Pablo Neruda's Use of Nature

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The natural world is one that exists outside of all human constructs and limitations, and illuminates a valuable reality in the world. When considering Pablo Neruda’s body of work, a clear thematic focus on nature is visible. Many of his poems reference the natural, untouched world. This is a thematic juxtaposition to the over-structured, artificial nature of human culture. Using nature symbolically within these poems allows for a clear distinction to be drawn between the real and the artificial, and speaks to the flaws that Neruda sees within society. He brings to the reader’s attention the value of instinctual behavior and emotion, as well as the natural qualities of humans, women in particular, and the social constraints by which all people are bound. His disapproval and call for change is apparent. Neruda's use of natural symbolism within Walking Around and I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair illustrates several separate issues of superficiality versus reality,

The poem I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair serves as an excellent demonstration of this divide of the real versus the superficial. Natural imagery is used within this poem to illustrate that the woman in question supersedes the artificial constructs of society. “Your hands the color of a savage harvest,/ hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails” is an evident example of this natural symbolism. Within this poem the female is portrayed as raw and real, an element of nature, as opposed to a part of the society that humans have created. Neruda uses similes and metaphors to draw this comparison, illustrating her value and power within the world and upon him. Through his stylistic choices, he demonstrates how his attraction, his need for this woman, is not merely superficial and lustful, as she herself is something greater than what society allows. Although throughout the poem the woman’s physical features are illustrated as the attractive elements of her, it is clear that it is not in...
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