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In what ways is the wanderer someone with whom you can sympathize?  

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meg2312 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 29, 2011 at 7:43 AM via web

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In what ways is the wanderer someone with whom you can sympathize?

 

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 29, 2011 at 8:12 AM (Answer #1)

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The wanderer is someone with who many can sympathizes given the story he tells is one filled with loss. The wanderer has lost his native land (though personal exile), loss of friends, and loss of self.

Many times throughout a person's life (especially the older one gets) they must face the fact that, as humans, we age and die. We must look back on our lives with the memories that tend to become less and less clear- "[T]hey always swim away."

That being said, many people learn that the one thing that they can always count on is their faith. Faith is the one thing that will never die or leave us-"consolation from the father in the heavens,/ where, for us, all permanence rests."

Perhaps the most profound quote from the text lies in the following line:

A man must wait when he speaks oaths, until the proud-hearted on sees clearly, whither the intent of his heart will turn.

This quote teaches about the importance of not making promises too quickly. One must be sure, before taking the oath, that they will be able to hold the promise until death. Without that knowledge, the promises made will not be trusted and made in vain. This quote could allow one to sympathize with the wanderer in regards to the fact that he is a wise man left alone in the harsh world.

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