Darwin in 1881 Themes

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The importance of family is at the heart of all three "layers" of "Darwin in 1881"—between Darwin and his wife and children; between Prospero and his daughter and brother; and, of course, between the poet and her father, in whose memory this poem was written. Schnackenberg portrays the main subject, Darwin, as a contemplative, somewhat frail man alternating between thoughts of his accomplishments as a scientist and his personal life as a family man with fond memories of his own childhood. He is ever mindful of the people he loves, taking note of his children's portraits as he descends the stairs in the middle of the night, dizzy and feeling ill. As he walks among the gardens and greenhouses, thinking of his long-ago voyage across the ocean to exotic islands and of the fame he incurred as a result of his studies there, his mind also returns to...

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This section contains 772 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Darwin in 1881 Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Darwin in 1881 from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.