Passage Analysis

Select 2 passages from the list below and analyze three specific textual elements within the passage in thorough detail. Focus on analysis of passage particulars and what you interpret to be their meaning, function, and/or effect. Avoid plot review and avoid excessive quoting from the passage—only quote in your response exactly what you need. The word count limit for each response is 250. You need to select out three specific textual details from the passage provided and write about them in ways that demonstrate your critical thinking, close-reading, and analytical writing skills.

Passage 1:
Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

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Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Passage 2:
The sight of the empty hole made his heart leap violently, but the belief that his gold was gone could not come at once—only terror, and the eager effort to put an end to the terror. He passed his trembling hand all about the hole, trying to think it possible that his eyes had deceived him; then he held the candle in the hole and examined it curiously, trembling more and more. At last he shook so violently that he let fall the candle, and lifted his hands to his head, trying to steady himself, that he might think. Had he put his gold somewhere else, by a sudden resolution last night, and then forgotten it? A man falling into dark waters seeks a momentary footing even on sliding stones; and Silas, by acting as if he believed in false hopes, warded off the moment of despair. He searched in every corner, he turned his bed over, and shook it, and kneaded it; he looked in his brick oven where he laid his sticks. When there was no other place to be searched, he kneeled down again and felt once more all round the hole. There was no untried refuge left for a moment’s shelter from the terrible truth.

Passage 3:
Laura turned cold as stone
To find her sister heard that cry alone,
That goblin cry,
“Come buy our fruits, come buy.”
Must she then buy no more such dainty fruit?
Must she no more such succous pasture find,
Gone deaf and blind?
Her tree of life drooped from the root:
She said not one word in her heart’s sore ache;
But peering thro’ the dimness, naught discerning,
Trudged home, her pitcher dripping all the way;
So crept to bed, and lay
Silent till Lizzie slept;
Then sat up in a passionate yearning,
And gnashed her teeth for balked desire, and wept
As if her heart would break.

Passage 4:
‘Is he a ghoul or a vampire?’ I mused. I had
read of such hideous incarnate demons. And then I set myself to reflect how I
had tended him in infancy, and watched him grow to youth, and followed him
almost through his whole course, and what absurd nonsense it was to yield to
that sense of horror. ‘But where did he come from, the little dark thing,
harboured by a good man to his bane?’ muttered Superstition, as I dozed into
unconsciousness. And I began, half dreaming, to weary myself with imagining
some fit parentage for him; and repeating my waking meditations, I tracked his
existence over again, with grim variations, at last picturing his death and
funeral, of which all I can remember is being exceedingly vexed at having the
task of dictating an inscription for his monument, and consulting the sexton
about it; and as he had no surname, and we could not tell his age, we were
obliged to content ourselves with the single word, ‘Heathcliff.’ That came
true; we were. If you enter the kirkyard you’ll read on his headstone only
that, and the date of his death.

Passage 5:

In the sunny ground between the canes,

He said “I love you” as he passed;

When the shingle roof rang sharp with the rains,

I heard how he vowed it fast:

While others shook he smiled in the hut,

As he carved me a bowl of the coconut

Through the roar of the hurricanes.

I sang his name instead of a song,

Over and over I sang his name,

Upward and downward I drew it along

My various notes,—the same, the same!

I sang it low, that the slave girls near

Might never guess, from aught they could hear,

It was only a name—a name.

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