Comparative Analysis: The Tunnel to an Athlete Dying Young

Posted by admin on February 2, 2018 in Articles

Housman and Lessing both use imagery and personification as key devices to support the main idea of characters facing obstacles and basically training themselves to death to obtain glory. Depending on the characters view, glory is meaningful or meaningless to them. In Lessings story, Jerry struggles for glory that is very meaningful to himself to swim through an underwater cave whereas in Housman’s poem, the character is a young athlete in glory but ends up working himself to death. Houseman also describes a character as a man dying in war ending with no glory; being just another unknown soldier dying in action. Both authors use imagery and personification to effectively portray this similar main idea of glory being meaningful or meaningless depending on the individual.Lessing and Houseman use imagery as a key device to better support their themes in different and similar ways. Lessing uses extensive imagery to create the setting. For example she says, “He was in a small rock-bound hole filled with yellowish-grey water. She also uses imagery to set the mood when she says, “…feeling the pleading grin on his face like a scar he could never remove.” This helps develop the mood of helplessness, wanting to be included with the local boys. In this way, Houseman uses imagery to set the mood as well. Houseman gives descriptions like, “And early though the laurel grows, it withers quicker than a rose.” This displays a significant shift in mood from having glory to recognition that glory can be defeated, similar to Lessing’s shifts in mood throughout the story due to descriptive imagery.Along with imagery, both authors use the literary element personification in their writing pieces for better understanding. Lessing says, “He swam back to rock, climbed up, and dived into the big pool among the fanged and angry boulders.” When Lessing does this, it allows the reader a better understanding of the character being close to defeated by his obstacles. Similarly,…