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Dialogue is Action

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The Groundhog  

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xwing37
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@madams43, I agree, I think at first he was very upset about the death of the groundhog. I think the way nature treated the groundhog after its death worried him. Nature doesn't show remorse to the dead so I think he was worried with what was going to happen to him after he died. But like you said, with the multiple times that he visited I think he realized that death is inevitable and he came to terms with it.


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Carla Tortelli
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@madams43 I agree! The speaker under goes a multitude of emotional shifts and changes towards the topic of death and decay. We see in the beginning he is somewhat scared of death and gets angered at the way nature is taking on the decay of the groundhog. Through his visits he slowly starts to relieve himself of that nature by taking on a different point of view. We see in the end that he takes on the concept as a whole and is no longer afraid of death and decay. He is no longer angry at nature for doing such things. He creates this sort of sense of beauty in what he used to view as concerning and frustrating. In some ways we see that he answers his own questions to find a resolve. 


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stella
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@savhoisington, I agree with what you said, especially in the last paragraph. Something that struck me greatly while I read was how big of an effect the groundhog had on the speaker. Seeing the groundhog made the speaker feel something so powerful, he was compelled to visit it even years after he first saw it. Not only that, but the speaker questioned his own mortality and then somewhat came to terms with it just because of the groundhog. 


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stella
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@octavia, I also thought it was weird that a groundhog could lead a person to such large revelations about life and mortality, but it actually ended up being my favorite part of the poem. The groundhog is a great subject when discussing mortality because it seems so insignificant to us. At the end of the poem, we see that the groundhog is insignificant to the world and has completely disappeared within a few years. Because of this, I believe the reader can come to terms with his own mortality and insignificance. 


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a2m0e0m2
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@username27 that is exactly how I saw the pome as well. I saw it psychologically as a progression of excepting the loss of someone/something. In each season, we saw the narrator move from one stage of dealing with loss to the next. This started with anger and confusion and ended in acceptance. 


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Conster
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@username27

To me, the change in language reflects the narrator's personal journey through not only the acceptance of death, but the embracing of it. He describes the bleached bones as beautiful. This told me that he had gone beyond the acceptance, and began to embrace death. By his embracing of death, I mean that he begins to find death as something positive instead of negative. He finds the beauty in death instead of focusing on the decay of the body.


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wildsalmon
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@conster This is a good angle that I hadn't thought of. My interpretation was a lot more zoomed out, instead of navigating death, the speaker was more broadly dealing with change. I thought calling the bones beautiful was more a nostalgic thing, as perhaps the speaker was feeling wistful or something. I admit it's not the most thought-out approach, so it's intriguing to see such an obvious interpretation laid out.


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xmysterio
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I thought of this poem as the speaker reflecting himself onto the dying groundhog. As the groundhog decayed, so did the speaker’s happiness and innocence. Before the speaker encountered the dying groundhog, he was oblivious to the concept of death and it’s inevitability. After experiencing the deterioration of the groundhog, however, the tone of the poem also depletes as the speaker comes to realize the daunting truth that death is inevitable.


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xmysterio
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@conster I thought it to be the opposite. The speaker does describe the decaying as something beautiful, almost as if he’s admiring the groundhog’s death. However, I think the speaker’s happiness decays among with the groundhog as the poem progresses. The astonishment that the speaker has with the dying groundhog is possibly why he describes it as such beauty and wonder. This does not change the fact that the speaker ultimately comes to a dark realization at the end of the poem, rather than a happy one.


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xwing37
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@xmysterio, I think the same thing. I found this poem super interesting because it was about something that most people don't really think about. And this was the same with the speaker. He was probably young and healthy enough to where he didn't have to think about death and illness. I think this poem was also meant to target the audience. Because it definitely provoked a thought of what happens when we die. I think death is something that only goes through peoples heads who are getting close to it. But for young healthy people we don't really think about it, and when you actually do it can be shocking as we see in the poem.


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Persephone
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My interpretation of The Groundhog was less about the speakers navigation through death, but more his acceptance of it (though these might mean the same thing, because i'm not totally sure what you mean by navigation lol). I think that the speaker was afraid of death/dying at first, and seeing this groundhog frightened him because he knows one day that will be him as well. But as the poem went on, the speaker eventually realizes that the cycle of life is beautiful, even in it's final stage. 


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abuzz
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It is interesting to see not only how many different interpretations this poem revealed, but the branches of those interpretations and what individuals got out of them. I took the route of the speaker realizing the prominence of morality, but more looked at it with how non-living nature withstands time. The only thing that living things have to leave are their affect on nature and any meaningful artifacts they conjure up. While stories and structures live on through mortals, the sun, sky, fields, and other forces of nature stand immortal. As the groundhog decayed, these inanimate beings became more prominent, and it seems that the speaker found out the true power our world has on a deceased life.


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Gil
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@username27 I said the same thing in my impromptu! I viewed this poem as dealing with grief, immediately thinking of the five stages of grief (even though I didn't see all five). I expanded upon the idea of the author using word choices to show the range of emotions the speaker is going through. Throughout the whole poem, the word choices of the speaker start off rather angry and disgusted and progress to sadness and despair. The progression of the emotions of the speaker demonstrate a deeper meaning on how humans deal with death. Grief is a complex process for humans, having the range of emotions constantly vary and change, and The Groundhog demonstrates just that.


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bunkymoo
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@gil this makes sense. Grief is a lot more than just sadness alone. At first, it can start with sadness and anger, which is what we see in the beginning, but after a while, we have acceptance, which is what he starts transitioning to at the end of the story. The poet did a very good job at displaying these stages of grief, and then connecting them as well to the decaying process of the groundhog. 


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username27
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@savhoisington - I really like the comments you made about the effect that the groundhog had upon the speaker. It seemed kind of weird at first seeing how a person could be so captivated by a groundhog and wanting to visit it over and over again. However, like you, as the poem progressed, I was able to see it from a much different angle in that the groundhog really represented so much more.


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