The Indian Burying Ground In Freneau’s poem The Indian Burying Ground, the reader is presented with the two different views on life after death. One of the perspectives is from the Christian religion. The other is from the perspective of an Indian religion. The Christian religion thinks that just because you are buried lying down that you will be in an eternal sleep. The Indian religion is just the opposite of this. The religion believes that when you die your soul still lives on and you are reunited with all things that have passed on before you.
Through many poetic devices, Freneau contrasts the Indian religion view of life after death and his own.
The Indian religion, mentioned in the poem The Indian Burying Ground, and the Christian religion are very different in the belief of an afterlife. The following is from the perspective of Freneau. The lines in the first stanza “The posture that we give the dead, points out the soul’s eternal sleep.” tells that the lying down posture that Christians are buried in suggests that they will be in an eternal sleep.
The Indian religion in the poem says that your soul lives on forever after you die. The second stanza talks about when a person dies he is once again seated with his friends and joins them in a feast. The following quotes from the third stanza “nature of the soul” and “knows no rest” suggests that when a person dies the soul of that person doesn’t die with him, but just moves on to another form. In the fourth stanza the quotes “life is spent” and “not the old ideas gone” suggests that after you have died your ideas and you as a person are not forgotten but remembered forever.
There is a place where all the souls gather and sit. In the fifth stanza there is talk of a stranger observing the place where all the souls have come to sit. This person is obviously influenced by the Christian view of life after death. The person is shown that the souls are not all lying down like he has though but all are in the sitting position. An Indian is showing this person around the place where all the souls have gathered, showing him that people live on after life. One of the things the person is showed is a tree with kids playing in it’s shade. Another thing he is shown is an ancient Indian queen.
There are many other things that man sees to make him believe that what he is seeing is real.
People in the world are too closed minded and only put things into reason. It is hard for people to actually believe in what the Indian religion says about life after death because it is too complicated for them to believe in such a thing. When a person is showed to the actual gathering of souls and participating in a feast it is hard for him to deny what is actually happening.
A person has no choice but to believe in what is actually occurring.
Although the Christian view of an after life differs from the Indian view, the many poetic devices in the poem helps the readers understand the two different perspectives even if they are not normal.