Reading Response #7 - Brian Lau English 200 D Andrew McNair...

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Brian Lau English 200 D Andrew McNair 4-18-07 Reading Response #7 The way Thomas De Quincey frames “guilt” when discussing how his narrative will be perceived is probably one to make a point that he does not consider his confession for opium- eating as a crime or some sort of guilt. This is quite clear when he says, But, on the one hand, as my self-accusation does not amount to a confession of guilt, so, on the other, it is possible that, if it did, the benefit resulting to others, from the record of an experienced at so heavy a price, might compensate, by a vast overbalance, for any violence done to the feelings I have noticed, and justify a breach of the general rule. (2) Thomas De Quincey is saying that on one hand, his “self-accusation” is not “a confession of guilt. But on the other, if people do perceive his confessions as a form of guilt, then if it benefits others, it is okay. He is hoping that his experience alone, even though he sacrificed his life, will compensate and be a lesson to many others. When I first read about a conscience being an “expensive encumbrance” I thought that
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ENGL 200 taught by Professor Anderson,donaldl during the Spring '08 term at University of Washington.

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Reading Response #7 - Brian Lau English 200 D Andrew McNair...

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