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Comment 3 of 9, added on October 7th, 2012 at 10:56 PM.
I agree with Kornelia...to a point. This poem is about the afterlife. But,
unfortunately for Stephen Crane, and all those who reject Christian
Theism,any absolute standard of right and wrong, or even God Himself,they
have nothing to offer instead. Man himself becomes the measure of what is
right, what is true, and eventually, what is out there, period. And, sadly
enough, Crane discovers only emptiness and futility. With no absolute
standards, Crane drifts down the corridor of infinite regress - to despair.
Thomas from United States
Comment 2 of 9, added on May 30th, 2005 at 9:26 PM.
This poem explores the question of the afterlife. Crane asks what will
happen if he sheds his "tattered coat" which could also be his human form,
and ascends the skies to find that there is nothing, that there is no
heaven and furthermore, no god--what will have been of his life, what will
have been of all those who devoted their lives to a false diety on the
promise that they would be rewarded when they died. Crane is suggesting
here that life is wasted when we turn our thoughts to the afterlife and
base the quality of our lives, the fulfillment of our greatest potential,
on something as transient and unreliable as the promise of God, heaven, and
an unreal afterlife. After all, according to the Christians, all other
religions are wrong--so what will happen to the Buddhists, the Hindus, the
Muslims, the Pagans, the athiests--where will they go when they cast of
their tattered coats and ascend the skies.
Kornelia from Netherlands
Comment 1 of 9, added on April 21st, 2005 at 12:31 PM.
i think this poem is saying how when you take a chance you never know what
will happen. If the man in the poem decides to take off his coat and become
a new man then what will happen, what if it dosent turn out the way you
want, that is basically what he is asking.
from United States