Comparing Poems 'Thanatopsis And The Ambitious Guest'

471 Words2 Pages

Kristen Beidleman
Life Lessons Through Nature
Nature is expressed in the world in many ways like beauty, peace, and youth, but it can also teach people lessons on how to live their life. The poem “Thanatopsis” by William Bryant, the short story of “ The Ambitious Guest” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the essay “ Self Reliance” by Ralph Emerson all have lessons on how to live through nature. The poem Thanatopsis is about what nature has to say about death and dying. It discusses how everyone experiences death and it should be not be feared but embraced. The lesson teached by nature is explained through the quote “Go forth, under the open sky, and list
To Nature’s teachings, while from all around
Earth and her waters, and the …show more content…

He expresses his wishes to leave a mark on the world before he dies to the family. Soon a major avalanche occurs and throws the family into panic. They all run outside towards the safe place but all the family members including the young traveler meet their death. The house is left undamaged and people who arrive at the scene disagree about the presence of the young traveler. In a fateful turn of events the young man’s wish of a grand legacy, his plans and dreams are utterly lost.The fact that the family lives in a very precarious place - next to a mountain where there have been many landslides and that a slide can occur at any moment -- is significant in this story because at the end, a slide does occur and the family and the guest are killed. Nature represents fate in the story. Neither the family nor the guest has any control over what happens to them in the story, in spite of the "ambitious" plans of the guest. The fact that the guest did not achieve any of his goals and how the family members did not achieve any great accomplishments become irrelevant when they are all killed. The irony of the story is that in spite of his plans, no one remembers the guest. They remember the family members because of everything they left behind. So nature is illustrate forces beyond our control in life in a symbolic

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