Gibran Khalil Gibran and the essay

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15). Much of his early work was set in Lebanon and other familiar childhood places. His work criticized the monk and their wealth in relation to the impoverished peasant population (McHarek, p. 15). One example of this is in the poem War where another is punished for someone else's crime (Gibran, War). This work was a play on Hammurabi's code, where an eye for an eye was used as punishment. As these works were published first in Arabic, it is apparent that the intended population was that of his native heritage. This drew much criticism, as his works condemned a state that was not accustomed to such open criticism. Gibran also drew inspiration from writers such as Neitzsche and William Blake (McHarek, p. 25).

Gibran's work became more committed towards ending oppression of Syrians all over the world and an attempt to stress the interconnectedness o everyone. "My path is not thy path, yet together we walk, hand in hand" (Gibran, the Madman, verse 10). He became a member of the Golden Links Society, which is dedicated to Syrian social issues all over the world (McHarek, p. 16). "I, amongst you all, am the most miserable, for naught was given me but odious hatred and destructive loathing" Gibran, the Seven Selves, Verse 5).

One of the greatest influences in Gibran's life was an acquaintance that he met at his first exhibition in Boston. Mary Haskel had the connections and influence to place Gibran's work in prominent places within the art community (McHarek, p. 150). Through Mary's influence, Gibran became an influential artist in the Arabic world. Gibran's work continued to address problems that plagued the Arabic world. Despite the apparent political and ethnic themes present in his work, his works were accepted by the English speaking community (McHarek, p. 17).

Gibran's early works focused on ending starvation and oppression for the Syrian people. However, after 1915, his work became universal and metaphysical in nature (McHarek, p. 18). Gibran became withdrawn from society and immersed himself in the natural world. He began to criticize the whole of humanity and sought to isolate himself from it. "But my mother did not understand, nor did the nurse; for the language I spoke was that of the world from which I came " (Gibran, the other Language, verse 4). His works became more sermon-like and pushed his brand of philosophy (McHarek, p. 19). Gibron uses a technique much like Aesop's fables to get his point across (Gibran, the Three Ants; Gibron, the Two Cages), Gibran retained middle eastern mysticism and religion and the centerpiece for his own religious writings.

Many of Gibran's works were banned by the Syrian state due to their political aspirations. Gibran compares the state of the Syrian people with nature, creating a political game that pits the objectives of the church against the objectives of the state (McHarek, p. 20). Gibran's messages spoke to each of the cultures that he included in his writing. Gibran drew his inspiration from great holy Books, such as the Bible. Later in his career, it was his hope that these works would influence politicians and others to do something about Syrians living in poverty.


Gibran wanted to change the world with his poetry. His work can be divided into two distinct phases in his life. However, the same underlying theme and purpose tied his early and late works together. Throughout his life, Gibran worked to fight the poverty that he had experienced as a youth in Syria. Gibran became a symbol for the struggle for the impoverished Syrian people around the world. His early attempts to bring hope to these people used a direct approach that sometimes appeared to attach the political infrastructure in the Middle East. This approach caused his work to be banned in some places. Latter works did not directly attack the political infrastructure, but used metaphysical themes to approach the question of what to do with the Syrian poor.

The New Age theme in Gibran's latter work appears to mask his true intentions. However, instead of having his work banned by the authorities, Gibran was able to bring his works to the masses. After Gibrans' work took on a more subtle and subdued note, it never lost its original purpose.[continue]

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