The Many Ways Of Life And Agriculture By Thomas C. Foster Essay

The Many Ways Of Life And Agriculture By Thomas C. Foster Essay

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Since ancient times, a stable civilization could only subsist if it were able to take advantage of the earth and its weather. Agriculture heavily depended upon the cycling of seasons to grow food and therefore, if one could not adapt to the different phases of weather, he or she would simply not survive. Subsequently, this way of life and agriculture ultimately united people and led to the formation of agrarian societies. Essentially, the ability to harvest food meant the ability to live. Consequently, seasons naturally became symbolically associated with life since it was directly tied to farming and food. Furthermore, as time progressed, the various symbolic meanings of seasons have found their way into many works of literature. In fact, Thomas C. Foster, an English Professor at the University of Michigan-Flint plainly states in his literary criticism book, “How to Read Literature Like a Professor,” what each of the four seasons generally symbolize: “. . . spring has to do with childhood and youth, summer with adulthood fulfillment, autumn with decline and middle age and tiredness but also harvest, winter with old age and resentment and death” (94). In both “my father moved through the dooms of live,” written by E.E. Cummings, and “The Swimmer,” written by the John Cheever, the authors effectively utilize each season, as well as their cycle to represent the inevitable passage of time and the process of life and death.
In the spring and summer time, the abundance of sunlight and rain has led to the acceptance as these particular seasons as a time of youth, growth, and general positivity. This universal truth is clear in both Cummings’ poem and Cheever’s short story. For instance, Cummings describes his sensation father as a ma...


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...ending the poem in the winter time. In doing so, Cummings is attempting to illustrate that the process of life and death is an incessant cycle – just as in the repetition of a farmer plowing, growing, and harvesting their food every year.
From the renewing spring filled with pleasure and happiness to the dormant winter filled with senility and conclusion, it is undoubtedly clear that the cycling of spring, summer, autumn, and winter is a direct representation of life and death in literature. As shown in both, “both “my father moved through the dooms of live” and “The Swimmer,” seasons constantly come and go, and society subconsciously creates seasonal associations that writers can employ in their works of literature. Just as in the growth and harvest of the world’s crops year after year, the cycle of life is perpetual process that will continue until the end of time.

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