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!