Comparative essay – The Unknown Citizen/ Richard Cory

 “Richard Cory” and “The Unknown Citizen” are both powerful representations of superficial societies. Robinson’s poem depicts the slow growing depression to suicide of a wealthy, well-respected man as his peers envy him excessively to the point of not associating with Cory, while Auden’s poem depicts the obituary-like description of a man from a disconnected government bureaucrat with no sympathy. Both authors prove that physical appearance can hide the underlying depression and emptiness of lives as revealed through social rank, characterization, and ironic outcome.
 Both poems portray the victim as a higher class man who has his life perfectly put together which is used as a facade for the hidden loneliness and disconnection from society. For example, Richard Cory is described as “rich – yes richer than a king,” and is “everything to make us wish that we were in his place.” The townsman persona provides a perfect image of Cory, glorified as his simple greeting “fluttered pulses,” that is envied by peers to mask the underlying depression and loneliness as he “put a bullet through his head.” Similarly, the bureaucrat depicts the citizen as a “saint” who “satisfied him employers” and “wasn’t odd in his views” to create the ideal, average, and well-liked silhouette of a man meant to give himself over to obedience of the state, but is proven a glorification as the man dies unfulfilled as a slave. Just like Richard Cory, only his outward physical appearance is of concern to the onlookers as his true emotions of alienation are assumed as “had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.” Thus, both poets prove that the outward appearance of the character disguises their inner feelings of loneliness and emptiness.
 Both poems as well characterize both victims positively to cover the inner depressions. For instance, Richard Cory is represented as “a gentleman from sole to crown, clean-favored and imperially slim” giving him the impression of perfection. This description contrasts the true loneliness of Cory as he says no more than a “good morning” to the people on the pavement which is glorified to “flutter pulses,” disconnecting Cory from the town and making him a specimen of idealization. Likewise, the citizen is characterized with facts such as “he was fully insured” and “had everything necessary to the Modern Man” creating the average description of the normal male. The portrayal of the citizen, most likely written by a disconnected government bureaucrat, shows the dedication that the forgotten citizen clearly showed toward his government, which only degraded his identity to numbers and letters, “JS/07/M/378.” Thus, both poems convey that through the facades on their outer appearances and behaviors, both the citizen and Cory experience loneliness and depression.
 As well as the characterization and social rank, the ironic outcome of both poems proves the characters’ self-loathing and regret of an unfulfilled life. For example, the townspeople who envy Richard Cory begin to “[work] and waited for the light, and went without the meat and cursed the bread” while Richard Cory “went home and put a bullet through his head.” The irony in this situation is proven by Cory’s loneliness and neglect causing him to shoot himself while the less fortunate townspeople work themselves to near death to try and climb the “success ladder” and reach for Richard Cory’s status. Similarly, the citizen is questioned of his lack of happiness as “the question is absurd.” The bureaucrat persona immediately dismisses the doubt of his happiness with only the proof that he “satisfied his employers” and “never interfered with [his children’s] education.” Both the citizen and Cory are assumed happy for their status, whether being a wealthy, aristocratic man or just having a stable life. Thus, both Cory and the citizen are proven to mask their inner depressions and self-loathing natures by the ironic outcomes.
 Though the poems share topics and aspects in management of depression in their characterization, social rank, and ironic outcome, they are distinct and individual. While “Richard Cory” is spoken with envy by a fellow townsperson of Cory, “The Unknown Citizen” is spoken like an obituary from a disconnected government bureaucrat. Robinson’s poem focuses more on the envy of Cory’s life with emotional attachment, while Auden’s poem is more robotic and detached. Although neither of the poems directly addresses the inner emotions of Cory or the citizen, both heavily imply the depression and loneliness of their lives. For this reason, despite their differences, both “Richard Cory” and “The Unknown Citizen” are parallel poems with strong portrayals of human emotion.

Movie Review – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Many times we read a novel which is turned into a movie, but when we go to the theater and watch it, the movie veers far from the original plot and leaves our hearts disappointed. But this is not the case for The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. While comparing the 1941 movie from Victor Fleming and the original novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, negative changes are made to the adaptation, but along with these come its positive attributes that vastly improve the perception of the novel.



  • The beginning paces somewhat slowly to build the background on Dr. Jekyll’s inspirations and reasoning for splitting his personalities, while his speaking of his plans publicly seem unimportant to the plot.
  • The initial transformation scene between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is confusing until after the event.
  • The death of Mr. Hyde is completely flipped as it is transformed from a suicide for eliminating the last piece of kindheartedness to a brief killing for the prevention of growing evil inside Dr. Jekyll’s mind.
  • Dr Jekyll tries to hide behind a door when Lanyon is shooting at him, but then decides to shatter the glass window in the door to attack him.
  • Dr. Jekyll’s fiancée is only introduced at the beginning and end to serve as his catalyst for his experiments and does not contribute much else to the plot.



