Essay on Rilke and the Animals

Essay on Rilke and the Animals

Length: 1237 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In the opening of Rilke's "Duino Elegies" the first mention of the animal is a as a creature that sees "at once how little at home we are in the interpreted world." (5) What are the sources of discomfort for humans and how are mere animals able to perceive it? The answer lies in the depths of human consciousness and its many constructs. I begin with the main points of Rilke's view of human consciousness and the implications this has for our way of existing such as our limitations. In contrast to the human consciousness I will describe the existence of animals and from this model show how Rilke suggests a consciousness attainable by humans that parallels with the animal consciousness.

In Rilke's "Duino Elegies" there is one vital component that guides the multiple elegies to their fruition of the alternative consciousness and that is the implications and subsequent critiques of our human consciousnesses. The duality of conscious in opposition to the subconscious existing within all humans is the source of the dichotomies that are drawn in the interpreted world. These dichotomies include: father and mother; pain and joy; up as opposed to down; the internal and external; self and not-self; the exclusive responsibilities of our senses and so on. Internal division is fundamental in describing the two selves; one the actor and the other the observer of the actor leaving the self who knows he is being watched self-conscious and therefore distracted from the moment, the present. Humans are absorbed by the evaluation of the self and subsequently don't take notice of the freedom that lies in moving outside ones-self. The eyes of perception are compared to traps at every exit from our body blocking us from a kind of freedom. (47...

... middle of paper ... an alternative consciousness. The animals don't live by dichotomies or the constructs of humankind that make us fear pain and time - animals live in the present. While we are constrained by language, this construct also gives us the opportunity to break down the dichotomies we have created. With the breakdown of dichotomies, once separated things have the opportunity to join again together and within ourselves - making the world disappear. This is the eventual goal of humans in the struggle against our consciousness, to become or to interiorize the external.

"Duino Elegies" begins with a critique and moves through to analyze our consciousness in relation to other special creatures. The analysis points to what may be helpful for humans to achieve the alternative consciousness where we are not directed by uncertainty but are contented in the "real world."

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Nature and Humanity, a Comparison of Poems Essay

- When humans and nature come together, they either coexist harmoniously because nature's inhabitants and humans share a mutual respect and understanding for each other, or they clash because humans attempt to control and force their ways of life on nature. The poems, "The Bull Moose" by Alden Nowlan, "The Panther" by Rainer Maria Rilke, "Walking the Dog" by Howard Nemerov, and "The Fish" by Elizabeth Bishop, describe what happens when humans and nature come together. I believe that when humans and nature come together they either clash and conflict because individuals destroy and attempt to control nature, which is a reflection of their powerful need to control themselves, or humans live peac...   [tags: Poetry Nowlan Rilke Nemerov Bishop]

Good Essays
1540 words (4.4 pages)

Essay about Robotic Pets and Animals

- In this paper I will argue robotic pets will be able to, and should be anthropomorphized like animals and will be able to take the place of pets in the lives of those unable to have pets. Anthropomorphism is the interpretation of something that is not human, as having human characteristics. This can also be called personification. Anthropomorphism was originally used to make the gods of religions more human like, but has since spread to anything non-human, such as animals, weather, or landforms....   [tags: Anthropomorphized Animals, Robot Animals]

Good Essays
1955 words (5.6 pages)

Should Animals Be A Animal Friendly? Essay

- There has always been a cruelty free presence in the product industry, but it appears that there are more companies transitioning from non-cruelty free to cruelty free. The change has taken a few years to finally come into full effect. While there are companies doing the transition to become animal friendly, there are just as many companies that refuse to cooperate and change their production. Not only does the product industry use animals to test human products on but the scientific community does so as well....   [tags: Animal testing, Testing cosmetics on animals]

Good Essays
1698 words (4.9 pages)

