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Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth and Bleak House by Charles Dickens Essay Sample

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Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth and Bleak House by Charles Dickens Essay Sample

I have chosen to compare and contrast the British Transport Holiday in London leaflet, The interview with Rachel, Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth and the opening of Bleak House by Charles Dickens. Starting with Upon Westminster Bridge, I think the purpose of the poem is to try and make the reader appreciate London, and let the poem inspire them. It’s a celebration of London. It’s also meant to entertain the reader, just as Bleak House is written to entertain the reader and express the author’s attitude to London.

But the opening of Bleak House also provides an introduction to the central themes of the book . One of the purposes of The British Transport holiday leaflet is also to entertain, but only to entertain us in order to promote London Transport service and is a persuasive piece. The only text that doesn’t serve to entertain is text B, the interview with Rachel. Were Rachel knew it was to help an A- level class and the purpose of it was to articulate her feelings on London. Wordsworth gives us a very tranquil, productive, beautiful and almost spiritual view of London with an inspirational intention.

This peaceful impression of London contrasts heavily with the British Transport leaflet, which creates a busy, lively, near chaotic impression of London where there is “something for everyone” to do. Wordsworth describes everything as being still or asleep. “The very houses seem asleep; And all that might heart is lying still! ” And “The beauty of the morning; silent and bare. ” This description differs largely to the impression we get from the British Transport leaflet which uses lots of active verbs to give the impression of movement i. e. “Bustling busy city of London” the alliteration also adds to this effect.

The British Transport leaflet gives a modern impression of London but also highlights London as a historical city, possibly to broaden its target audience by highlighting adventure for the young and historical attraction for the older. The leaflet gives the impression of a city growing full of “adventure,” opportunity and excitement. The Interview with Rachel also gives a busy impression of the city, but the impression most strongly created is that of loneliness and division. Which makes the impression a negative one, unlike the Wordsworth and British Transport texts which both give a positive impression of London.

But the interview with Rachel isn’t the only negative portrayal of London. Dickens’ Bleak house also gives a very negative impression. London is shown as a dark, dreary timeless city, whose legal system is corrupt and destructive. On of the ways in which Dickens brings across this impression is through the use of metaphor. He uses the weather to reflect London’s legal profession. The weather is muddy and foggy its vague likes the law, its attacking the most venerable, the elderly and the little boy, just as the law is uncaring and un-emotional.

The fog clings on to people in a negative way making people ill, it’s a dynamic force that interacts with people much the same as the law does. By using this metaphor we are given an introduction to the Chancellor and an impression of him without even mentioning him. Another text that uses nature to give an impression is Upon Westminster Bridge, but nature in this text is used to create a positive image rather that a negative. Wordsworth compares the beauty of the sun shinning in the sky to the theatres and domes glittering in the London air.

Wordsworth uses positive adjectives in front of nouns about nature in order to give an admirable impression on London through links with nature. For example “Never did the sun look so beautifully steep”. Another way in which Dickens makes the Bleak House passage feel timeless is by using lots of present participles but no dynamic verbs. Also only the finial paragraph uses a standard sentence, the lack of tense in the passage suggests that its not only now that London has been foggy and dreary but its how it’s always been.

Repetition is also used to create the illusion that the fog is everywhere. Repetition is also used in the British Transport leaflet, but in a different way to Bleak House. Repetition in the leaflet is used a little at the start but more and more to the end of the passage this is done to give the impression that the city is growing. Unlike Bleak House this piece uses lots of active verbs to give the text a lively atmosphere which echoes the liveliness of London. Also because the activities that London offers are listed, it gives a faster pace, again echoing the liveliness of London.

There are also lots of positive modifiers like “splendid city”, “exciting city” sleek perfectly matched horses” etc . The modifiers are meaningless, but this is persuasive writing. Because its persuasive it tries to interact with the reader as much as possible, (something that none of the other texts try to do), it does this by involving the reader straight away “take steps. ” its commanding and the use of you is personal and direct. The passage gives a personal feel by making it informal; one of the ways that the writer makes it informal is by using colloquial language such as “Bobbies.

The only other text that is informal is the interview with Rachel. Rachel starts of quite nervously in the interview, we can tell this by the amount of pauses and time fillers she uses such as “erm” and repetition and false starts, but these dramatically reduce as the interview goes on and we can see that she is beginning to feel more at ease because she and Gill share a joke. I think that Rachel’s language is more complex because she knows that she is being interview.

Gill takes charge of the interview by changing the subject matter and asking questions, such as “and how’ve you made them is it through work or ” and she is constantly showing listener support and understanding by saying “yeh” and “mmmm”. The only other text that try’s to imitate this conversational style is the British Transport leaflet the writer does this by using conjunctions like and and but and trying to interact with the reader by using commanding sentences such as “take the stairs” and using personal pronouns such as you .

In conclusion I think that all the authors attitudes are strongly shown in their writing. Charles Dickens might be exaggerated in order to fit with the novel, but it is clearly that London is corrupt and dark, and Wordsworth is that it is beautiful and that everyone should be able to experience it. The author of the British Transport leaflet might be untrue because of the purpose of the text, but he appreciates the historical element of London and I think that Rachel feels isolated in London and that its size is overwhelming.

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