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The Wanderer

By:   •  October 27, 2018  •  Article Review  •  405 Words (2 Pages)  •  163 Views

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Briefly discuss the paradox that even while the exile in “The Wanderer” laments his loss of a group identity, he gains an individual identity by being alone. What does this say about his loneliness?

Often when people are separated from the crutch of society they turn towards religion in search for a deeper understanding of themselves, further developing a personal sense of identity. As “The Wanderer” ventures on his own, he begins to lament about the identity he believes he lost; his life with his kinsmen. He was used to a life of glory where feasts with his closest friends was commonplace but as he continues in his monologue he begins see that these pleasures are superfluous and don’t define him. People who begin to define themselves with the groups of people that are around them often find themselves homogenizing their identity with that of the group and can easily lose sight of their individuality. In this poem he notices man’s tendency to conform to a group identity and states “… those eager for praise often bind a sad mind” reveling that those who are in constant search for acceptance from a group are not able to validate their own individuality. Hence, when separated from others man is now forced to search individual identity, and this is where most turn to religion as it offers a set of beliefs and values that shape one’s concept of themselves. Near the end of The Wanderer the protagonist begins to describe his ideal man based on the new values he is coming to adopt.


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