Both Stevens and Durkheim believe that humans read order into the world to aid in understanding. In general, Durkheim believed that humans create religion as a way to give events meaning and explain why things happen. In "Origin of the Idea of the Totemic Principle," Durkheim elaborates on these ideas.
Men know well that they are acted upon, but they do not know by whom. So they must invent by themselves the idea of these powers with which they feel themselves in connection, and from that, we are able to catch a glimpse of the way by which they are led to represent them under forms that are really foreign to their nature and to transfigure them by thought. (172)
The idea that society, which is created by people, can in turn act upon people is a difficult concept for humans to grasp. Instead, it is easier for humans to realize that actions happen by forces external to themselves and attribute these forces to a supreme being or a god.
Stevens also establishes that humans naturally read order into the world and that it is inevitable because it is necessary for understanding. Like Durkheim stated, the human mind better grasps things that are reflected through... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2005, 08). A Quest for Order: Wallace Stevens and Emile Durkheim. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 08, 2005, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Quest-Order-Wallace-Stevens-Emile-Durkheim-63166.html
"A Quest for Order: Wallace Stevens and Emile Durkheim" StudyMode.com. 08 2005. 08 2005 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Quest-Order-Wallace-Stevens-Emile-Durkheim-63166.html>.
"A Quest for Order: Wallace Stevens and Emile Durkheim." StudyMode.com. 08, 2005. Accessed 08, 2005. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Quest-Order-Wallace-Stevens-Emile-Durkheim-63166.html.