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Born into a Church of
England family but became a
Roman Catholic and Jesuit
priest. Gerard Manley
Hopkins
1873 -He had health issues and 1844-1889
was forbidden to fast during Lent.
Hopkins later taught in Dublin
The buildings he frequented
(Feb.1884) which was physically
were unsanitary which lead
He was sent to teach an draining. He endeavored to mark
to Typhoid.
undemanding course in London fairly.
and Wales.
Death
`The Wreck of the Deutschland'
rejected by the Jesuit journal.
While there he failed at an attempt
to learn Welsh and music.
This lead to anxiety
and depression.…read more

Slide 3

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The Candle
Indoors
Candles have religious connotations, they represent the Holy Spirit and prayer.
As candles give light they are seen as beacons of positivity in a religious
context, enabling people to see clearly without the obstruction of evil. "Indoors"
has connotations of home. As the speaker of the octet is a wanderer and has
little sense of home and belonging, the candle being indoors suggests the
speaker views his home as linking or previously having a link with religion.…read more

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The octet can be interpreted as the voice of a wanderer who observes the candle and its
ability to expel the darkness. "Mild" is used as both an adjective and a verb to highlight
how the beauty and warmth of the candle moves the night's blackness. The contrast
between the blackness of the night and the apparent flame is representative of good and
evil. Combined with the "tender trambeams," (eyelashes) the impression is given that the
narrator is squinting, making the light and darkness, good and evil, blur together. This
emphasises the confusion of the narrator, he is unable to maintain his faith but some
remains, obscured and mixed in with sin and indecision. If we assume that Hopkins is the
speaker of the octet then it can be representative of a challenge to his religious loyalty
and obligations as a priest.
Some candle clear burns somewhere I come by.
I muse at how its being puts blissful back
With yellowy moisture mild bight's blear-all black
Or to-fro tender trambeams truckle at the eye.
Deictic markers like "Some...somewhere" within the The alliteration of "candle clear" emphasises the clarity of light.
first line, are purposely vague to enable the reader to The harsh consonant sounds (`c') are sharp, giving a sense of
connect easily to the content of the poem.The direction and surety. The candle being labelled "clear"
unspecific nature of the place and candle suggests religion gives a sense of certainty, opening peoples
emphasises the nomadic aspects of the octet eyes. This sense of certainty, of being able to see clearly,
speaker's life. These deictic markers are sibilant contrasts the uncertain nature of the wanderer, emphasised by
creating a hushing sound , highlighting the calming the first line of the second stanza through the repetition of
effect of the light.The gentle sounds emphasise the "what" which symbolises an incessantly challenging and
peace and serenity which surrounds the candle. questioning mind.…read more

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The repetition of "God" highlights the narrator's He becomes obsessed with the
dependency upon religion and an entity for house's inhabitants and their
guidance hence he is unable to take comfort in personalities before berating
the light of the candle alone. He wants the "task" himself at his judgment of
of the owners to represent God's will so the others
flame can be a true answer to his hesitancy.
By that window what task what fingers ply,
I plod wondering, a-wanting, just for lack
Of answer the eagerer a-wanting Jessy or Jack
There God to aggrándise, God to glorify.--…read more

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"You there are master" has links to self-empowerment, but also free will. The poem focuses on good and
evil, through the references of light and dark; good and evil are argued to exist because God gave humans
free will, now in this stanza the voice of God is testing the 1st speaker as he tells him he is in control, he is
'master', thereby leaving the choice to find his faith again "[his] fading fire" up to him.
The voice then becomes more accusative; "do you own desire" the word desire is associated with
temptation, and therefore sin. In the bible the devil tempts human characters into doing evil. Therefore by
asking the first speaker if he owns his desires he is referring to the speakers self-restraint from sin.
Come you indoors, come home; your fading fire
Mend first and vital candle in close heart's vault;
You there are master, do your own desire;
The sestet can be interpreted as God's voice, due to the change in rhyme scheme suggesting a
change in speaker.Whilst the first speaker is a wanderer and speaks with a lack of certainty, the The stanza breaks are
second speaker is dominant and direct, accusative and instructive. The dominance of the symbolic of a void, the
second speaker, evident through the imperative "come" which has a commanding tone supports emptiness representing
the idea that God is the second speaker. This is also enforced through the Christian belief that the narrator's inability to
'God is Judge'. take up faith. If the
narrator is taken to be
However,the sestet can also be interpreted as the speaker of the octet's voice who is addressing Hopkins, this may pertain
himself in a bitter tone. In this case he would be referring to himself in the second person which to his loss of belief in
suggests detachment and a split personality. The sonnet would then follow his thought process religion as a priest, who
as he attempts to discover the meaning of his life. The octet would symbolise his desire to take became stressed and
up faith and the sestet represents the narrator berating himself for being in indecisive, this depressed at his failures.
highlights the idea of conflicting interests.…read more

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