Example essays are excellent for helping students to compare and contrast differences in the appropriate styles, format and tone required for essays. Example essays are relevant for all types of essays including Expository Essays, Cause/Effect Essays, Definition Essays, Comparison/Contrast, Argumentative and Pro/Con Essays. Example essays also help students to identify visually and emotively, the essential differences in each essay type.
Comparison/Contrast Example Essay
Take for instance this example essay in Comparison Contrast:
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” with “Acquainted With The Night”
Two poems that use night imagery to create a scene of introspective soul searching, longing and internal struggle to change what has been and move beyond the status quo; or to remain in an unsatisfactory but familiar state. These poems are subjective and show the internal struggles of these two personas using metaphor and nature as reflected in evening skies and dark empty streets. The tone of both poems is lonely, sad longing.
While Acquainted With the Night is written in tersa rima mitre, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1919) begins with an epigraph in tersa rima, taken from Dante’s Inferno, but changes the mitre for the remainder of the poem.
Poem Personas within the Example Essay
Both poems personas are lonely images portrayed using night imagery and metaphor. Eliot’s persona is walking to avoid difficult decisions, the examples of this are numerous, ‘and indeed there will be a time to wonder, ‘do I dare and do I dare, ‘should I, after tea and cakes and ices, have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?’ and so on. Frosts persona in contrast walks in endless time “I have walked out in the rain – and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light.” He is attempting to clear his mind and hear his thoughts.
It is interesting to note the internal and external contrasts in these two poems. While Frost’s character exhibits internal confusion contrasted by sharp night images. Eliot’s character seems to possess internal clarity, he is aware of what his life has been, but his clarity is contrasted by the ethereal foggy images of his night, the yellow fog, the chimney smoke, smoke on pools in drains.
Example Essays Literary Devices Used
Both poems use metaphor, imagery and symbolism to show the passage of time, age, and experience, and a hesitation or unwillingness to move forward. Eliot refers to Hamlet in the poem, a Shakespearean character known for procrastination while Frost speaks of the time being neither right nor wrong and shows us the image of a clock as a symbol for the moon. Both are lonely empty streets with life being lived at a distance from the character, ‘far away interrupted cry,’ ‘ furthest city lights’ and from Eliot, ‘music from a further room’ and ‘riding seaward on the waves.
By reading through this and other outstanding example essays, students aren’t just told what comprises excellent prose, they are able to see, experience and enjoy the writing for themselves. Students can strive to emulate the quality of the content and the structure of the example essay.