Top 10: Perfectly Petrifying Classic Halloween Poems – Horrifying, Creepy, and Full of Valuable Moral Lessons!

Literature Reviews, Poetry, Thoughts

Halloween has always been my favorite time of year. I’ve long believed that Halloween is the only day that most people can be “themselves”. The reason for this is that on Halloween we are allowed to dress up, act silly, have fun, eat candy and simply celebrate in the most peculiar (or lovely) ways. It’s the one time of year when adults and children alike can be who they’ve always wanted to be. Whether you are a pirate fairy (my favorite), a gargoyle, or simply a cheeseburger- you can get away with being that character and nobody will question it. I often wish that every day was Halloween.

Photo by Thirdman
Photo by A Koolshooter

As a lady who studies the English language, poetry, literature, and of course all things shockingly terrifying I could not help but create this blog with some of my favorite Halloween poems. Some of them you might recognize, and some of them will be new. But finally – the spooky season is upon us, so here we go!

Samhain is an ancient Celtic holiday that was observed on the first of November according to current calendars. Samhain is where the tradition of Halloween originated. On that day, people would dress up in costumes and light bonfires in an effort to ward off the ghosts that they believed would visit their homes. It was believed that on Samhain, the souls of the dead would return to the land of the living.

In my small little personal bubble, Halloween and poetry are both very important. I will tell you why.

Photo by Monstera

One of the foundational elements of the humanities is poetry, just like any other kind of artistic expression. We can better comprehend and appreciate the world around us thanks to poetry. Poetry conveys information and human values by taking the routes of feeling, sensitivity, and imagination. Even better, it molds the entire human being—body and soul. Body and soul are key elements not just in poetry, but of course in Samhain as well. Halloween and poetry are both magic and have the capability to merge worlds in a number of ways. To better put it, the celebration of Halloween and the magic of poems can help you see the world in a new way. Let’s begin. Note: Some poems below are not full versions. If you want the full version click the links provided for each poem.

1. “One need not be a Chamber to be Haunted” – by Emily Dickinson

Photo by Beyza Kaplan
One need not be a Chamber — to be Haunted —
One need not be a House —
The Brain has Corridors — surpassing
Material Place —
Far safer, of a Midnight Meeting
External Ghost
Than its interior Confronting —
That Cooler Host —
Far safer, through an Abbey gallop,
The Stones a’chase —
Than Unarmed, one’s a’self encounter —
In lonesome Place —
Ourself behind ourself, concealed —
Should startle most —
Assassin hid in our Apartment
Be Horror’s least —
The Body — borrows a Revolver —
He bolts the Door —
O’erlooking a superior spectre —
Or More —

The poem “One need not be a Chamber to be Haunted” by Emily Dickinson is about battling one’s inner demons. The speaker of the poem claims that no “External Ghost” is quite as frightening as people’s own darkest, most inside thoughts and feelings and that the “brain” can be just as “haunted” (that is, full of secrets and dangers) as any old house. The poem discusses the agony and terror that come from feeling in conflict with one’s own thinking.

Moral of the poem: Humans never really know themselves. People can be real monsters.

2. “The Spider and the Fly” – by Mary Howitt

Photo by Chris F
Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, “Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I’ve always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome–will you please to take a slice?”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “kind sir, that cannot be,
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!”

Mary Howitt released this poem in 1829. In the poem’s opening line, the Spider asks the Fly, “Will you go inside my parlour?” The tale describes a crafty spider that seduces and tricks a fly into getting caught in its web. When it comes to tricks and treats one must be careful.

Moral of the poem: Don’t be tricked by statements that seem nice and flattering. You might find yourself caught in a web that you can’t escape. Now that’s a horrifying thought, isn’t it?

3. Song of the Witches: “Double, double toil and trouble” – by William Shakespeare

Photo by Buu011fra
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

This post wouldn’t be complete without this poem by my guy, Billy. Shakespeare is one of my favorites. When you read these phrases out loud, they are certainly meant to sound as cryptic and chant-like as they do! Chanting as part of spell work is quite an ancient practice. (It’s part of the whole “words are magic” thing that you hear me say all the time). According to the witches, Macbeth would now face twice as much trouble (double the amount of problems). He should therefore be cautious. He’s in serious jeopardy because he killed everyone on his path to the throne.

Moral of the poem: What goes around comes around and for the love of the gods don’t piss off the witches.

4. “A Chilly Night” – by Christina Rossetti

Photo by Faruk
I rose at the dead of night,
And went to the lattice alone
To look for my Mother’s ghost
Where the ghostly moonlight shone.

My friends had failed one by one,
Middle-aged, young, and old,
Till the ghosts were warmer to me
Than my friends that had grown cold.

I looked and I saw the ghosts
Dotting plain and mound:
They stood in the blank moonlight,
But no shadow lay on the ground:
They spoke without a voice
And they leaped without a sound.

I called: ‘O my Mother dear,’—
I sobbed: ‘O my Mother kind,
Make a lonely bed for me
And shelter it from the wind.

‘Tell the others not to come
To see me night or day:
But I need not tell my friends
To be sure to keep away.’

My Mother raised her eyes,
They were blank and could not see:
Yet they held me with their stare
While they seemed to look at me.

She opened her mouth and spoke;
I could not hear a word,
While my flesh crept on my bones
And every hair was stirred.

She knew that I could not hear
The message that she told
Whether I had long to wait
Or soon should sleep in the mould:
I saw her toss her shadowless hair
And wring her hands in the cold.

I strained to catch her words,
And she strained to make me hear;
But never a sound of words
Fell on my straining ear.

From midnight to the cockcrow
I kept my watch in pain
While the subtle ghosts grew subtler
In the sad night on the wane.

From midnight to the cockcrow
I watched till all were gone,
Some to sleep in the shifting sea
And some under turf and stone:
Living had failed and dead had failed,
And I was indeed alone.

