, Research Paper
Losing someone close to you, a loved one, is a very difficult situation. This causes people to change their lives and the way they look at life. Valediction , a poem, and Man on the Moon both tell of this dilemma. Many similarities are attributed to the two relationships between man and woman in Valediction and the two brothers, Brent and Sam, in Man on the Moon. However, there are differences between the two stories.
In this relationship of brother to brother there is a closeness in which the only thing that can come between them is death. Brent and Sam are very close and almost act as the same person. As a big brother, Brent tries comforting Sam when he is scared. He tells Sam, It s OK, it s just the silly old man on the moon (159). Because of this, Sam looks for a type of security from Brent even after he is gone. After watching the first moon flight Sam says to the sky, I love you brother; you know that though (163). This shows that Sam believes he can receive comfort from Brent even though he is gone. By remembering certain traits, doing some of the same activities, and talking about Brent to others helps him cope with this loss. This occurs when he says, I dropped my canvas bag next to the mound, rubbed up a ball, and stretched. Then I began throwing (161). Sam tries to talk about the disappearance in order to release some of the thoughts he still has inside, but does not have much success in that others want to put the past away. Sam is talking to The Swan, Brent s girlfriend, and wondering if Brent would want them to move on. Sam then says, Brent would say, Don t look back brother. Another day, another fastball (164). Although Brent is still in his mind, years later in his life, Sam is able to move on in life and pursue different roads in life.
The poem, Valediction, is in many ways similar to the story Man on the Moon ; however, there is contrast too. The whole idea of the poem Valediction is similar to the story Man on the Moon in that valediction is defined as saying goodbye. In much the same way as the story, Valediction starts off with the man remembering his lost companion s attributes. He recalls the Lady with the frilled blouse and simple tartan skirt. The thoughts of her hurts him mentally when he says, Since you have left the house its emptiness has hurt all thoughts. He is however able to recall the good things as in Man on the Moon when he says that time moved by easily with her which led to him smiling, but without her the balance is uneven, leaving him empty. Differently from Man on the Moon , the man does not seem able to carry on after she has left him. He says, Until you resume command self is in mutiny. Because of this he is not willing to make a change in his life, for he simply wishes to get his old life back.
Though these times of loss are difficult, Sam in Man on the Moon will be able to move on and have a happier life for he is willing to make changes. The man in Valediction will have a more difficult time for he is trying to hold on to the past. For one must be able to remember the good things but be able to put away the past.