What does Nature say will happen to the reader?
In the poem 'Thanatopsis' by William Cullen Bryant, Nature says that once again Man and Nature will be one - both will return to the earth and become the earth because they are the earth. Both Man and Nature are part of creation and were Nature to start with. The young poet (who believes at the time he is seriously ill) derives comfort and reassurance fro the fact that his body will be again at one with Nature after his untimely death. There is an air of quiet accepting resignation throughout the poem - as Nature is consoling the sorrowful family of the poet. A rather poetic and sweetened image of his death is portrayed as we envisage his young body lying at the foot of the tree, ready to be at one with its roots - almost an environmental poem.
In this poem, Nature is speaking to the reader and reassuring the reader as to why death is not to be feared. Nature does this by telling the reader what will happen to her/him after death.
Nature gives three consolations to tell us why we shouldn't fear death:
- When we die, our consciousness gets mixed with the whole universe so we will be part of all the greatest people ever and they will be part of us.
- When we die our bodies will become one with nature (physically).
- We will merge with everything -- we will be fulfilling our destiny as humans.
So nature is saying that we will be like everyone else and mix ourselves and our consciousness with the whole universe.