Through personification Bryant encourages readers to contemplate the wondrous beauty and behaviors that exists throughout nature. By highlighting the happenings of nature through actions primarily associated with humans, the audience’s ability to interpret this poem is enhanced. Throughout the detailing of one’s early life, aging and death, “Thanatopsis” frequently invokes the idea that nature plays a critical role in everyone’s life. When first reading the poem, readers may not see this direct person...
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...love affairs or of his religion” (Bigelow 280). One could theorize, that this poet characterized religious experiences as pertinent to merely individuals. Thus him imposing his religious views on others would somewhat limit their own individuality in terms of religion. Therefore Bryant strove to “look at death” from as objective view as possible. So while he still spoke of an all-knowing and seeing being, it is portrayed as nature. While “Thou shalt lie down/ with patriarchs of the infant world” (33-34), could be seen as a reference to heaven in “Thanatopsis,” within the framework of the poem it is more of an explicit reference to the oft-used phrase “ashes to ashes,” which comments on how everyone will shares the same origin and end. In spite of attempts to disguise his beliefs in “Thanatopsis,” a keen observer cannot deny the influence of his beliefs in this piece.
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