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When thinking about and discussing our American culture and the relation it has to death, think about how a child sees the most ordinary everyday things as marvellous — because they see them all in a way that is not related to survival and profit. When we get older and begin thinking of everything in terms of survival and profit, as we in our modern American society often do, then the world, and most things, cease to have magic. So therefore, in the course of nature, once we can no longer see the magic in the world anymore, we are no longer fulfilling the universe's little game of being aware of itself. There’s no point in it anymore. And so we die. And then someone or something else comes in and gets an entirely new view.
So to sum up, that's the point of it all. Realizing that there comes a time where it's al going to end and you can sort of 'pass on a torch', allows you to enjoy life and what it's all about.
Yes, that was much much deeper than even the poem is and for that I am sorry haha. But I think it is important for everyone to contemplate death in that way at least once in their lifetime because, in my opinion, it makes it all make sense. Whether or not the narrator contemplated the death of the groundhog (or his own) that deeply, we'll never know. But curiosity of the inevitability of death and decay is present and that calls for deep philosophical contemplation in my books. I'd really like to know y'alls thoughts on this and the ideas I've proposed.
I'm not a philosopher, so take this all with a grain of salt. And I have a tendency to not make much sense when I attempt to explain my thoughts so if any clarification or explanation is needed, do let me know!
@madams43 I do agree with the passing the "torch" when you pass, but I'm a little stumbled in one of your first sentenced. You referred death to something marvellous... I might be incorrect here in my reading of your response and if it is meant to be portrayed that way then I must disagree.
But back to your passing the torch idea. Yes everyone does know that there is an end, they just don't know when that end is for them. Just to be certain by passing the torch I'm assuming you are referring to doing something to make the world different, whether that's in your family or actually doing something large. This is something that is always on my mind and it's honestly quite overwhelming at times. I feel as though I can relate to the poet we read because it all is seeming to come to quickly. Not knowing when something is going to end (in this case life) can be frightening. I want to do great things in life and I always feel like I'm heading in the right direction but what if I'm not. Mostly ranting at this point but your post had made me bring this thought to writing.
@carlatortelli, regarding his fascination stemming from fear, I think this is definitely possible. When people have a large fear of something, it can sometimes seem that they develop an obsession with the thing that they fear. This obsession could come in the form of constant thoughts or worries about their fear or trying to avoid their fear at all costs.
@madams43 I too am confused about the word "marvelous". Maybe by this word you meant that it causes curiosity throughout humans, because this makes more sense to me. If this isn't what you meant, I would love to hear a further explanation. But something I do find interesting is how children view the world. I know this is a bit off topic from the poem, but I like how kids live their early years without thinking about death. But eventually we know that there is an end, and we are naturally curious about it, just how kids are curious about things they don't know either.
Also @ahayo I wonder about not heading in the right direction all the time. Not knowing if each decision you make will be the right one for you and your future. But these uncertainties are good to think about, even if it can get overwhelming. What I have come to find is that you have to go with you heart as cliche as it sounds, because those ideas often end in the best outcome.
@carlatortelli, I also think it's interesting how each religion has different views on death and what happens after you die. This is also similar to how different cultures deal with death. In America, death is very much h a somber topic, something that is mostly feared and dreaded. Other cultures didn't view death as such a negative thing; in Latinamerica, they celebrate the Day of the Dead, a time to remember your family and friends you have lost, instead of being sad though it is a celebration of life.
Although my own life experiences have steered me towards personally taking death as a somber and serious topic like many of my fellow peers, I have always thoroughly enjoyed there being cultures that celebrate the dead and remember them in the joyful way they hopefully lived. I have never experienced something like the Day of the Dead in person but would love to someday. Learning about this holiday in Spanish class growing up seemed like such an odd and foreign idea. Now that I have matured ever so slightly past my 10-year-old self, I find that looking for the joy in all things is the best way to go about these types of topics.
@conster, I would also love to experience something like Day of the Dead. It has always made me wish that our views on death in America were different. At least in my experience, it seems like when discussing someone who has died, we only talk about how sad it is that they have died. Instead, I wish we would focus more on a person's life and the things they did while they were alive.
@conster, I agree, this is something that I've always valued with other cultures. Like you said I've always grown up with death being a very sad thing and a time for mourning. But seeing others celebrate the life that a person had is a much better way to do it in my mind. I feel like this is a good way to celebrate the person's life and keep everything as happy as possible. I never really enjoyed Spanish class but this is one of the things that I always enjoyed learning.
@conster I completely agree. Especially this year in my Spanish class we studied Day of the Dead more indepthly and what those celebrations actually entailed and signified. I think it is a wonderful way to celebrate loss with happiness and remembrance rather than sorrow. I especially enjoy when families make alters filled with things that person liked and the food that they enjoyed. I think this is a great way to be positive about a loss and remember that person in terms of the things they loved. I think it would be cool to remember a lost family member that way some day.
@alechayosh07 I think by death being marvelous it is almost meant that death is something we shouldn't fear because the more time we spend waiting for it and worrying about it, the more time we waste being alive. I think death is the point in where we look back on the greatest parts of life, that's all I can think about.
@mangoman, I completely agree! I feel like death is something that is constantly worried about, but when all you do is worry about it you forget everything you have in the moment. I feel like this way of thinking is something that a lot of people can benefit from. This is something that I always have to remind myself of and I think this is what the speaker was trying to represent in The Groundhog. He almost realized that death is too powerful to try and fight against or even waste any of your time worrying about.
@stella Exactly! America copes with death in a way that produces a overall negative view on the topic. Whereas in, as you said in Latin America, where they learn to celebrate the Day of the Dead, they give it an almost positive feel. In this way we can almost see death as this malleable topic. Depending on where or how you were raised can relate a lot to your view on the topic of death. Its interesting how we can see death is such a fluid sort of way.
@stella Most definitely! Fear can be physical and or mental. A fear could be defined as intrusive thoughts or mindset which has developed from those impactful thoughts. It could be about something you see very often, such as spiders in a certain situation. It can start with that first adrenaline rush you get from hearing or seeing something. That first effect can then offset to that obsession, that may start rapidly producing those intrusive thoughts. Fear is whatever an individual defines it as, but this is a pretty good start.
@salmon That is a really interesting way to describe how impactful the concept of death really is. The comparison to death and coping with a foreign concept makes it easier to understand. The way that death is a mystery to some can kinda be compared to how some view life. Just as the concept of death can be viewed in multiple ways, there are many theories about life. I don't really know if this makes complete sense, but its a little something to think about.
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