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Vincent Malloy as Vincent Malloy: A New Critical Reading

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school essay
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  1. Introduction
  2. This poem's protagonist
  3. Vincent's portrayal as a child
  4. The internal turmoil and external consequences
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works cited

For this reading, it is assumed that there is substantial merit in the ideals described by Cleanth Brooks in his essay, ?The Formalist Critics.? The so-called ?articles of faith? outlined therein demand that efforts in literary criticism be targeted precisely at the literary work itself, critiquing its form together with its content, and not injecting external (or perhaps collateral) information to achieve the desired result. This rather rigorous order is further compounded by the notion that the above requisites, while denoting the boundaries of the critical endeavor, do note denote its ?method? (Brooks). It is then with orders in hand and lacking a map that this author shall attempt to pass from defining the critic's product to producing it.

[...] As with such a fantasy, Vincent becomes insane in his This obvious use of metaphor tips off the reader to the fact Vincent is but a young, imaginative boy, and that his tragedies are not real, but imagined. As his mother enters the room to release him from his tomb, she tells him to go and play outside. Vincent, maintaining his melodrama, writes his protest in what seem not to be the words of a seven-year-old. He writes, am possessed by this house, and can never leave it again.? These words from Vincent seem to be a quotation not particularly related to his previous torments except in its dark tone. [...]


[...] This Vincent imagines the dark tales from his reading superimposed on his life, assuming the roles of both the mad villain and horrified victim. In his role-playing, the internal turmoil creates an external consequence, as his imagination leads him to an external consequence, as his imagination leads him to an attempted exhumation of his imagined wife. The real meets the imagined when his mother punishes Vincent by sending him to his room. Since his mindset is already dark, the additional negative consequence feeds his imagined torment, rather than defeating it outright. [...]

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