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Social Criticism in London and Harlem - Essay Example

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The essay "Social Criticism in London and Harlem" discusses the poems that reveal the widespread political and social oppression of their times that produce different forms of social injustice. Social criticism unmasks the ills of society. It exposes the corruption and inequalities that people in power impose over the weak. This paper compares the sonnets, “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun” and “Shall I Compare Thee to A Summer’s Day” (“A Summer’s Day”). These sonnets both portray the theme of eternal love that lasts and is real enough to be captured in exact terms that people can believe in. The theme of these sonnets is perpetual and real love, although speakers employ different strategies in attesting their love. In “My Mistress' Eyes,” the speaker does not begin with the usual emphasis on the woman’s perfect beauty. He starts with a strong negative image: “My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun”. While other poets enunciate the goddess beauty of their mistresses by comparing their body parts to corals, snow, roses, and perfumes, the speaker does away with these pretensions and satirizes them. In line 13, the speaker, nevertheless, ensures that he feels the same love as any other man: “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare/As any, she belied with false compare”. The speaker stresses that his love may probably be more lasting than those who describe their mistresses in unreal terms. The irony is that the more he seemingly berates his mistress, the more real his love

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is. “A Summer’s Day” depicts a speaker’s intention to use the metaphor for the summer’s day to explain how much he loves her. He believes that “summer” is insufficient, however, because it is too fleeting, “…summer's lease hath all too short a date”
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Summary

This essay discusses the poems that reveal the widespread political and social oppression of their times that produce different forms of social injustice. Social criticism unmasks the ills of society. It exposes the corruption and inequalities that people in power impose over the weak…
Social Criticism in London and Harlem
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