Analysis Of The Poem ' Thanatopsis ' By William Cullen Bryant Essay

Analysis Of The Poem ' Thanatopsis ' By William Cullen Bryant Essay

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When mentioning death one’s mind immediately goes towards thoughts about an ending, whether that be the end of a loved one’s life, saying fair well to a beloved pet, or leaves falling in autumn. Throughout history, people have been inclined to view life as a celebration. Death on the other hand is generally treated as a solemn event. After the death of loved ones individuals gather to reminisce about the past because a journey has reached its inevitable conclusion. William Cullen Bryant, poet and author of “Thanatopsis,” aims to present an entirely new outlook on death. By utilizing personification, imagery, and personal beliefs, Bryant explores the majesty and beauty of not only one’s life on earth, but their death as well. Showing the intricacies and symbiosis of the various beings and objects in nature, he reveals the connections that all beings, human and plant alike, are all part of a common footprint. Additionally this poet strives to highlight that not only man’s heavenly future, but there earthly future as well. William Cullen Bryant compels the educated audience, who can delve deeply into “Thanatopsis,” to adopt a new outlook on existence, by appreciating the importance of those that came before, as well as life, and death.
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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Analysis Of The Poem ' Thanatopsis ' By William Cullen Bryant Essay

- When mentioning death one’s mind immediately goes towards thoughts about an ending, whether that be the end of a loved one’s life, saying fair well to a beloved pet, or leaves falling in autumn. Throughout history, people have been inclined to view life as a celebration. Death on the other hand is generally treated as a solemn event. After the death of loved ones individuals gather to reminisce about the past because a journey has reached its inevitable conclusion. William Cullen Bryant, poet and author of “Thanatopsis,” aims to present an entirely new outlook on death....   [tags: Life, Religion, William Cullen Bryant, Poetry]

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