7 Pages


WithWinifred Ernst

Throughout Fables, Dryden works through many iterations of peace. Few are harmonious, and most involve compromise, but peace is a consistent and overriding concern. It is with peace as it is with many themes in Fables: Dryden embodies a method whereby he introduces one idea first, and then follows by presenting an opposing but equally attractive idea. The mixing of audiences and genres perfectly positions the miscellany to offer oppositional voices and truths that are not simple. This opposition throughout Fables could cause the work to appear fragmented and contradictory, yet this structure of contrarieties also is a fruit of Dryden’s experience, creating an intimacy with a reader who could be described as modern—one who, after living through a sufficient number of changes, realizes it is possible to see a truth and a counter-truth simultaneously.