Related Topics

The Afterlife Themes

Billy Collins
This Study Guide consists of approximately 20 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Afterlife.
This section contains 469 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Afterlife Study Guide

Humor

Because literature, especially poetry, has traditionally dealt with serious subject matter in a serious manner, critics rarely consider light verse "great" poetry. Collins's poem uses humor, however, to make a serious point: human experience is malleable, and the unknown far outweighs the known. By caricaturing those who hold various beliefs about the afterlife, Collins shows just how silly trying to fathom the unknown can be. For example, by depicting the feminist "god" as a kind of middle-aged librarian, he satirizes those who hold that God is a woman, and by depicting those who believe in reincarnation as trying to squeeze into "the skin of a monkey like a tight suit," he lampoons the beliefs of a billion Hindus. Collins, however, is an equal opportunity offender in this poem, satirizing the beliefs of most major religions and even those who do not believe in organized religion.

Meaning of Life

(read more from the Themes section)

This section contains 469 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Afterlife Study Guide
Copyrights
Poetry for Students
The Afterlife from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.