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The Groundhog  

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MSAR
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This poem of the groundhog kind of reminded me of IM in a way. I say this because the narrators in both pieces had to go through an intensive process of accepting major realities into their lives. For example, the narrator in the ground hog had to let a few seasons pass in order to see the beauty in death and IM had to a similar process but he was discovering himself and his character in society.


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octavia
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@username27 The groundhog definitely had an interesting effect on the speaker, and I really think that's the overarching theme of the story. He seemed so repulsed yet captivated by it, and it represented the clear internal conflict he felt. As time went on, he went through a whirlwind of emotions and conflict over this groundhog, yet he couldn't help but come back every time. By him coming back, he was able to sort through his emotions and reach a conclusion to this conflict. 


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xwing37
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@octavia, I also thought the same thing. In the beginning of the poem he seemed disgusted by the groundhog and I assumed that he would never want to see it again. But he returned three more times after it which I thought was really interesting. I think this is because of what you said, the speaker was disgusted but intrigued by the groundhog.


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aplitstudent123
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@xwing37 to add on, I think another reason he kept returning was because of curiosity. Even though he was disturbed by what he had seen, he also wondered what would happen next. He couldn't live without knowing what the actual fate of the groundhog would be, seeing as how bothered he originally was by the situation. This shows that he desired more of an understanding of mortality and was already asking himself important questions, whether it was conscious or not. This mentality is important because it allowed him to learn something from the groundhog and his experiences with it. 


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MSAR
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@conster That is an interesting way to see it. I do agree with what you said but I also have something more to add to that. Not only does the author see the beauty and darkness of the topic but he learns to value it and possibly learn from it. To him Not only does this let him look at death peacefully. Its just not another pretty thing but rather and experience from him to learn from. How complicated he is and how his coming to understanding works. By going through this process he embraces death and also embraces himself in something he'd never thought he'd be doing.


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TheBoulder
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@msar When I did the impromptu I didn't see this, but you are right, there are a lot of similarities between IM and The Groundhog. They both use time to think through what they are going through. I thought The Groundhog was very special in the relationship between grief, nature, and time. Both the speaker and IM's individual relationships, one with grief and one with identity go together really well.


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Conster
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@msar

When reading the poem that is how I felt. His transformation throughout the poem speaks to the acceptance of death that many people eventually go through. In order to have a peaceful death, you must to an extent accept death for what it is, inevitable. There is nothing anyone can do so far to stop death from coming. Instead of trying to fight it your whole life, why not come to terms with it and examine it. It is something natural and sometimes there is comfort in the turmoil of the return to nothingness. This is the attitude that I see the narrator in the poem trend towards with the changing views that come with the shifting language of the poem.


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Conster
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@theboulder

I am similar in that I did not recognize the relation to Invisible Man that this poem had. There are both narrators going through a transformation of understanding and growth. The poem demonstrates someone going through a phase of accepting and studying death, deeming it to be something of beauty. They find it to be intriguing rather than repulsive. As they are accepting the end of life. At the same time, we have in Invisible Man, someone who is trying to find and accept who they are and what they will do with the life that they have. It is interesting to compare and contrast the curiosity of death and the struggle to find life.


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Carla Tortelli
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@xmysterio I agree in the sense of him losing his innocence toward decay, but I don't feel like the rest had that gloomy after tone. He is now well aware that death is inevitable because of the groundhog. I feel as though the speaker starts off with a sort of child's way of life, not taking in the good and the bad. When he is  introduced to the bad aspects, it takes him a minute to process, providing that gloomy feel. As we move towards the end of the piece I feel as though that outlook changes to one that reaches a degree of admiration. Comparing this decay to art and other things, the speakers whole outlook sort of shifts in a way. 


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Carla Tortelli
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@persephone I agree with you. We start off with the speaker observing the groundhog and getting somewhat frustrated with what nature is doing. He takes on this role of innocence, as this is a new sight. Throughout we do see his journey towards acceptance, he might have to navigate his thoughts and emotions to get there. By the end we do see that he fully accepts this concept that death is inevitable. He breaks down his initial emotions and or ideas in the beginning, bringing him to his overall conclusion that death is somewhat beautiful. 


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Carla Tortelli
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@msar That is a very good connection that never seemed to cross my mind. Both IM and our speaker go through these sort of mentality changes in a way that totally alter their overall view of life. Though decay and identity are both very different topics they come together in these two characters. The groundhog opens our speaker's eyes, and society opens IM's eyes. I liked how you could successfully connect this poem back to the book it's a really interesting concept to think about. 


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stella
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@msar I think that this is a very good comparison. When comparing Invisible Man vs. the speaker in the Groundhog, I think it's interesting to look at the differences in how each character could come to their own realization. I feel like the speaker in "The Groundhog" only needed one thing to change their thinking about life. Whereas IM has experienced many different things at college, or his encounters with Bledsoe or Brother Jack, IM still hasn't made up his mind about his identity. 


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wildsalmon
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@stella I agree, but I think you can take the groundhog as a larger metaphor for this change, so by going through all these ordeals, IM is really just revisiting his own groundhog. Of course, though, both works have really different themes so it's not a perfect comparison, but I think IM is just constantly colliding with the same idea over and over, like the speaker, and in different times he comes to different conclusions.


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ahayo
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@madams43 though he understands he is going to die and knows that life not forever I still believe that he is not 100% okay with it. And no one should, death is a scary thing and people should have anger and fear when thoughts are provoked about it. It is my favorite poem we have read so far, because of all the different meanings that are given off and main topic of death and the elderly. 


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octavia
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@aplitstudent123 This is a good point to bring up, because I think with this poem we are glossing over the fact that he keeps coming back to the groundhog due to a desire, whether conscious or unconscious, to learn. This really speaks a lot about the internal conflict within him. It not only deals with the conflict of life vs death or mortality vs immortality, but also the conflict of whether he should stay ignorant or learn and accept the idea of death. In reality, I think this poem truly shows the idea of being in denial of a lot of things, not just death, and maybe even that being in denial is somewhat linked to being ignorant? Just a thought. 


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