Life Transience In Poem And Short Stories




Life Transience In Poem And Short Stories

Human beings exist in the world is a temporary and transient affair that most individuals fail to realize, especially when they are healthy. The duration of living in this world is short-lived, with variations in time as the only difference (Wolf 202). Tobias Wolf authored a short story, “Bullet in the Brain,” and Wallace Steven’s poem, “The Emperor of Ice-cream,” avail various examples to demonstrate the transience of life. The story captures the notion of real-world duration, a fantastical creation of the brain, and how time on earth quickly lapses. At the same time, the poem illustrates the necessity of every person endeavouring to live a dignified life.

The rate at which a person’s demise is fundamentally the main reason their life is halted. In the story’s development, one could undergo daily activities, and an unanticipated fatality terminates their life. The report furthers that explanation by depicting Ander’s arrival at a bank late and his forced to queue in a long line. Further aggravating the issue, the teller closed Ander’s lane, meaning he had to wait in line for more time. Wolf demonstrates to the readers another real and world-time example by illustrating the speedy penetration of a bullet in Ander’s skull at a 900 feet speed per second (206). The bullet situation allows Ander’s mediation of childhood memories. Despite the limited time he has to exist in this world, the brain neurotransmitters afford to make time and fire fast, replaying through his mind such childhood memories.

While Ander’s situation usually should lay tragedy signals with the expunging brain, it is apparent that any time on earth warrants a person’s leeway to undertake or conceptualize whatever issue they choose. In very few clock time seconds, Ander affords time to recall fine and small details, such as the baseball pickup game, right in the span of the bullet penetrating his head (Wolf 203). By the bullet’s exit of his skull, the stream of memories has already played at his mind, in thoughts encapsulating his favourite memories, hobbies, talents and aspirations, such as in the commerce marble hall. The poem regards life as precious owing to its fleeting nature through addressing life sensuality, which is the life experiences human beings realize via senses, often juxtaposing that sensuality, for instance, the ability to taste with the numbness of a lifeless body.

Time passage is a notable element in human beings, often involving various individual character representations, experiences and personal development. Wolf’s story demonstrates Ander’s transformation, initially an appreciative boy, graduating into a man who is disdainful and judgmental (Wolf 201). As such, the readers see the strangely roused Ander, retaining his passion as a focused boy, often memorizing numerous poems and sometimes waking up from his sleep laughing (Wolf 206). The sudden situational changes occur when he marries his first lover, but her eventual predictability bores him. Later, he has a daughter, greatly adoring her, but he eventually gets disappointed by her choice of becoming a Dartmouth sullen economics professor. Life transformation also occurs in his love for books, but later stages of his life were filled with spite for books, and authors were irking him. Essentially, the author portrays the capability of time lapsing or presenting an individual with different feelings, such as disdain for aspects one was previously eliciting their passion.

While revolving around the issue of life’s sudden passage, Wallace’s poem depicts the universality of people’s fatality. The poem argues the importance of people living their lives to the fullest, since the final fatality is inevitable, through various illustrations that savouring joy or pleasure via consuming a delicious ice cream matters (Stevens 5). Essentially, the poem focuses on ice cream as a foreground for vital sensory enjoyment, with the initial instruction that the speaker sends as fetching a maker of solid cigars, one who is notably muscular. Mentioning that the particular man should have muscles indicates sexual undertones similarly anchored by the present wrenches, an archaic connotation of women. Thus, the collective kitchen scenes embody subtle approaches that the poem uses to depict the prevailing sensual or sexual pleasures.

While life is full of pleasures, enjoyments and fascinating things, all such experiences are temporary and cannot last forever, not even in an individual’s lifespan. The cigars eventually burn out, while the ice creams melt, with sexual pleasures suggestive of fleeting but kind enjoyment. Ironically, the ice cream depicts the dead body getting out after a quick demonstration of life’s joys and stability and linking the ice cream with the hard lifeless body, a connotation of how swift a human being can turn into a corpse (Stevens 8). However, as the story relates to Ander, the sudden events surrounding the halting of life awakens the call for an individual’s self-reflection and retrospection. A person should live happily, but such a solid does not guarantee the right to treat others with disdain. Primarily, when the demise stage is imminent, most people, such as Ander, evaluate their lives, fake perfection, and reflect on the best moments while gaining remorse for the periods in life they made grave mistakes or failed to realize their true selves.

In various sections of the poem, the speaker issues instructions that offer a linkage between life’s sensuality and life’s vividness. For instance, the image regarding the previous month’s newspapers having flowers contrasts between the beauties and briefness characterizing life, and the past’s discarded waste, which is the newspapers. In the subtle argument, the author encourages people to abhor wasting time in life complaining about challenges but instead focus on deriving utmost satisfaction from various life encounters (Stevens 4). Enjoying what life presents an individual allows them leeway to maximize their potential and make the best achievements. He postulates that stopping by and smelling at the flowers is always worth one’s time, as time would inevitably progress, and all that it entails would change into old news.

Every individual undertakes their life in their way, depending on specific issues such as preference, beliefs and cultural contexts. The poem does not represent an emperor probably wielding power or authority in the ordinary sense, but rather a personification of life pleasures and celebrating life in all of its possible fleeting glory before it lapses out. Life transformation is demonstrated within the story, illustrating that various events characterize a person’s behaviour and perception of people, as in Ander’s case. Sometimes what an individual regards as necessary in life would have no appreciation at another time, with changing contexts and preferences. At the final instance of life ending, all the pleasures a person enjoys end too, and their main focus at that final stage is the best life situations and memories.


Works Cited

Stevens, Wallace. The emperor of ice-cream. Prometheus Press, 1984.

Wolff, Tobias. “Bullet in the Brain.” The night in question (1996): 200-206.


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