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Steve Pedersen " Visiting Woods over a Snowy Evening': A Burkean/Ecocritical Reading” Person is the symbol-using (symbol-making, symbol-misusing) animal........................................... segregated from his natural condition by instruments of his own making...................................................... and rotten with excellence. (Burke 1, 2, some, 5, 7)
Robert Frost's " Visiting Woods over a Snowy Evening” elucidates Burke's theory of " Man” as being " rotten with perfection” and shows how " perfection” (16), because an internal purpose, is an ecocritical disease in the attitude of twentieth-century modern man1, an era proclaimed by improvements in technology and sector. Few college students have examined Robert Frost's poetry via a Burkean perspective; the very last to do so was Richard Poirier who, in 1982, examined the Emersonian affect in Burke's theory of words and their relation to actuality. My conventional paper instead, works on the combined procedure of ecocriticism and Burke's theory of man in the essay " Definition of Man. ” Kenneth Burke (1897 – 1993) was a fictional and sociable critic in the twentieth 100 years. During the Major depression, Burke skilled first-hand the devastating associated with a society unchecked simply by its own scientific and professional advancements. Inside Burke's early on works, just like Counter-Statement and Permanence and Change, William Rueckert and other Burkean scholars have argued that ecocriticism being a field of study started. Reading this poem from the vantage of Burke's theory of man, the unnamed presenter is powered by " perfection. ” It is an inner will and force that will bring the presenter unsettled inside the few occasions that this individual stops to view the woods fill up with snow. This internal will is done evident as he consciously aims after the " promises” of tomorrow — " promises” he features " to keep. ” Coming from an ecocritical standpoint, this kind of pastoral poem reveals contemporary man's indifference and detachment from characteristics; the poem is symptomatic of humanity's materialistic relationship with characteristics. Only the presenter, horse, and owner with the woods will be written about in personal terms. Everything else, like the " woods” and " frozen lake, ” is usually described as gregario and lifeless objects that exist for ownership and pleasure of viewing. Frost's words and phrases and graceful descriptions work to can charge a unique image and feeling in the visitor; the composition is full of simple dichotomies that creates tensions which at the end in the poem prompts the unnamed speaker to push on, and gives the reader a feeling of conclusion. Even though clear indications of separation between speaker and nature exist, I believe that through the silence and inactivite of the presenter a symbiotic relationship and ecological harmony with nature is perceived possible for humanity. Yet just for this to occur, the " promises” we alllow for the future must include a greater understanding and appreciation of the relationship with, and responsibility toward, nature.
MAN PERFECTION because ENTELECHY In order to understand the meaning of Burke's assertion that " Man is... ruined with perfection” (16), it is crucial to note the influence that Aristotle's notion of " entelechy” had about Burke; Burkie himself appreciates this affect in " The Definition of Man”:... the Aristotelian concept of the ‘entelechy, ' the idea that each being aims at the perfection normal to its kind (or, etymologically, is proclaimed by a " possession of telos within”).... our company is confining our use of the principle towards the realm of symbolic action. (17) In other words, man posseses an internal will, or " telos” (teleology), that Burke considers the factor in his defining feature of person. Man is, as Burkie exhorts, powered to " perfect” his own state of being through the realm of " symbolic action” (a Burkean term that identifies the use of dialect with a goal or intent). What then is the " symbolic action” found in this poem? An in depth analysis from the form and language is essential in starting to formulate an answer to this problem. FROST'S CONTACT FORM...
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