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Research paper on Poe's "Ligeia"


Te Amari 3 / 5  
Nov 24, 2008   #1
It is an analytical research paper (but I haven't inserted the paraphrases from my sources yet), and I tend to go into summary rather than analysis. If someone could check for that and for any grammatical/formatting mistakes, I would be forever grateful!

Ligeia and Rowena represent the antitheses of simple versus sophisticated, tangible versus metaphysical, and the will to live versus the surrender to death to show that the purported truth is subjective to the one experiencing it. Ligeia represents something not of this world. Poe writes that of Ligeia, the narrator "believe that [he] first met her and most frequently in some large, old, decaying city near the Rhine. Of her family-[he has] surely heard her speak" (1). She has no binding to the earth, no historical or familial connections. She exists only for the narrator. The narrator's second wife, Rowena Trevanion of Tremaine, has a family name and a city, the direct opposite of Ligeia. Neither woman has a large speaking part, and the only part that Ligeia has is a reiteration of the poem she supposedly wrote and a fabricated quote from John Glanvill: "Oh God! [...] Oh God! Oh Divine Father!-shall these things be undeviatingly so?-shall this conqueror be not once conquered? Are we not part and parcel in Thee? Who-who knoweth the mysteries of the will with its vigor? Man doth not yield him to the angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will" (5). Although this is Ligeia's only speaking part, the narrator says that she did ask him to read the poem one other time. As for Rowena, she has no direct speaking parts, but the narrator says time and again how disturbed she feels with the furnishings and the narrator never speaks of Ligeia's feelings. He does not describe Rowena in the same loving way that he did for Ligeia and he continues to ignore his second wife. This continued obsession with the metaphysical, maybe even imaginary, Ligeia makes the narrator's account harder to believe when countered with the tangible yet almost equally silent Rowena. Ligeia's strong will to live, echoed through the fictitious John Glanvill quote, suggests that her resurrection comes from her own power. In direct antithesis to Ligeia, Rowena's death is more of a surrender than a fight. There is no record of her trying to resist death, and her death was uneventful to the extreme. Her lack of resistance presents an image of capitulation: "It was there however, no longer; and breathing with greater freedom, I turned my glances to the pallid and rigid figure upon the bed" (7). Rowena dies without saying a word, without protesting at all. The narrator barely realizes her death as it comes about, as if her life were fleeting and death were silent. It is as if she welcomes death, and it is hardly surprising, considering her husband's hatred toward her and the oppressive atmosphere of her living conditions. This is a great difference between the two women. Ligeia struggles to live, saying that only those with "feeble wills" yield to the angels, to death. By saying this, she condemns Rowena. Knowing the narrators unreliability, one must wonder at the apparent differences between the two women. The narrator describes them both, emphasizing Ligeia's good points against Rowena's bad ones, and unintentionally emphasizing Ligeia's metaphysical nature against Rowena's tangible nature.

So I'm pretty uncertain about putting part of my paper here, but this website did say that there would be proof that it's mine if anyone inquires about it, right? (Turnitin.com unnerves me.) Thanks in advance!

EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Nov 24, 2008   #2
Good evening :)

As long as your real information is listed in your member profile, the piece will turn up as yours and there won't be any plagiarism issues.

To avoid summary, try not to use quotation or summarizing the text more than you have to. Also, it may help to assume that your audience is as familiar with the text as you are, so you don't have to go into so much background detail. Also, try to use more interpretive language like "Seemingly..." or "Since..." this will also help you get away from telling-us-the-story-in-different-words :)

Let's take this part, for example:

"The narrator barely realizes her death as it comes about, as if her life were fleeting and death were silent.What makes you think this?It is as if she welcomes death, and it is hardly surprising, considering her husband's hatred toward her and the oppressive atmosphere of her living conditions.This is analytical; good job.This is a great difference between the two women. Ligeia struggles to live, saying that only those with "feeble wills" yield to the angels, to death."This is also analytical; keep it up!

As to format, double check the requirements for your required citation style. For further examples, try typing in the name of the citation style and then the keyword "examples." For instance, "MLA citation examples."

Regards,
Gloria
Moderator, EssayForum.com
OP Te Amari 3 / 5  
Nov 24, 2008   #3
Regarding the section you quoted, would it still be analytical if I just pointed out the things that were missing from Rowena's death that were present in Ligeia's? I tried redoing a bit of that:

"...I turned my glances to the pallid and rigid figure upon the bed" (7). There is no grand proclamation against death, merely a fleeting mention of her departure. There is no mournful language following her death. He merely "turns [his] glances," and does not acknowledge her death with any importance. The narrator barely realizes her death as it comes about, as if her life were fleeting and death were silent.

And thank you for the other information. It lets me breathe easier. Oh, and I found some good examples of MLA citations. Thanks!
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Nov 25, 2008   #4
Excellent! This is a great passage; if you keep your comparisons similar to this, you're going to have a great piece!

I'm glad you were able to find great examples; they are indeed helpful! One of my favorites that I use for MLA is this website: monroecc.edu/depts/library/mla.htm. It gives examples for almost every form of source you can think of.

Good luck!

Regards,
Gloria


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