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Help me grade my daughter's literary analysis of Goerge Herbert's poem "Love".

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This is my 16 year old daughter's Tapestry of Grace literary analysis assignment from Year 2. I am having a hard time grading this, and I could use some feedback. She would really like a specific grade on this and I'm really lost on how to give grades on these literary analysis papers. Thankyou


Love’s Invitation

“Love†by George Herbert describes a Christian’s spiritual journey in a way that the common man is able to identify with. Using a combination of dialogue, symbolic characters, and first- person narrative, Herbert achieves a poem that describes a pilgrim Christian’s journey very effectively and in a way that almost anyone can understand.

Throughout the course of this poem, the character Love symbolizes Jesus. The character Love, in the poem, portrays Jesus’ forgiving and caring heart as well as His want for sinners to come to Him in repentance. This symbolization correlates perfectly to the Bible. 1 John 4:8b says “God is love†(Zondervan NIV Study Bible- Page 1949) Therefore, since Jesus is God, He is truly love. Additionally, this symbolization helps the reader relate to Jesus in a more personal way and gain insight to His character.

In the Bible, God outlines each milestone throughout a Christian’s journey. To start with, God wants us to know that we are all sinners. We find this truth in Romans 3:23 and Isaiah 59:2. The Isaiah verse says our sin separates us from God. In the poem, the main character, who is also the narrator, is “Guilty of [his] dust and sin†(Norton Anthology of English Literature-Page 1624; Line 2 of “Loveâ€). He experiences the feeling of separation from Love, but Love wants to have a relationship with him.

Jesus also wants to have a relationship with us and anyone who is willing to admit to their sin because He loves us. (Psalm 72:14) So much so that He died for sinners everywhere. The pilgrim in the poem doesn’t believe he could ever be in communion with Love. “I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,†(Norton Anthology of English Literature-Page 1624; Line 9 of “Loveâ€) However, Love reveals His forgiving heart to His shame-filled child. When told by the pilgrim that He was too worthy to even look at, Love responds in a loving and caring way. “Who made the eyes but I?†(Norton Anthology of English Literature-page 1625; Line 12 of “Loveâ€)

To help the reader relate to and understand this invitation from Love, Herbert uses the literary technique dialogue. Throughout the second and third stanzas, Love and the sinner carry out a dialogue in which the sinner tells Love of his unworthiness and Love tells the sinner of his forgiveness. By the end of the dialogue, the sinner’s eyes are opened and he is freed from his unworthiness. This use of dialogue is very effective in helping the reader understand Love’s forgiveness and character and then applying it to their relationship with Jesus. This dialogue implies that Jesus is a personal savior.

When he realizes that, in Love’s eyes, he is clean and free; the pilgrim accepts Love’s care and vows to serve Him. The new Christian than eats a meal with Love and enjoys fellowship with Him. This parallels with our relationship with Jesus after we accept Him into our hearts. We are able to serve Him and fellowship with Him, and someday we also will enjoy eternal communion with Him.

One last key literary technique Herbert uses to make his poem identifiable to the reader is first person narration. The poem is told from the view- point of the sinner. This helps the reader relate because that is something everyone is.

In the end, Herbert, using symbolization, dialogue, and first-person narrative as tools, is successful in communicating the importance of the Christian’s journey and a personal relationship with Jesus.

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Thankyou, I appreciate the help. Those are some great points for her to consider. Unfortunately, she has moved on in her writing assignments in order to finish up the school year so she doesn't have much time to rework the paper. However, she may revise it a little if she gets time. Thanks again!

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