Term Paper: Symbolism in "The Origin

Pages: 5 (1643 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] It is hard to see this as less than Biblical. After all, Satan's realm is in the deeps of the earth, while God rules from the heavens. This line is reminiscent of the conflict between good and evil, between God and Satan that is all too familiar to churchgoers.

But if we were not sure of the relationship between the Deeps and the Clouds in Steere's poem, there is more. He explains that the Deeps were "Threatening to bring the Land under their power And it Devour" (557, line 10). If we assume that Steere's images are symbols for the conflict between good and evil, then the Deeps of the sea can be equated with Satan, the Clouds with God, and the Land would be the in-between realm in which human beings live. In other words, this line from "On a Sea-Storm nigh the Coast" indicates that the Deeps, aka Satan and his ilk, are threatening to consume the land and bring all of humanity by extension under its power. The role of humanity as pawns in a war between Heaven and Hell is all too apparent in Steere's characterization.

Steere, then, obviously had mixed feelings about the content of this poem. It seems evident that he believed in what he was writing, that these powerful images indicate a deeper religious conflict than is evident from his biographical information. "On a Sea-Storm nigh the Coast" is a symbolic representation of the battle between good and evil in Christian religious tradition. Hwever, lines from the poem also indicate that Steere was not convinced of God's beneficence in the matter. He wrote that it was as if the sea and sky had joined forces against the land. This indicates that Steere probably believed the battle between Heaven and Hell was one in which humanity was caught in the middle and subject only to the whims of the divine combatants.

Works Cited

Lauter, Paul (Ed.).… [END OF PREVIEW]

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