Animals In Our Society Essay

- “Much as we might want to understand animals at a level deeper than pop culture, we can only understand them in terms of our own experiences, language and emotions, and interpreted within our social, historical and cultural contexts. The only way we have of understanding animals is to recognize that ‘when we gaze at animals we hold up a mirror to ourselves’ (Corbett, 176). Animal messages are brought to us by the pop culture industry, whose job it is to create, disseminate, and sell meaning. In most cases, they aren’t selling you a moose, but what a moose means to you for example – the characteristics and qualities that you and most people associate with the species....   [tags: Marketing Animals]

Good Essays
1576 words (4.5 pages)

Save the Animals: Say No to Animal Experimentation! Essay

- Most of the medications that we in market today have been tested and proven effective for animals before prescribing them to human beings. However, would it feel good to know that every year, hundreds of thousands of animals are captured from the wild and die just because of these said experiments. For many years now, scientists have been using animals for their laboratory experiments to produce new medicines. Although scientists have been using this process for many decades in the field of medicine, it is still a controversial issue for those who are pro animal experimentation and against animal experimentation....   [tags: Animal Experimentation, Animals,]

Good Essays
1206 words (3.4 pages)

Are Zoos Good or Bad for Animals? Essay

- Starting thousands of years ago, zoos attracted large crowds around the world (Fravel). Because of that, everyone today has seen, been to, or heard of a zoo at least once in their lifetime. However, people are missing valuable information that they need to know about zoos today. Do the zoos really do what most people think. There are 2,400 animal enclosures licensed by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, however only 212 are under strict requirements from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA); keep in mind that those numbers only involve the zoos in the United States (Fravel)....   [tags: animal conservation, animal behavior, animals]

Good Essays
1123 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about Animals In Captivity

- Animals In Captivity Wild animals are known as “wild” animals for a purpose. If wild animals were intended to be kept shut up in a jail, also known as a zoo, then what exactly is the point of contacting them wild animals anymore. Zoo authorities use many justifications to back up their place that having wild animals in captivity is necessary, but those justifications are neither moral nor necessary enough reasons to deny animals of their organic right to independence. Even under the best of conditions at the best of zoos, captivity cannot even begin to evaluate up to wild animals’ organic settings....   [tags: zoos, wild animals, wildlife crises]

Good Essays
2014 words (5.8 pages)

Endangered Animals Essay

- Many people say they care about endangered species, but what do they actually do to help. Some people, like the ones that work for WWF (World Wildlife Fund), decide to take action. “WWF is building a future where human needs are met in harmony with nature,” ( The organization helps both the environment and endangered species. Not only does WWF lets you adopt endangered animals symbolically, but it also does many things to help empower communities and promote conservation. Since climate change is becoming a larger problem each day, WWF helps underdeveloped communities cope with the problem, live more sustainably, and take action against it....   [tags: National Geographic, Animals]

Good Essays
1869 words (5.3 pages)

Rainer Maria Rilke Essay

- Rainer Maria Rilke 	"Rose, o pure contradiction, desire to be no one’s sleep beneath so many lids." This was Rainer Maria Rilke’s self-composed epitaph, written before leukemia took his life on December 29, 1926. The rose was a symbol of love, beauty, and devotion in many of Rilke’s writings.With quotes such as this Rilke became known as one of the best poets of the 20th century. 	Rainer Maria Rilke was born on December 4, 1875 in Prague, which is now the capital of Czechoslovakia....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
397 words (1.1 pages)

Animals In Buddhism Essay

- When my family first arrived in the dirty city of Bangkok, one of the first things my little sister asked me was “Why are there so many dogs everywhere?” Being the dog lover that she is, she was extremely disappointed to learn that these dogs were not only nobody’s pets, but that she also couldn’t pet them unless she wanted to get some weird fungus or sickness on the first couple days of her vacation. As I explained to them that the reason for all the dogs was because Thailand is mainly Buddhist and it is not in their fashion to kill these dogs, they still had a hard time accepting this fact seeing how miserable many of them look....   [tags: Animals Buddhism Karma]

Free Essays
1918 words (5.5 pages)