Each of these literary works discusses finding a deeper meaning within oneself that is not visible on the surface. The speakers of each piece describe what they have learned to appreciate even if it is imperfect. They learned this through life’s experiences how they were taught to view the world.
In the poem, “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent” by John Milton, the speaker explains the effect of his blindness. The opening lines of the poem describes what he thinks about the way he saw the world before he went blind as a middle-aged man. He exhausts his frustrations of his blindness and questions whether or not he should still use his “God-given talent” of writing even though it proves to be an impossible task. The majority of this poem expresses his concern and confusion for God granting this disease upon his. He seems to be losing faith in achieving the talent he once had, but in the end find the hope to keep writing and displaying his talent. This poem makes me think of the quotation “everything happens for a reason,” as well as the saying “make use of what you have.” These two quotations are relevant because although his blindness appears to be a set-back, he still has the brain that composed his many great literary works prior to his imperfect condition, and he still can create beautiful work. In the end he becomes aware that he can still compose great poetry.
In the poem, “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun” by William Shakespeare, the first line expresses a comparison through the use of a simile. The simile “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun” initially implies the lack of beauty and imperfections the woman has. Shakespeare continues by using unflattering sensory descriptions and imagery and colors, to demonstrate the woman’s flaws. He describes her hair as “black wires” and states “than in the breath that from my mistress reeks” implying her bad breath. He concludes the poem with “And yet, I think my love is as rare as any she, belied with false compare.” This statement is crucial for the poem because it explains the underlying meaning which is appearances is not what matter when true love is present. This poem represents Shakespeare’s unique style of using hidden language and elements to create misleading ideas. At first it appears as though he is calling this woman horrid, but in the end he states that when its true love you see past all the imperfections.
In the story “One Word” by Elizabeth Gilbert, the idea of finding oneself through experiences is present. The speaker discusses her time in Rome and explains the image of a typical Roman-woman as “a fantastically maintained, jewelry-sodden forty-something dame wearing four-inch heels, a tight skirt with a slit as long as your arm, and those sunglasses that look like race cars. She was walking her little fancy dog on a gem-studded leash, and the fur collar on her tight jacket looked as if it had been made out of the pelt of her former little fancy dog. She was exuding and unbelievably glamorous air of: ‘You will look at me, but I will refuse to look at you’” (page 102). From this description, the speaker develops her argument of why Rome is not the place for her because she does not fit into that look and style. The word that is used to describe Rome is “sex” and she explains this word does not define her. The phrase “every city has a single word that defines it, that identifies most people who live there” (page 103) is interesting and in a sense very true. The story focuses on the speaker’s quest to find the place and the word that describes her lifestyle. Through her travels and experiences she concludes that there are many possibilities but “she does not know the answer” (page 105). But through experiences the speaker discovers word that do not represent her, which helps her in finding who she really is and what she really wants to surround herself with in the future. This story is about finding oneself.
In conclusion, these three literary works explain imperfections, flaws, and the unknown, all elements which develop the deeper analysis and the finding of oneself. Some discovers are made through experiences and travels, some are made through losing something you once had, and some are made by personal belief.