Figure 30: Essay Excerpt on De Quincey, “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater,” Thomas De Quincey

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Analyze This.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “A” category or by typing the title into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Sample Excerpt

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).  The reptile continues to haunt him as he is awakened by small gentle voices speaking to him.  It was his children standing before him showing how well they looked for their outing; because he was able to make the transition from the crocodile to the sight of “human natures and of infancy,” he wept (457).

Figure 30: Essay Excerpt on De Quincey, “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater,” Thomas De Quincey

Questions

1) What is the meaning of “slight abstraction”? Analyze this: slight abstraction.

2) How does De Quincey change from being horrified by his nightmares to being fascinated with the innocence of the smallest “human nature”?

3) Why does he weep?

Revision Consideration

Analyze your use of the quote within the context of the work. What is significant about the quote? Why do you place it at the end of your analysis? What does “human natures and of infancy” mean? Ask and answer as many questions as you can to develop your analysis.

In addition, analyze the keywords you use within the work. What does “slight abstraction” mean within the context of your essay as the term relates to the context of the work.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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