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The Cremation of Sam McGee
The Cremation of Sam McGee
by Robert Service

The Cremation of Sam McGee Man and the Natural World Quotes Page 2

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Quote #4

In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows— O God! how I loathed the thing. (lines 35-36)

Now, in this case, the natural world doesn’t sound so great. In fact, it seems completely empty and lonely, with no comfort anywhere. The word "homeless" is a great way to describe the snow, since it makes the snow itself sound lonely. It also emphasizes how far the speaker is from civilization and the comforts of his own home.

Quote #5

And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow (line 50)

Even though we don’t learn much about the dogs, they are a pretty steady presence in this poem. They don’t seem so much like man’s best friend in this case, though, more like a weird and lonely part of the natural world. Their lonesome howling seems closer to the storm and the scowling sky than to our poor speaker. Robert Service does a great job of making us feel how vast and scary the natural world can seem when you’re all alone in it.

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