Essay Absence, Loneliness, and Filling the Void in “Zero Degrees”

Essay Absence, Loneliness, and Filling the Void in “Zero Degrees”

Length: 1616 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


The feelings of loss, or the void of a distant love are both attached to forms of grieving, and are symbolically tied to darkness, melancholy, and other negative things. The loss of a loved one, either to death, distance, or disagreement results in distress that often is expressed in many different ways. Solitude, longing, woe, and lament are the usual results of lovesickness, or grieving, and are forms of dealing with a loss of a relationship either physically, mentally, or both. When first reading “Zero Degrees” by Elizabeth Spires, my initial image was of the upcoming winter; cold, dark and long. The image of a person lamenting the absence of a loved one during a cold night, where the bedding itself is a reminder of what is lacking evokes feelings of solitude and sadness. These concepts all express a lack, or a void, something as humans we all strive to fill, and in the process, fear. In this essay I will look to uncover how ”Zero Degrees” conveys the concept of void and mourning in the context of relationships and nature.
The beauty of poetry is the ability to cross boundaries of description that prose cannot reach. In poetry there does not need to be a linear structure, a plot, or a coinciding reason for everything. Thoughts can become objects, emotions can become environments, and objects can become subjects. It is these qualities that I found in “0 Degrees” by Elizabeth Spires that drew me to undertake a further exploration of this poem and the symbolic elements of nature, memory, and emotion that work in tandem to draw in the reader. The title itself draws attention by the connotation of “Zero Degrees”, which in weather terminology, is the point in degrees Celsius where water freezes. Freezing or immobility is a theme ...


... middle of paper ...


... as well as a tendency to question what caused us to be left alone. Filling the void of loneliness is an experience tied to human awareness, and with that awareness comes the potential for despair, be it a temporary absence or a permanent one. The concept of loss haunts all of our nights, cold or not, as it reminds us of our own temporality in the world.





Works Cited
This is in progress – I just notated my sources for the draft in lieu of a fully MLA formatted works cited page.
Source – Elizabeth Spires’ poem
Source – Catharsis in psychoanalysis (Critical Theory by Tyson)
Source – Color definition White/black

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/skeleton-in-the-closet.html guilty secret
http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/skeleton+in+the+closet.html quoted definition 1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeleton_in_the_cupboard quoted definition 2

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Mass Media Filling the Moral Void Essay

- Mass Media Filling the Moral Void A walk down the streets of D.C. provides more than just exercise and scenery. It is a journey through the stages of Mass Media. The first newsstand one spots is full of every newspaper one could possibly want to read. A couple more steps down the sidewalk, and one can see the televisions flashing through the windows of ESPN Zone, and one is bombarded by the blaring sounds of radios from car stereos and stores alike. It is almost impossible to escape the claw of Mass Media, because there are very few places to which media influence does not extend....   [tags: Morals Ethics Television Entertainment Papers]

Powerful Essays
2404 words (6.9 pages)

Filling the Void with Love, Religion, and Vegetables: Vegetable Love by Annette Grim

- As humans, it is natural to seek to fill a void and people do so in different ways. Some choose to follow any choice of an array of religions. Others take a more secular path and venture into the worlds of illegal substances and alcohol. There are others still who believe that they are unable to be whole unless they have their soul mate by their side every second of every day. In “Vegetable Love” Annette Grim, a vigorous vegetarian, refers to her void as her spot. It is described as “a sort of Cartesian pineal gland that existed within her right rib cage....   [tags: vegetarian, obsession, relationship]

Powerful Essays
1125 words (3.2 pages)

Filling the Void: Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill and Others on Identity Essay

- ... The continuation of the chapter, which states that classes are created by capitalism, it is stated that the bourgeois exploits the proletarians with lower wages because of the idea of private property. The chapter goes on to say that revolutions happen and society will be restructured, but with capitalism in the country history is doomed to repeat itself. Only with communism, the essay states, can there be class equality among Europe. The next three chapters, "Proletarians and Communists", "Socialist and Communist Literature", and "Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Opposition Parties", just speak more specifically about the political party of communism and what it had...   [tags: philosophical beliefs and concepts]

Powerful Essays
1147 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Filling the Void: Hydraulic Fracturing

