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Introduction & Overview of View

This Study Guide consists of approximately 21 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of View.
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View Summary & Study Guide Description

View Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains For Further Reading on View by Marvin Bell.

Marvin Bell's poem “View,” from his 2004 collection Rampant, is a work that addresses the anxieties of the contemporary world in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, without ever referring to specific events or political trends. While many contemporary poets have focused on expressing their emotions, Bell has purposely focused on the world outside the individual, using the details of reality to make points that would lack impact if they were simply stated as opinions. With the experience of more than forty years of writing and teaching, Bell has honed his craft to an advanced level of subtlety, allowing him to address the major anxieties of our time with the calm assurance that even the things that seem most overturned are normal.

In “View,” Bell sets his thoughts in a real-life, everyday situation, describing the common longing that people have to look out at large bodies of water, snatching what glimpses they can from afar or driving to the shore to just sit in a car, look, and wonder. The poem points to a truism that is often overlooked: that the trees that might obscure one's view, the air itself, and even the person doing the looking are all made mostly of water. Bell then compares this unity to the nature of modern warfare, implying that the enemies are no longer, like oceans, large and obvious, as were many of the armies of earlier eras; instead, wars are fought by individuals who move through society undistinguishable from other ordinary citizens, as prevalent as the molecules of water that exist unseen throughout the world.

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