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Ithaka Essay

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Aubrey holds a Ph.D. in English and has published many articles on twentieth century literature. In this essay, Aubrey discusses the range of possible meanings implied by the term Ithaka and compares the poem to Tennyson's "Ulysses" and W. H. Auden's "Atlantis."

It is often said that human beings live mostly in the past or in the future, but never the present. As individuals, humans spend much of their available mental energy analyzing, dissecting, and often regretting the past, or planning, dreaming about, and often fearing the future. An observer from outer space, were such a being privy to the workings of the human mind, might be baffled as to why these denizens of planet Earth exert themselves and attempt to work their will upon events that do not in fact exist, since the past has vanished into nothing and the future is only an idea in...

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This section contains 1,427 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ithaka Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Ithaka from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.