Contrast between "From Spectator ab Extra" and "The Old Familiar Faces"

Essay by mankoa August 2007

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Essay: “From Spectator ab Extra”and “The Old Familiar Faces”:3. Some poems are effective in depicting a particular character or personality. Show how this is done by focusing on two poems in which the speaker’s personality and attitude are illustrated through the main ideas in the poem.

In the poems “From Spectator ab Extra” and “The Old Familiar Faces” the speakers’ attitudes and personalities are conveyed through the main ideas in both poems.

On the one hand, in “From Spectator ab Extra” the speaker is shown as an ambitious, selfish and jolly man. This is connected with poem’s main ideas, which are the mental and bodily pleasures money can give. While sitting in a Café the speaker reflects upon this subject as if with a divided mind –device called dyspichus- and sees things from two different points of view: the point of view of those who are materialists and the point of view of those who are idealists.

He seems to agree with the materialist viewpoint and starts talking about the advantages his money provides him with, like for example in the statement “they may sneer as the like about eating and drinking” which is sarcastic and shows that he does enjoy both pleasures. Therefore, from his statements and from his humorist and sarcastic tone we can infer several points in his personality. Selfishness is conveyed in the statement “And how one never ought to think of one’s self” which is full of irony and shows the puritan values, in this case not to be selfish, which he doesn’t only dismiss but rejects and thinks silly. His ambition and hunger for power are illustrated in the metonomy “and when I have done, throw a crust to the poor”, which shows that he is greedy and cheap, and that by only ‘throwing...