Khalil Gibran is a Lebanese famous artist and poet born in the Ottoman Empire. Being young, he moved with his family to America where he started studying the arts and made his first endeavors in writing. His works are written both in English and Arabic languages. Khali Gibran is famous in his Motherland and in the United States for his contribution to the literature. However, in each country Gibran is viewed differently. For instance, in the East, he is known as a literature rebel who appealed to people with a call to struggle against social injustice. The romantic style used in his works is still represented as a classical example of poetry in schools. In the Western World, the poet is famous for his deep-sensed book entitled The Prophet, which includes 26 prose poetry essays written in poetic English. Gibran looked up to a poet and writer Francis Marrash whose works had a great impact on his writing style. In his works, Gibran used the Marrash’s concept of universal love. Many of his works contain the Christian motives of the spiritual love, but Gibran did not believe that he belonged to any religion or culture. He said that he was not a citizen of any country because every person in this world is his relative and his homeland is Earth.
The Message of the Book
The Prophet consists of 26 essays written in philosophical poetry. Each of these essays is dedicated to a particular aspect of human life; for instance, love, marriage, work, sorrow, joy, freedom, passion, and others. In this way, the author wanted to demonstrate the importance of these aspects in human life. All these issues, emotions, and feelings are the essential part of every person’s life. Any individual faces all of them at least once in life. One cannot live a life without pain or joy; there is always something good and bad in human lives. This book may be viewed as a philosophical discussion of human problems.
There are two main themes touched upon in the essay. For instance, the theme of marriage in this book is very close to the Christian motives. Gibran says about the necessity to love one person forever. One may also note that the phrase, “You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore” might be referred to such expression as “marriages are made in heaven”. In this way, the author wanted to demonstrate the importance of marriage as something the most precious in the world. However, in this essay, there are also philosophical recommendations about love. Gibran says, “Love one another, but make not a bond of love” and “Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup”. In this way, the author wants to say that love should not be a passion. In other words, each partner should be loyal to his/her life, but he/she should not be controlled by love. Gibran says, “Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone”. People should be together and love each other, but each of them also needs time to be alone. It does not mean that one does not love anymore; it is a person’s need to stay alone with his/her thoughts.
The second theme is joy and sorrow and it is as deep as any other one in this book. In his speech, the prophet shows the intervention of such phenomena as joy and sorrow. He states that one feeling cannot go without another. Strong and deep words are “And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears”. The main message of these words is that an individual is not able to feel real joy and happiness without knowing tears. Indeed, it is impossible to measure and realize happiness if there is nothing to compare. Moreover, if a person has never known pain and sorrow, he/she will never value the happiness that he/she has. Experiencing hard times and frustration, people learn to recognize joy and happiness easier. The prophet says that joy and sorrow “are inseparable”, and only when a person is empty, i.e. does not have any emotions or feelings, his/her life is balanced. However, one should think whether he/she wants that balance without being able to feel. Emotions and feelings make life full and valuable, but not material things.
This essay inspired me to think about the role of love in my life. It also made me analyze what is good and bad, and how to differentiate doing right or wrong things. This book also includes the discussion of such rhetorical questions I am interested in as death, freedom, and self-knowledge. In my opinion, it is a very deep-analytical book, which makes a reader think about his/her life and all those aspects that play a significant role in it. Gibran tries to present each of his essays from different perspectives, showing the both sides of the issue. Therefore, I have received certain answers to the questions I had. Gibran makes me analyze and not hurry up with the rapid conclusions or decisions concerning any aspect of life. This book is very philosophical and rhetorical; it makes me overview some of my principles in life and look at some issues from different perspectives.
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