Ox Looks At Man

Decent Essays
It is extremely crucial to have the ability to feel satisfied with very little in life. The poem An Ox Looks at Man, by Carlos Drummond de Andrade, is about an ox judging humans for forgetting a crucial element in life. The poem’s language suggests that while the ox is able to remain content with life, humans can never feel satisfied as shown by the ox’s description of human’s physical characteristics and emotional behaviors. The Ox’s assessment of humankind’s physical characteristics describes not only humankind’s state of mind, but the Ox’s as well. The Ox criticizes people by claiming that they have a “translucent inner emptiness.” The Ox claims that humans have a large void in our souls. Humankind’s inner emptiness is based on the fact…show more content…
Its criticism not only makes it more evident that humankind feels displeased, but it also makes it clear that the Ox is content with life. The Ox describes humans as being more “delicate than shrubs.” Instead of using this as a physical description, the Ox uses it as a mental comparison. The Ox believes that humans are emotionally fragile. Their emotional instability causes them to feel extremely agitated or upset at the slightest trigger. This sensitivity is the main reason why humans are unable to feeling satisfied like the Ox. They are unable to latch on to a single emotion for a long duration of time. The Ox, however, is able to remain in a state of placidity because it is able to hold on to feelings of fulfillment and self-actualization. The Ox also mocks humans because they are incapable of discovering the element that is so “visible and common.” The Ox already knows what this element is. He claims that it is within plain sight. Yet, humans are so blind that they are unable to find it. The Ox can feel relaxed and calm because it does not have to scramble all over the place, looking for this element. However, humans spend most of their lives trying to find this “thing” that will allow them to ease into a state of peace. The fact that humankind is oblivious to something so easy to spot makes it even more crucial that they find whatever it is that they are looking for. The Ox is already in a place where it…show more content…
It is supposed to be simple and crucial. Yet, humans are unable to realize this truth, thus causing the Ox to question if it truly is vital. Not only that, but humans are also causing the truth to “scatter” and “burn.” This truth is supposed to keep nature and life in tranquil state. However, since humankind cannot see the truth, they do not realize that they are ruining it. The Ox looks at humans because it is worried that they will deteriorate this truth that has been so vital to its life.
The Ox’s assessment of humankind’s physical characteristics and emotional behaviors shows humankind’s inability to reach a state of satisfaction as well as the Ox’s ability to reach a state of serenity. The Ox has found to way to view life as fulfilling, but it judges humans because it is worried that they will never discover this element in their lives. Most people believe that having more money will make them happier. However, the reality of it all is that, in the words of Akhenaton, “To be satisfied with a little is the greatest wisdom” because “a contented mind is a hidden
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