“The Chambered Nautilus” In "The Chambered Nautilus" by Oliver Wendell the snail in the shell is growing up just like man does, birth to death. Many relate more to this animal than most people realize. A man grows out of clothes, socks, and shoes, much like they gradually grow out of the chambers of their shell. They move through the chambers of their shell after they have grown and are no longer comfortable in the space that now seems so small. Men like snails grow uncomfortable in their own shells. A man begins to like different things in life in separate stages of growth. As a child, they play with toys, eat, and sleep pretty much the whole day, as they grow up they begin to take responsibility for their own actions, going to school, and realizing there is more to life than just minor activities. Once man has become an adult they are set on raising a family, making a living, and retirement. During the first stages of life they are free and everything seems fresh, but as they grow they lose their youth, their ability to do many of the activities they were once able to, and they grow closer to the reality of death. Men simply shrug off the facts of growing old so they can feel young again. Snails realize they are towards the end of their life span once they are in the final chamber, much like men realize old age is setting in at about 40 to 50 years of age. Men all grow up, change, and even feel uncomfortable in their own shells regardless of the amount of space. Men, like snails, grow gradually, live as good of a life as they can, and eventually die. Analysis allows one to recognize the correlation between the nautilus shell and their own life. As man proceeds through life, he is unable to turn back and relive his past. Men build steps in their lives, just as the nautilus builds chambers. Once men have acted, and the chamber is sealed off, they can no longer reverse in time, just as the nautilus “built up its idle door,...
Cited: Thompson,Eilean,editing publisher. Prentice Hall: The American Experience. 1994 Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Prentice Hall, Inc.
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