A Comforting View Of Death In William Cullen Bryant’s "Thanatopsis"

661 words - 3 pages

Chuck Palahniuk once said, “The first step to eternal life, is you have to die.” In William Cullen Bryant’s poem “Thanatopsis”, he does not mention eternal life or anything religious, but speaks about death. He tells his readers that death is a natural thing and they should not worry about it. William Cullen Bryant, in his poem “Thanatopsis”, portrays a comforting view of death. Throughout the poem, Bryant encourages his readers by explaining that in death they are not alone, that death, like life, is a natural process, and that they will be among some of the finest people who walked the earth.
Bryant uses the fact that we are not alone in death to comfort his readers. Through this, he explains that when people die, they will be reunited with loved ones that they have lost in the past. He also explains that even those who have not died yet will die eventually and they will be with them again as well. He says, “Yet not to thine eternal resting place shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish for a couch more magnificent.” By saying this, Bryant is stating that everyone dies and that one could not wish for a resting place more magnificent than the earth. Bryant goes on to say that people will be missed, but eventually will be reunited with the people they love. In addition to Bryant’s portrayal of death as comforting, he also depicts it as a part of nature.
Bryant explains that death, like life, is a part of nature, which was a loved and cherished aspect of the nineteenth century. In the period of Romanticism, nature was an important ideal; it was viewed as the source for everything. In “Thanatopsis”, Bryant uses nature as a comfort zone, saying that when one dies, they will become a part of nature. He says that the bodies will be used to nurture the earth. Bryant also mentions that we once were made as a part of...

Find Another Essay On A Comforting View of Death in William Cullen Bryant’s "Thanatopsis"

Theme of Death in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

1097 words - 4 pages Theme of Death in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" is a tragic tale of a Southern aristocrat, Miss Emily Grierson, who is the subject of a town's obsession.  The narrator, a member of the town, tells the story of what transpires in a decaying old Southern house that is always under the watchful eye of the townspeople.  They witness Miss Emily's life, her father's death, her turn to

The nature in "Thanatopsis by William Bryant and the American Scholar by Ralph Waldo Emerson"

1092 words - 4 pages like the one of the pioneers of Romantics period is Ralph Waldon Emerson, that I will discuss about him later in the one of his works is "The American Scholar", because Literary of Nationalism period gave the writers attempting to establish American literature to every one has own identity, freedom and independence. Thanatopsis is a view of death, which is a wonderful literary work that explores the often controversial questions of death. Bryant

Comparing Father and Child Relationships in Death of a Salesman and A View from the Bridge

2196 words - 9 pages Father and Child Relationships in Death of a Salesman and A View from the Bridge     In literature as in life, we go through events which are the effects of the relationships between parent and child.  In both plays Death of a Salesman and A View from the Bridge, Arthur Miller depicts the possessiveness of human nature through the eyes of Willy Loman and Eddie Carbone.  Willy and his son Biff exhibit an undoubtable strain in their

Willie Loman’s Corrupted View of the American Dream in Death of a Salesman

1075 words - 4 pages they are making millions of dollars a year. Kids set their goal to become a pro baseball player so that they can earn millions of dollars too. Arthur Miller does a great job illustrating the new, corrupted American Dream in his play “Death of a Salesman.” Arthur Miller shows us that the American Dream is valid, but those who hope to substitute popularity and lucky breaks for hard work are likely to fail. Miller does this by using

The Comic view of Love in "A Midsummers Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare

2319 words - 9 pages Sometimes in our lives reality can seem like a dream come true, in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," by William Shakespeare, to the characters, their dreams are reality. Shakespeare focuses on comic love scenes to portray dreams within reality and reality within dreams. The funniest part of this play seems to be when Puck, the trickster, keeps mixing up the people who he is assigned to put the love juice on. Even when he did put the love juice into

Eddie's Death in Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge

1866 words - 7 pages Eddie's Death in Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge Arthur Miller described this play as being "the slum that faces the bay on the seaward side of Brooklyn Bridge…the gullet of New York" Arthur Miller was born on October 1915, in New York City. His parents were both immigrants to the USA. Miller's family lived in prosperity due to the success of his father's clothing manufacturing business. However as the

