Richard Cory Apathy

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Society’s struggles often go unrecognized by the people standing by. Many people are afraid to act upon a difficult situation such as: someone getting bullied, or noticing someone’s purse getting stolen, and doing nothing about it. The flaws from the 21st century generation that is learned from ancestors, such as someone’s neglect and lack of empathy. Both “Richard Cory” and “Musee des Beaux Arts” emphasize the importance of apathy and empathy. Although the protagonist and subject in both stories have struggles, they both suggest that society should be more observant on seeing what’s wrong. The conflict presented in each poem is ignored by society and treated as if it is not actually happening. Scenarios like this happen around each individual…show more content…
Lack of apathy in both poems is a shared trait of the townspeople as well as the shipmen. Which then lead to terrible outcomes. In “Richard Cory”, the speaker says “So on we waited for the light,” using a collective “we” to talk about the townspeople’s neglect to the situation (Robinson 13). The townspeople continued their days, looking up to Richard Cory, unwilling to act upon what was wrong. Instead of praising Richard Cory for being the “perfect” subject created by society, the townspeople should have acted upon his struggles, showing apathy and not ignoring their shunning of the situation, which was created by the environment around them. If living in a society where people showed apathy towards others, and trying to help those in need, then Richard maybe wouldn’t have killed himself. Without taking action, any situation goes unresolved, much like Richard Cory’s and the subject in “Musée des Beaux Arts”. When the shipmen and plowman ignore the innocent boy falling from the sky, he continues to drown, much like Richard Cory’s situation. The speaker says “The plowman may have heard the splash, the forsaken cry” (Auden 16), representing the plowman and shipmen to society’s unwillingness to help because the “forsaken cry” was avoided. The ignorance of the “innocent” plowman and shipmen create an outcome of a young boy falling out of the sky—drowning—and Icarus burning in the background. With the apathy to act upon the situation, outcomes would have been changed. The boy wouldn’t have drowned. Much like in the 21st century bullying situations, where innocent boys and girls commit suicide because of their experiences with being bullied. The bystanders call to action being ignored makes the bully more motivated, reaching a point of mentally and physically draining the bullied person. For many
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