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Ithaka Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ithaka.
This section contains 785 words
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Life as a Journey

The theme of the poem may be summed up in one phrase: it is better to journey than to arrive. Life should not be wasted in always contemplating the goal of one's endeavors or in building up hopes and schemes for the future but in enjoying the journey. An obsession with the final goal can blind a person to the real business of living, which is to enjoy every minute that is available.

There is also the hint that life can be disappointing. The goals people strive for, their Ithakas, may not yield what they hoped for. Therefore, it is better not to have expectations. The poet counsels that there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: Ithaka may be poor, with nothing to give. Perhaps, he also implies that a person should not have lofty ideals or strive to realize...

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This section contains 785 words
(approx. 2 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.
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