Artists derive their work of art from the society in which they live. They are members of these societies, and they get their inspiration from the society. However, various artists express their works differently, and they choose the forms to give their works. Therefore, works of literatures come in different forms, and they have different levels of appeal to the audience. Some audiences will be inclined to one form of artistic work more than another work of art depending on the audiences’ preferences. The artist must make his work accessible to the audience through using a form that the intended audience will understand. The two poems and plays presented in this paper have different levels of accessibility. The artists make their work appeal, and they use coded language to communicate to the target audience. This makes this works of literature fit in the genres that they are assigned by their authors.
Accessibility is a concept that has been used to describe the reception of intellectual messages. People who are intellectually mature will understand complex things faster than those people who are not intellectually talented. Likewise, people with an intellectual inclination towards literature will understand literary messages than those not inclined to literature. However, age and maturity also plays a role in the issue of accessibility, and old or mature people access news on matters of life faster than immature people. Therefore, one material of literature will have different levels of accessibility depending on the audience receiving them.
The two poems, “The Griesly Wife” (by John Manifold) and "Spring and Fall" (Gerard Manley) have different levels of accessibility. For instance, “The Griesly Wife” is best suited for grown ups who understand the pain of love and loss, but “Spring and Fall” is more relevant to children. This is because John Manifold gives a story of a man who loses his wife and ends up dying too. The poet does not tell of the man’s physical death, but the reader adds up the events surrounding the man, and he concludes that the man ends up dying. The poem talks about marriage, and children or people who are not mature enough cannot understand this topic. Therefore, the poem is accessible to adults but inaccessible to the young people.
The title of this poem, “The Griesly Wife” evokes a lot of thought on the mind of a mature adult reader. The reader will start focusing on how this wife looks like, and he will develop a mental picture of this wife. In the course of this poem, the reader’s attitude towards the poem will change, and the reader will start sympathizing with the new wife for escaping barefoot in the cold snow (Manifold 4). In stanza five, the reader’s suspense is heightened; the track that the lady followed turns in to four tracks, and the reader’s mind start focusing on the possibility of another lover. Adult readers will think that the lady had escaped because she wanted to meet her lover. However, this is not the case, and the woman escapes to her death; she is killed by a wild animal. The man also panics, and he starts running to the house. The wild animal catches up with the man, and it kills the man. This part of the story is accessible only to a person who can fill gaps and come to a conclusion.
The other poem “Spring and Fall” is accessible to both children and adults in terms of the content and form. First, the poem takes a lyrical form, and the attention of the reader is attracted. This form appeals to the children since it is easy to remember, and the children can also use it during play. The poem is more accessible to children than adults because an adult is addressing the child, Margaret. The child is not happy that the trees are shedding off their leaves, and she is grieving. The trees are losing their beauty, and this child is worried since the environment will change. The adult is experienced with life, and she is advising the child not to be worried about the trees shedding off their leaves (Hopkins 23). This is because a child will face difficult things in life, and simple issues like summer and winter will not be of a lot of significance to the child. The poet seems to be telling the child that she will lose her innocence, and she will not be conscious of a lot of stuff that take place in life. The poet uses the symbol of a child as a symbol for innocence; as people age, they become conscious of very intricate issues of life derived from their experiences in life.
The two poems are received differently by different readers, and the messages contained are received differently. This is because different readers have different backgrounds, and these backgrounds will determine the way different readers receive these poems. The poems are different as shown above, but they are also related in that they are discussing emotions. The child is uncertain of the life she will have in the future, but the man has a mixture of feelings; he loves his wife, and he is disappointed that the wife has left. He is also worried that the wife has been harmed, and he fears for his own life.
The two plays, just like the two poems, can be received differently. Buried Child is based on realism, and the play is a family drama. Elements of symbolism and surrealism are also added into the pragmatic framework of this play. The time frame and the surroundings of this play, in reality, give this play a realistic appearance. However, the use of images such as the rain and the corn give this play a symbolist aspect, and the fragmented actions and characterization like the many burials of Dodge are surreal or dreamlike. The humor employed is also a vital element of style, and it gives the play sardonic, black and slapstick elements. These stylistic rudiments combine to offer the play a postmodern feel. In the light of these sentiments, the play is more relevant to an intellectual audience than to a common audience. This is because the play keeps on referring to historical issues such as the American dream (Shepard 146). This element will not go with all audiences and some audiences will find the play boring. Therefore, only an intellectual audience will be moved by this play.
The other play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, appeals to a wide audience since it has comedy in it; comedies attract all people. The play, as opposed to Buried Child, takes focus on issues affecting the family, and the author of this play takes readers through the story in a humorous manner. For instance, the reader expects the host to show respect for the visitors, but they do not. In fact, they go to extremes, and they attack each other, verbally and physically, before the visitors. This is an element of comedy, and a lot of the audiences are attracted.
The play also addresses the theme of immorality, and infidelity in a humorous manner. The wife of the older man seduces the younger man, and they head upstairs to have sex (Albee 70). The old man is disappointed, and he decides to avenge by seducing the wife of the young man. However, none of the plans go through, and all the four ends up disappointed at some point. The problems facing family life are explored in length, and the reader is left to seal in the spaces left by the writer.
All the four works of literature deal with issues that confront people in daily life, and the authors have constructed these works such that the reader can see the similarities and differences. For instance, one poem and one play talk about the issue of love. In the poem, the man loves the newly wedded wife, and he goes to search for her in the snowy night (Manifold 5). However, this is contrasted in the play where the couples are fighting before visitors. The two works of literature are related in that women are not satisfied by their husbands, and they leave the husbands. The wife in the poem goes out in the snow, and wife in the play decides to cheat on her spouse with a young man. The other poem and play deal with emotions, and the writers of these works of literature focus on emotions that disturb people. In the play, the characters are disillusioned by the American dream, and the child in the poem is wondering about the onset of summer.