Online Custom «"We are Many" by Pablo Neruda» Essay Sample

“We are Many” by Pablo Neruda is a sad poem that makes the reader feel confused due to the lack of accurate explanations within the whole plot. The author illustrates a male part of the humankind while trying to show its nothingness related to the lack of wisdom. In this case, the poem is based on the narrator’s conflict with himself as he consists of two personalities, or even many men that live inside his mind. Thus, the author portrays a human nature while exploring it through the duality of the narrator and his dissatisfaction with the surrounding, which includes different human vices.

People are not who they seem, but they are what they do. In the poem “We are Many”, Neruda observes the contemporary society and indicates that there are many similar men who do not differ from one another. One can assume that even the title emphasizes the hidden implication of the plot based on the fact that people have too many faces. It means that we often wear the so-called masks, being able to pretend to be anybody anytime when it is necessary. The point is that these human masks do not reveal who we are indeed, but still, it is merely impossible to get rid of them as everybody depends on them, living like ghosts. The words “Of the many men whom I am, whom we are,/ I cannot settle on a single one” emphasize that all men have the same features as they have lost their identity (Neruda 1-2). It is evident that a narrator is a man who cannot find himself among others as they have too much in common. Moreover, the speaker realizes that neither he nor others deserve much respect due to their invisible existence. Thus, there are many men, but there is nobody who attracts the speaker’s attention because of distinctive features that can make others unique.

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Life is full of irony and absurdity, but nothing can be more preposterous than human actions. The lines “They are lost to me under the cover of clothing/ They have departed for another city” show that the narrator unites all men together as they are not personalities (Neruda 3-4). Perhaps, using the verbs “lost”, and “departed”, the speaker wants the reader to realize that men do not exist for him due to their inability to reveal their dignity. Clothes cover their sinful bodies, but nothing can hide their inner fears and emptiness, which rule over their actions. “The cover of clothing” and “another city” are metaphoric illustration of their useless life as they move from one part of life to another one while its sense remains the same. It is obvious that the speaker despises men; however, he hates himself even more due to the fact that he resembles them. The man hesitates and cannot even determine who he is in the modern society; he does not know what exact position he takes and thus, he starts comparing himself to “a man of intelligence”, “the fool”, and “a coward”. By the way, “a man of intelligence” is simile, which depicts the truth of the speaker’s nature as the reader understands that the man has lost himself while hiding his real face from the surrounding world. Thus, his soul is full of mysteries, which he cannot explore to become free and independent inside his overloaded mind.

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Living in a constant struggle with his inner feelings and emotions, the narrator does not see the meaning of life. If the reader assumes that there many other men who have captured his mind, then, the speaker is the most miserable man on the Earth. He cannot resist their pressure and power as they reign over his thoughts through words, and various actions. In this case, the author uses such images as “skeleton”, “bullets”, “cowboy”, and “horses” to explain that the narrator’s mind never stops thinking about those issues that bother him like a sharp piece of metal that gradually penetrates his heart. These images also show that he is still alive, being able to differ reality from his world of imagination based on his dual nature. Moreover, his consciousness is in the random state as he mentions: “What must I do to distinguish myself?/ How can I put myself together?” (Neruda 19-20). The man is confused, but his thoughts make him develop his personal conflict connected with duality through regularly appeared bright pictures and images. On the other hand, it seems that these images contribute to his destruction as a personality. Consequently, the tone of the poem becomes sad and desperate as the reader concludes that the speaker’s depression merely swallows him by stealing life from him.

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The speaker intends to understand a human being, and the use of imagery and symbolism helps the reader to learn the speaker’s nature and the nature of other men as well. The words “I die with envy of them” demonstrate the narrator’s inner desire to change his life because he wants to resemble the heroes from the books (Neruda 24). Eventually, the reader notices that there are some different men, who deserve the protagonist’s respect. He envies them, but this feeling makes him explore the world more and more when he comes back to life every new time after his painful “dream” to discover something innocent. Perhaps, books symbolize the truth of life, which the narrator searches while “digging” his mind. In fact, this significant symbol reflects the speaker’s thought and reinforces his desire to learn himself among millions of others, who waste their life for nothing.

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