Okay, so this one is pretty deep. It was quite necessary to post the entire poem and not just an excerpt. Rosetti was a true master of horror and her poems clearly show it. Originally published in 1904, the poem explores elements of death, ghosts, and loneliness. The poem is about a young girl who is alone and wakes up at night to look for her dead mother’s ghost. In the moonlight, she sees the apparition of her mother and other ghosts. Her mother is trying to talk to her, but she can’t hear her. When her mother and the other ghosts leave for the night, she is left alone. It is a poem about feeling very alone, angry, and sad. The girl’s mother can’t talk to her, and the girl is scared and confused about what she wanted to say to her.

Moral of the poem: There is no bridge found between the living and the dead. Use your words wisely while you are alive.

5. “The Witch” – by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

Photo by Pixabay
I have walked a great while over the snow,
And I am not tall nor strong.
My clothes are wet, and my teeth are set,
And the way was hard and long.
I have wandered over the fruitful earth,
But I never came here before.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!

The cutting wind is a cruel foe.
I dare not stand in the blast.
My hands are stone, and my voice a groan,
And the worst of death is past.
I am but a little maiden still,
My little white feet are sore.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!

Her voice was the voice that women have,
Who plead for their heart's desire.
She came—she came—and the quivering flame
Sunk and died in the fire.
It never was lit again on my hearth
Since I hurried across the floor,
To lift her over the threshold, and let her in at the door.

The Witch is a short poem that tells a story. The witch, who is the first person to speak in the poem, talks about the trials she has been through and the hard times she has had as she has traveled around the world. In the third stanza, the change of voice is present as the narrator describes “her”. In the third stanza it is evident that by letting the witch into the home and over the threshold, the narrator suffers (it (fire) was never lit again).

Moral of the poem: Be cautious of who you help as it may cost you your own “light”.

6. “The Night Wind” – by Eugene Field

Photo by Artu016bras Kokorevas
Have you ever heard the wind go "Yooooo"?
'T is a pitiful sound to hear!
It seems to chill you through and through
With a strange and speechless fear.
'T is the voice of the night that broods outside
When folk should be asleep,
And many and many's the time I've cried
To the darkness brooding far and wide
Over the land and the deep:
Whom do you want, O lonely night,
That you wail the long hours through?"
And the night would say in its ghostly way:

My mother told me long ago
(When I was a little tad)
That when the night went wailing so,
Somebody had been bad;
And then, when I was snug in bed,
Whither I had been sent,
With the blankets pulled up round my head,
I'd think of what my mother'd said,
And wonder what boy she meant!
And "Who's been bad to-day?" I'd ask
Of the wind that hoarsely blew,
And the voice would say in its meaningful way:

That this was true I must allow -
You'll not believe it, though!
Yes, though I'm quite a model now,
I was not always so.
And if you doubt what things I say,
Suppose you make the test;
Suppose, when you've been bad some day
And up to bed are sent away
From mother and the rest -
Suppose you ask, "Who has been bad?"
And then you'll hear what's true;
For the wind will moan in its ruefulest tone:

In this poem, a mother tells her son an old wives tale about the wind revealing who has been up to no good. As the poem goes on and the wind yells “yoooooo” repeatedly, it’s quite obvious who the wind is talking about. Could it be that this poem was meant to teach a lesson? Possibly. The poem also leaves a soft spot on my heart because through the poem Field is teaching children to actually listen to what nature says. The ways to interpret this poem are abundant.

Moral of the poem: Don’t gossip about who has done what. Recognize your own actions and judge yourself first before others.

7. “Spirits of the Dead” – by Edgar Allan Poe

Photo by Pixabay
The breeze—the breath of God—is still—
And the mist upon the hill,
Shadowy—shadowy—yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token—
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!

Poe wrote this lovely poem that explores life and death. He focuses in particular on what it means to transition from one world to another. The loss of individuals he loved throughout his life, such as his mother, stepmother, and wife is what led to his preoccupation with death. Through his narrators in his short stories and poems, Poe expresses his obsession with death, murder, fear, hatred, and worry.

Moral of the poem: Death is one of life’s greatest mysteries and should be admired for how lovely it is in its own right. Death is cyclical and a necessary part of the human experience.

8. “Halloween Party” – by Kevin Nesbitt

Photo by Charles Parker
We’re having a Halloween party at school.
I’m dressed up like Dracula. Man, I look cool!
I dyed my hair black, and I cut off my bangs.
I’m wearing a cape and some fake plastic fangs.

I put on some makeup to paint my face white,
like creatures that only come out in the night.
My fingernails, too, are all pointed and red.
I look like I’m recently back from the dead.

My mom drops me off, and I run into school
and suddenly feel like the world’s biggest fool.
The other kids stare like I’m some kind of freak—
the Halloween party is not till next week.

This one is clearly not so terrifying – unless you have anxiety about being late, fear of missing out, and not keeping a strict record of your to-do lists.

Moral of the poem: You better check your calendars! LOL

9. “The Shadow on the Stone” – by Thomas Hardy

 I went by the Druid stone 
   That broods in the garden white and lone,   
And I stopped and looked at the shifting shadows   
   That at some moments fall thereon
   From the tree hard by with a rhythmic swing,   
   And they shaped in my imagining
To the shade that a well-known head and shoulders   
   Threw there when she was gardening.

      I thought her behind my back,
   Yea, her I long had learned to lack,
And I said: ‘I am sure you are standing behind me,   
   Though how do you get into this old track?’   
   And there was no sound but the fall of a leaf   
   As a sad response; and to keep down grief
I would not turn my head to discover
   That there was nothing in my belief.

      Yet I wanted to look and see
   That nobody stood at the back of me;
But I thought once more: ‘Nay, I’ll not unvision   
   A shape which, somehow, there may be.’   
   So I went on softly from the glade,
   And left her behind me throwing her shade,   
As she were indeed an apparition—
   My head unturned lest my dream should fade.

Thomas Hardy wrote “The Shadow on the Stone,” which alludes to his wife’s spirit after his wife passed away.
In the poem, Hardy wants to be sure nobody is following him. He struggles with whether or not to look.
He worries that if he looks back, he will be alone. Hardy saw himself as a poet first and foremost.
His poetry displays a depressing outlook on life and draws inspiration from Romantic authors like William Wordsworth. He had a somewhat pessimistic view of his own time, and many of his poems express contempt for the ideals and issues of the Victorian era.

