In the verse form “At the Gym” Mark Doty is giving a description of a individual at the gym that is about to raise weights. The description uses footings that can be normally used in depicting the gym environment to give a deeper significance to the life that we lead as human existences. The metaphors that are used to relay the message are a salt-stain topographic point. the vinyl bench. the weights being lifted. and the existent gym. Taking a closer expression at the significance of the verse form can supply penetration on our ain life as to why we lead the life we lead. What is the true significance on why we do things? Do we make things to be righteous or unselfish? Or is it that we do things to turn out haughtiness and selfishness? I believe the writer. Mark Doty. is inquiring the simple inquiry “Why is it that you live the manner you do and what bequest will you go forth behind? Imagine yourself at the gym. everyone at that place with the same aim. to better the manner they look. This can be thought of in one simple word. amour propre. Mark Doty used metaphors to give this construct a deeper significance.

As we prepare to get down our exercise. we look at the vinyl bench and notice a “salt-stained spot” ( 1 ) . This salt-stain is dried up perspiration left from the individual that used the bench before us. It symbolizes the battle and work that was put in by the old users and shortly to be added by you. Why were these people working so difficult and why am I acquiring ready to make the same? The following transition says “lay down their caputs. back to the bench. and hoist nil that need be lifted” ( 3-6 ) . This evidently is speaking about raising the weights. metaphorically talking. is speaking about finishing unneeded undertakings. The undertakings are burdens that are brought on by our egos non one time. but over and over once more expressed in gym footings as “more reps. more weight” ( 8-9 ) . The action of raising the weights can be seen as loads that we as worlds must get the better of and set away strenuous attempt to prosecute our ends. The vinyl bench represents two intents ; it is our support system and our life imprint. Before we lift the weights we notice the salt-stain left by other people.

This is their imprint that they have left buttocks. and it is this imprint where we put our religion and belief that we can accomplish the same. We use this imprint of another individual non as our physical support but as our mental and emotional support. We prepare. sit. press the weight. and perspiration. From our attempts. the perspiration soaks our vesture doing “shroud-stains’ that are soaked into the fabric of the bench for everyone about us to see ( 12-13 ) . This seems to be a painful attempt for most to carry through what everyone else is trusting to get. We get up hot with perspiration devouring us physically let go ofing heat into the ambiance environing us ( 20-23 ) . But what is the heat and what does it stand for? It can be defined as our self-importance and the false achievements that we are blinded with. It does non hold significance or aim other than wallowing about our ego centered purposes as if they were good workss. We get up with an apprehension that what we have done was baronial and that it will be remembered by everyone.

When in actuality everything that we merely worked for did non necessitate to be done and was in fact done in vain. Vanity overcomes us. even though we know it is incorrect and selfish. we go to a familiar topographic point were we are with others that are merely like us. This is our safe house where no 1 will put judgement on our ain life styles and our picks we make in life. This provides encouragement to us to make what we want and non on what needs to be done. “Though there’s something more stamp. beneath our amour propre. ( 28-29 ) . Vanity is used to show the vain chase of the perfect build that we seek.

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The gym is a metaphor for something that is much broader that merely a edifice with treadmills. equipment. and people. It represents the universe we live in and the things that we can be influenced by. The gym can besides be seen as our moral place as human existences wiles the perspiration represents the hurting and torment There is nil incorrect with holding the desire to be remembered or desiring to go forth a bequest behind. Mark Doty uses the word “stain” twice to depict what imprint we have left and what imprint we will go forth. Doty is inquiring us to populate a life that is deserving life and do the things that have significance and intent.


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