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Surname 1 Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Juxtaposition of the Past and Present in Fences and Arcadia Juxtaposition is an essential literary tool because it enables authors to evoke the interest of their audience by drawing a comparison between two different objects or concepts by placing them side by side. The comparison drawn between the items or concepts being juxtaposed makes it easier for the author to highlight important issues and to provide a logical connection between otherwise vaguely related concepts. In Fences by August Wilson and Arcadia by Tom Stoppard, the past and present are juxtaposed to bring together the themes of the works and to reveal important concepts that the audience of the works could have otherwise missed. In Arcadia, Stoppard uses juxtaposition of the past and present to bring out one of the major themes in the work, which is conflict between intellect and emotion. The different times are used to compare how the conflict plays out during different historical times (Edwards 182). In the play, emotional fulfillment and intellectual pursuit are in a state of conflict. The juxtaposition of the past and present is seen through Thomasina and Hannah’s stories. In the past, Stoppard takes us to Thomasina’s encounter with her tutor, Septimus, where she asks him the meaning of the phrase “carnal embrace”. Septimus is initially uncomfortable with the question and responds with “carnal embrace is the practice of throwing one’s arms around a side of beef” (Stoppard 1). Thomasina’s inquiry on sexual knowledge disrupts the normal learning, thereby portraying the conflict between intellect and emotion. This incident is juxtaposed with the present whereby Hannah, unlike Thomasina, does not let romantic pursuits derail her from her
Surname 2 work. She rejects any advances towards her and instead focuses on her academic pursuits

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