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The Groundhog  

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Conster
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@mangoman

I felt that although this could indeed be a wake-up call to make the most of life, the way in which an almost obsession starts is to a point that is unhealthy. To overly think of death may mean the absence of a concentration on life at the moment. I am unsure exactly what death meant to them, but I think that no matter what it meant, there was an obsession and fascination with it. To be calling bleached bones beautiful is an interesting thing to say at the very least, but seems to be spoken by someone that is overly comfortable with death, and may see it as a temptation more than anything.


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xwing37
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@mangoman, I agree, no one really even considers the fact of dying until they realize that their time is almost up. Since we're all so young I wouldn't think that many of us would have considered the idea of death. But the speaker in the poem got hit with it all at once when he saw the way the groundhog was handled in nature. For some people seeing a dead animal wouldn't really affect them, but different things spark people's curiosity with different concepts in life. I thought what you brought up was really interesting and it definitely made me consider some new ideas.


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Carla Tortelli
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@a2m0n2 I like your connection. The thought that this poem in capture hoe maturity can change an overall concept was a good point. As a child we are more likely to fear death as it is a concept we are unaware of. As we grow up depending on our situations we may linger around that mindset or completely switch up our thinking. In this case our speaker may be growing up with his groundhog, allowing him to observe each aspect of death and decay. Depending on the person it may allow them to cope with the idea as our speaker did throughout the poem. This connection to maturity and the groundhog was pretty interesting and thoughtful. 


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Madams43
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I don't really think that contemplating and accepting the inevitability of death is a bad thing.  we live in a culture where it has been rubbed into us in every conceivable way that to die is a bad thing and that to sit and think about it is "unhealthy". There is nothing wrong with death and dying or with thinking about death and dying and I think this poem clearly represents that. 


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bunkymoo
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@mangoman that is a very good point that you bring up, and it makes sense when you say it. We don't fear mortality unless it is right up in our faces. People a lot of the time don't think about their death until they have a confrontation that threatens your life, or you go into a situation that is dangerous. We know that death is going to happen at some point, and I think that the author seeing the groundhog die brings upon a realization to him.


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ahayo
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@jacksonvon I can agree with everything in this post except the first statement you provided. Though I know this is an opinion thing and how you interpret the text I strongly believe that this is about his navigation through death. But I do have a question for your post, you call the groundhog an "anchor". If this was an anchor to get the idea started why does it keep coming back up in the text throughout the mans journey? 


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xwing37
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@madams43, I definitely agree that by the end of the poem we realize that death is inevitable and you can't really change it. We saw the speaker navigate his way to accepting and understanding the idea of death. But I think when first being provoked with the idea of death it can be quite shocking, and this is what happened with the speaker in the first couple of visits. I think it was very hard for him to grasp the idea. It may be completely different with another person, but everyone has a different way of handling hard things to process. But the character development throughout the poem was very clear and I think it was interesting to see the way he handled the idea of death.


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MangoMan
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@conster I see what you mean,  to focus so much on the concept of dying in order to not be surprised of scared by it, 1 gives it power over us like we have talked about in class with other things having power over us, and 2 we are wasting the moments we have on earth thinking about death.  It's pretty counterintuitive and I see where you were coming from.


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aplitstudent123
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@bunkymoo I think as a society we push death off until it is right in front of us. We don't like to confront the idea of it unless we absolutely have to - whether that is a loved one who has passed, an illness, or a near death experience (or in this case, a dead animal). It is interesting to me that we refuse to deeply understand and acknowledge what it means to die and that although we know it will happen at some point, we decide to not be concerned about it. Why is this? Many say "live in the moment" or "live your life to the fullest" or "you only live once", but why? Why isn't is acceptable to confront death upfront? When a person has a terminal illness, in some cases they say they are accepting of dying and are ready to go. Why can't people come to this same conclusion as they live their life so that when the moment comes for either them or someone else they are not so scared or surprised?


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SnowyYeti
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@xmysterio Yes I agree with your point here and what @Jacksonvon said.  This poem was really about, like you said, the realization of death and the inevitability of death.  I feel like I have actually had realizations like this in AP Lit.  Like the theory talks on semiotics. There was a huge ah-ha moment there and it was a similar feeling I got when reading about how the author felt about death.  It is things like these that make me think, "what else am I not thinking about?"  "What other simple-ish idea have i not really thought through"


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Gil
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@aplitstudent123 I feel like "living in the moment" could be interpretated as accepting death. For me I went through a time where I dwelled on how utterly terrifying death is, it is very scary and unsettling to have those thoughts and to dwell on them is easy. Knowing that we are all going to be gone one day and trying not to dwell on the inevitable end of it all is important to me. I believe it is important to acknowledge and accept death as a way of life, and with that being said, we should live in the moment and not dwell on the future or the past. Sorry I'm starting to sound a little corny and preachy, but these things are important! I also think that death should be looked at as more of a part of life rather than an avoided, unsettling topic. It's so avoided and sad in our culture, but it should be looked at much more naturally in order for it to feel more normal. Has anyone else thought about any of this as well?


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aplitstudent123
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@snowyyeti That's an interesting point. When we examine things deeply in class I question why I had not thought of those things before or why I haven't thought in depthly about them. I think that is the really cool thing about taking Ap Lit. We get to identify new topics and ideas to explore and then go much farther than just the ideas that are on the surface. Especially with Invisible Man - I never would have gone s in depth with some of its references had it not been for this class. I hope this class will continue to make us question our surroundings and ideas that are in our lives.


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octavia
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@snowyyeti This is a great point to bring up. I think with semiotics, we've always kind of understood the theory's implications but never consciously acknowledged the theory itself. I feel like its the same with lots of other things in AP Lit. Just like you said, there is this ah-ha moment where we realize that there's a name for what we're noticing, or that everything links together, and I think that's what's so great about this class. 


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DeepThought
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@msar I think that part of the significance wasn't the conclusion the man got to, but the fact that the groundhog troubled him enough to keep returning to it. If the man saw the groundhog and immediately accepted the inevitability of his own death, then some of the significance of the realization would have been lost. Only because the man was obviously thinking about the groundhog, he kept returning to it, is the significance of the ideas represented by the groundhog really brought down to scale.


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Carla Tortelli
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@madams43 I really liked how you observed that concept in a broader sense. Many cultures have varying views on death. This poem really does show how death can be scary for those to comprehend. Many children learn to fear death as it is one they haven't usually observed and have just heard stories about. Other cultures might even celebrate those who have passed away seeing death in a lighter tone. This poem takes on the role of those who fear death but come to terms with the concept. There are many views on death depending on your interactions with the concept, thus determining your view on death itself. 


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