"Thanatopsis" by William Bryant.

Essay by eryka_sHigh School, 11th grade November 2005

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"Thanatopsis" is a poem about life after death. Bryant illustrates his own ideas concerning death. He shows the connection between death and the going on cycle of nature and life. Bryant believes that after death will be a new life and everything will change or die eventually. Death is also an equalizer because everyone who dies all share the same fate.

Bryant shows that life and death are apart of nature. Nature does so many good things in life that death is only natural. Nature is the cause for happiness and wise doings, thus nature brings death to people for a reason. "To him who in the love of Nature holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks A various languages; for his gayer hours She has a voice of gladness, and a smile and eloquence of beauty, and she glides Into his darker musings with a mild And healing sympathy that steals away."

(ln 1-7) Bryant also refers to death as a slumber. "All that tread the globe are but a handful to the tribes that slumber in its bosom" (ln 48-50) Sleep is natural to life and death is as natural as sleep. One should not fear death. With nature, the good things must come with the bad. After we die, we return to nature and bodies buried into the ground. "Of the stern agony and shroud, and pall, and breathless darkness, and the narrow houses." (ln 11-2) It is he cycle of life and this is the way it must be.

Everyone must die eventually and the only thing that is immortal is God. After death, your spirit will go into a new life. Bryant uses sleep and death interchangeable. Sleep is a period of rest to prepare for something up and coming. This implies that...