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Laugh and be Merry by John Masefield Essay

Laugh and be merry, remember, better the world with a song,
Better the world with a blow in the teeth of a wrong.
Laugh, for the time is brief, a thread the length of a span. Laugh and be proud to belong to the old proud pageant of man.

Laugh and be merry: remember, in olden time.
God made Heaven and Earth for joy He took in a rhyme,
Made them, and filled them full with the strong red wine of
His mirth
The splendid joy of the stars: the joy of the earth.

So we must laugh and drink from the deep blue cup of the sky, Join the jubilant song of the great stars sweeping by,
Laugh, and battle, and work, and drink of the wine outpoured In the dear green earth, the sign of the joy of the Lord.

Laugh and be merry together, like brothers akin,
Guesting awhile in the rooms of a beautiful inn,
Glad till the dancing stops, and the lilt of the music ends. Laugh till the game is played; and be you merry, my friends.

The primary idea of creation is happiness. Masefield in this poem reminds us that sorrow or unhappiness is a passing thing; what is lasting and universal is joy. Life is not a bed of roses. In moments of challenges and sufferings, men will do well to have recourse to nature which is an embodiment of God’s beauty and grandeur. The poet advises us to laugh and be merry. He say:

“Laugh and be merry, remember, better the world with a song, Better the world with a blow in the teeth of a wrong.” Man should face the trials, life casts in his way with determination without relinquishing to dejection. The duration of man’s life on Earth is short. So he should make use of his short, brief stay on Earth by laughing away his troubles and sorrows. Man should remember, how in olden times, God created Heaven and Earth for giving joy to him. He shaped with the sweet pattern of music and filled them with intoxicating wine, namely his extreme joy and delight.

As the very purpose of God is to provide men with joy, man must laugh and drink the joy of the sky from the deep blue cup. He must join in the chorus of the merry song of the stars in their orbits. Man must fight against difficulties and be happy in his work. He must draw happiness and inspiration from everything around him. The joy of life is the very basis of our brotherhood and mutual love. Man must live happily with his fellowmen like brothers residing in an inn. He must play the game of life cheerfully and pass through the journey of joy till he reaches his ultimate goal or destination.

Analysis of Doctor in the House written by R. Gordon.

Before analyzing this story, it is important to mention that Richard Gordon used to be a practicing doctor before he started his career as a writer. His stories are based on personal experience, what makes them more striking.

The story is highly emotional and ironical first person narration which tells about medical students’ experience of passing their final examinations. The text is clearly divided into three parts according to the stages of examinations. The first part tells about students’ attitude to exams. The second deals with written part of the exam, the third is about oral part and the last one tells how students get the results of the whole examination.

The author makes his narration bright and involving appealing to personal experience of readers: each and every of us used to be a student and had to pass exams. The readers got back in thoughts to their own experience and compare it with the main character’s. Although, it turned out that in case of medical students it is a bit different, the author had already achieved his goal: he had involved readers into narration appealing to their emotions.

The main subject of the story, as it was already told, is final exams. It is interesting to observe how many stylistic devices are used by Gordon to describe the concept of examination. The author employs conceptual metaphor to compare exam with death and develop this metaphor throughout all the narration. In the very beginning the direct simile to death is given “To medical students the final examinations are something like a death”. Then Gordon mentions death telling about students’ superstition

“To speak of falling is a bad taste. It’s the same idea as talking about passing away and going above instead of plain dying”. Later, clear allusion to Bible is used by the author when he describes students, who have passed the exam and go upstairs (to heaven) and those, who have failed and go down (to hell). If we try and think about the purposes of giving such strong comparison, we would come to a conclusion that for medical students exams are really similar to death. I mean that students of this profession are much more responsible for death and life of people, than any other. That’s why learn everything and succeed at the exams is absolutely necessary for them.

Describing exam using simile “a straight contest between himself and the examiners” and comparing student to a “prize-fighter” author equals examination to sport. Another metaphor used by the author treats exams as if it was imprisonment. Gordon uses words associated with prison describing the waiting room like “contempt cell” and name students “poor victims” to underline this simile.

Moreover, to make the readers share the emotions and tears of students, Gordon uses a vide range of other stylistic devises such as irony, metaphors, epithets and similes. For example, his description of different types of students and the way, they deal with examination is given in highly-ironical mood. He even gives names to these types, calling them “Nonchalant”, “Frankly Worried”, “Crammer”, “Old Stagger”. What is more, he devotes special attention to so called “women students” and describes them as “attractive ones, not those who are feminine only through inescapable anatomic arrangements” intentionally using bookish words to make the situation funny and ironical.

Another tool which is employed by the author to help for better understanding of students is the description of their superstitions and believes. For example the myth which tells that students’ written works are marked at random or fear to say aloud the word “fail” because this brings bad luck.

But the main part of the story which devotes readers’ attention most of all is the climax. You can easily guess that the tensest moment of the narration comes when student get his results. The narrator describes his state in details “My pulse shot in my ears. My face was burning hot and I felt my stomach had been suddenly plucked from my body.” to share the fever of excitement of student. The hyperbola in sentences “The traffic stopped, the plants ceased growing, men were paralyzed, the clouds hung in the air, the winds dropped, the tides disappeared, the sun halted in the sky” enlarges this effect.


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