- Hydraulic fracturing, also commonly referred to as fracking, is a type of drilling for natural gas and oil that started in the 1940’s. In the beginning, when a well was slowing down, dynamite or TNT were placed inside the well head and detonated to help the flow of gas and oil by expanding natural cracks and veins in the earth. This method of fracking was used extensively for almost fifty years in the United States until the easy to mine and profitable oil had been almost completely tapped. A new form of hydraulic fracking was created in the early 90’s to help capture the less available oil and gas pockets remaining in the United States....   [tags: drilling for natural gas, fracking]

Powerful Essays
1272 words (3.6 pages)

Analysis Of Touching The Void By Joe Simpson Essay

- ... At the telling of the story, the peak had never been successfully climbed. That is one of the things that drew the men to the mountain, the hope of being the first to accomplish the climb. Joe and Simon had met in Chamonix in the French Alps about a year before attempting to climb Suila Grande. Climbing is an extreme sport where participants must rely on one another and in many instances, place their lives in the hands of those around them. Those climbing together must trust the people they climb with....   [tags: Human, Thought, Mind, Touching the Void]

Powerful Essays
933 words (2.7 pages)

Overloading The Void Essay

- Overloading the Void If everyone were to be asked if he or she were completely happy, what would be the majorities answer. Better yet, how many of those answers would be honest. It’s safe to say that everyone on the planet is striving for their own piece of the happiness pie, but many fail in ever finding it. Needless to say I am sure there are aspects in everyone’s life that cause moments of joy but is that joy being showered out by the stresses that come with everyday life. In a nation that promotes such excessive consumer consumption, many individuals are left feeling unsatisfied with life, due to the mass amount debt and limited free time....   [tags: Personal life, Happiness, Leisure, Hobby]

Powerful Essays
1376 words (3.9 pages)

Essay Filling of Vacancies and Compulsory Adjudication

- Filling of vacancies If a vacancy occurs in the office of the presiding officer of a labour court, or tribunal, or in the office of the chairman or any other member of a board or court the appropriate government shall appoint another person in accordance with the provisions of this Act to fill in the vacancy. Any vacancy in the office of presiding officer of a national tribunal shall be filled in by the central government in the like manner. Critical evaluation of Compulsory Adjudication The use of compulsory arbitration has raised controversies in India and opinions are widely divided about its utility and efficacy in maintaining industrial peace and securing to the workers their just deman...   [tags: arbitration, industrial relations]

Powerful Essays
1135 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi

- Captivity in Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi, is a strongly emphasized theme. Fideaus the protagonist is constantly constrained and surveilled within the realms of the Egyptian society subsequently being emotionally, and twice literally, captive. The significance of captivity in Woman at Point Zero is not only for plot or dramatic effect. In the writing of Woman At Point Zero Nawal El Saadawi wishes to inform the reader about the captivity felt by some women in suppressive countries. In this way, she means the protagonist Firdaus to not only represent one woman but many....   [tags: Woman at Point Zero]

Powerful Essays
1294 words (3.7 pages)

Elizabeth Bishop's Poem Filling Station Essays

- Elizabeth Bishop's Poem "Filling Station" In poetry many elements are used to bring life to a literary work. Some of these include style, structure, imagery, diction, and allusion. In Elizabeth Bishop's poem, Filling Station, the author uses them skillfully to create meaning in a story that otherwise would be banal. Her usage of expressive details supports the writing which helps the reader to imagine what the author is describing. Her style also appeals to the readers emotions and imagination to draw them into her harsh reality....   [tags: Elizabeth Bishop Filling Station Poetry Essays]

Powerful Essays
522 words (1.5 pages)

Filling the Void: Oppression in Funny Boy Essay

- Social contrasts and gender boundaries create oppression and injustice amongst the characters in Shyam Selvadurai's Funny Boy. This injustice affects the composure and behaviour of the characters throughout the novel and it appears in every aspect throughout Funny Boy. Oppression emerges within the Chelvaratnam family, who are displeased by Arjie's "tendencies", and the likelihood that he will grow up "funny." Oppression also surfaces between the Sinhalese and Tamils with ethnic riots in Sri Lanka's society....   [tags: World Literature]

Powerful Essays
758 words (2.2 pages)