Regarding Eros the Bittersweet by Ann Carson, please help with an essay for my final exam at Georgia State University.

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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To show an in-depth understanding of Eros The Bittersweet and to write a meaningful essay, ensure that you have notes and a clear idea of the direction that you would like your essay to take. Which elements do you think contribute to this essay?

  • Consider the structure. Ann Carson does not use defined chapters but rather subdivides her work to ensure that there is more than one purpose to whatever she writes.
  • Examine what her explanations mean to you as, due to the extraordinary style Carson chooses, your interpretation may be quite different from the next person's.
  • Select which particular parts - or paradoxes - you would like to focus on and discuss.
  • Explore Carson's method of reasoning and why she creates an environment where her interpretation of Greek poetry becomes a love story and how she mixes philosophy and literature
  • Love is such a diverse concept and Carson manages to maintain the allure and the mystery only allowing the reader to participate in her reasoning and accept that no one will ever resolve the issues that man has faced for centuries.
  • Paradoxically, the pursuit of love only remains so as long as love remains unrequited; otherwise it is no longer a pursuit. 
  • Carson uses words and figurative language to great effect. She wants the reader to contemplate, consider and conclude that real meaning can only be found by crossing boundaries. You decide how far you cross.
  • Love has an essential destructive element. Midas's touch, the "rootless" plants of Adonis and even the chirping of the cicadas. 
  • What is the effect of "the blind point?"
  • The concepts of love and reason are contradictory and confusing. Including mathematical references and even "triangulation", inferring a scientific element, defies logic which actually therefore reinforces her point.
  • Does love ultimately prevent the accomplishment of life goals? 

Incorporate any of the above thoughts into your thesis statement and also consider the ultimate oxymoron in the title- "bittersweet"- and its relativity to Eros - the Greek god of love and the complexity of love rather than the simplified possibility of love.  

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