic that is celebrated in some cultures, but feared and avoided in others. This contrast in opinion occurs in the passages, “I am Vertical,” written by Sylvia Plath, and an excerpt from the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. Within Twain’s novel is a story about the dangerous, yet exciting, journey of the main character, Huckleberry Finn, as he travels along the Mississippi River. He faces many challenges along the way, and encounters death, as well as fear and adventure. On the other hand, Plath’s poem romanticizes death, while discussing the phenomenal feeling of sleeping or lying down. Therefore, both passages, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain and, “I am Vertical,” by Sylvia Plath, demonstrate the subject of death and its significance to the main characters through the use of first-person perspective, descriptive imagery, and emotional diction. First, the first-person perspective was used by both Plath and Twain to highlight how their main characters felt about death, and their reactions when faced with the topic. For instance, Twain used asyndeton and polysyndeton in first-person perspective in order to describe the emotions of Huck, and connect him with the reader. According to the excerpt, “I wished I hadn’t ever come ashore that night to such things, I ain’t ever going to get shut of them -- lots of times I dream of them” (Twain, paragraph 1). This quote includes asyndeton to show the confusion, cowardice, and
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