Moral of the poem: Allow yourself time to grieve the loss of a loved one. If you don’t, it may start to drive you mad.

10. “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, (340) – by Emily Dickinson

Photo by Micael Widell
 And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space - began to toll,

But then, according to one reading or analysis of the poem, “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,” is about becoming crazy, losing one’s sense of reality, and having one’s sanity ebb away. Dickinson explores the notion of what it could be like to remain conscious after death in this disturbing poetry. She feels like a part of her is dying, or that her reason is being overtaken by the absurdity of the unconscious, and Dickinson employs the metaphor of a funeral to depict this. A funeral is a fitting metaphor for this experience. This is a poem that expresses the fear and helplessness that come with losing one’s sense of reality.

Moral of the poem: Don’t lose your grip on what is real vs. what isn’t.

If you have made it to the end, thank you for reading. These are just a few poems that I think are always worth reading. If you have any poems you think I should have included, feel free to comment below. Which one of the ten listed here was your favorite? I’d love to know! Stay safe ‘n stay spooky. ❤ K.A.

Fundamentals of Forbidden Love with Tristan & Isolde

Literature Reviews, Mythology, Poetry, Psychology, Thoughts

Note: If you are a student, I don’t mind if you reference my work. Just cite your sources. Purdue has this amazing tool that you can use to copy and paste links, and automatically generate MLA (and other) formats for your source. Research and Citation Generator Purdue Owl

The themes of romance, love, and other aspects of medieval culture are found in the story of Tristan and Isolde. These themes that are historic yet contemporary fill the ancient tale of Tristan & Isolde. This epic story of forbidden love is perhaps one of my favorite love stories ever. Themes of romance, love, loyalty - and even betrayal, have carried over into contemporary media through generations and thousands of years. This media is given to us by the dozens in the form of books, operas, plays, comics, and movies. Tristan & Isolde, the 2006 film directed by Reynolds which features James Franco and Sophia Myles is a direct adaptation of the classic Celtic love story that features two beloved characters (Tristan and Isolde, 2006).
Tristan & Isolde, 2006 film

The themes of romance, love, and other aspects of medieval culture are found in the story of Tristan and Isolde. These themes that are historic yet contemporary fill the ancient tale of Tristan & Isolde. This epic story of forbidden love is perhaps one of my favorite love stories ever. Themes of romance, love, loyalty – and even betrayal, have carried over into contemporary media through generations and thousands of years. This media is given to us by the dozens in the form of books, operas, plays, comics, and movies. Tristan & Isolde, the 2006 film directed by Reynolds which features James Franco and Sophia Myles is a direct adaptation of the classic Celtic love story that features two beloved characters (Tristan and Isolde, 2006). The movie was inspired by the medieval literature version of the tale that was first popularized in the 12th century (Greenblatt, 2018). In this lesson on the Fundamentals of Forbidden Love, we will go over why forbidden love is just so extremely delicious and tempting, as well as how this timeless theme has survived over hundreds and thousands of years.

Tristan and Isolde. Schloss Nueschwanstein, August Spiess, 1881
Tristan and Isolde. Schloss Nueschwanstein, August Spiess, 1881

Picture this: The Roman Empire is in pieces, and chaos is in charge of the British Isles. Angles, Saxons, and Jutes live on the east side, while Irish King Donnchadh rules the west side. Tristan becomes an orphan at a very young age due to his village being attacked by the Irish. His parents were murdered in front of him, and at the same moment – Isolde was mourning the death of her mother, the Irish Queen of King Donnchadh. As time goes on, the orphan Tristan becomes a man and fights many battles. In a mysterious way, he finds himself swept up on the shores of Ireland all alone; that is until Princess Isolde finds him. Isolde nurses Tristan back to good health until he is well enough to set sail again. Isolde the Irish princess can’t escape her fate that she is to wed Lord Mark, the very man who brought up Tristan after his parents were murdered in cold blood during battle (Tristan and Isolde, 2006). Though this summary is of the 2006 film, I highly recommend all to read the original and much older versions of Tristan and Isolde.

“If things were different; if we lived in a place without duty, would you be with me?” Tristan says, “That place does not exist.”

In an instant, both of their hearts shatter as Isolde tells him, “I’ll pretend it’s you…” just before she disappears behind the royal chamber doors with her new King.

Tristan and Isolde, 2006
La Belle Dame Sans Merci, exh.1902 by Sir Frank Dicksee
La Belle Dame Sans Merci, exh.1902 by Sir Frank Dicksee

Tristan would be the one who would earn her hand in marriage during a tournament set up by Isolde’s father, King Donnchadh. Tristan would win her not for himself, but for his master and leader: the future King Mark of Cornwall. Without knowing who she truly is, Isolde was won by Tristan for Mark. Isolde hid her royalty from Tristan from the moment she found him on the shores. She never told him that she was the princess (Tristan and Isolde, 2006).  However, their romantic passion and love for each other would cause a schism that has devastating consequences as a highlighted case of forbidden love. Tristan and Isolde were subject to torture in the form of not legally being able to stay together. Since Isolde now belonged to the King, Tristan was devastated and the amount of pain and psychological suffering that he endured was enough for him to be completely broken and shattered. For Isolde, the feeling was of course the same. Imagine, you are forced to marry another with zero way out when your heart belongs to someone else. Long before Romeo and Juliet, there existed this sad and beautiful story based on legends from Cornwall, Ireland, and various characters from the British Isles. Some tales say Tristan was one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table (Hodges, 1993), (Stevens 1973).

The young fairy-tale characters that are prohibited from being in love are only a small fraction of the romantic elements found in the 2006 movie, Tristan and Isolde. Ancient manuscript-based tales and contemporary films both incorporate the valiant hero and other more conventional components of chivalry-style romances. Forbidden love often walks hand in hand with “courtly love”. If you are unfamiliar, allow me to explain. What separates courtly love from romantic love? The majority of us associate romance and attraction with love. Romantic love may be frequently made public when there is a marriage or other public agreement. On the other hand, courtly love had nothing to do with getting married.

