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    “The Monument,” by Elizabeth Bishop Essay

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    The poem “The Monument,” by Elizabeth Bishop can be thematically deconstructed in many ways. At first glance, the poem is about a tangible and solid object. The speaker describes this object, a monument, very thoroughly. After further examination and explication it is evident that the poem is not about one object, but about many intangible things such as creativity, art, and intuition. The Bear and Ode on a Grecian Urn The Bear, by William Faulkner and Ode on a Grecian Urn, by John Keats share common ideas. In both works, the main character finds an object to expand their horizons and their minds.

    Eventually, both objects become untouchable and fall out of time. In addition to falling out of time, both items represent truth to the narrator in that what they represent never changes. In The Bear, Ike does not realize real courage without the bear. In the scene where the fyce attacks the bear, Ike learns what courage really is. In this fashion, the bear is critical for Ike to progress and grow. Ike grows older, and the days of his youth are fleeting, yet the bear, is present throughout his lifetime and is always there. In this way, the bear, to Ike, represents truth.

    Although the bear may change, what it represents does not change. The bear is the symbol of the everlasting and encompassing wilderness. In the scene in which Ike is face to face with the bear, Ike realizes that the bear is what catalyzes his growth and that killing the bear would serve no purpose. At this point, the bear becomes almost immortal in that people who sought to kill it could not, and those who had a chance, didn t kill it. Throughout the story, even before it became immortal the bear was out of time because many people tried to kill the bear and they did not succeed.

    As years passed, the hunters grew older, yet the bear was still the same old bear. In an Ode on a Grecian Urn, the urn is quite immortal. The speaker talks about the scene depicted on the urn. The scene is out of time, as well as the whole urn itself, in that what it depicts is in the past and cannot be changed. The picture of happiness will be eternally engraved onto the side of the urn. This permanence of the urn and the scene depicted on it, are all antithetical to what human life really is: transitory and fleeting.

    As human life may pass, the urn is something greater, it is a metaphysical presence that will always be there. The urn helps the speaker learn and progress in much the same way that the bear helps Ike learn. It forces the speaker to look inward. The speaker imagines the meaning of the scenes depicted on the urn and the unheard melodies being sweeter than heard ones represents the urn s ability to force the speaker into creating his own story, a unique story that will be different to everyone who looks at the urn.

    In this way, the urn can represent everything that one has yet to experience. In both works, an item has force the main characters to look inward for answers and in the process has become a heralded object no longer stuck in the frame of time. Both objects represent opposites in that they are permanent while the frame of human life is finite and transitory. Objects leading to enlightenment by provoking thought from within are a main characteristic of both these stories.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    “The Monument,” by Elizabeth Bishop Essay. (2018, Mar 31). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/the-monument-by-elizabeth-bishop-44269/

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