From Literature

The Drive towards Self-destruction in Ariel

While the theme of self-destruction may conventionally appear damaging or deleterious, Plath portrays the motif of self-annihilation in a different light through the persona’s acceptance or embrace of pain and suffering. In addition, the drive towards self-effacement and destruction is not only concurrent with the desire for a new identity, but can also be reversed in order to resurrect the sense of self. Thus, these poems explore the mind’s reaction to self-destruction, and its capability to gain control and achieve transcendence when the self is threatened by hostile environments.

Mr Collins’ Significance

Write a critical commentary on the following passage (from Chapter 15), relating it to the presentation of Mr. Collins and his significance in the novel. Mr Collins, in the passage, is depicted as a man of hubris and extreme self-importance. His lack of humility as the clergyman, an authoritative religious figure, seems to be Austen’s way of criticising the supposed morally significant characters in the Regency era. The flippant attitude he holds towards marriage, reveals his nature as superficial, in the pursuit of a wife, highlighting the censure Austen holds for the transactional value marriage has been reduced too. Lastly,…

Fragile States of Mind and Self

Woman in Mind and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf are arguably disparate plays: thematically, one charts a woman’s descent into madness, while the other captures the domestic madness inherent in disappointed couples. I would however argue that the two plays are similar in their presentations of fragile states of mind and equally fragile identities. Both Woman and Woolf show fragile states of mind through familial conflicts, as seen through Susan and Gerald’s depressing interactions and George and Martha’s disparaging verbal conflicts. Both plays also evince the fragility of identity through the use of hostile external forces by having Susan succumb to a psychologically destructive nightmare, while Martha is seen to be expunged of her false identity as a mother through George’s exorcism. The ultimate intentions of both plays, however, differs greatly.


Both poems ‘The Art of Disappearing’ by Sarah Holland-Batt (Poem A) and ‘Disappearance’ by Boey Kim Cheng (Poem B) portray personae who deal with the disappearance of different collections of things in different ways: Poem A presents the disappearance as a result of change in one’s life and the subsequent accepting and firm manner of dealing with these losses of things in the past; Poem B, on the other hand, suggests disappearance is a form and result of loss, where the persona seems to struggle with attempting to cope with these losses. The tone of the poems, though speaking of the same subject matter of disappearance, thus differs as well. A is firmer and realistic, while B is nostalgic and pessimistic.