The Chambered Nautilus Summary & Study Guide

Oliver Wendell Holmes
This Study Guide consists of approximately 22 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Chambered Nautilus.
This section contains 1,256 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
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Stanza 1

The title “The Chambered Nautilus” refers to a sea creature that lives in the western Pacific and the Indian oceans and has a hard external shell, or exoskeleton. The creature lives in and is able to withdraw into the outermost compartment of its shell, which consists of sealed sections and is one of nature's best examples of a logarithmic spiral, one that grows at an exponential rate and appears to expand while it grows. Line 1 calls the nautilus a “ship of pearl,” which combines a comparison to a human-made sailing vessel with a description of the pearly finish of the nautilus shell. The speaker then notes that “poets feign,” or pretend, that the nautilus “Sails the unshadowed main,” or the wide-open waters.

Lines 3, 4, and 5 continue the conceit, or extended comparison, of the nautilus to a ship, creating an image of a “venturous,” or adventurous, wooden ship whose...

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This section contains 1,256 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Chambered Nautilus Study Guide
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