Courage Essay

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Mowery has a Ph.D. in literature and composition and has written extensively for the Gale Group. In the following essay, he considers the ironic twists that result when courage fragments into false heroism and bitterness in Anne Sexton's poem.

In an article for the New Leader, Pearl K. Bell said that Anne Sexton's collection " The Awful Rowing Toward God is sad reading, . . . because the poems are haunted by the self-destruction that was to be their terrible climax." In the first poem, "Rowing," she embarks on a voyage toward God that takes the reader through many disappointing and unsatisfying attempts to find Him. Another of these poems, "Courage," sets out a plan to examine courageous behavior in the face of unpleasantness. However, this poem takes the reader on a journey into a more unflattering aspect of courage: bluff, show, and resignation. It is not the heroic courage of...

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This section contains 1,627 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Courage Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Courage from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.