How Can The Apocalypse Be Associated With An Abstract Body Of Knowledge Like The Arts?

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How can the apocalypse be associated with an abstract body of knowledge like the arts? The end of the world, an event normally viewed as catastrophic and devastating, is not commonly associated with the beauty and finesse of Literature. Seemingly an oxymoron, End of the World literature uses literary works ranging from poems to short stories, along with a plethora of literary devices, to highlight the themes related to the extinction of humankind. Poems such as “Ozymandias”, short stories such as “Violence of the Lambs”, and novels like “Cat’s Cradle” reveal the themes of fragility of human life, the illusion of religion and authority, and destruction caused by humans through devices such as imagery, allusion, and irony.

“Ozymandias”, “Violence of the Lambs”, and “Cat’s Cradle” all present the theme of fragility of human life through the use of imagery. In these works, human life is portrayed as transient and vulnerable. In “Ozymandias”, “trunkless” (1.2), “shattered” (1.4), and “decay(ed)” (1.12) are used to describe the fragments of a statue of the dead king Ozymandias. These descriptions provide an imagery of the dismal state of the statue and how it was left in pitiable fragments. The statue symbolizes the king’s power, and the state it was in shows how the king’s legacy was reduced to pieces when he passed away. Hence, this implies that in the face of death, human life and all its accomplishments becomes obsolete and worthless. Therefore, the mortality of humankind…

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