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Essay is a literary composition devoted to the presentation of the writer's own ideas on a topic and generally addressing a particular aspect of the subject. Often brief in scope and informal in style, the essay differs from such formal expository forms as the thesis, dissertation, or treatise.

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Cicero, Plutarch and Seneca were among the frontrunners in the field of essay as inspired by the Renaissance period (rebirth).

Essay were fundamental invention of the Renaissance and particularly of the French writer Michel Eyquem de Montaigne.

The development of the form (essay) may be considered as a result of the Renaissance emphasis of the individual, which fostered exploration of one’s inner self in relation to the outside world.

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Montaigne's Essais (as he called the brief personal meditations in prose that he began to publish in 1580) were created in a time of great intellectual and social reorientation—a time when Some of the major topics of essay were the following:

1.death and the possibility of an afterlife and exploration relationships

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When Renaissance individualism began to decline, essayists very commonly assumed personas, using descriptive pseudonyms, or they remained anonymous.

A pseudonym often persuaded readers that they shared something in common with the essayist. Thus, not only for his own protection but perhaps also to establish rapport with his audience.

Jonathan Swift signed himself “A Drapier” in The Drapier's Letters (1724-1725), and pretended to be an economist in “A Modest Proposal” (1729)—both highly provocative commentaries on conditions in Ireland.

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Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele were observations on the social and political scene; the periodical in which they were published was called The Spectator (1711-1712).

Charles Lamb, one of the great English masters of the essay form, became “the gentle Elia,” using a name borrowed from a fellow clerk to sign his essays.In calling his essays on London life Sketches by Boz (1836)—borrowing his brother's childhood nickname—the English writer Charles Dickens continued the tradition.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) an American humorist and a prodigious assumer of personas whose social criticism was voiced in essays variously signed Sergeant Fathom, Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass, Satan, or W. Epaminondas Adrastus Blabb.

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The essay is a flexible form and can be developed at the writer's will.

It may be formal, as in Essays, or Counsels Civil and Moral (1597-1625) of the English philosopher and statesman Sir Francis Bacon, or casually conversational.

It may be lyrical, as in Maine Woods (1864) by the American philosopher Henry David Thoreau, or oracular, as in the essays of another American transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson—for example “Fate” (1860).

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An essay may adopt the form of a letter, embodying whimsical comments on contemporary values.

Bold contemporary experimenters in the essay form include the American writers Norman Mailer, who developed a style combining biography, cinematic documentary, history, journalism, and fiction. Armies of the Night (1968), reflections on the protests against the Vietnam War (1959-1975).

Tom Wolfe, whose essays (many of them collected in The Purple Decades,1982) are devastatingly witty commentaries on contemporary American trends.

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American writer and editor, born in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He was a founder and editor (1924-41) of the Saturday Review of Literature. Morley was a prolific writer of novels, essays, and poems, marked by stylistic dexterity and a facile combination of sentiment and satire. Among his novels are Parnassus on Wheels (1917), which deals with an itinerant bookseller, and Kitty Foyle (1939), a realistic story of an Irish American girl.

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Parnassus, mountain, central Greece, rising to an altitude of 2,457 m (8,061 ft). In Greek mythology, Parnassus was sacred to the god Apollo, whose oracle, Delphi, was situated at its base. It was also believed to be a favorite habitation of the Muses and a center of musical and poetic inspiration. Parnassus was also the site of worship of the gods Pan and Dionysus.

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Kitty Foyle, motion picture about a poor woman who struggles to succeed financially and romantically in the white-collar business world, based on the novel by Christopher Morley. Released in 1940, this Academy Award-winning film stars Ginger Rogers as Kitty Foyle. She admires Wyn Strafford (played by Dennis Morgan), a high-society man, from afar and eventually becomes his secretary. They begin a romance, but their class differences get in the way and they break up. Kitty forms a casual relationship with another man named Mark. When Kitty and Mark fall in love, Wyn returns to the scene hoping to rekindle their romance.

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Panel From the Gates of Paradise

This is a portion of one of the ten panels designed by the Italian Renaissance artist Lorenzo Ghiberti between 1425 and 1452 for the east doors of the baptistery of the Florence Cathedral. This panel tells the story of Joseph in Egypt from the Bible. The doors, made of gilt bronze, were known as the Gates of Paradise. Their style was influenced by classical Roman art.

