In lecture today we discussed Meditation XVII by John Donne. While focusing on the third paragraph you stated that the line "never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." embodies the idea that death is imminent. However, in reading the essay I interpreted the line to focus on interconnectedness. Because we are all connected, one is affected by another's death. Therefore, in sorrow and in cause, a part of thestill-living person also dies. My interpretation was largely influenced bythe earlier statement that "any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind..."This is exactly right, except there is no opposition here. The essay's purpose (defined by its occasion as a sermon) is to encourage the sense of charity, that we are 'all members of the one body" to use Donne's biblical metaphor. The essay's method is to awaken the a sense of mortality in the readers ("....send not to ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.")
Thursday, September 11, 2008
From classfellow H.P.