Sarty's Point of View in Barn Burning by William Faulkner

1751 words - 7 pages Sarty's Point of View in Barn Burning by William Faulkner William Faulkner elected to write “Barn Burning” from his young character Sarty’s perspective because his sense of morality and decency would present a more plausible conflict in this story. Abner Snopes inability to feel the level of remorse needed to generate a truly moral predicament in this story, sheds light on Sarty’s efforts to overcome the constant “pull of blood”(277) that

An Abstract View of Death in Mrs.Dalloway and The Hours

1967 words - 8 pages An Abstract View of Death in Mrs.Dalloway and The Hours Works Cited Missing In Mrs. Dalloway and The Hours contradictory and almost altered views of death are presented. Virginia Woolf and Michael Cunningham portray death as escape for some, but an entrapment for others. It is no longer treated as a subject to worry about or fear, which society now views it as. A line from Shakespeare's Cymbeline, "Fear no more the

The Inaccurate View of Death in Today’s Society

876 words - 4 pages the chance to open his eyes and start living for the right reasons once again. Morrie has accepted this idea for a long time and has, with no doubt, lived his life to the fullest and resulted in other people’s realizations of this concept (Albom). Morrie Schwartz is the perfect example of the proper way to comprehend and cope with the truth and should be used as a role model for those with conflictions with the idea of death and dying. Society

The Theme of Death in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

1053 words - 4 pages The Theme of Death in William Shakespeare's Hamlet In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the protagonist, Hamlet is obsessed with the idea of death, and during the course of the play he contemplates death from numerous perspectives. He ponders the physical aspects of death, as seen with Yoricks's skull, his father's ghost, as well as the dead bodies in the cemetery. Hamlet also contemplates the spiritual aspects of the afterlife

Death in Lord of The Flies by William Golding

865 words - 4 pages Death and Social Collapse by Rebekah Bunting Oscar Hammling has said, "We die ourselves every time we kill in others something that deserved to live." Man's relationship with death from the hour of his birth and his inherent concern for himself above others are themes often used in literary works to depict mankind's mental, spiritual, and social weaknesses. Death is a prominent motif in William Golding's Lord of the Flies and specific events

Similar Essays

Death In Thanatopsis By William Cullen Bryant

570 words - 2 pages Death in Thanatopsis by William Cullen Bryant When people ponder death they wonder about the unknown with trepidation. As a young man, William Cullen Bryant wrote the "Thanatopsis." His thoughts progress from the fear of death to the acceptance of the event. People should not fear death because everyone dies and becomes a part of nature. A person should live life without fearing death and think of death as a pleasant rest. In the poem

A Review Of "Thanatopsis" By William Cullen Bryant

580 words - 2 pages occurrence to death. Death could simply be a time of rest that retires the bodies' of earthly beings, and allows the soul to wake. Upon waking the soul is freed, and enters a new plane of existence. This idea of a spiritual awakening is demonstrated in "Thanatopsis." In lines 50 and 51 Bryant writes, "Take the wings of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness." To me, the wings in this statement symbolize a spiritual, angelic being, and the morning suggests

Thanatopsis By William Cullen Bryant Essay

832 words - 3 pages The poem “Thanatopsis” by William Cullen Bryant reveals a very unusual aspect of nature. While most people think of nature as beauty and full of life, Bryant takes a more interesting approach to nature. He exposes a correlation between nature, life, death, and re-birth. Using nature as a foothold, Bryant exercises methods such as tone, setting, and imagery in a very intriguing way while writing “Thanatopsis.” First, tone is a very important

A Comparison Of Thomas Gray's Elegy (Eulogy) Written In A Country Churchyard And Bryant's Thanatopsis

1827 words - 7 pages A Comparison of Thomas Gray's Elegy (Eulogy) Written in a Country Churchyard and Bryant's Thanatopsis      Thomas Gray and William Cullen Bryant both chose to write about nature and death being intertwined. Since Thomas Gray lived in a time of social injustice, he chose to use death to illustrate the problems inherent in a socially stratified society. William Cullen Bryant, on the other hand, lived in a rapidly expanding young nation