Not Waving but Drowning

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Personal life, Human Pages: 2 (514 words) Published: October 27, 2005
1."Not Waving But Drowning" by Stevie Smith tells us about a man that went for a swim. The water is cold and the man went too far out; he begins to panic. What is seen from the shore looks like a man waving from out in the water, when in reality he is drowning. Then man dies, and people are surprised because they didn't think he was in need of help.

2.The author's universal idea is: humans are fragile creatures, easily misunderstood. The man was drowning but people thought that he was just out for a swim, and was waving from out in the water. As people are beginning the reflect on what happened they all agree that the water was too cold that day and he was out a bit too far. This is representative of the way many people are, in that we are often too busy in what is going on in our own lives that we fail to see the people "drowning" around us. We may have a crisis in our life and want someone to offer assistance, but many times people don't see a problem unless they are asked directly for help.

3.Probably the only motivation that is demonstrated in the poem is from "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs", and that is "need for belonging". Need for belonging is appropriate because all humans have this need, and if the drowning man had had a close friend on the shore he may not have drowned. We need to have people around us who will be there when we need help and that we can help them when they need it. If the drowning man had a friend on shore, that friend would probably have noticed that there was a problem and that the man needed help.

4.Growing up I think that at some point in our live we all feel like we are drowning. I spent 2 years drowning, and it wasn't until I realized and accepted that I was drowning that I finally cried out for help. I lived with some people who allowed me all the freedom I didn't have at home with my parents. After living a reckless lifestyle I ended up pregnant. The day I found out I was pregnant I went home because I...
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