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PoemAnalysis: Get Drunk
Charles Baudelaire’s definition of drunkenness in his poem “GetDrunk” deviates from the typical understanding of the same phrasein the society. More importantly, the poem urges its readers tochange their thinking process and embrace more freedom. For instance,it is clear that most people will spend their effort and time inoccupations that only brings money and power. Most of these peoplehave foregone their happiness at the expense of money and power.Hence, the drunkenness refers to the way that people should attachthemselves to something that makes them happy. In fact, he uses “thewind, the wave, the star …and… the bird” (Baudelaire, lines18-20) to reveal how they live a life full of simplicity andhappiness and he wants everyone to follow the same lifestyle. Thetypical definition of drunkenness applies to the process of drinkingalcohol. However, the poem does not promote alcohol drinking as somepeople might interpret it. Instead, the poet is fostering a change inthe way that people behave, and the poem also urges people to seekmore happiness. This essay will reveal how Baudelaire’s poem“Get Drunk” illustrates how he is optimistic towards life, and hewants everyone to enjoy life and seek the activities that will makethem happier rather than engaging in activities that only waste theirtime and make them sad.
Baudelaire views the drunkenness as a positive experience thateveryone should embrace in making their lives better andentertaining. In fact, throughout the poem, he pinpoints somenegative experiences that drunkenness might solve. For instance, hesuggests that drunkenness might help a person that is “in thedismal loneliness” and clearly need immediate help (Baudelaire,line 15). In this case, he looks at the loneliness as a negativeexperience that will lower their moods and drunkenness is the key tohappiness. Apart from that, he suggests that people should not “bemartyred slaves of Time” (Baudelaire, line 35). Instead, theyshould be free from the restricted mindset that time presents intheir life. Hence, being drunk will expose them to the variousbenefits and the freedom that the world presents. As a result,everyone should strive to be happy and they will achieve that byengaging in the things that they love. They should ignore theoccupations that only offer money and power rather than the freedom.Such occupations are also known to treat their employees like slavesbut, the poem urges the victims to seek something else that is waymore entertaining than the modern exploitation that they areundergoing.
The poet uses the examples of birds, animals, and grains toillustrate the true meaning of freedom and happiness. For instance,the birds are often seen around flying freely, and the grains willkeep growing while the sun will rise as usual. Clearly, the birds andthe grain have not attached money or any purpose into their lives,and that has amounted to the happiness that they are experiencing.Hence, Baudelaire wants everyone to copy the lifestyle that thebirds, grains, and the animals portray in their day-to-dayactivities. The message stresses on being optimistic towards life andfacing everything with a smile. Instead, he believes that one willnot waste his or her time engaging in activities that are notenjoyable when time offers a wide range of opportunities. As aresult, being addicted to something that is enjoyable is the bestthing ever. However, chasing money and material pleasures will justgrind a person “into the earth” (Baudelaire, line 7). From thatpoint, it is clear that a life without a purpose and being free makesone seeks happiness, and that is what matters in this world.
The drunkenness that Baudelaire talks about is healthy since itpushes everyone to achieve what they want. It discourages everyonefrom the activities that might be depressing, and urges them toengage in activities that will make them happier. He is pushingtowards a healthier and happier nation that is free from sad peoplethat are trying to acquire more power and money. Instead, the factthat he wants people to be happier is healthy since he will bereducing certain complications such as burnout and work-relatedstress in the society. In fact, the theme relates to the workingclass that has placed a large part of their life in the occupation asopposed to their families. For instance, the parents are less focusedon the welfare of their children since they are busy seeking enoughmoney to settle the bills. Instead, some of the working mothers wishthat they had enough time with their families. Hence, this poemaddresses such people, and it urges them to chase the things thatreally matters in their lives.
In conclusion, Baudelaire argues that life is supposed to be apositive experience where people are engaging in the activities thatmake them happier and not the quest for money and power that willleave them sad and depressed. Hence, he believes that drunkennesswill make everyone happier and reduce the sadness surrounding thelives of many people. More importantly, he defines drunkenness as away to which one is attached to a certain activity that seemsenjoyable. In fact, he uses the example of the grains, birds andother animals that have not attached any purpose in their lives andthey seem a life full of happiness and freedom. Instead, humans havedecided to seek power and money, and their lives have turned out tobe sad and depressing. Being drunk refers to the way that they willassociate themselves with activities that make them happier and notthe depressing activities that will push them towards seeking moneyand power. The poem also insists that time is too short, and there isthe need to make sure that everyone engages in activities that willmake them happier instead.
Baudelaire,Charles. Get Drunk. N.d. 26th Sep 2016.<https://allpoetry.com/Get-Drunk>