Courtly love, a highly conventionalized medieval tradition of love between a knight and a married noblewoman that was commonly employed in medieval European literature, was created by the troubadours (French medieval lyric poets) of southern France. Because love was regarded as an ennobling passion, the knight and his lady frequently did not marry. According to some academics, the term “courtly love” now refers to an idea of love that first appeared in the Middle Ages and caused a revolution in thought and emotion that reverberated throughout Western culture.

The courtly lord’s main goal was to please his lady, even though marriage was never an option. Courtly love was characterized by a series of stylized rites between a knight and a married, high-status lady in Europe during the Middle Ages. These idealized customs were based on the established codes of decency, courtesy, and valor associated with knights. So, though courtly love was and is a well-established concept, that does not mean it is widely accepted. Thus, we have Forbidden Love.


A forbidden love story’s famous characteristics and core components include romance, heroism, adultery, and doomed lovers who are categorically prohibited from being together (Stevens, 1973). Tristan, a valiant hero, confronts the adversary and kills him, but he subsequently sustains his own wounds. The fatal couple keeps their relationship a secret from their Kings and kingdoms (Tristan and Isolde, 2006). Romeo and Juliet have the same concepts. The notion of forbidden love—love that is outright banned by individuals, nations, or kingdoms—remains present not only in Romeo and Juliet but also in Spielberg’s most recent West Side Story film.

Both the medieval texts and the movie of Tristan and Isolde make extensive use of literary tropes and aspects. The story has a love-centered tone and mood, yet it also unfolds as a tragic drama. There are many parts of living in a royal environment that are quite pertinent, such as how Princess Isolde is compelled to hide the fact that she met Tristan; and the fact that she is made to marry against her will twice in the film (Tristan and Isolde, 2006). In the movie Tristan and Isolde, foreshadowing is a literary element that plays a key role. The philosophical underpinning of the entire movie is the foreshadowing of love and death. The film emphasizes how these two ideas are intertwined and can certainly be viewed as a single entity or concept. Due to his adoration, love, and respect for Tristan, King Mark downplayed the relationship between his wife Isolde, and his long-time companion Tristan. King Mark couldn’t accept the relationship and betrayal of the both of them, despite them having been in love long before Isolde was forced to marry him. This downplaying by King Mark is a prime example of an understatement being used and developed as a literary device within the movie (Tristan and Isolde, 2006).

Because it emphasizes an unbreakable love even when it leads to catastrophe, the Tristan and Isolde story has inspired artists since the middle ages. In addition to the surviving texts and film, Tristan and Isolde are portrayed in literature, music, paintings, and other various media. The medieval romance theme continues to be told today in all forms of storytelling and media (Stevens, 1973).
Rogelio de Egusquiza, Tristan and Isolde

Because it emphasizes an unbreakable love even when it leads to catastrophe, the Tristan and Isolde story has inspired artists since the middle ages. In addition to the surviving texts and film, Tristan and Isolde are portrayed in literature, music, paintings, and other various media. The medieval romance theme continues to be told today in all forms of storytelling and media (Stevens, 1973). Plays, poems, and operas have all been readapted with several different versions of this classic medieval tale. “Tristan and Isolde seem to have been drawn into the Arthurian orbit in the second half of the twelfth century. Marie de France wrote a lai (Chevrefoil) about them; another Anglo-Norman poet, Thomas, a long romance of which only fragments survive. From Thomas’s romance derives the greatest Tristan poem, Gottfried von Strassburg’s (c. 1210); and incidentally, a Norse version, Tristrams Saga (1226) (Stevens, 1973). Several great poems were composed during the 1800s and were based on the story. Matthew Arnold’s Tristram and Iseult; are one of them (Encyclopedia of World Mythology, 2022). The archetypes, motifs, and symbols of heroes, romance, forbidden love, and betrayal found within the movie have been repeated for as long as stories and poems have been written.

Tristan and Isolde, Death Rogelio de Egusquiza y Barrena (1845-1915) was a Spanish painter, known for his friendship with the German composer Richard Wagner, whose works he helped make familiar in Spain. Tristan and Isolde, Death (Oil on Canvas), by Rogelio de Egusquiza
Tristan and Isolde, Death Rogelio de Egusquiza y Barrena (1845-1915) was a Spanish painter, known for his friendship with the German composer Richard Wagner, whose works he helped make familiar in Spain. Tristan and Isolde, Death (Oil on Canvas), by Rogelio de Egusquiza

More often than not, Hollywood is criticized for its lack of creative movie plots. This is an understandable statement, yet one that overlooks the ageless nature of certain stories. Regardless of their distinct outward traits, these forbidden love stories will always have a lasting impression on audiences. Romantic dramas, such as the tale of Tristan and Isolde, are especially effective in this regard. The numerous versions and adaptations of Tristan and Isolde demonstrate how reinterpretation may manifest itself in diverse media. Heroes and damsels in distress are one of the oldest and most repetitive character archetypes of all time; both of which can be seen in the 2006 movie, manuscripts, and even contemporary fiction novels. Although Isolde is a princess, nothing can save her from the torture that she experiences internally through forced marriages to men that she doesn’t love. Her heart belongs to Tristan, and the both of them know it and as the movie goes on the devastation becomes clear (Tristan and Isolde, 2006).

“Yesterday at the market, I saw a couple holding hands and I realized we’ll never do that. Never anything like it; no picnics or unguarded smiles. No rings. Just stolen moments that leave too quickly”

Tristan and Isolde, 2006

“Yesterday at the market, I saw a couple holding hands and I realized we’ll never do that. Never anything like it; no picnics or unguarded smiles. No rings. Just stolen moments that leave too quickly” (Tristan and Isolde, 2006). This line takes place in a scene where Tristan and Isolde are talking in a common market and manage to exchange a few words while they hope and pray they aren’t being watched.

