Sunday, February 12, 2012

For Whom That Overlooks

There is a very distinctive message inside John Donne's Meditation 17, and the message is this: Everyone is all connected, what happens to someone, also happens to you, therefore, you are affected by others, as others are affected by you. It may seem that, in both the song, I Am A Rock, and the painting, The Fall of Icarus, the messages they exhibit are completely contradictory to the message in Meditation 17, however, there is one slight similarity that should be acknowledged. This similarity is the fact that everyone overlooks the situation, and chooses to ignore it. The people in the painting are 'choosing', mind you, to overlook the fact that a man, Icarus, has fallen from the sky. It is highly unlikely for people to not notice these things, therefore, we can conclude that the people in the painting are purely 'choosing' to ignore, and overlook, the fact that someone has fallen from the sky, so that they can continue with their jobs and be released from the need to assist the man, which might procure trouble for them. In the song, Simon and Garfunkel 'chooses' to isolate themselves from society. They refer to all the things that have caused them pain, thus, leading them to turn their backs upon the things that caused them pain. They 'choose' to " [build] walls, A fortress deep and mighty, [so] That none may penetrate", their comfort zone. They do this so that they don't have to deal with the problems that might surface, such that "[they] touch no one and no one touches [them]". They 'choose' to hide and protect themselves, much to the likes of the people in the painting. Meditation 17 is entirely about your ability to choose. Its purpose is to convey a message to convince us that we are not alone. It is because we are liable to the choices we make, Donne tries to persuade us to understand the ideal of unity. For him to conjure up an idea like this can only mean that we were ignorant of it. We were 'choosing' to ignore it. Once again, we 'chose' to ignore society and mankind, thinking only for ourselves. Donne's message is to teach us to change that mindset and adopt the one of unity. By doing so, Donne has clearly shown our ignorance and choice of overlooking the problems and questions that might arise when we interact or connect with other people. "If we understand aright the dignity of this bell that tolls for our evening prayer, we would be glad to make it ours by rising early, in that application, that it might be ours as well as his, whose indeed it is". Here, Donne explains how we can change and that we are susceptible to change once there is incentive. This means that we can indeed change from our ignorance and lack of attention to others by uniting and comprehending that we are all part of something greater than ourselves. 

1 comment:

  1. Score (non-TOASTed): 10/10. Apologies for not grading this sooner!

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