Essay on The Cosmic Prison

1088 Words Sep 5th, 2012 5 Pages
There are many things that seem to be complete opposites of each other, yet after looking in-depth our immediate conclusion appears to be wrong and the reality is they share many similarities. A popular example of this is the comparison between humans and chimpanzees. At an initial glance, humans seem so far superior to chimpanzees that the difference is at an astronomical level. The concepts, ideas, societies, relationships, technological advances that humans have brought are incomparable to what little chimpanzees have accomplished. Yet as scientists have studied and observed closely, they have noted that in reality we are made of nearly the exact same genetic structure as the chimp, varying in only a 1% difference. This miniscule 1% …show more content…
In The Cosmic Prison, Eiseley uses the analogy of a blood cell and the body in which these cells are contained to represent man in the universe. Eiseley says, “as we gaze upon the outer galaxies available to the reach of our telescopes, we are placed in about the position that a single white blood cell in our bodies would occupy, if it were intelligently capable of seeking to understand the nature of its own universe, the body it inhabits.” As a blood cell doesn’t understand the body it is confined in, humans don’t understand the universe we are a part of. Eiseley also calls man a “mayfly”, flies who naturally have very short lives, in our attempts to explore the galaxies. It is physically too large for us to escape the solar system we are a part of, and explore the others. Our lives are too short for such feats, directly relating to the insignificance of human life. As large as the universe is, it is almost mathematically probable that other intelligent life forms exist, yet we are not physically aware of it yet just like the blood cells. We pretend to understand what we don’t; it is in human nature to be ashamed of admitting a lack of understanding. Stephen Crane’s poem also holds this idea. When the man exclaims to the universe that he exists, the universe replies with "The fact has not created in me A sense of obligation." This response shows how humans are insignificant and not a primary concern of the universe, it was

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