What is the meaning of this Stephen Crane poem below, "A Man Said to the Universe": A man said to the universe: “Sir, I exist!” “However,” replied the universe, “The fact has not created in me A sense of obligation.”  (Crane, 1899)

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Insight into the meaning of the short poem "A Man Said to the Universe" by Stephen Crane can be derived by taking a look at the poet's life and work. Crane grew up in a religious household. His father was a Methodist minister and his mother was a devout practitioner of the faith. He picked up an interest in writing from his parents, who were both writers, and his brothers, who were journalists. In 1891, he dropped out of Syracuse University based on a decision that he could learn more directly from humanity than from his college curriculum.

His first novel was Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, which he self-published after traditional publishers rejected it because of its realistic depiction of the slums. His next novel, The Red Badge of Courage, a graphically depicted story set during the Civil War, made him famous.

Stephen Crane is considered one of the first practitioners of naturalism in American literature. Naturalism rejects romanticism and focuses on realism , environment, and social...

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