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Nature And Humanity, A Comparison Of Poems

1584 words - 6 pages

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 peacefully with nature because not only do they admire and respect nature, but also they can see themselves in nature.

The poem "The Bull Moose" illustrates that when humans and nature come together, they clash and conflict because humans attempt to control nature in order fulfill their need to control themselves. In the poem, the moose is on his death march and searching for a place to die peacefully. During his search, after leaving his natural environment of "trees [and] mountain[s]," the moose approaches a "pole-fenced pasture." This "fenced pasture" symbolizes the division between the moose's natural free environment and the environment dominated and controlled by humans. When the moose reaches the environment dominated by humans, he approaches the cattle, and rather than greeting the moose in a friendly manner, the cattle symbolically move "to the other end of the field" because they realize that the moose is not like them and does not belong in their environment. This situation illustrates the clash between the human environment and nature because, unlike the domesticated cattle, the moose is a wild animal that would pose as a reminder to humanity of their wild and unpredictable nature, and therefore, threatening their strictly controlled society. When the townspeople encounter the moose, they treat him as though he was their property because they attempt to control and overpower the moose. For example, Nowlan uses the image of the men pry[ing] open [the moose's] jaws with bottles" to show how humans try to have power over the moose. Although this image illustrates how humans are able to control the moose, I believe the use of the word "pry" suggests that this control was not easy, but was rather hard and difficult, which further suggests the idea that the moose and the townspeople are clashing rather than blending together. I believe this situation suggests that humanity and nature will continue to clash because humans believe that they are superior to nature, and therefore, they view nature as something they can control and exploit. In addition, this situation reflects humanity's powerful need to control themselves because the townspeople believe that by controlling the moose, they are able to keep not only the moose's wild nature under...

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