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Jane Urquhart’s ”Shadow”

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The Sun is a star. It is a rather ordinary star – not particularly big or small, not particularly young or old. It is the source of heat which sustains life on Earth. Jane Urquhart’s “Shadow” illustrates how important the sun is in people’s lives. Structural device and personification are used throughout the poem with imagery to describe the sun’s importance and its functionality towards humans. These devices work to express a leading understand of how the sun works in our favour and its every human’s personal guardian.

Urquhart shows how the sun brightens and freshens everything and makes it feel like heaven, with its powerful source of light and energy. It starts to “enter from the garden” (2) shows that he feels at home. Continues throughout the house by “moving on the carpet” (3) he touches and brightens everything around, making humans wake up feeling energized by providing them that comfort and giving them that extra boost. Urquhart’s use of development throughout makes it evident that there is a purpose to the sun. The light goes about waking up inanimate objects in the house when “he polishes your tables” (19) as a result, the table is ready for the day. The author also writes about the areas in which the light of the sun affects in a sequential order until it contacts the person “a weight of gold and heat he stops burning at the flesh of your neck” (24 – 26) and performs his purpose. Overall the development reveals the sun can make everything around a human feel like heaven, “you are the only shadow in the room” (27) the sun can help to a limit. Hatred and anger from within can overrun it, if human’s let it.

The sun also illuminates, takes out negative thoughts and replaces them with positive ideas. It energizes humans every morning by the way it “moves his arms across your memories substituting light heat and silence” (7 – 10). It can also be referred as energy to get on with your day. He makes you feel joyful by the way it “changes the content of your mirrors” (13) instead of being depressed the sun refreshes humanity. It fills your mind with bright colours and “invents an alternative palette for your crystal” (14 – 15) that makes humans enjoy themselves that much more and fills their mind with positive thoughts.

It also impacts humanity in other ways besides making everything around them feel like heaven and filling minds with positive ideas. The sun also shines at humans throughout the day supporting them every way possible. It starts of in the morning on how “he touches all your furniture” (4) gets everything prepared for the day. Also “scrapes his nails across brocade revealing tangled threads” overrides bad dreams and sets a positive and bright awakening. He is there during breakfast “his brilliance clings to cutlery until spoons become large bright incisions all across the grain” (20 – 23) sharing his silence and peace of mind, which helps humans not get angry or frustrated. He helps overcome negative feeling by the way it “erases last year’s conversations with the stars” (11 – 12) and replaces it with positive and beneficial thoughts. The sun also reinvents himself as a guardian, like most males, they are guardians to their family.

To conclude, these devices work to express a leading understand of how the sun works in our favour and its every human’s guardian. In addition, the sun’s development on a heaven surrounding and its major roles with the way it supports are key aspects that show without the sun, there is no life.

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