  • The love interests are introduced to not only work as a catalyst for Dr. Jekyll’s studies in splitting personalities, but to serve as insight on Mr. Hyde’s “excursions,” which are left ambiguous in the novel due to its time of publication.
  • The beginning scene with the interruption of the crazed man at church service serves as a catalyst for Dr. Jekyll’s studies in the duality of nature.
  • The movie does not ponder on a specific scene for a lengthy amount of time, keeping the viewer interested throughout the movie.
  • Hyde is more prevalent in the movie, allowing the viewer to learn more about his mannerisms and way of thinking.



Fleming keeps to the original novel for the majority, while applying insight to Hyde’s “adventures” for the clarity of the viewer, but it veers from Stevenson’s original novel at the death of Mr. Hyde.

Rose Quartz Poem

You might think I’m just

a young, naive boy

with brown hair

and jade green eyes

But I know I am more

far more than that

not a strong rock or towering mountain

not a vast galaxy or expansive universe

A rose quartz crystal

a small, pale pink rose quartz crystal

When I feel deserted

realizing the insignificance compared to the expanse of the world

I am a pale pink gem unimportant

trapped deep below the surface

exposed to radiation

bystanders ignoring the sluggish transformation

not noticing the beauty projected from my core

But when I am energetic

the spectators are surrounded

as I radiate my new-found self worth

and engulf my surroundings in mounds of compassion and love

attracting friendships with my beautiful interpretations of reality

I encourage others to believe in themselves and then I disappear

I’m continuously active

until I heal those around me

and that’s where my journey ends

until I find others to cure again

and again

and again

The brown-haired, jade green-eyed boy

is a rose quartz crystal

a small, beautiful, self-loving rose quartz crystal

Literary Analysis – Leaving a Legacy


In “Sonnet 73” by William Shakespeare and Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, the authors explain age with time and its effects on people.Throughout sonnet 73, Shakespeare emphasizes his want to be remembered after death so that his second life, a spiritual existence, is alive and present.In Dandelion Wine, Bradbury  shows many elderly people clingng onto their youth as they realize that they may not be who they used to be. Therefore, the people wish to remember and be remembered as their youthful selves as opposed to their barely mobile, older counterparts. The authors wish to state that we must value our youth but not stay in it so that we can be remembered from our legacies. These authors convey that we must leave a legacy to be remembered with the use of youth, process of aging, and death.

The authors employ images of youth to represent a time of wisdom and joy which must be cherished to leave a legacy. Along with “the glowing of such fire,” Shakespeare utilizes “the twilight of such day” and “those boughs which shake against the cold” to represent life and its cycle. This emphasizes the inevitable loss of youth as each depiction is a slow “death” of a cherishable memory. Similarly, Bradbury uses the elderly residents of Greentown to emphasize the importance of youth. For example, while Bill Forester speaks with Helen Loomis about the world, Ms. Loomis says that youth is the “beginning of all wisdom as they say. When you’re seventeen you know everything. When you’re twenty seven, if you still know everything, you’re still seventeen. Bradbury conveys that knowledge is linked with age and that youth is the pinnacle of knowledge. Therefore, both authors convey that youth is valuable for love and knowledge and must be remembered so that our memories can live eternally. Thus, both pieces show the importance of youth to impact others past physical death with memories and previous knowledge.

As well as youth, the pieces both share the use of aging to prove that we still possess youthful properties that are not forgotten but seldom used. For example, through the sonnet, Shakespeare utilizes the changing of seasons with “bare ruined choirs” and the daytime cycle as the sunset that “fadeth in the west” to represent his aging process. Shakespeare explains the slow process of aging which is more though of as the process progresses to show that our image of youth is not completely destroyed but is not as noticed. Similarly, Bradbury employs the encounter of Mrs. Bentley with Alice and Jane believing with no evidence that Mrs. Bentley wasn’t “really ten ever…and [her] name’s not really Helen” to prove that time and age are not thought of by the youth while it is clearly experienced by the older generations. Bradbury emphasizes that time and age are nonexistent to the illogical youth. Therefore, both authors explain that the process of aging does not abandon youthful memories, but instead builds upon them them to form a current self with knowledge and wisdom. Thus, both pieces prove that the process of aging allows us to leave a legacy by our experiences for the later generation to learn from.

The authors utilize death to represent the possible loss of memories and remembrance as the world continues after death. Shakespeare depicts a sunset which “fadeth in the west” and a personification of “Death’s second self that seals up all in rest” to represent the spiritual death of being forgotten. This explains Shakespeare’s fear of being forgotten after death since no one can control the remembrance except himself. Similarly, Bradbury recognizes a second life after physical death with Douglas’ great-grandma’s passing as she assures everyone that “I’m not really dying today… I’ll be around a long time. A thousand years from now, a whole township of my offspring will be biting sour apples in the gumwood shade.” Bradbury, through Douglas’ great-grandma, explains that one lives through the remembrance of their legacy that is passed down through their descendants. Therefore, both authors prove that true death only occurs after one is forgotten. Thus, the pieces prove that one lives through a legacy that is left after their physical death.

Both authors prove the youth, aging, and death all must be remembered for a legacy to be left. As well they prove that you cannot have only youth without aging or death and vice versa. Thus  both utilize youth, age, and death to explain the effects of time on people and their importance to leave a legacy so that one’s presence is not forgotten after physical death.

