Anecdote of the Jar
by Wallace Stevens
Anecdote of the Jar Man and the Natural World Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Line)
I placed a jar in Tennessee (1)
This line shows us about the man-made. Both the jar and the borders of the state of Tennessee were conceived and made by men. Thus, the idea of Tennessee symbolizes men trying to control nature.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill (3-4)
Here, the wilderness is contrasted with the man-made. Except, "slovenly" is a pretty man-made word to use to describe the wilderness. Things that are neat and well-kept—in other words, far from slovenly—are normally the way they are because a human has made them that way. So, the wilderness is being distanced as far as possible from the man-made, even while it's bowing to the will of this little jar.