The use of description is not only able to show relevance to a given topic, object or theme. More important, there is the ability to describe different concepts with a hidden meaning that relates directly to the author’s point of view. …
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The metaphor then becomes a unification of how men naturally are, as opposed to observing these as nature that is outside of those who are observing the birds. The observations that Turner makes about the pelican are related to specific attributes and parts of the character that this bird holds and which others don’t. Turner not only uses this to imply specific aspects of the bird from the natural perspective. There is also a connection to the descriptions and the desires which the author has to have these same attributes. Turner describes specific details about the pelicans, while leaving others out, specifically to show how these relate to the natural elements of men. The first concept which shows this is when Turner tells about the pelican in flight. “So although 19,000 feet is impressive, and no one knows how high pelicans can or do fly, the most interesting question is this: What are they doing up there? Soaring. Cackling. Yes, but why? I don’t think anybody knows, and this mystery, along with inevitable speculations, are a large part why I find them so appealing”.
This particular passage is one that is only describing the nature of pelicans and the high flight which they take. However, Turner grabs onto this notion as one that is filled with mystery and an attribute that no other bird has. This becomes a metaphor for what the author desires, specifically because of the appeal which he has when describing this component of the pelican. This also links to the attributes which the author believes that every human has. The mystery as well as the ideal of being able to fly to places where others can’t find the birds becomes the desire which Turner also longs for.
and believes is a natural human element that all have. Another application which Turner adds in when describing the birds is with the sounds that they make. This is first described with the sound and absence of sound that the birds have when they are in breeding season or when applying this to other aspects of their natural habitat. Turner states that this is not heard as often and is difficult to observe because of the mystery of the birds and the desire to stay away from humans. There is another reference which goes beyond this to show how the pelicans are quiet and when observed have different sounds that are distinguished. Turner takes the concept of the sounds that are with the birds and relates it to another attribute that he finds appealing. “The silence of pelicans, along with their great age, contributes to their dignity” (838). These types of statements show how the natural elements of the pelican relate directly to the fascination of the author. More important, it becomes a metaphor that creates a desire in the author to be similar to the pelicans and the dignity in which they have. The Pelican as Metaphor The concept of the pelican is one which Turner changes from description into recognition that there is a reflection of the human spirit in the pelican. The attributes and the way in which the pelicans live is one which is similar to what humans long for. The metaphor becomes one of what humans long for and is a reflection of their spirit. Turner states that the pelican becomes a metaphor
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“The Unification of Nature and Man in Jack Turners Metaphor of Pelicans Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/environmental-studies/1407178-the-unification-of-nature-and-man-in-jack-turners-metaphor-of-pelicans.
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