whar are the themes used in the poem "The Pulley" by George Herbert?

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jeffclark eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Herbert's poem "The Pulley" displays mainly the two main themes of Origins and Morality / Spirituality.

Commonly, in Western cultures, when origins are considered from a creation standpoint, the Genesis account of creation comes to mind. In this account the grandeur and beauty lies in the Creator, who by his breath produces a living soul, demonstrating his power and majesty. "The Pulley", on the other hand, emphasizes the dignity of humanity itself. Humanity enjoys an inherent identity that reflects its caring, powerful, merciful creator.

On the morality / spirituality side of the discussion is the dual idea of restlessness and weariness. These dangers spring from the quality of human independence that is the result of the inherent dignity discussed above.

The thing that unites God and humanity is not accomplishment but desire directed in the proper direction by delayed gratification and control.