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Annotated and explicated by: Brady McQueeney and Grant Hendrix.

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Presentation on theme: "Annotated and explicated by: Brady McQueeney and Grant Hendrix."— Presentation transcript:

1 Annotated and explicated by: Brady McQueeney and Grant Hendrix


3 PARAPHRASE AND OUTSIDE INFORMATION The poem “Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter” written by John Crow Ransom is an metaphysical elegy, a community remembering John Whiteside’s daughter. They remember the energy and liveliness she was filled with but the remembrance is interrupted by the sound of funeral bells for the same girl that was once filled wit life not long ago. This poem was written in the modern era, more specifically in 1924.

4 In stanza #1 diction like “speed,” “little,” and “lightness” imply that the subject the speaker is talking about is young or small. “Lightness” being used in past tense implies there is a contrast with her stillness in the present. The phrase “brown study” may be referring to the famous sculpture of The Thinker, which tells us she was quite contemplative. IN DEPTH: STANZA #1

5 The speaker is still speaking in the past tense, remembering this young girl. The speaker is revealed to be a collective of people, most likely the community, who once watched the girl from their “high window” as she enjoyed the outdoors. The speaker specifically says “where she took arms against her shadow” which could be an allusion to Hamlet’s famous soliloquy. IN DEPTH: STANZA #2

6 The third stanza is a more detailed memory of geese. Ransom compares the geese to snow clouds “dripping their snow” on everything. The geese’s snow are the feathers that constantly fall off. “Green grass” is an alliteration that symbolizes life, which could be connected to the past liveliness of the girl. IN DEPTH: STANZA #3

7 The fourth stanza continues the memory of the geese but the girl is introduced as she prods the geese with a “rod that made them rise” from their lazy routine. This stanza shows that the girl was curious just like any other child that comes in contact with a creature. IN DEPTH: STANZA #4

8 The shift occurs after the fourth stanza and before the fifth. Beforehand the community was remembering the life of this young girl and how energetic she was, to then talking about how now she is lifeless and still. THE SHIFT

9 The word “But” is an obvious sign of a shift and contrast, for the community was once remembering the energy present in this girl to hearing the “bells” of her funeral, creating an attitude of shock. The contrast is almost ironic and just to point out the connection Ransom uses anaphora speaking of “her brown study” once again. IN DEPTH: STANZA #5

10 The message Ransom is trying to convey is that ultimately life is fragile, even those full of life can lose it tomorrow. THEME

11 How does the author reinforce meaning through his use of figurative language, tone, structure, and other literary features? My thesis would be something along the lines of: John Crow Ransom conveys his message of the true fragility of life through a shocking shift, numerous allusions and the usage of a vivid flashback. For topic sentences I would say: Ransom speaks of a girl so full of life the entire poem in order to shock his audience with the shift revealing that she has died unexpectedly. As well as: The first four stanzas are a flashback to create an emotional attachment to this young girl only to expose that she has suddenly died not too long afterwards. AP PROMPT

12 Ransom, John C. "" Bells for John Whiteside's Daughter. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2015. Cummings, Michael J. "Bells for John Whiteside's Daughter A Study Guide."Cummings Study Guides. N.p., 2010. Web. 19 Jan. 2015. Bells for John Whiteside's Daughter Summary -", n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2015. WORKS CITED


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