Would you please take a hint John

The poem “No, Thank you, John” by Christina Rosetti, shows the point of view of a woman who is refusing a man who continues to romantically pursue her. The narrator of the poem is very direct to this man John in saying that she is not interested in him at all. She says he may have a better chance with other women saying “I dare say Meg or Moll would take pity upon you if you’d ask: And pray you don’t remain single for my sake Who can’t perform that task”. In these lines, the woman not only begs him to try for other women, but also informs him that she cannot and will not return any of his romantic affection. This stanza really shows the woman’s tone toward John and gives the reader the energy that she is actually annoyed by the continued interest from John. She continues, saying “Let bygones be bygones: Don’t call me false, who owed not to be true: I’d rather answer “No” to fifty Johns Than answer “Yes” to you”. The point of view in this poem is very important because it allows the reader to get insight of the woman’s true thoughts. While this stanza seems pretty harsh, the message is very clear. She is NOT interested in John and never will be. The woman finishes off the poem with “Here’s friendship for you if you like; but love,- No, thank you, John”. I really enjoy the title of the poem being used in the final line of the poem and the effect of the line. If none of the other rejections sank in, that one has to. 

This poem is truly unique. The very direct rejection of a man is not something I have seen in poetry before, and it directly challenges the classic love poem. Usually a love poem shows the point of view of a man who is wounded and trying so very hard to persuade their love to want them back. “No, Thank you, John” is not only the opposite of that stereotypical love poem, but also allows for the woman to give her side and show that this type of resilient and stubborn man is not the victim, but rather an annoyance. This poem shows a woman who is so tired of being pursued by the same man and is running out of ways to say no. The importance of this poem is to show that it is not cute for a man to continue to try like this, and rather that this is straight up harassment. During this time period, this type of thinking was certainly not the standard – and even today, while it is more recognized, there are still many women who have to deal with this. This poem is important because it shows the man is not the victim in this scenario, but rather the aggressor. The final line shows the woman being very strong-minded, not only due to her ability to be immovable in her rejection, but also due to the way she was able to stay respectful in her final refusal – a subtle comment on societal gender roles and normities.

Atmosphere of Terror

Count Dracula is one of the most famous characters of all time, a vampire story that has lived on for a little over a century now. So what is it about Bram Stoker’s Dracula that created such an iconic monster that has been continually recreated and inspired other vampire stories to come about. Bram Stoker uses a lot of gothic elements in his writing in order to create the eerie and enjoyable story of Dracula. The use of landscape in Bram Stoker’s novel is one of the most important gothic elements used to create this classic. The atmosphere created by Stoker perfectly produces fear and terror in this novel. On the way to the castle, Jonathan hears a lot of different strange noises like the wolves howling which causes the horses to become scared, and in turn allows fear to creep into Jonathan’s mind. In Harker’s journals about the castle, the use of this setting creates a very eerie space for the reader. Towards the end of Chapter 2, Jonathan writes in his Journal “But I am not in heart to describe beauty, for when I had seen the view I explored further; doors, doors, doors everywhere, and all locked and bolted. In no place save from the windows in the castle walls is there an available exit. The castle is a veritable prison, and I am a prisoner!” (33). This passage comes after Jonathan eats breakfast alone and notes how weird it is that he has not seen the Count eat with him yet. Stoker sets an incredible setting and atmosphere for a gothic book. Between the desolate castle with endless bolted doors, the aspects of the nature around the castle including wolves and a vast forest, the gloomy weather and constant thunderstorms, all add an atmosphere that allows for the fear of Dracula to grow.

Harsh Harcourt

“My son did me an unpardonable wrong by marrying the daughter of a drunken pauper, and from that hour I had no longer a son. I wish him no ill. He is simply dead to me. I am sorry for him, as I am sorry for his mother who died nineteen years ago. If you talk to me of him as you would talk of the dead, I shall be ready to hear you. If you speak of him as you would speak of the living, I must decline to listen” (185)

This passage is from Robert’s trip to Harcourt Talboy’s mansion in search of assistance with his investigation into what happened to George. Before this quote from Harcourt, the narrator gives the reader some guidance on who Mr. Talboys is. Harcourt is described at the top of the page by the narrator saying, “his mind ran in straight lines … With him right was right and wrong was wrong”. The description we get of Harcourt before he speaks about his son is very accurate of what the reader experiences when he begins. Harcourt has absolutely no remorse or sympathy of how his relationship with his son ended, and has no intention of changing. He cast off his only son simply because he disobeyed him. 

Later in this passage the narrator says, “George never in his own person made any effort to soften his father’s verdict. He knew his father well enough to know the case was hopeless”. This moment in the book is very important and meaningful to George’s life. While, on the one hand, George knew what he was getting into by marrying Helen – it changed his life trajectory immensely. He knew it would be hard to live in poverty, though he thought that it would be worth it because of his love. This proved to be untrue as this moment in his life started the depression that we as the reader can see in George. Another reason why I believe that this passage is so significant, is it opens us to the regret and disappointment his wife felt after she believed she was marrying into a rich family. George would rather struggle for the rest of his life than to be an example of what not to do for his father’s sake. But his wife did not feel the same way, saying “I thought dragoons were always rich,” she used to say peevishly. 

It might sound crazy, but this passage becomes very significant as we get further into volume 2. We as a reader start to see where George’s depression came from and why. As we discover that Helen Maldon is slowly starting to be discovered as Lady Audley by Robert and Clara, we see her intentions shine through quite brightly. Helen was interested in her marriage with George for his status and money, so she could gain power. This also explains her motive for murdering George. He knew who Lady Audley really is and what she is about. The letter we see on page 248 from Helen, directly exposes Lady Audley as she creates a new life and a new fortune for herself as Lucy Graham. Lady Audley takes on many names, but no matter which name she gives herself, she is devious and dangerous.

*pop* Goes your Bubble

This Passage is from page 22/23 of the text, where we find George Talboys talking to Miss Morley on the ship back to London and we see George’s bubble burst. Miss Morley’s own doubts about coming back to London, slowly at first, starts to affect the mood of George. He asks her “why do you come and try to put such fancies into my head” (22), because he is realizing that he has been naive to believe that after 3 and ½ years of being gone without explanation – his wife could be ill, spiteful, or even worse dead. These are dark and dangerous thoughts for George because as his bubble pops, he has 3 years of anxiety and bad thoughts rushed into his head all at once. 

This passage changes the tone of the novel quickly. Before this passage, or this chapter, the author describes the beauty of Audley court and shows us a pretty romantic engagement speech. But this passage acts as a tone shift to the novel and contrasts against the light of the first chapter, with a dark and looming realization and thought pattern in this passage. George’s new doubts of his marriage affects him greatly, as well as adds conflict for the reader. “My pretty little wife! My gentle, innocent, loving, little wife! …. why her faithful husband had deserted her?” (23). Continues to add new information for us, and give us more about why his bubble popping shakes George up so much. This passage seems to be pretty important because in our first meeting of George he changes drastically. From a happy go lucky lover, to very sad and distraught. I believe this passage will create more problems than the mental distress George is under.