Expository Essay – Extending Life


“I just need the medicine for my son; he’s sick,” shouts a concerned mother at her local pharmacy with the expenses of her only child’s medicine rocketing sky high. “I can’t afford it right now, but I can’t just let him get even worse,” she says urgently. Similar to medicines at a pharmacy, the ability to extend life to extreme lengths is marketable to the entire world. The extension of life comes with many advantages to improve society, but it as well comes with the disadvantages that can destroy civilization.

Extending life to near immortality could greatly advance society mentally and physically. For example, scientists can study adaptation, mutation, and evolution over hundreds to thousands of years at a time. Robert Bunsen, like many of today’s scientists, dedicated his life to his studies, continuing his experiments with explosive and toxic compounds with a seared eye. However, with an extended life span, these scientists can easily research new information of synthetic body parts, stem cell heart generation, and possible cures for cancer for much longer than the average human. In addition, in Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine, Douglas discovers his mortality as he speaks with his great-grandmother on her deathbed, which causes him to stress over his eventual demise. In our lives, we also worry about and fear our own deaths, but with an extended life this worry can be eradicated, which would free up time for societal growth. Therefore, extending life can create scientific and psychological advancements to society.

Along with its advantages, the extending of natural life has many disadvantages to lead to society’s demise. For instance, like prescription medicine, doctor visits, and dental checkups, a way to extend life, whether it be a pill, shot, or elixir, is very profitable in today’s society. While this may create business for the few companies who could afford to sell the product, this would create a “survival of the richest” environment, allowing the rich to outlive the poor, which would diminish the work force. In addition, the rate of reproduction would remain identical, but the population would increase exponentially as the life expectancy is raised. This would not only cause overpopulation, but it would also use the earth’s limited drinking water, fossil fuels, and natural gasses much faster than its populace currently uses. Thus, extension of life can lead to the destruction of society and earth’s life-sustaining qualities.

The stressed mother rifles through her bag until she scrounges her last few dollars to pay for the sacred medicine and immediately rushes to her quiet home. She sighs with relief at her luck of finding lost money hidden in her purse and is now much more relieved knowing her son will soon feel happier and healthier. Thus, life extension has both advantages that boost societal growth and disadvantages which destroy societal progression.

Career Choice Comparative Essay

Aaron Camp
Pre-AP English I – 6
November 4, 2014
Career Choice Comparative Essay

Since middle school, I loved creative activities such as illustrating, participating in the school band, and playing video games online, so, in my search for three possible careers, I used my talents to find these three choices: artist, classical musician, and web developer.
Based upon the level of education, salary, aptitude, future prospects, and schedule, I would choose artist because of my pre-existing artistic talent for a career that allows me to express my creativity and artistic abilities.
The comparison chart below explains the criteria I used when making my decision for my career:

Artist Classical Musicial Web Developer
level of education High school diploma or equivalentoptional college classes High school diploma or equivalentBachelor’s degree in Music theory or performance Associate’s degree
Salary $44,380 per year$21.34 per hour $23.50 per hour $62,500 per year$30.05 per hour
Aptitude Artistic creativity customer service dexterity interpersonal business dedication discipline interpersonal musical talent physical stamina concentration creativity customer service detail-oriented
Future prospects 3% growth52,942 5% growth175,700 20% growth169,680
Schedule no set schedule rehearsals during dayperformances during nights or weekends full time schedulebusiness hours strict scheduledeadlines

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 25 October 2014.

By reading the chart and considering education, a web developer will require the second highest level of education with a two year associate’s degree. The associate’s degree will pay off, though, with a yearly salary of $62,500. Since the need for web developers is growing, the estimated growth is currently at 20% for the next ten years. This will create 169,680 jobs in web developing, which will provide stability for this field. This job will involve creating and designing websites for companies. Since I enjoy designing, I might want to look at developing websites which would combine my love for the world wide web with designing. Overall, this job appears to be a profitable career based on the criteria.
Another job which sparks more of my interest would be a classical musician, which utilizes my musical talent and dedication. Contrasting the web developing career, the growth rate for this job is slower than average at 5% producing 175,700 job openings in the next ten years. If I consider my experience in the school band, I feel that this job is suitable for me. I already have some of the skills: dedication to musical talent and physical stamina. The schedule for a classical musician would mostly be performances at night with rehearsals during daytime hours, which would allow me to sleep later occasionally. Although, I would still have to obtain a bachelor’s degree in music theory or musical performance, but I could most likely achieve this with ease.
Even though the increased income from web developing and schedule versatility from the musician field are tempting, I would still choose artist because it combines a self-set schedule with my favorite pass-time.
To help choose this career, I would show you my middle school years of teaching myself how to draw and finding time to practice the more difficult aspects of art like shading. I think this helped me to become more creative. This would not require a college course, but I could still take classes to perfect my style. I know that there may be instances where I may have no inspiration to draw, but I believe my love for art can help me overcome this obstacle.
My careers that I researched all have interested me in some way. They also all include a skill of which I already possess. However, the career I would like to spend my time and energy in would be art. I think that being an artist would help me find my creative potential while still having fun and enjoying my career.