There are plenty of gut-wrenching and heartbreaking lines within the film that display aspects of medieval culture and even courtly love on top of the forbidden love theme. On the wedding night of Isolde and King Mark, Isolde manages to whisper to Tristan on the way to consummate the marriage, “If things were different; if we lived in a place without duty, would you be with me?” Tristan proceeds to tell her, “That place does not exist.” In an instant, both of their hearts shatter as she tells him, “I’ll pretend it’s you…” just before she disappears behind the royal chamber doors with her new King.

Herbert James Draper,(1864-1920), (Tristan and Isolde 1901)
Herbert James Draper,(1864-1920), (Tristan and Isolde 1901)

The 2006 movie which derives from medieval literature has made a large impact on contemporary Western culture. It is amazing to experience how the narrative has changed throughout time. The story even served as inspiration for Shakespeare, in which some versions of Tristan and Isolde utilize drinkable poison as an element of the story. We can directly relate various other love stories to Romeo and Juliet. If you’ve ever seen West Side Story, you know that William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet served as the basis for the musical.

Humanity can always relate to love, which is the one part of life that unites all living things. Until the end of time, stories of love, including those about unrequited love, lost love, and desire for such love will be told.

Humanity can always relate to love, which is the one part of life that unites all living things. Until the end of time, stories of love, including those about unrequited love, lost love, and desire for such love will be told.

A more recent adaptation of this particular story is set in the world of King Arthur in the 2009 book Twilight of Avalon. Isolde is the daughter of Guinevere and Mordred in this trilogy’s first book, which was written by Anna Elliott. In this version, Mark is the obvious and repugnant villain. Tristan is revealed to be Mark’s son—not his nephew—by a different woman. The internal conflict in Britain is a major source of drama in this book, as it was in the film. The story of Tristan and Isolde is a noteworthy example of how diverse media in Western culture can result in various interpretations of the same subject.

Photo by Pixabay

Richard Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde from 1865 also addresses this tragic love story, thus movies and books aren’t the only media for this narrative. Tristan and Isolde have the capacity to move viewers because it is a love story with a tragic and dramatic finish, regardless of the platform used to follow the adventure.

“But since I could not come in time and did not hear what had happened and have come and found you dead, I shall console myself by drinking of the same cup. You have forfeited your life on my account, and I shall do as a true lover: I will die for you in return!”

– Isolde on Tristan’s death. Tristan with the ‘Tristran’ of Thomas
Gottfried von Strassburg

“But since I could not come in time and did not hear what had happened and have come and found you dead, I shall console myself by drinking of the same cup. You have forfeited your life on my account, and I shall do as a true lover: I will die for you in return!” (Greenblatt, 2018). There’s just something that will forever be incredibly powerful about love that is so strong and so real that one would rather die than live without their lover – especially a forbidden love.

How on earth could someone say something like that? Would you rather die than live without your lover? Have you ever recalled feeling that way once, or more? What is it about this forbidden love that makes it so unique? The answer is that a forbidden romance offers you a sense of excitement. Forbidden love provides an adrenaline rush and a thrill that makes it highly appealing.

medieval mirror case depicting Lancelot and Guinevere
medieval mirror case depicting Lancelot and Guinevere

Think back to a time when someone warned you not to do something, but all it did was make you more eager to go ahead and do it anyway. We look for things that are risky and sworn as forbidden in the hope that doing so would make us happier and give us more power than the other people in our sphere of influence. Behavioral scientists make use of a concept known as the “forbidden fruit effect,” which describes the tendency to focus greater attention on topics that one has been told specifically not to think about.

Today, a popular motif in films is a love that is banned and forbidden. These stories are commonly used in literature and films for a very specific reason: it is because they are rife with melodrama and give audiences the opportunity to experience powerful feelings. The overall impact of Tristan & Isolde on contemporary ideas and Western culture is still relevant today and going strong. From von Strassburg’s Tristan and Isolt as well Joseph Bédier’s modern adaptation, all the way up to the University of Chicago presenting a live-stream concert series based on the Tristan saga (Rantala, 2021) – it is clear that this story (and the archetypes and themes found within) will be part of human history until the end of time. Themes of romance, love, devotion, and even betrayal have penetrated modern society and will continue to be found in a wide variety of literary works, including operas, plays, comic books, and movies.

And now, I will leave you with this beautiful poem that was recited in the movie titled “The Good-Morrow”.

The Good-Morrow

By John Donne

I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown,
Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres,
Without sharp north, without declining west?
Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.

Works Cited:

Greenblatt, Stephen, and James Simpson. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. W.W. Norton, 2018. 

Shakespeare, William, et al. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet: Folger Edition. Demco Media, 2004.

Reynolds, Kevin, director. Tristan And Isolde. 2006., Encyclopedia of World Mythology. 2022.

Stevens, John. Medieval Romance: Themes and Approaches by John Stevens. Hutchinson, 1973.

Elliot, Anna. Twilight of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde. Touchstone Books, 2009.

Hodges, Margaret, et al. Of Swords and Sorcerers: The Adventures of King Arthur and His Knights. Scribner, 1993.

Wagner, Richard, 1813-1883. Tristan Und Isolde. Leipzig :Druck und Verlag von Breitkopf und Härtel, 1859.

Spielberg, Steven, director. West Side Story. 2021.

Rantala, M.L. “Quince Bears Fruit with Tristan and Isolde Adaptation.” Hyde Park Herald, 27 May 2021

Donne, John. “The Good-Morrow by John Donne.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation,

A Smattering Selection of Lexical Analyses on Edgar Allan Poe & H.P. Lovecraft

Fiction Writing, Literature Reviews, Psychology
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Note: If you are a student, I don’t mind if you reference my work. Just cite your sources. It’s too easy to NOT cite sources. Purdue has this amazing tool that you can use to copy and paste links, and automatically generate MLA (and other) formats for your source. Research and Citation Generator Purdue Owl

Lovecraft and Poe are two of the most well-known horror authors of all time. The two chosen pieces in this essay are classic examples of horror-themed literature. “Memory” by Lovecraft and “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Poe, each makes excellent use of various linguistic branches. Within the essay, you will uncover exactly how these authors mastered linguistic techniques such as syntax, semantics, morphology, and phonetics. Starting with Lovecraft’s Memory, it’s important to point out that he was directly influenced by Poe himself. Additionally, “Memory” by H.P. Lovecraft and “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe were published eighty years apart. American horror and science fiction author H. P. Lovecraft wrote “Memory” as a flash fiction short story in 1919, and it was published in May 1923 in The National Amateur. Unfamiliar with contemporary living, a genie and a demon question one another about societal developments in this short story. The narrative is about a demon’s ignorance of its past and shows how the current world disregards its own cultural history. Lovecraft’s story is brilliantly detailed. He didn’t extend the story, kept it short, and ended it on a quiet note, giving the audience time to absorb such a meaningful tale.

