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Vikram Seth’s “The Golden Gate” Essay

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Updated: Sep 10th, 2021

The Golden Gate is a novel in verse composed of 690 sonnets. This is a fictional and poetic work at the same time based on iambic tetrameter. Such poetic elements as metaphors and symbols, specific tone, and syntax are used by Seth to create an atmosphere of solitude and hardship, affection, and search for personal identity. Many themes and motives, such as family relations and friendship, are described metaphorically to create emotional tension and describe the deeply personal experience of the main characters. Thesis the personal voice of Seth and poetic elements used by the author shape an atmosphere of solitude and loneliness and appeal to the emotions and feelings of readers.

The personal voice of the author supports the narration and describes the events and actions of the main characters. The personal voice in poetry is crucial because an author communicates with the audience through it. Seth has introduced effective words and arrangements to create a tone that will govern the reader’s response to the materials. All of the deviations from descriptions of the characters are in the interest of tone building: the affective qualities of language are being exploited rather than used to do no more than making a report. It is through the interplay of words, phrases, lines, and groups of lines that a poem gets its tones and overtones.. Seth comments: “Ah, John, don’t take it all for granted. / Perhaps you think Liz loves you best’ The snooker table has been slanted. ‘/ A cuckoo’s bomb lies in the nest (Seth 6.14). Humor and pun are the main poetic devices used in these lines. Also, Seth addresses readers directly which helps him to involve them in discussion and active reading: “A doomy?” “You know–someone who Thinks all Jane Fonda says is true” (Seth 64). Suing humor, the author expresses different points of view which cannot coincide with his own, but which has a great impact on the tone of the novel. The personal voice of the author is important because a poet might also use several voices in the poem. The importance of this literary device is that the author separates himself from other characters and appeals to readers by simplicity, spontaneity, and naturalness of his narration.

Symbols and vivid images of the main characters, John, Janet, Liz, and Ed, help the author to create an atmosphere of loneliness and despair. For instance, using the character of John, the author unveils complicated human relations and contrasts physical existence and the spiritual world. John is looking for a loving mate but finds numerous girls. A symbol of homosexual relations forces readers to rethink and reinterpret the true nature of human relations and modern values that affected all social classes. Seth portrays that Phil has some relations with Ed, but at a time get married to Liz. emotional sufferings and distress faced by an ordinary man. Seth symbolically portrays that a modern man is weak enough to resist his fate and find happiness. “John sighs, and thinks of Liz, and Fate, /Warmed by the solace of arrival” (Seth 45). Through the character of John, Seth portrays human density and fate.

Poetic and fictional elements help Seth to compose a message of the novel and create an atmosphere of solitude and loneliness. The personal voice of the author allows Seth to avoid additional explanation of characters’ background and events because readers grasp this information at once through the physical and emotional state of speakers, their language, metaphors, and the author’s tone.

Works Cited

Seth, V. The Golden Gate. Vintage, 1991.

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IvyPanda. (2021, September 10). Vikram Seth's "The Golden Gate". Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/vikram-seths-the-golden-gate/

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1. IvyPanda. "Vikram Seth's "The Golden Gate"." September 10, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/vikram-seths-the-golden-gate/.


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IvyPanda. "Vikram Seth's "The Golden Gate"." September 10, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/vikram-seths-the-golden-gate/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Vikram Seth's "The Golden Gate"." September 10, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/vikram-seths-the-golden-gate/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Vikram Seth's "The Golden Gate"'. 10 September.

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