The Mythological World of Wallace Stevens Analytical Essay by chief

The Mythological World of Wallace Stevens
This paper looks at the poems of Wallace Stevens, analyzing Stevens' mythological construct.
# 25400 | 2,928 words | 9 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Mar 28, 2003 in Literature (American) , Literature (Poetry) , English (Analysis) , English (Comparison)

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The writer explores the question of whether Stevens' poetry is located in the realm of imagination or in reality, or attempting to balance somewhere in between. According to the paper, Stevens creates a kind of mythology in each of his poems which centers around refined symbols. The paper looks at these poems, discussing the symbols and how they are effective.

From the Paper:

"Before we can understand what Stevens' mythological construct is, we must first explore what it is not. Recognizing that the crisis of faith today may be as result of the fact that our myths are no longer credible, Stevens searches "to find nobility in things as they are, uncrowned by myths or gods" (Weston 61), which is to say that he finds neither consolation nor enlightenment in conventional mythologies, religious traditions, or cultural histories. Indeed, such dependence on the past threatens the mind seeking to relate itself to the world of the present, and Stevens strives "to clear away all that intervenes between the perceiving mind and the world as presently perceived" (Borroff 3). According to Stevens, we must guard ourselves against the past to avoid being vulnerable to it. For example, Stevens writes in "The Pure Good of Theory," "Malformed, the world was paradise malformed . . . / . . . the solar chariot is junk" (Collected 332), showing that "even though it is no longer believed in, the ancient myth of the sun-god may interpose itself between us and the sun, and the names and legends of the constellations may similarly obscure the stars" (Borroff 3). Thus, the power of myth today is a destructive tendency to eclipse reality."

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