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An example of phonetics is how the letter “b” in the word “moonbeam” is spoken – you start out with your lips together.  Here’s an example from “Memory” by H.P. Lovecraft. “The Genie that haunts the moonbeams spake to the Daemon of the Valley…” (Lovecraft, 1923) When speaking aloud, pushing your lips together causes the “b”, sound to emerge. The vocal cords vibrate and generate noise as a result of the air being pumped over them from your lungs. Your lips then split abruptly, letting the air out, creating a “b” sound. This is a simple example of phonological techniques within H.P. Lovecraft’s memory in comparison to his other works, such as the story of Cthulhu. H. P. Lovecraft frequently uses the adjectives “obscene” and “blasphemous” throughout his body of work to express a sense that something is the subject of revulsion or that it is in some way debased. “B” sounds are often found in his work and the word blasphemous or blasphemy has been discovered within his works almost 100 times making this a major phonetic example in his writing (Ruth). 

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Moving on to Poe, “The Tell-Tale Heart” is a short story that was first published in 1843. In this work, the unnamed narrator of the tale attempts to persuade the reader of the narrator’s sanity. In doing so, he simultaneously narrates a murder that he has committed. “The Tell-Tale Heart” appears in the gothic and horror fiction categories. The narrator freely boasts about his intelligence and his cunning behavior. He insists that he is not mentally ill. He chooses to murder the elderly man despite his affection for him. Regardless of the fact that he has no malice toward the elderly man, for no apparent reason he resolves to kill him. Many examples within this story feature grammatical, syntactical, and morphological elements. “True! — nervous — very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?” (Poe).

Edgar Allan Poe Canvas Print
by Leah Saulnier The Painting Maniac

In linguistics, morphology is the study of how words are put together. For example, the word dreadfully is put together from three parts: dread, ful, and ly. Morphemes such as dreadful are used in Poe’s work to enhance the drama and suspense of the story. His ability to select the ideal word to express semantic intent provides morphological awareness in addition to fluency when choosing specific words for dramatic effect. The use of the chosen words found throughout each of these works relates to morphological and phonological concepts. The other author noted here, H.P. Lovecraft, is notorious for the use of his phonological techniques, particularly with the story of Cthulhu. Edgar Allen Poe may be considered more of a morpheme genius who utilizes repetition and specific word usage in his poems to get the idea of morphological words across, whether people are aware he is doing it or not. The below example shows morphemes within, “cautiously” as well as the repetition of the word; thus creating a poetic and dramatic suspense effect in writing. “And then, when my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously — oh, so cautiously — cautiously (for the hinges creaked) — I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye.” 

Great writers employ a multitude of literary devices, branches, and techniques. Personification is one technique that writers use to capture the attention of their audiences. “Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow”, (Poe). The semantics used by these two authors and writers have a great effect on readers. “In the valley of Nis the accursed waning moon shines thinly, tearing a path for its light with feeble horns through the lethal foliage of a great upas-tree” (Lovecraft).  We know very well that death may not physically approach us as if it walking towards us. We also know that the moon cannot tear a path, unless its crescent tips are described metaphorically. Both writers used various techniques for semantics. Such techniques are found in Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” and H.P. Lovecraft’s “Memory”. Both are written in a fashion that allows them to be candidates for the subject of linguistic analysis.

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Analysis of language, words, and stylistic elements are easily reviewed when examining the works of Lovecraft and Poe. Semantics connect language structures to non-linguistic concepts and mental models to explain how native speakers understand sentences. The use of registers in the language is also critical in terms of linguistic analysis. According to Linguistics for Everyone: An Introduction., a register is a “manner of speaking or writing style adopted for a particular audience (e.g., formal versus informal)”. There are several registers that we either consciously or unconsciously switch between each day depending on the nature of conversation or writing. Register types may include formal, frozen, intimate, casual, and consultative. “Every language in the world has five registers, or levels of formality: frozen, formal, consultative, casual, and intimate, according to Dutch linguist Martin Joos” (Language Registers OEYC).  At the formal and consultative levels, both require careful word choice and sentence structure. The register that Lovecraft and Poe primarily write in is formal, although the register may change within stories. An example from “Memory” is, “These beings were like the waters of the river Than, not to be understood. Their deeds I recall not, for they were but of the moment” (Lovecraft). This excerpt displays formal language usage. “Deeds that may not be recalled” are formal when compared to “actions that can’t be remembered”. This register appeals to the audience of Lovecraft who is composed of writers, readers, and horror and science lovers. The specific language choice by Lovecraft creates a conspicuous effect. 

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In Poe’s work, the narrative comes off as less formal, and more descriptive. “Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly — very, very slowly so that I might not disturb the old man’s sleep” (Poe). The narrative confession of “The Tell-Tale Heart”, is created to sound as if the protagonist is speaking to a friend.  There are several instances of figurative language, repetition, and patterns, in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” that help inform the reader of the meaning behind the story. Hyperbole and specific syntax are employed to highlight the tension and paranoia the narrator is experiencing. The narrative structure and word arrangement are employed to justify the actions the narrator performs against the man. Another important signal is the unceasing heartbeat, which alludes to the sound of the narrator’s inner conscience or anxiety creating a pattern of suspense and repetition. Poe uses several terms repeatedly for emphasis throughout this short narrative, including louder and louder, very, very, and uneasy. There are numerous instances of the term “mad” used. These linguistic examples inspired H.P. Lovecraft’s future literary acknowledgments. 

