Human Nature

Poster¡G Eric Tseng at 18:28:7 3/16/98 from
Journal 2 
Name: Eric Tseng 
No: 486200511 
" Ozymandias" 
The first thing I want to say is that this is a very ironic poem. It describes Ozymandias, the King's power, desire, pride and arrogance. Instead of using the speaker's words directly, he uses a traveler's words. This kind of writing skill makes is feel much more objective and believe that Ozymandias is not a good ruler easily. We don't actually know what kind of person Ozymandias is when he was alive before. But from the description of the poem, we know that he is not a so-called " virtuous king" at least. 

In the poem, Ozymandias ordered the sculptors to build a status for him in order to show his power and greatness over his people. He also wanted the public to respect him, admire him, and praise for him by the setting of the stone status. Besides, he hoped the people to be faithful to him and obey his orders. He wished to pass down the great work and make his offspring remember his golden age, too. So, he make every efforts and spent a lot of time and money building the status. Then, he forgot there was something else which is more important than the solid and cold status. For instance, to know the need of the people, to feel the feelings of the people, to listen to the advisement of the people, to offer people a peaceful, abundant and happy life or to solve the necessary problems of the people are all more emergent and practical than the building of the status. But Ozymandias always ignored these and became more and more repugnant and arrogant little by little. Though, the status is completed in the end, does Ozymandias really succeed? Does his name really last forever and be kept in mind by everyone? The answer is absolutely " No." Because as time goes by, his status has been damaged and shattered with it. " Nothing beside remains. Round and decay of that colossal wrech, boundless and bare. The lone and level sands stretch far away." We also can see the same situation in other countries' histories or in modern worlds now. Many people spend lots of time or money doing something special to let people remember him, attract people's attention or demonstrate his great riches and power. But what he really get? 

After reading the poem, it occurs to me that Ozymandias is very like the character, Becky Sharp, in " Vanity Fair" in some aspects. Both of them are very like some people in today's society, too. They all have strong desire for fame, money and power. They use any ways to get these things all the time. But if we acquire them with the wrong methods, we will lose more than we get. It can't be denied that these things are also very important for us; nevertheless, they are too empty to depend on for the whole life. They come easily but disappear quickly, too. So, we should purse something which is more practical and useful, such as knowledge, experience, strong friendship or the ability of dealing with things. These are more invaluable. We all should remember this: The greatest person is not the person who builds the status by himself but the person who makes people build the status for him. 

Nothing perfect last forever, except in our memories.