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Keats and Culture

"The urn's seamless surface tends to conceal that it is constructed of historical materials--made up of fragments of an appropriated culture." (Garson 454)

"Keats's project has as its prototype the very historical process that made the urn accessible to him in the first place--the process of cultural and national appropriation." (Garson 458)

I think I am more inclined to agree with this analysis of Keats and the urn than with Guetti and her idea of Keats's ignorance. Though that was an interesting study on the urn and Keats's questions, it seems to me that the rhetorical question is the most conducive to the poem.

The idea of culture can be seen in both point of views, but as Garson says on page 456, "as the speaker interrogates the urn, we interrogate the poem: his questions serve as our answers." We can see through his questions the activities depicted on the urn, these tell the story or what we assume is the story. This creates within the rhetoric a cultural and historical signifcance.

We see the culture within the lines of the poem. Each picture depicts an attitude or assimulates a view of that attitude or culture. Keats portrays these actions with questions that cannot be answered because it is within a realm of history and culture that he was not party to. I found this concept interesting. Sometimes we have to ask unanswerable questions in order to find the answer, but we can never be sure if our answer is the correct one, which leads to the unending differences of opinion and study in criticism.

Comments (3)

Bethany Merryman:

I really like your analysis and comparison of the two essays, Garson verses Guetti. I find it difficult to chose between the two essays. I honestly haven't decided which one I agree with, because I can see the sensibility in both ideas.

No matter what we read, we will always find multiple answers within a reading. There is no right answer, but a lot of them are definitely worth studying!

Derek Tickle:

I agree very much with your analysis, Mara. I think that the urn is not one answer, but an object that presents the reader with many viewpoints or questions. Your last statement about asking questions that may not have answers is very similar to Derrida's deconstruction method. We can deconstruct an object, such as an urn, in so many ways that eventually it will be a revovling cirlce that does not have one answer. Interesting...

james lohr:

There is no right answer, in fact there is no article, i have entered the matrix and i can now see it all. i have deconstructed myself and found that i am nothing. with that said i should probably comment on your blog. I happen to agree with you, this work spoke more to me than the other.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 19, 2009 4:40 PM.

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