“The Chambered Nautilus” by Oliver Wendell Essay

The Chambered Nautilus by Oliver Wendell Holmes. is one of the celebrated American Renaissance poems. Like most American Renaissance poets. Holmes tries to decode the enigmas and significances of life. As a physician and a poet. Holmes uses a animal from nature-the nautilus-to attempt to explicate the significances of life. By utilizing extended metaphor while utilizing the nuclear submarine. in The Chambered Nautilus Holmes unravels the enigma that is life.

In the first two stanzas. Holmes describes the anatomy and construction of the chambered nuclear submarine. Holmes describes the anatomy of nautilus utilizing a assortment of metaphors. The ship of pearl as he calls the nuclear submarine for its pearly shell. As portion of his description. Holmes tells the crewmans legend of the chambered nuclear submarine. He begins depicting the fable with the purpled wings used for sailing the seas. Following. he alludes to Greek mythology when stating the fable. by stating Sirens and sea-maidens swim in the same bay where the chambered nuclear submarine is found sailing. The 2nd stanza one can conceive of Holmes happening a chapped nautilus sunless crypt unsealed on a flaxen beach. keeping it in his manus. and speaking about life. This same method is found in the scene in Hamlet. where Hamlet holds a skull in the light and negotiations bout life and fate. Holmes starts speech production of how the chambered nuclear submarine worked so difficult to construct its shell. indicating out that after all this work it ended up like most beings: dead.

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In the 3rd stanza. Holmes continues to depict the rhythm of the nuclear submarine every bit good as the clip and attempt the chambered nautilus put Forth to construct. Harmonizing to Holmes Year by yearspiral grew the chambered nautilus adds a chamber each twelvemonth and seals it to increase its perkiness above H2O. In the last three lines of the stanza. Holmes uses the edifice and waterproofing of a new chamber to stand for the human life. As each twelvemonth passes by. one can non turn back to undo or remake what he/she has done.

In 4th stanza. Holmes alludes one time once more to Greek and Roman mythology. in order to exemplify the significance of the chambered nuclear submarine in detecting the significance of life. Holmes uses Triton. Neptunes boy. as an allusion to Greek and Roman mythology. Harmonizing to mythology. Triton merely rose out of the sea to blow his horn. which in wreathed or distorted merely like the chambered nuclear submarine. In the same manner that Tritons horn shows the thaumaturgy or enigma for which crewmans pray for during a bad storm at sea. the nautilus wreathed shell. as Holmes says. can reply lifes enigma. Holmes ends the stanza stating that the reply to lifes large inquiry is present. but it must be looked for and discovered utilizing nature or in this instance the chambered nuclear submarine.

The fifth and concluding stanza contains the intent or message of the verse form. Holmes eventually answers the chief inquiry: What is the intent of life? He states that the intent or end in life is to turn and spread out. Holmes encourages enlargement and growing by stating. Construct thee more baronial sign of the zodiacs. He besides says that the psyche should non brood on the past. alternatively it should be after and look frontward to the hereafter. The last five lines of the verse form sum up the intent and the ideal life rhythm for human life. Harmonizing to Holmes this ideal life rhythm is divided into four chief parts: turning out from a weak yesteryear ( little chamber ) . making new and better old ages ( bigger Chamberss ) . go oning to make more cherished old ages ( even bigger Chamberss ) . and deceasing ( go forthing the shell on the beach ) .

Bing a Renaissance poet. Holmes tries to detect and decode the significance of life. In his five-stanza verse form Holmes uses Greek and Roman mythology. biological anatomy. celebrated fables. and deep pondering in nature. in order to unknot the enigmas of life. In add-on. Holmes uses the chambered nuclear submarine in a extremely expert manner to explicate the significance of life. Most significantly. though. is Holmes usage of drawn-out metaphor to convey one critically and of import message: grow and make non travel backwards.