Essay, Pages 3 (510 words)
In the poem “Miniver Cheevy” the author emphasizes the problems of the main character. The poem shows Miniver’s desire to have been born in medieval times. His longing is changed to joy when he thinks about this period in history “The vision of a warrior bold / Would set him dancing. ” (Lines 7-8) As the reader becomes acquainted with Miniver, he sees him as a romantic daydreamer with the fantasy of being a knight. He hates the fact he was born in this day and age.
He even hates the day he was born, “He wept that he was ever born, / And he had reasons. (3-4)
The author feels that Miniver is torn between reality and fantasy. He knows that Miniver is not satisfied with his life. He describes Miniver as yearning for the past, “Miniver sighed for what was not, / And dreamed, and rested from his labors; /He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot, /And Priam’s neighbors. ” (9-12) The author knows that Miniver wishes to live in medieval times or some other glorious period in history.
On the surface, both the characters Richard Cory and Miniver Cheevy seem to be simple and easily understood. However, both are complex individuals with demons that drive them.
They are similar in their dissatisfaction with their lives. They are different in the methods that they use to face their dissatisfaction, but both characters have a void in their lives that is the root of their discontent. This void compels them to partake in actions that are detrimental to their lives.
Richard attempts to solve his problem when he commits suicide. Evidently his wealth is not fulfilling enough to overcome his inner turmoil. His mannerisms in public portray him as man content with himself and his wealth.
In fact, the townspeople long to be like him. In fine – we thought that he was everything/To make us wish that we were in his place” (lines 11-12) His demons overwhelm him, and he is sick of hiding behind the guise of a prosperous man who seems to be content. In the end Richard takes his life and ends his delusion with society. Unlike Richard Cory, Miniver Cheevy, chooses a different route to end his discontent. His soul aches to live in a different time and place. He tries to resolve this pain by detaching himself from reality.
He daydreams of a more romantic era and the gallant people who live there. Miniver loved the days of old/ When swords were bright and steeds were prancing”. (5-6) He seems to do most of his daydreaming while drinking. His drinking does not lead to a solution. Instead, his life is a continuous cycle of discomfort and pain that longs for a different life. He attempts to drown this pain with drinking, “Miniver Cheevy, born too late, /Scratched his head and kept on thinking; /Miniver coughed, and called it fate, /And kept on drinking. ” (29-32) Miniver’s problems only get worse. He fuels the fire with his consumption of alcohol, and the cycle begins again.