POEMS: Think As I
Stephen Crane masterfully encompasses a great deal of
thought-provoking material into a five-line poem. In
Think as I Think, a man instructs Crane to think as he
does or he will not be well liked. The man compares the
disgust people will have for Crane to that of a toad.
Crane thinks about what the man has said, and in an
almost carefree manner, retorts, "I will then, be a
toad." (line five).
What seems so innocently written reveals a deeper level
of thought when closely analyzed. The man who demands
that Crane think like him unconsciously reveals a
sinister side to Crane that Crane quickly picks up on.
If Crane were to be disliked for not thinking like
somebody else, and for no other reason but that, what
would be the reason to agree with him? The man who
threatens Crane is not someone Crane envies. Thus,
Crane decides that he would rather be more agreeable
than be what the man or others would think of him. The
poem's carefree free verse style reflects Crane's
attitude in his response to the man's demands. The
short, direct answer carries more weight than the man's
threat, and Crane's sincerity conveys a more powerful
message when contrasted to the man's arrogance.
The theme of the poem is that individuality is a more
important aspect of an individual than the perception
others carry about the individual. In short, who you
are is more important that what others think you
Updated on: Saturday, August
29, 1998 04:02:17 AM