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This carving from the door of a Norwegian stave church is an excellent example of Viking art, which flourished in Scandinavia from about 800 to 1050. Viking design emphasized intertwining, sinuous shapes, usually detailing animals and often including people. The Vikings incorporated legend into their art, in this case a portion of the legend of Siegfried (also known as Sigurd), a German warrior and hero who acquired fabulous treasure and slew dragons, only to die through the treachery of those nearest him. This carving illustrates the last hours of Siegfried’s mortal enemy, Gunther (also known as Gunnar), who plays a lute with his toes as he lies dying in a snake-pit.

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Harnett’s The Cupboard Door William Harnett’s meticulous renderings of everyday objects—especially books, newspapers, musical instruments, and sheet music—made them appear to be actual three-dimensional objects placed upon a real door, wall, or other flat surface. This techique of visual trickery is known as trompe l’oeil, French for “fool the eye.” Harnett became one of the best-known American still-life painters in the late 1800s.

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Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come to him, and will sup with him, and

he with me.King James Bible 

Revelation 3:20

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The story of my life is about back entrances and side doors and

secret elevators and other ways of getting in and out of places so

that people won't bother you.Attributed to Greta Garbo (1905 - 1990)

Swedish-born U.S. film actor.

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When one door shuts, another opens.

Anonymous Proverb.

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Open Door Policy, term that refers to the principle of equal trading rights in China at the end of the 19th century. It is also used to describe policies of equal trading rights in other countries.

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1. Dusk - period after day but before night2. Inscrutable – mysterious3. Flit – moving from place to place4. Hinges - movable joints of metal or plastic

used to fasten two things. 5. Slatted - a small opening; a peephole6. Concealment - something to hide7. Genteel – well - mannered8. Cataclysmic – disastrous or devastating9. Blissful – perfectly happy10. Anguish – extreme anxiety11. Seizure - act of stopping something12. Rigmarole – human business or rituals

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The opening and closing of door are the most significant actions of man’s life. What a mystery lies in doors!

No man knows what awaits him when he opens the door. Even the most familiar room, where the clock ticks and the heart glows red at dusk, my harbour surprises. The plumber may actually have called (while you were out) and fixed that leaking faucet. The cook may have had a fit of the vapours and demanded her passports. The wise man opens his front door with humility and a spirit of acceptance.

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Which one of us has not sat in some anteroom and watched the inscrutable panels of a door that was full of meaning? Perhaps you were waiting to apply for a job, perhaps you had some “deal” you were ambitious to put over. You watched the confidential stenographer flit in and out, carelessly turning the mystic portal which, to you, revolved on hinges of fate. And then the young woman said, “Mr. Cranberry will see you now.” As you grasped the knob the thought flashed, “When I open this door again, what will have happened?”

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There are many kinds of doors. Revolving doors for hotels, shops and public buildings. These are typical of the brisk, bustling ways of modern life. Can you imagine John Milton or William Penn skipping through a revolving door? Then there are curious little slatted doors that still swing outside denatured bar – rooms and extend only from shoulder to knee. There are trapdoors, sliding doors, double doors, stage doors, prison doors, glass doors. But the symbol and mystery of a door resides in its quality of concealment. A glass door is not a door at all, but a window. The meaning of a door is to hide what lies inside to keep the heart in suspense.

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Also, there are many ways of opening doors. There is the cheery push of elbow with which the waiter shoves open the kitchen door when he bear in you the tray of supper. There is the suspicious and tentative withdrawal of a door before the unhappy book agent or peddler. There is the genteel and carefully modulated recession with which footmen swing wide the oak barriers of the great. There is the sympathetic and awful silence of the dentist’s maid who opens the door into the operating room, and, without speaking, implies that the doctor’s ready for you. There is the brisk cataclysmic opening of a door when the nurse comes in, very early in the morning, “It’s a boy!”

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Doors are the symbol of privacy, of retreat, of the mind’s escape into a blissful quietude or sad secret struggle. A room without doors is not a room, but a hallway. No matter where he is, a man can make himself at home behind a closed door. Men are not horses to be herded together. Dogs know the meaning and anguish of doors. Have you ever noticed a puppy yearning at a shut portal? It is a symbol of human life.

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The opening of a door is a mystic act; it has in it some flavor of the unknown, some sense of moving into a new moment, anew patterns of the human rigmarole. It includes the highest glimpses of mortal gladness; reunions, reconciliations, the bliss of lovers long parted. Even in sadness, the opening of a door may bring relief; it changes and distributes human forces. But the closing of doors is far more terrible. It is a confession of finality. Every door closed brings something to an end. And there are degrees of sadness in the closing of doors. A door slammed is a confession of weakness.

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A door gently shut is often the most tragic gesture in life. Everyone knows the seizure of anguish that comes just after the closing of a door, when the loved one is still near within sound of voice, and yet already far away.

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