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Explication One Essay

799 words - 4 pages

E.E. Cumming's, "A man who had fallen among thieves," shows the difference and meaning of the compassion in Christian love. This entire poem is an allusion to the famous story in the Bible Jesus told of the Good Samaritan. When a person questioned Jesus as to how to be a good neighbor, Jesus told him a story of a man being robbed and left on the side of the road to die. Many citizens and even a priest walked by and saw the man but left him, then there was one "good Samaritan" who dressed the man's wounds and took him to an inn and gave the inn keeper money to look after the robbed man. Done with his story, Jesus asked the man which of the men in the story was the good neighbor and when the ...view middle of the document...

The sudden alliteration in line 6, "emancipated evening", draws the reader's attention to these words and the depravity of the situation is made clear, that is how a similar situation could happen to any individual. E. E. Cummings then goes on to describe the passersby. He describes them as "staunch" and "leal citizens" (9), that by ignoring the body feel they are doing a sort of civic duty. They would come up to the body and realize what occurred but would move on due to a "hypercivic zeal" (11) or due to not paying attention and thinking the man was asleep (16). The dozen passersby that Cummings described would distract themselves with "newer pastures" (12). In the last two stanzas of the poem the already intense imagery becomes all the more concentrated. Cummings goes on to describe the man's body's position. He explains that there was one hand on his vest and the other was "clenched weakly [to the] dirt" (18). By clenching the dirt it not only shows the pain the elderly man was in but also shows he is trying to hold on to his life as long as he can. He then goes to say that the man was so hurt that he couldn't even...

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