The Diary of Samuel Pepys

The Different Presentations of London in The Diary of Samuel Pepys and "Rising Damp" 12th Grade

These two works of literature both construct depictions of London; however, because they were written at different periods and in different formats, we receive inevitably different interpretations of the city and the life within. Pepys’ diary is very descriptive, almost written as if a narrative, telling of events in a chronological order but does however effectively express the way in which the horrors of the fire makes him feel whereas Fanthorpe’s poem, Rising Damp, by the nature of it being in verse, carries connotations of both the factual and the emotional side of literature, telling us of how he perceives London, but using words and meter to evoke feelings within the reader and then linking the description of the city figuratively back to his view on human pre destination.

Fanthorpe in this first stanza makes the reader think beyond the mundane routine of his or her life, to a world where “at our feet they lie low”; to the often-forgotten place where the city originated from. The double stressed syllables at the end of the line in a spondee, helped by the soft alliteration makes vivid the point he is trying to create of a world we never see but which is so important. Conversely, Pepys’ description of the “horrid,...

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