The Relationship Between Man and God Essay

The Relationship Between Man and God Essay

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Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “Carrion Comfort” was written after his ordainment as a Jesuit priest, and his conversion from a High Church Anglican. At the time of his ordainment, Manley Hopkins believed practicing poetry interfered with his relationship with God and thus led him to give up poetry almost entirely for seven years. However, in 1872 he recanted this belief and returned to writing. In 1884 he accepted a position teaching Greek and Latin at the University College Dublin. During his time in Ireland, Manley Hopkins went through stages of depression due to feelings of isolation, (from being separated from his friends in England, his disagreement with the politics of the time, and some distasteful things about teaching.) After this time, his struggle with depression influenced his writing of what are known as the “terrible sonnets,” which includes the poem “Carrion Comfort,” (Everett Glenn, 1988.) More so than the remaining “terrible sonnets, the voice of the speaker in “Carrion Comfort” appears to be further influenced by this era of struggle in Gerard Manley Hopkins life.
In “Carrion Comfort,” the relationship between God and man appears to be primarily antagonistic. However, upon greater analysis of the imagery, rhetorical devices, and structure of the poem, an alternate interpretation is revealed. The speaker’s relationship with God is characterized by his recognition of God’s superiority and omnipotence, and the resulting struggle toward understanding of a larger plan. Although the man struggles throughout the poem to submit to divine will, his faith and recognition of God’s power prevent him from totally denouncing God. Further, their relationship is characterized by the speaker’s ability to recognize the benefits of ...


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...-Webster. Merriam-Webster, 2013. Web. 15 Dec. 2013. .

Glenn, Everett. "Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Brief Biography." Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Brief Biography. The Victorian Web, 1988. Web. 15 Dec. 2013. .

Hopkins, Gerard Manley. “Carrion Comfort.” The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms. Eds. Mark Strand and Eavan Boland. New York/London: Norton, 2000. 64. Print.

Job. The Holy Bible: New International Version. Colorado Springs, CO: International Bible Society, 1984. Print.

Proverbs. The Holy Bible: New International Version. Colorado Springs, CO: International Bible Societyy, 1984. Print.

Page, Philip. "Unity And Subordination In 'Carrion Comfort'." Victorian Poetry 14.(1976): 25-32. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.

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