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Word Count: 744
Imagine a person who has had a significant impact on others Maybe this person was a revolutionary figure or a famous president Or perhaps this person is a friend or a family member Instead of idly passing time in life this influential people took action Whether the person freed an oppressed country or consoled a depressed friend his actions ultimately impacted not only his own life but also the life of others In the poem A Psalm of Life Henry Wadsworth Longfellow the author encourages individuals to live life in the present and take action to ensure a bright future for both the individual and future generationsTaking action and transcending the hardships of life are a vital parts to living Longfellow incites action by suggesting its impact on the future But to act that each tomorrow Find us farther than today line 11-12 His use of italics emphasizes the need for action Because the future depends on the actions of the present one cannot wait and hope for a bright future but rather one must create it One must take advantage of the present because progress relies on the actions of individuals Furthermore the poet continues to invoke action through his use of similes and metaphors Be not like dumb driven cattle Be a hero in the strife 19-20 While strife shows that life is inevitably arduous Longfellows use of hero implies that actions can transcend the difficulties Cattle implying that the animals are domesticated and slaughtered spend their lives cyclically eating and sleeping with death as their only purpose Unless a person can heroically transcend the strife and struggle against the pains of life he will live an empty life with a meaningless purpose death He cannot expect life to present him with opportunity but rather he must transcend the difficulties to create these opportunitiesWhile actions are keys to life itself one must influence the future in order to have a true impact Life
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