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The word selections in “Memory”, by Lovecraft, are examples of linguistics that help readers understand the meaning of the story. “Daemon of the Valley”, a Lovecraft character, is one example. The spelling of Daemon was used instead of the modern American English dialect: demon. According to Etymology Online, the spelling and usage of the word “daemon” originated around c. 1200 and stemmed from the Latin version, “daemon” which meant “spirit,” and was translated from Greek “daimōn”. Lovecraft’s “Memory”, was initially published in 1919. By this time, the word “demon” was already in use in language and texts, indicating this choice of spelling was deliberate. Lovecraft’s choice of using “Daemon” instead of “Demon” for his character, “Daemon of the Valley” stems from the style of his writing which contains elements of Latin. Lovecraft was known to play with words and would later go on to create a fictional language. He was familiar with Latin and French despite American English being his primary dialect. The choice to use “daemon” gives the work a more ancient and mysterious quality, corresponding directly to the linguistics of his literature and the overall feel he presented to his audience through his writing. The overall style of each short horror tale by these authors adds suspense, drama, and beautifully demonstrated literary devices that convey the messages of each story to their respective audiences. 

When Poe utilizes repetition, he indeed makes the narrator look more and more insane throughout the passage. His lack of punctuation and instances of improper grammar also adds to the suspense of the story. In Lovecraft’s short horror story, his style, use of semantics, and register dramatize the tale. “Memory” was a reference and metaphor describing the ancient earth. The chaotic ancient planet indicates the presence of congestion in the contemporary world. These techniques and linguistic styles are what truly made these stories worth studying and worthy of reminiscing old gothic horror literature. Memory” features very specific word choices and grammar in a nonstandard way. What is standard about Lovecraft’s linguistic ability is the simple fact that he is deviant with his writing. The words “sooth” and “spake” are found in the story, both of which by modern definition are considered “archaic” forms of “truth”, and“spoke/speak”. “For all time did their builders erect them, and in sooth they yet serve nobly, for beneath them the grey toad makes his habitation.”

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The writing is poetic, full of imagery, and anything but basic. His grammar has subtle hints of the past. This sentence for example; “Their aspect I recall dimly, for it was like to that of the little apes in the trees” (Lovecraft). There is an inappropriate use of “to” within the former sentence according to modern American English grammar.  Despite dozens of missing commas, it’s still easy to redirect analysis to grammar instead of punctuation within, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, by Poe. An example of grammatical error in this classic piece can be found here, “Yes, he has been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions: but he had found all in vain. All in vain; because Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim.” The underlined portion of the sentence shows improper grammar. When referring to “suppositions” of the narrator, “all in vain”, would appear proper, or standard if “of it” or “of them”, had been included in the sentence. Yet, in using repetition perhaps Poe excused himself politely from following grammar and punctuation rules for the sake of toying with syntax and semantics – which may be useful if you’re one of the greatest suspense writers of all time. 

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Poe’s writing style may be extremely infuriating (to some), despite the fact that we admire his precision and his densely packed, elegantly phrased, yet oddly harsh lines; each of which is subject to a lengthy discussion. There are no dialogues in the ever-famous “The Tell-Tale Heart”, and it reads more like a confession than a conversation. The old man’s vulture eye, a sign of the narrator’s conflict between his mind and heart, is one of the most crucial emblems. Poe’s use of language may hinder the original text due to the fact that the syntax utilized in the era he wrote is far less common now. Because our culture has become considerably less formal in regards to communication over the course of these years, our syntax has altered a great deal as a result of this shift to contemporary English. By analyzing an excerpt from “The Tell-Tale Heart”, it is evident that a dramatic shift in word use and placement within writing has transformed over the last few centuries since, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, was originally published. The following example will reveal such evidence. 

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Excerpt: II. 7-15, by Edgar Allan Poe: “It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture — a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so, by degrees — very gradually — I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever (Poe). 

Here is a rewritten excerpt suited for contemporary audiences. “I’m not quite sure how I first came up with the idea, but once I did, the thought haunted me day and night. There was no objection, no passion. It’s true, I did love the old man. He had never done me wrong. He never insulted me at all. He had money sure, but I never had a desire for that. I think, it was his eye. Yes, it had to be his eye… His eye was bright and blue, with a strange film over it. His eye looked just like a vulture’s eye. Whenever he looked at me, I felt sick. So, over time I decided to kill him. If I could kill him, I’d never have to look at that eye again.”

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The first change was to rewrite the excerpt in a modern form of American English. Poe was a notorious Gothic literature writer. His form and style of writing focused primarily on tone, figurative language, punctuation, and sentence structure (which I’ve now rearranged.) Poe’s tendency to add suspense is expressed through the use of specific punctuation. There are many dashes and choppy sentences. The rewritten version has full sentences yet the idea of the excerpt is still comprehended the same. Instead of a dash, quotations like so “…” are utilized. These quotations are more common in this era in terms of written communication. The largest change is the syntax of the excerpt. The tone is quite similar even though the sentences rewritten sentences have more fluidity. Despite the changes, the overall theme remains – horror. The semantics are fairly unchanged in the updated version. To better suit the present audience, specific changes were considered for the passage. We do not generally say “by degrees” nowadays, so the sentence is reworded with similar words or a synonym phrase to say, “So, over time”.

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The horrific elements that made Poe famous are evident in “The Tell-Tale Heart,” which was first printed in 1843 in The Pioneer (Britannica). Poe participated in the 19th-century American gothic literary movement, which rose to prominence at the same time as Romanticism. American gothic literature addressed the human experience via irrationality, lunacy, tragedy, and otherworldly horror in contrast to Romanticism, which placed an emphasis on the individual’s power and the magnificent reality of nature (Hume). The barrier between fiction and actuality is frequently blurred by the presence of characters who are afflicted with melancholy, madness, and obsession.

