Fiddler Crab Historical Context

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Jacobsen's “Fiddler Crab” is set in an indeterminate time and a nonspecific place. The poem has no direct relationship to any moment in history for two reasons. First, a primary theme of the poem is time and its levels. To adequately address the questions of the levels of time (for example, eternity), framing life between birth and death, a sense of proportion, and so forth, the poem cannot be fixed to or affected by any one relative moment. In order for Jacobsen's observations and commentary on time to maintain a sense of timelessness, she must question the nature of time outside any reference to history and chronology. Although “Fiddler Crab” was written sometime between 1950 and 1965, no particular date is given or referenced in the poem.

Second, Jacobsen avoids any reference to a particular time or place because the poem is also a personal exploration of...

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This section contains 439 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Fiddler Crab Study Guide
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