William Carlos Williams 'Complete Destruction'

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William Carlos Williams has always been known as a revolutionary figure in American Poetry. Williams’s “Complete Destruction” is more than a simple poem about the loss of a family cat; it’s about the coldness of death, bluntness of dominion, and, ultimately, how our detritus and pains are how we are perceived by others. It was an icy day: there aren’t many days more chilling than those that involve laying someone you love to rest. Looking at it from a biological standpoint; when a person is alive, one resonates with body heat. When the person dies, one slowly loses that heat and becomes cold. This is how we experience death at an emotional level too. Over a period of time, we build strong relationships with the people we love. With this comes…show more content…
Williams is trying to convey that the family was completely in charge of the cat after it passed away, the same goes for any loved one. The family buries the cat, returning like to like; they are care-takers that are playing God. “Complete Destruction” testifies to our incomprehension of knowledge. The cat was part of the family; its burdens were the family’s burdens. All that is left of the cat were the fleas which must be destroyed. From a literal standpoint, the household cat died from fleas and then the family buries the cat. Then finally burns the cat’s box to get rid of the fleas. Obviously, this is not what Williams means at all by this poem. The fleas, what’s left of the cat, remind us that our struggles and pains are in large part how we are thought of by others. What’s left of us harms, unless stripped. The box was the only thing that the cat owned. Although it was probably the source of the fleas, it was still destroyed. “Complete Destruction” isn’t merely about the burial of the family cat; it’s about the nature of death as a whole. Death is nearly as old as life on this planet. Human beings are totally powerless to prevent or overcome death. William Carlos Williams exhibits that death is an inevitable part of
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