Figure 29: Essay Excerpt on De Quincey, “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, ” Thomas De Quincey

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Explicate the Quote.”

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You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Sample Excerpt

De Quincey now through the opium is having nightmarish dreams.  He refers to the Malay as a fearful enemy (456).  He asserts that if he should ever have to leave England and live in China, among their manners and modes of life and scenery, he shall go mad (456).  In this dream, his journey of prejudice leads him to make several more references to the Chinese (Oriental):

A young Chinese seems to me an antediluvian man renewed . . . man is a weed in those regions (Asia) . . . I am terrified by the modes of life, by the manner  . .  . and want of sympathy placed between us by feelings deeper than I can analyze.  I could sooner live with lunatics or brute animals. . . . (456)

De Quincey resolves his nightmares by offering the reader a slight abstraction of the Oriental dreams.  Before, the dreams had been moral and spiritual terrors, but now the main agents were ugly birds, or snakes or crocodiles, especially the last; “The cursed crocodile became to me the object of more horror than almost all the rest” (457).

Figure 29: Essay Excerpt on De Quincey, “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater,” Thomas De Quincey

Revision Considerations

In the space after the quote, analyze the quote before moving forward into other discussions of the De Quincey’s work.

Develop a line-by-line analysis of the quote. Note the structure of the sentences and the author’s attitude.

 Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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