Ways to Live Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ways to Live.
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Reincarnation

In this poem, Stafford talks about reincarnation as a second chance to correct the things that were done wrong in this life. His version of this religious belief might be a little oversimplified, in that he presents this doctrine as if it means that one will lead the same life, over and over, with added understanding of what was done right and wrong each time before. If it were that simple, then reincarnation really would be a matter of steering around troubles that one can anticipate coming. True Indian beliefs about reincarnation are, of course, much more complicated, with the spirit ending up in worse circumstances or better circumstances, depending on the karma gained in subsequent lives. In Eastern religions, one's chances with reincarnation are more uncertain than Stafford presents them here, but the idea of reincarnation does help this poem make a point about the abruptness of...

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This section contains 1,286 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ways to Live Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Ways to Live from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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