“No man is an island entire of itself” opens the poem by John Donne. In which he describes how no man is alone in this life, or any life. When we feel isolated, it is easy to trick our minds into believing that we are flying completely solo in this vast world. In fact, loneliness is one of the most suffocating feelings and it can trap us in what we believe are truths.
However, regarding the idea that we are all alone, we are more than incorrect. Because no one is utterfly alone, hence the metaphor of no man being an island. He states, “Every man is a piece of the continent”, meaning everyone is connected in one way or another. Despite our darkest, lowest moments, we can thrive through the knowledge that no person is doing anything alone. Whether it be through our minds, hearts, souls, or simply physically, we are never isolated from the ones around us.
Donne’s ideas certainly have a deep connection to the world we are living in today, in which we must remain in quarantine to stay safe. However, to many people this feels like more of a time of isolation and that only adds to the significance of the poem. In times like these, we can feel not only alone, but completely isolated, which is a worse feeling.
When you think you have no one because you are stuck in a house, it can feel like you are being trapped. Yet, there is no “trapped” or “stuck” because although we are physically separated from each other, no man is an island. We are all in this pandemic together, therefore we are suffering and getting by, not alone, but as one.
Sometimes, when you hear that you are not alone, it can feel like the most repeated and unnecessary line. Though, now more than ever, we need to understand that that line is the truth. It is our daily truth. That’s the most important takeaway from his poem — the fact that we are all united. We are not islands around the mainland.
We are the mainland. And are all connected through our struggles, our accomplishments and our lives. This is not a time to be feeling alone, but rather more united than ever. In the bad, there’s always a sliver of hope, therefore the feeling of unity is that hope.