AR Dylan and Dickinson

AR Dylan and Dickinson - Dylan and Dickinson: A Comparative...

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Dylan and Dickinson: A Comparative View of Death Allana Robinson ENG 125 Introduction to Literature David Makhanlall February 25, 2011
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In the poems, “Do Not Go Gently into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas and “Because I Could Not Stop for Death by Emily Dickinson use the same recurring images to explore the archetypal themes of birth, time, and death. These ideas are represented and communicated either in a positive or, negative light. Dylan and Dickinson use similar figurative language devices, such as metaphors, personification, imagery, and alliteration as they explore their contrasting ideas pertaining to the concept of death. The poem, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” is one of Emily Dickinson’s most intriguing pieces due to the relaxed and compelling portrayal of death. Death in this poem is identified as a woman’s last trip that is headed toward eternity. This poem allows the reader to bring death down to a more delicate level and the narrator characterizes death with abnormally jovial words. For example, the poem reads, “Because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me.” (Dickinson, Lines 1-2). Dickinson gives the reader the feeling that Death is civil and compassionate. This is different from the more common views of death being vicious and cruel. Death is symbolized as part of life’s journey and allows the woman to reflect from childhood to the present. Dickinson uses imagery to paint a pleasant picture to the reader. In a poem that is about death, the reader is visualizing children playing at recess during school. This is pleasant and enjoyable, something that death is not. At the end of the poem, Dickinson compares the woman’s grave to a house again showing her relaxed and casual view of death. “We paused before a house that seemed a swelling of the ground.” Dickinson is treating death so nonchalant and not fighting for it to stop. (Dickinson, Lines 16- 17). The overall theme of the poem seems to be that death is not be feared since it is a natural part of the endless cycle of nature. Her view of death may also reflect her personality and religious beliefs. She was optimistic about her fate and appeared to see death as a friend.
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Unlike Dickinson’s casual view of death, Dylan Thomas has a very formal and serious view of death. Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gently into That Good Night” is a poem that Thomas wrote to his father about giving up on his life versus fighting for survival. Immediately, the reader can interpret a strong dramatic difference to the tone of this poem. “Rage, Rage” (Thomas, Line 3) cries Thomas’ narrator in “Do Not Go Gently into that Good Night”, this poem does not indicate a submissive feeling nor does it speak softly. Dylan’s narrator pleads that no man should give up on his life without a fight; “it’s time to rage against the dying of the light”. (Thomas, Line 9). Rage is often a word spoken with power and deep passion. Dylan compares his father to all men
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AR Dylan and Dickinson - Dylan and Dickinson: A Comparative...

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