Have you ever put together a large jigsaw puzzle? When you put away the
puzzle, sometimes the pieces get lost or bent. If they do, when you take it back
out and try to reassemble it, the puzzle is not complete; the overall picture,
however, is still satisfying. In John Donne's "No Man Is an Island," the author
similarly says that the inhabitants of the world comprise a team. When the team
(the world) loses a player, the team is not complete, but it finds some way to
move on without that player. Every player is like a pebble that has been
dropped onto a perfectly still pond; the consequence of the impact ripples out
from the center. The ripples reach all sides of the pond, in a far-reaching
expression of cause and effect.
Donne begins his poem by telling the reader that every man is a part of a
whole: "No man is an island, entire of its self; every man is a piece of the
continent, a part of a main" ("No Man Is An Island" sent. 1). He asserts that no
person is entirely by himself. Every person is somehow connected to the world.
Regardless of whether he is aware of it, he makes his mark in some way. He
sends his own ripples out, his own cause and effect; he is a part of the whole
of the world. All beings and all things in the world are to work together as a
team for one common goal, such as to co-exist. Every human has some kind of
connection with someone or something else. No one is complete with out anything
or anyone else, and everyone is a part of a whole.
In the middle of his poem, the author writes metaphors that discuss pieces
missing from a whole in different forms. "If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if...