Longfellow's Approach on Death: Analysis of "The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls" & "Nature"

1039 WordsMar 24, 20135 Pages
Longfellow’s Eloquent Approach to Death: Analysis of Death in Two Poems Death is an uneasy topic to talk about and causes nearly everyone to have negative feelings for it. Although it is inevitable and also an important part of life, people try to avoid the topic altogether because it gives them discomfort. Because it is such an important subject, one must break the awkward silence and address the topic. Longfellow makes death seem like a natural thing which must come to all living things through his rich comparisons to nature and ordinary life. In “The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls” he compares the continuous rising and falling of tides to a nameless traveler, and in his poem, “Nature” he compares nature and humans as the relationship…show more content…
Being human, it is understandable that they are hesitant to even consider the possibility of death. Additionally, Longfellow describes the child's playthings as “broken” which brings out the fact that they are old and damaged, which can be compared to someone who is on the verge of death (4). From this, the conclusion can be drawn that the child is unsure whether to follow his mother into an unknown world or to stay with what has given him comfort throughout his life. In addition, Longfellow also states that this new experience may not give the child as much pleasure as his materialistic things. Realistically, Longfellow is trying to emphasize that death is a very controversial topic and it is natural for humans to be weary and worried about it. In the third stanza, Longfellow states that nature deals with the worried feelings towards death by taking away “our playthings one by one, and by the hand Leads us to rest so gently” (10-11). From these two lines, Longfellow states that in order for humans to be convinced to take the risk of leaving their materialistic comforts, mother nature must gradually take them away. Because humans lose what they love so gradually, they “go Scarce knowing if (they) wish to go or stay” in bed (11-12). By doing this, mother nature effectively decreases the amount of animosity and tension between humans and death by allowing humans to enjoy themselves while they still can. However, all good things must

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