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Understanding the Element of Comparison and Contrast, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1132

Essay

Introduction

A person does not know what something means until it is gone. This particular idea on the path of change has become a foundation of belief among human individuals especially when it comes to seeing the basic matters of life and appreciating them while they are still existing. Understandably, through the years of human generation, the instance of change has repeatedly reminded the human individuals regarding this particular fact. One of the proofs of this matter is the transformation of nature’s grandeur, something that has been distinctively defined in Twain’s narrative essay on the Two Views of a River. What was once grand and alluring has become dead and worthless; this is a summarized indication on how Twain tried to pour out his emotions regarding the lost time he had to appreciate what was a beautiful scenery back then. The changes in the environment has caused such beauty to be disregarded and worse, eliminated just so to make way for transformation that are thought to be best for the human society. How much difference did the present made to how a particular element of nature was in the past? This particular factor is given attention to in the overall context of Twain’s essay.

Defining Innocence and Experience

Twain begins with an endearing description on how he first saw the grandeur of the sunset in the river. Nevertheless, grand as it was, he was not as much consumed to actually appreciate what he was experiencing during the time. The trees and all the surrounding creations in the river were all just part of a perfect picture that was relatively normal to his eyes during the days. As Twain himself says: “I still keep in mind a certain wonderful sunset which I witnessed when steamboating was new to me” (1). Considerably, his first days as a river boat pilot introduced him to the grandeur of the environment he was to work with, nevertheless, he was rather focused on what he was tasked to do, to direct and control the boat.

As time passes by, Twain’s tone on describing the river changes as he tries to define how the transformation of the river made the past grandeur a thing of memory. To this he mentions:

A broad expanse of the river was turned to blood; in the middle distance the red hue brightened into gold, through which a solitary log came floating, black and conspicuous; in one place a long, slanting mark lay sparkling upon the water…(1)

What has been constituted to be an incomparable beauty has now become a compelling picture of a devastated environment that is dreadful enough to the eye. His emotional indication of loss specifically points out how he pains to see the changes especially realizing that he already lost the time to enjoy what the environment readily offered to him back then. The hope of having been able to take time and appreciate the beauty of the river in the past was a loss that Twain soulfully regrets as he describes how he wishes to have been able to note the lost grandeur of the river. To make the description more compelling to his readers, he utilizes actual visual presentations of what he was seeing in the river. The dead tree, the log that was lying across the river bed and the unlighted path that he was following as he directed the boat’s route towards its destination; all these aspects of presentation have been the primary elements of Twain’s essay that dictates the changes that happened in the river and how he feels about it.

To present his emotional bearing on the matter, he vividly describes how he reacted to what his eyes were seeing. To this he adds:

“…if that sunset scene had been repeated, I should have looked upon it without rapture, and should have commented upon it, inwardly” (1)

Undeniably, since he already knows what it was to lose all the grandeur, he was able to describe the sunset to be more than just what it is. Deriving a sense of meaning from all the elements of nature that once made the river an invigorating sight, Twain tries to convince his readers that the river was more of a symbol of life that is being lost every time change is being embraced by the human society. Progress and industrialization, being among the most important aspects of modern living, has taken over the beauty of nature for the sake of earning for the sake of developing into a more “civilized” society. In his essay, it is the aim of Mark Twain to point out that at times, the price being paid by the environment for the sake of the supposed convenience that the human society hopes to have, is way higher than necessary. The values lost are even higher than what is gained. In a way, Twain tries to create a connection that would make his readers realize that the need to experience loss should not be necessary anymore for one to realize his cause as a human being and the role he takes in protecting the environment around him.

William Blake’s collection of poems on Songs of Innocence and of Experience specifically defines innocence and experience actually creates a definite course of identifying how the past specifically builds up for the future. Relatively pointing out to the more actual idea of innocence in relation to childhood, William repeatedly defines a great source of development that is experience which directly involves human distinction among other creatures. He points out in his poems that it is the capacity of humans to learn that make them more responsive to experience hence dropping the past’s innocence to the learning that the present is dependent upon.

Conclusion

True, to its sense, it has become a common talk among human societies today that the environment is already losing its grip on the resources it once has taken care of. The reserve of natural resources often result to the devastation of the beauty and grandeur of nature that was primary designed to support human living. In Twain’s essay, he writes a compelling description on how humans ought to react to the said issue on losing environmental riches through understanding how it feels to actually see the devastation of nature. Ignorance has lead the human society to losing some of its most important resources and experience basically brings back their senses into thinking twice as to how they are to use the resources that nature itself provides them. With a clear distinction between development and exploitation of natural resources, humans tend to create a more respective approach to progress that would not directly put the environment into a devastated state as it is suffering at present.

Reference:

Twain, Mark. Two Ways of Seeing a River. (1835 – 1910).
Blake, William. Songs of Innocence and of Experience.(1970).

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