For Whom the Bell Tolls

"No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee."

This quotation–first spoken by John Donne–has been a fascination among people for several decades. "For whom the bell tolls," a reference to the longer saying, often replaces this quotation in modern discussion. But does it fulfillingly represent the original statement, and perhaps more importantly, does this view on society still ring true? Let us explore the statement. First it describes human nature, on how we individually could not exist on our own without stability and dependence from others, relating all of us to a “Continent,” and one who is alone to a lonely “Island.” The next two fragments discuss people, some who are disliked, yet are missed. Also, there are people nobody ever really knew, but they are missed as well. And the ending is the powerful statement that summarizes the whole of human's emotions, saying that, although we may judge others and base our lives on superiority, we are all human in the end. As such, even if someone we hardly knew were to pass away, we as human beings would feel it; it does not matter who you are or who they were, but the fact of knowing that one less number will be in the world never to live again takes away a piece of us. In being in existence we are able to feel this, and it is overall what defines us as human beings. When something around you has died, a piece of you has died along with it. We are one in unity, and without all pieces of this puzzle, we are never truly complete. We are apart of one another — and those we exist with are a part of us. This powerful statement, written several years ago, surprisingly should apply to our society even today. But one cannot go without questioning if we indeed follow this in modern times. How can we, with what goes on around us? This time period, although said to be one of great discoveries and enlightenment, has been fatal and poisonous to many. How can we describe this era when there is war, peace, and mutual disagreement all occurring at once? One day there are miracles occurring and life is in ultimate peace, when the next day, terror strikes. The worst part of this ongoing cycle is the fact that we are the ones who caused it — we, as humans, created the nuclear bomb. We, as humans, have held threats against other nations just to keep them in check. We, as humans, step on all the people we can in life, just so we can get ahead. What is our society if not a giant hole; a hole in which we are digging, deeper and deeper until we have sealed our own fate? And yet we say we have integrity, we testify our innocence, we blame our best friends just to elude trouble we have caused. We tell ourselves we care about one another — but what hope is there for a society if its people can no longer hear the bell's toll?



One Response to “For Whom the Bell Tolls”

  1. nick13 Says:

    For whom the bell tolls… the bell tolls for death

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