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A Man Said To The Universe Analysis



Author: poem of Stephen Crane Type: poem Views: 43

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A man said to the universe:

"Sir I exist!"

"However," replied the universe,

"The fact has not created in me

A sense of obligation."





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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The man, being the Universe manifested as himself, says aloud to the Universe, that he exists. In the main form of communication the Universe as ourselves uses to convey meaning it responds that though you do indeed exist, are no more or less for it, we being the Universe. The poem is a reflection of man's understanding of himself and his place in the Universe, which IS and is himself.

| Posted on 2017-01-28 | by a guest


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A dialogue is initiated by man. Why? Because the universe is ignoring him. He proclaims his existence. He speaks as an equal by addressing the universe with the honorific, sir. The universe acknowledges him, and responds in kind by agreeing that he exists by saying, however. The universe confirms that the man's existence establishes no "sense" of obligation. The universe will provide or not provide without any feeling of an obligation. Check out Omar kayam "The moving finger writes. . ." and the subsequent stanza about the inverted bowl we call the sky.

| Posted on 2014-11-18 | by a guest


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To me, A Man said to the Universe isn't about humanity, it's about a human or some humans rather. There is a reason this particular man proudly proclaims to the universe. We are the pinnacle species of our planet and that should be recognized, but where this man and men like him fail is his pride in that which he has had nothing to do with achieving. His whole life this man has been proud of his looks/heritage/family wealth, etc. and in this moment the universe has informed him that the fact of his existence means nothing. Anyone can exist. We are the pinnacle species of our planet, to set such a low standard for pride is the folly of man. Our greatest attribute as a species is understanding and this man understands nothing. We are the stewards of our planet, of wisdom, of accomplishment, of education, of societal happiness and success, and so much more. A life worth living is one that has meaning and echos through the universe. To exist is to just take up space. The test is, can you be so sure you wouldn't be proud if you were born rich and beautiful?

| Posted on 2014-11-18 | by a guest


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In my view this is a poem seemingly about both human hubris and concete. First man saying to the universe he exist is the hubris. The delusion of the universe answering back is the concete. Even the authors need to write this and our profound sentiment towards this material both speaks to hubris in our view of others and to our concete, and likely the authors too, that we are some how removed from this very pervasive human trait.
In our language we are the creator and master with great powers over our worlds of perception, truth, and imagination. But those worlds have very little relevance on the realities which we are subject to. So in a deeper way this poem is more about our fear in the face of the awesome reality of how unfathomably small and fragile our existence is to this inconceivably larger universe, or even to our own human nature.

| Posted on 2014-08-10 | by a guest


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This blunt poem represents a move away in american literacture from the Romantic belief that man can live in harmony with nature. The idealistic notion that 'Mother Nature' provides for mankind is deliberately shattered by the stark indifference of 'the Universe'.

| Posted on 2014-07-20 | by a guest


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When I was read this poem by someone I felt and became saddened
. Just because someone says something doesn't mean
it to be true. In this case if it is it's very sad to me.
If the Universe is characterized this way so be it, doesn't mean that
I need to think of this way towards others. I could neutralize it and see that the universe is saying perhaps. You think your important., but not really. This is a great messge for people with big Egos. It
To out them in their place. I'm perplexed as to what
Is great about this poem.

| Posted on 2014-02-27 | by a guest


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I think it means just what it says, the man exists and the universe does not feel obligated to allow him to exist. So the next day, somehow the man gets into an "accidental" car crash. The end

| Posted on 2014-01-15 | by a guest


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Man is bound by Natural Law and deserves no special treatment from the Universe. You must live your life according to it's rules. We are all the same in the eyes of the universe.

| Posted on 2014-01-13 | by a guest


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This poem is all about the exclamation point. (And the use thereof is extraordinarily rare in fine writing of any type.) The "man" is not speaking with the "Universe." He is challenging the universe. And the universe is unmoved. Our sense of ourselves, our sentience...is irrelevant: we exist, the Universe takes no note of us, and this poem does us the favor of informing us of that reality. How we deal with this reality is the signal test of our existence. We don't matter, except to ourselves.

| Posted on 2013-12-04 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is all about the exclamation point. (And the use thereof is extraordinarily rare in fine writing of any type.) The "man" is not speaking with the "Universe." He is challenging the universe. And the universe is unmoved. Our sense of ourselves, our sentience...is irrelevant: we exist, the Universe takes no note of us, and this poem does us the favor of informing us of that reality. How we deal with this reality is the signal test of our existence. We don't matter, except to ourselves.

| Posted on 2013-12-04 | by a guest


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if the universe has no obligation to us why does it respond thats the question.

| Posted on 2013-11-22 | by a guest


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The universe has no obligation to the man, but the fact that it responds shows a sense of \"care.\" The poem also conveys Crane\'s views as a naturalists by giving the man an answer to the implied question \"Will something respond?\" but the answer to his question is not very satisfying.

| Posted on 2013-02-03 | by a guest


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I sense some verbal irony in Cranes Tone in that he has the universe answer to the human, when he is clearing saying that humans are not entitled to anything the universe has to offer. Such an interesting poem on Existentialism.

| Posted on 2012-09-13 | by a guest


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We are nothing to the universe. It isn\'t obligated to let us thrive meaning man has to save itself.

| Posted on 2012-07-02 | by a guest


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The universe is not obliged to nurture or protect your existence. You are less than a speck in the cosmos, and your existence is temporary. If you want something, be it wealth or respect, humble yourself and work for it.

| Posted on 2012-06-07 | by a guest


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The message I take away is that people are by nature self centered...the universe is simply pointing out to the man that \" the world doesn\'t revolve around you\".

| Posted on 2012-02-09 | by a guest


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To me it says that we are born without any obligation by the universe, if we want something, either to get or to believe, its something we have to find out for ourselves.

| Posted on 2012-01-31 | by a guest


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This is one of my favorite poems, I love it. To me its saying that you can\'t just get what you want. Just because you\'re alive doesn\'t mean that the universe owes you anything.

| Posted on 2011-11-16 | by a guest


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The poem is first talking about how man is exclaiming that he is somewhat \"almighty\" and is the most important thing, then the universe puts man in his place saying that man isn\'t as important s he thinks.

| Posted on 2011-08-21 | by a guest


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if the universe feels no obligation why does it answer?

| Posted on 2011-03-25 | by a guest


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You may have wants and needs, but the universe does not care. You have to work hard to achieve your goals.

| Posted on 2010-08-30 | by a guest


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Why Would the man say such a thing to the universe? How would he do it (do you think he's actully speaking or doing something)?

| Posted on 2010-05-19 | by a guest


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We are not entitled anything by virtue of merely existing.

| Posted on 2010-01-25 | by a guest


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I always read this to be people think too much of themselves, and for whatever reason feel entitled.

| Posted on 2009-11-11 | by a guest


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the world is so big
and therefore, no one is obligated to take care of you.
everyone is basically on their own in life.

| Posted on 2009-03-29 | by a guest


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it doesnt matter if you're the most special person in the world. nobody has to care or pay you any attention.

| Posted on 2008-08-15 | by a guest




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