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Lovecraft’s use of language in the narrative, “Memory”, may also be viewed by some as difficult to understand due to the nature of the words and syntax being used. In this short quote from “Memory”, we can observe how much language has changed since the narrative was originally written in 1919. “Vast are the stones which sleep beneath coverlets of dank moss, and mighty were the walls from which they fell. For all time did their builders erect them, and in sooth they yet serve nobly, for beneath them the grey toad makes his habitation” (Lovecraft).  If this were reworded to modern syntax it might say, “Many stones rest underneath a bed of damp moss. The stones fell from the walls that long ago, were mighty. The walls were built to last, but now have become the home of the small gray toad.”

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In comparison to the worlds Poe and Lovecraft are from, ours is vastly different. In contemporary literature, there is now an ever-expanding body of past writings by authors from all walks of life that has made American literature more complex and inclusive than it was at the beginning of the twenty-first century (Britannica). With the sheer differences in word use, syntax, tone, and structure there is clear evidence of how historical and cultural influences have made their mark on the way we write, read, and communicate today. 

Works Cited

Ganguly, Rohit. “Memory by HP Lovecraft.” Wordbred, 26 Sept. 2017, 

Master List of Morphemes Suffixes, Prefixes, Roots Suffix Meaning … 

“Memory” by H. P. Lovecraft, 

A Narrative Discourse Analysis of Poe’s Short Story The Tell … – Eric.  . 

Denham, Kristin E., and Anne C. Lobeck. Linguistics for Everyone: An Introduction. Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2013.

Zakyoung. “The Tell-Tale Heart.” The Poe Museum, 28 Dec. 2021,

 “[PDF] Language Registers OEYC .” [PDF] Language Registers OEYC,

 “Daemon (n.).” Etymology,

“Sooth (n.).” Etymology,

“Spake.” Etymology,

“The Tell-Tale Heart.” The Poe Museum, 28 Dec. 2021,

“The Tell-Tale Heart | Story by Poe.” Encyclopedia Britannica,,  Accessed 27 July 2022. 

Hume, Robert D. “Gothic Versus Romantic: A Revaluation of The Gothic Novel.” PMLA/Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, vol. 84, no. 2, 1969, pp. 282–290., doi:10.2307/1261285    

“Periods of American Literature | Britannica.” Encyclopedia Britannica,  Accessed 27 July 2022. 

X, Ruth. “It’s Not Squamous. the 10 Words H.P. Lovecraft Used Most Often.”, 6 Mar. 2015

Quick Lit Reviews – The Bridegroom by Ha Jin

Literature Reviews

I am hoping to make these literature reviews more of a regular occurrence, if time allows. Let me know in the comments if you have read this story, or anything similar. I’d love to hear others perspectives on this one!

The piece of literature that I am choosing to discuss is “The Bridegroom” by Ha Jin. After reading the story the Bridegroom, I was deeply impacted and in more ways than one. This story shook me to my core, and that, I think, is something that all great stories should do! They should shake you, and make you feel things. Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, it does not matter. The point for me is that a story should put you in a different place and make you feel a variety of emotions. That is exactly what happened when I read the Bridegroom by Ha-Jin. One of the themes of this story was homosexuality. Homosexuality is a sensitive topic for many people. What happened in the story is wild, and in this era, hard to imagine. What I read was unthinkable.

The Bridegroom is book that is a collection of stories by author Ha Jin. After reading the story The Bridegroom (same title as the book itself), I learned that the actual book contains several stories, and the one I am discussing is only a portion of the book. This story shook me, and it got me thinking. The Bridegroom starts with a perfect intro. It features death. Something shocking like death is a perfect intro because with death comes change. The theme of death leaves the reading wanting to know more about what will happen in the story. When a death occurs, what will happen to the remaining characters?

Beina was a girl who was adopted by one of her father’s best friends, Cheng. Cheng took Beina in after her father’s death and raised her like his own.  Once she turned 23, he feared that it was taking too long for her to become married. Being married before age 23 is something that the author appears to make important. In Chinese culture, I assume, based on the text, getting married and starting a family early on in life is necessary. Suddenly, the most handsome man that they knew proposed to Beina causing Cheng to remain completely suspicious as Beina herself was not the most attractive woman. The story that unfolds after that is mind-bending, and I had to pause quite a few times to truly analyze what I was reading.

There are themes of betrayal, homosexuality, mental health, denial, anger, and much more. This story helps us see in-depth the viewpoints and ideas of the Chinese culture. Broken, captures a glimpse of what it was like to live during that time in China. The author, Ha Jin was born in 1956, so I can assume that this story was written based on events that may have happened in the early to mid 20th century. This story helps understand what it was like to be gay, in China, at the time when this story was written. I don’t want to give away the entire story, but this is something that everyone should read. The story created by Jin, allows us to see the perspective of several different people as the story moves along. Understanding the perspective of other people can also help us to broaden our perspectives, and view things in the world a little bit differently.

The Bridegroom is like no other story that I have ever read before. There is nothing that I have personally read that I can compare it to. It is wildly fascinating, and I appreciate everything about it. I even appreciate the mention of electric baths as a remedy to “cure” being gay. Why? That portion of the story made me upset, it made me sick, and it also made me realize how simple the human mind can be. The struggle of gay and lesbian people is something that I find painful and can sympathize with. How can humanity be so ignorant to think that being gay was merely a disease and one that could be cured?  It showed me how much humanity has struggled over time, and in other countries that differ from my own.

It also showed me how much we have learned and admitted. The fact that electric baths were once a very real part of history was terrifying to me. I could never imagine something like this happening to humans now. It is inhumane. Ha Jin, the author is trying to convey what it was like in China at that time for a person who was homosexual, for a person who is against homosexuality, and also the perspective of his very desperate daughter. One of the main characters of this story is arrested and is “treated” for his sexuality. The government physically took this man away from his life and home due to his sexuality.

Reading this story has not challenged my views but only reaffirmed them. I do not believe that being gay is something that can be cured. I do not believe that humans should be arrested and taken from their homes because they are gay. That is extremely cruel to me. This story left me unsettled but touched. It left me thinking about the struggles of humanity. Broken, also gave me a bit of hope. Although many people around the world still struggle every day with different issues, a positive would be that we are no longer using electric baths to treat sexual preference. Now that is something to think about, isn’t it?