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The Groundhog  

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savhoisington
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@carlatortelli This is an interesting point. I did not get the IM Groundhog connection when first reading the Groundhog, but after you clarify it it makes more sense. Both The Groundhog and the Invisible Man show the main subject moving through the stages of grief, just over different things- the groundhog or the identity. They are very different, like you say, but I think that any connection no matter how little is important to acknowledge


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aplitstudent123
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@octavia Yeah I like this idea! It relates to the idea of ignorance is a bliss, and the conflict of deciding if it's something he truly wants to know the truths about. If he decides he does not want to, then he must live in denial because he knows that there is something else there to learn and understand. We experience this same scenario in our lives. A good example would be where our food comes from or what is actually in our foods. Many of us know that the purest intentions aren't behind our food industry and many of the things we eat have chemicals in them or came from a place with animal cruelty, however, we continue to buy these products and wish to not actually see the truths about things. Therefore, we live in denial about what is truly happening because we are unable to live with the truth. This is the conflict that the speaker in this poem faces. He is debating about whether or not to remain in denial about the groundhog and its process after death.


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savhoisington
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@aplitstudent123 This is very interesting. I think you are very onto something with this, because you are right, so many things today represent this idea of us ignoring the bad. This goes for the food industry as you stated but also the health industry. For example skin care, when all these chemicals are put into a product who knows what is a money thing or what is really good for you?

Also, not to get political but the US is very well not the best country in the world, and that is because  so many still believe that we are- therefore refusing to acknowledge our problems. That is the largest issue with America today in my opinion. Too many turn our heads and deny that there is an issue.


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xwing37
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@carlatortelli, I completely agree with the child outlook on death that you mentioned. We see this when he's surprised and disgusted with what happened. But throughout the visits that he had with the groundhog he became more mature with the inevitability of death. I thought it was super interesting to see the character growth that happened throughout the poem. This was definitely one of my favorites so far just because it was a topic that everyone will experience in their life. 


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aplitstudent123
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@savhoisington I really like both the examples you gave. You're absolutely right about the U.S. I think that we all have it ingrained in our heads that we are the best country in the world, but we really aren't. I've seen a lot of videos and posts about how the only thing the U.S. leads in is crime and things of that sort. Other countries have figured it out much better than we do, but we are blind to it so we are therefore never able to look at ourselves and be dedicated enough to make a change. It is a hard thing to think about because we all want to believe that the US is the best place, but in order to be that place we all wish it was we must have the ability to look back on ourselves and make the changes that we need to.


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bunkymoo
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@username27 throughout reading the poem I also found it just a bit odd how he kept on revisiting the groundhog over the course of the years. But like you, I found deeper meaning hidden beyond that that didn't have to do directly from the groundhog. I can see how people could think the story was only about the groundhog, but it takes looking at it from a different point of view to understand the true intention and meaning.


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ahayo
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@bunkymoo though it might've been odd, I find that him revisiting the groundhog act as symbolism in the poem. Every year that he returns he is revisiting his main problem, which is the contemplation of death. And each time that he visits he comes closer and closer to the answer to his problem, which in the end he was okay and realized that there was no escape and he needs to live his life for what it is. Im curious to see if you or anyone else noticed this implementation of symbolism?


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xwing37
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@bunkymoo, I agree, the first time I just read it without looking for anything deeper then what the poem showed at the surface. I was very confused why there was a poem about a dead groundhog and why it would be significant at all. But after reading it the next couple of times I realized that the theme of the poem focused around death and its inevitability. After I had this realization I realized why the poem was written the way it was and how it had such a large connection to whoever was the audience of the poem. Because death is inescapable so everyone is most likely going to think about it one day in their life whether it's when they're younger or when they're about to die. I believe this poem specifically is important to read a little more indepthly.


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Jackson Von Habsburg
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I don't think the poem is about the narrator's navigation through death I see it more as his thought on morality no that that character himself is going through death. I think that he is afraid of the fact that death exists. The groundhog for the narrator is a coping mechanism for him I would see it as an anchor for him so the narrator cannot handle it when the groundhog is finally gone because of the groundhog denigrating which causes the narrator to go and breakdown. The final part of the poem is what discusses how no matter what the power of alexander, the knowledge of Montaigne, or the faith of Saint Theresa could save them from their own mortality 


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MangoMan
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@jacksonvon I feel that mortality is something we don't fear until we are confronted with it face to face.  What you said is very interesting to me because we see many examples of people running from their own death coming and possibly end up wasting time running from it.  I think it's something everyone has to come to terms with.


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xmysterio
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@jacksonvon This is my thought too. I think the piece is more a realization that death exists and that it’s inevitable more than anything. I think before the groundhog, the speaker was oblivious to the concept and inevitability of death. I agree with you that it’s less of a navigation through death.


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stella
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@jacksonvon, I agree, but I think the groundhog was not only a coping mechanism but was also the thing that sent him into his breakdown in the first place. Rather than being just what made him come to terms with the inevitability of death and decay, the groundhog's corpse was the first thing that alerted the narrator to his own mortality. I would also say that it was the passage of time more than the groundhog that helped the narrator finally come to terms with his mortality. 


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a2m0e0m2
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Im not sure if anyone has mentioned this already, but the underlying theme of the groundhog could also be the narrators acceptance of his own lifespan and the looming thought of death that weighed over him. He could start off as a younger child he did not want to age and was confused by the thought, then moving onto a stage of anger and resilience towards death, only to truly mature and find the humor and acceptance of the fate that we all must meet at some point. The groundhog could simply just symbolism for his emotions towards the topic.


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MSAR
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@conster I totally agree with what you are saying. Although something that I still can't quite grasp, is the narrators persistence and urgency to grasp death. I couldn't see any auditory clues that said he was old or about to kick the bucket. And although I could see an argument saying that the sooner ones comes to understand death the more peaceful one is. All in all what I am saying is that him thinking about death that much is troublind yet fascinating because through all that denial and pondering he managed to find something beautiful about which is always a good sign of mental health 


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MangoMan
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@msar I think it was almost reassurance to him knowing that he had to make the most of life because it was gonna come to an end.  Although he feared death I think this was a well needed wake up call.


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