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Analysis and comments on In the desert by Stephen Crane

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Comment 29 of 919, added on November 17th, 2005 at 8:43 AM.

i think this poem is about a lonely person situated in a desert deprived of
all humanily acqiutance like love encouragement happyness who resorts to
embracing his own heartly bitterness through liking his weaknesses

mike j from Uganda
Comment 28 of 919, added on November 16th, 2005 at 9:47 AM.

this poem is an expression of his love for hat makers and the trade of hats
but when itr comes to hat burning crane steps in a makes a stand for

hatmaster from Andorra
Comment 27 of 919, added on November 13th, 2005 at 3:07 PM.

I think jesse below me has hit the point EXACTLY. The desert is his place
of complete aloness, drawn away from the world that so distracts us on an
every day level. The mentions of himself (for I believe this is a
autobiographical poem) as a "creature, naked, bestial" show that he has
dropped all of the norms put in place by society and civilization, and has
gotton down to his essential, tru "humaness". The eating of his heart is
truley allowing himself to delve into his own mind, which is not sujested
lightly here considering that he choosing eating as the means (eating being
a very intimate way of intaking in something. The friend reference shows
the first sign of self acceptance, as he is abvoulsy talking to himself,
although it may be two different sides corresponding. And the heart being
bitter for me shows that he has overcome ignorant childhood notions of a
happy endning, and has come to the realization that the world isnt a very
happy place, that it is in fact "bitter". But he would gladly take his
revelation and introspective over ignorance on the fact, and thus he "likes
his heart because it is bitter". My favorite poetic composition ever.

Alex from United States
Comment 26 of 919, added on November 10th, 2005 at 6:17 PM.

just a thought: he eats his heart to remind himself that he is alive, and
although he is in a bleak, blank area, the proof of existance is all he

jordan from United States
Comment 25 of 919, added on October 12th, 2005 at 8:30 PM.

i think the poem is about envy. the creature is eating his heart out.

bill shannon from United States
Comment 24 of 919, added on October 12th, 2005 at 5:54 PM.

i think the fact that he is naked in the desert suggests that he is all
alone, completely revealed emotionally to the world; he has nothing to hide
and nowhere to hide it. also i the 'eating of his heart' portrays more a
sense of introspection than self-mutilation. i think he sees his faults but
loves and is proud of himself despite them.

Jesse from United States
Comment 23 of 919, added on September 28th, 2005 at 2:49 PM.

I think that he is on the edge of hiding his heart. He is trying to devour
it to conseal it. He is naked be cause he feels exposed to some one or some
thing. His heart is bitter because he dislikes some thing he has done or
himself. I think he feels alone because he is in the desert and he is not
with anyone. A beautiful work, from an exellent artist.

Carley from United States
Comment 22 of 919, added on September 11th, 2005 at 9:39 AM.

it's a great poem, is it really all that neccessary to critique it online?
do you people really get that big of a kick out of sounding smart? (or
trying to...) I mean, Stephen Crane is great, let's just read his poems,
become deeply effected on several emotional levels and go through life
unknowingly altered, there's no need to bring poetry terminology into the
whole thing!

rhea from United States
Comment 21 of 919, added on August 31st, 2005 at 6:23 AM.

This is a beautiful piece of work. The first thing i see, though, is the
desert. This 'creature', who we all know to be a person, is trapped in a
bleak wasteland of his own soul. Not Hell, as heat is never mentioned, but
dry and dusty and mostly isolated (probably by choice).

Secondly, obviously, the 'creature, naked, beastial,' (l. 2) does represent
someone who has been stripped of all social refinement, and comes to us as
a primitive. Holding his own heart in his hands, as opposed to someone
else holding it (as someone might tell a lover they do) shows this man's
control over himself and his emotions.

Now the big thing: This fellow is not being self-destructive. The narrator
never said that he ATE his heart, only that he ate OF if, or tasted it, as
it were. He took a small sampling of it and found it bitter, which was to
his liking. Bitterness was this fellow's self-made shield, or wall, to
keep himself safe and to keep others, like the narrator, at a distance.

This is a poem about safety and isolation, and, yes, probably cowardice and
stubbornness, but, to go against the popular opinion, not self-destruction
and abuse.

Josh from United States
Comment 20 of 919, added on August 27th, 2005 at 5:21 AM.

a cynic must maintain that his/her cynicism is true - this is the creature
in the desert, the cynic who has made it (or it has all become) reality,
proof, truth!

Nimal from Australia

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Information about In the desert

Poet: Stephen Crane
Poem: 3. In the desert
Volume: The Black Riders & Other Lines
Year: 1905
Added: Jan 31 2004
Viewed: 2226 times
Poem of the Day: Jun 28 2000

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