Essay by johnisfunUniversity, Master'sB, March 2004

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Reading Tennyson is like stepping aboard the world's strangest roller coaster. The title of the ride looks to be safe enough, but when the cart-man straps on the safety belt you're jolted in a way that you did not even know was a direction. It's not down or up, left or right. It is an adventure to in-side yourself as seen through the life of another. You're caught off card, and then you're calmed down. You think it's over, and then there's the loop'd loop. You don't know if you're ready to throw up or eat the sweet dessert like lines in the next stanza. By the time this moral rollercoaster comes to a stop you're so ready to get back on that your knees shake and your mind races. Well...that's what it's like for me anyway.

I can see in Tennyson the pain and suffering of a man who knew too much about the world to accept in himself for who he was verses who he could be; this evident in works like Supposed Confessions as opposed to In Memoriam.

Supposed Confessions is the work of a man who is spiritually sound, but undergoes a transformation within himself. The speaker in the poem is a sinner, a man set apart even from himself. In lines one through ten the speaker rages at God. Though the speaker truly believes in God, he is beginning to doubt the presence of God in his on life. This is evident when the speaker laments against God, and begs for some symbol saying,

In this extremist misery

Of ignorance, I should require A sign!

The speaker reasons that this would only make his faith stronger; when no sign is given the speaker begins to doubt his own faith. The speaker goes on to...