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In: English and Literature

Submitted By moneyybankss
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Pages 4
In life, there is a set of questions that causes people to question their purpose in the world. These questions were designed to be simply that; questions. They have no answer and once the answer seems to become apparent, it changes into a defining moment, according to Jim Tilley. These defining moments that were once questions are the things that document our lives and how far we have come. Jim Tilley wrote the poem The Big Questions to talk about and parallel these things with everyday life. “The big questions are big only/ because they have never been answered (line 1/2).” Jim Tilley begins his poem The Big Questions, by posing a philosophical statement in which the audience begins to ponder what these questions might be. A typical big question that people face is what is my purpose here? Before reading the poem, I expected an answer to this question or at least another philosophical statement for afterthought. However, Tilley uses philosophy as well as humor to convey that there is not a concrete answer to these “big questions”. These “big questions” are only circumstantially large and will in time become unimportant.
These big questions often have more depth to them than their philosophical nature. They can in turn be used to determine survival instincts and maturity. The example he uses is encountering a grizzly bear in the woods while hiking a trail. In most cases, when someone encounters a bear they have three options. The first and foremost being to run away as fast as you can from the bear. The second would be to try to appear “bigger” than the bear. The third and final option is to wait patiently while the bear decides whether or not to make you its lunch. He sums up those three options with the phrase “life turns existential” (line 9). Practically speaking, most people would take the first option to run away as fast as they can.

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