Analysis Of The Piece ' Griffy The Cooper ' By Edgar Lee Masters Essay

Analysis Of The Piece ' Griffy The Cooper ' By Edgar Lee Masters Essay

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When reading the piece “Griffy the Cooper” by Edgar Lee Masters, many different points of emphasis arise throughout the poem. The three key points of emphasis are fairly striking, as well as they are all mutually exclusive of each other. These key points also create a triangular paradox which replicates the cycle of creation. “Griffy the Cooper” makes the idea very clear that those who are still living can not truly know life, but the reasoning behind this notion follows the previously stated, paradoxical cycle, as it starts with the indication that while alive, people are trapped by this “tub” that is their own mental construct , then the speaker progresses to the concept that people are trapped within themselves, and finally that their experiences and the world around them is what constitutes each individual’s “tub”.
As a cooper is one who makes barrels or tubs, the speaker immediately provides the reader with the idea that he is acutely aware of the concept and construction of containers. While that seems unimportant, this fact is followed up with the statement, “And you who loiter around these graves Think you know life,” (Lines 3-4). That statement suggests that those who are alive, as only living people are able to physically visit a gravesite, are unable to clearly fathom the extent of the life they are living. Following up that statement are lines 5 and 8, which express to the reader, “You think your eye sweeps about a wide horizon, perhaps. In truth you are only looking around the interior of your tub.” The mental construct of which “Griffy the Cooper” suggests each individual has their own of, is a construct that imprisons each individual. Each person’s “tub” not only keeps them from, as line 10 states, being...

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...s cycle can repeat or reverse, and in some cases it can blur the lines of what defines a true individual, but individuality prevails as each person is a construct of their own world and their personality is built on that framework, allowing true individuality to flourish in whatever direction it chooses. The real transcendence of the human mind comes from understanding that individuality is free, yet the world tries to set boundaries for it, but once it is understood that individuality can bloom in any way possible, one can view all the wonders of life that are impossible to fathom with the preconceived notions of the “tub,” the assumptions constructed that form each person’s self, and the rules and constraints the world sets for people. Once an individual’s individuality is set free they can truly know all of life’s wonderful and sometimes horrifying peculiarities.

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