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On "End of the World"


Signi Lenea Falk

The sense of alienation, of being unprotected by orthodox religion, a sense of lostness which preoccupies modern man is stated in the sonnet, "End of the World." It may be said to represent a theme not only of the 1920's but also of some of MacLeish's own writing in later decades. If there are no answers to the mysteries, if there is no defense in the elaborate rituals and disciplines of the church, man must rely on the gift of the divine within his own mind. Amos Wilder referred to "the tone of mock fantasy" with which the idea of a silent, indifferent. universe is projected in the image of a circus tent, an image that was later to provide the setting for J. B.

From Archibald MacLeish. New York: Twayne, 1965. Copyright 1965 by Twayne Publishers, Inc.


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