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Vancouver Lights Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Vancouver Lights.
This section contains 562 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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Themes

Nature

Birney's description of the relationship between nature and culture in "Vancouver Lights" is a metaphor for humanity's relationship to the universe and to history. In the first stanza the speaker, his vision "guided" by the moonless night, sees lights from the city "overleaping the sea jet" and "vaulting] the shears of the inlet," metaphorically suggesting that human beings have overrun nature, that human-made things such as cities dramatically affect the ways in which we see and interact with the natural world. But nature also overruns culture, as in the second stanza when the ocean, metaphorically described as "the primal ink," threatens to engulf cities. Birney both underlines Nature's indifference to human concerns and figures Nature as a malleable substance which can be molded by human will. His description of the "mountain's brutish forehead" and night that "black Experimentress," which threatens to swallow all of human existence, shows a...

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This section contains 562 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Vancouver Lights Study Guide
Copyrights
Vancouver Lights from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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