By examining the two poems in conjunction with each other, it becomes clear that both the acceptance and refusal of death are born out of the same human need to generate meaning from the finite experience of a seemingly infinite universe.At the most basic level, all human meaning is born out of narrative, simply because human beings experience time in a linear fashion, and as a result all meaning comes from the linking between one event and the next.Death in Thomas and Dickinson In many ways, Dylan Thomas' "Do not go gentle into that good night" and Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for death" are ideal texts to consider when attempting to examine human beings anxieties regarding death, dying, and the longing for permanence, because they make vastly different points in strikingly similar ways.Tags: Paper Buy OnlineLack Of Opportunities EssayAmorce De Dissertation Sur Le RomanHelp Me Write My History PaperCover Page For EssayExploring Writing Paragraphs And Essays 3rd Edition AnswersHow To Teach Creative WritingFallacy Critical Thinking
Although Thomas sticks with a strict ABAB rhyme scheme and Dickinson does not deploy any obvious rhyme, the poems nevertheless share a similar rhythm due to their similar structure.
In addition, they both depend on images of human activity contrasted against the backdrop of nature, and in particular use the movement of the sun as a means of describing the ending of a life.
As the title suggests, Thomas' poem is a vocal entreaty to struggle for every bit of life in the face of impermanence, while Dickinson's poem takes a positively lackadaisical approach to the concept of death, viewing it as a transition into immortality rather than a fall into obscurity and darkness.
However, despite their nearly oppositional statements regarding death, one can actually view the two poems as a synthesis of humanity's own oppositional and sometimes contradictory views regarding death.
Thus, "narratives are the way in which humans make sense of the world, including its peoples, institutions, and myriad individuals" (Young, 2001, p. This is true not only of language and culture, but also individual experience, because even the concept of the "self" is dependent on creating an internal narrative of past experiences (Young, 2001, p. As a result, birth and death have special places within human beings' own personal narratives, because they mark the points at which the individual cannot affect his or her own story.
Although people might be aware of what came before their birth, and could likely predict some of what comes after their death, these events nevertheless place hard limits on the extent of any individuals personal, experienced narrative.
Thomas' use of the sun is much more obvious, because the central image of his poem is the setting of the sun and the end of the day, to the point that the final line of every stanza references either "the dying of the light" or "that good night." This discussion of the setting sun and advancing darkness is assisted by references to other natural phenomenon, such as lightning, the waves of "a green bay," and blazing meteors.
In each of these cases human action is presented as small and insignificant in the face of nature's indomitable progress toward night.
Human activity is still contrasted against the movements of nature, but in this case the contrast is not a negative one; in other words, the indifference of nature actual highlights the meaning of human action. In order to prove his point, and convince his father to fight for his life, Thomas provides various examples of men from all walks of life, who regardless of their past fought to live Thomas-Dickinson Perspectives of Death "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" is one of Dylan Thomas's most recognized poems.
As the narrator is riding with Death "And Immortality," their carriage passes a school with children playing, before they move on to "the Fields of Gazing Grain" and "the Setting Sun." Obviously the playing children serve as a dramatic counterpoint to the passage into death, but arguably more important is the way Death's carriage moves from the children to fields of grain, and finally to the setting sun. In the poem, he urges his father to fight against death even though it is something that everyone must at some point in his or her lives have to accept.