Dylan Thomas wrote the above poem, and its opening lines are superb as the composition commences. At first glance, the reading seems to be focusing on the transition from daytime to night-time. However, when the poem is critically analyzed, it emphasizes how unstoppable death is. As we all know, death is our fate someday, but dealing with or accepting it depends on an individual. Furthermore, the author also passes a message on the power of life and the limitation of time. The writer uses imagery, repetition, rhymes, symbolism, and tone to create the theme and its meaning. The essay will analyze how inevitable death is and how limited time is while examining many issues in the poem.
Death is Inevitable
The composition is written by Thomas through his experience when he watched his father pass away. He writes to grief the father, as he aims at the reader to think about dying or rather death in general. Symbolism has been influential in the poem as the author uses the word “goodnight” to symbolize the last moments of someone who is on the verge of death. It refers to demise and how a person sleeps, with no hope of ever waking up again. Moreover, all the words he uses to describe the passing are connected with the natural cycle of day and night and nature: “the dying light,” “closes off the day” he is trying to show that death is natural and we will face it at someday. The poem has a lullaby tone, gentle feel, and soothing as it does not frighten a reader, for the author uses humane words to describe it.
The author tells people “not to go gentle” into death, which refers to without defiance. Moreover, he emphasizes as he repeats the words; this creates a begging tone as he requests them not to give in to death. Otherwise stated, the writer conveys to the scholars that they do not have to consent to end without resistance but should fight instead. The author uses words such as “rave,” “rage,” and “burn” to arouse passion and spirit to fight. He elaborates that people should face death like the “wild heroes of the past with power and strength” (Michael line 3-5). He argues that if one cannot escape the fate of dying in the end, they should die fighting rather than not battling. The author advocates for people to defy death, but the poem is not about conquering it. Further, there is no triumph in combating the demise as it is inevitable, and one cannot get away. The poem focuses on creating beauty and harmony out of every last minute. The author uses the rhymes “day” to represent life and “night,” which means death.
The Limit of Time
The writer is a representation of any person who has ever lost their loved one through death. Several characters in the poem, such as the wise man, wild man, good man, and Thomas’ father, are featured in the different stanzas. In each section, the men are seen reflecting on their lives and what they did or did not do. Moreover, the Men are seen regretting their past as they never did accomplish much as expected. For instance, the wise man is troubled that his “words had forked no lightning” (Michael line 10-12). That is to say that the wise man is worried that his ideas will not live. All the characters are pictured uniquely regretting their failure to accomplish so much in life. The author has analyzed characters who are lamenting, pointing out that life is short. When people are young, they tend to have goals and accomplishments, but they procrastinate to fulfill them later in life (Michael lines15-20). The author is passing a message that time moves quickly, and people often miss opportunities as they are waiting for a particular time to fulfill them. Moreover, he insinuates that time is limited and people are here for a moment; hence, one should make out the best each day. Thomas reminds the readers that individuals should embrace every moment of life as time is limited.
The essay has essentially examined the above poem from the viewpoint of themes in the composition. It focuses on how death is unavoidable and how little time is, which helps a reader comprehend the composition’s meaning. This reading delivers a universal message to the people, as it encourages the sick, elderly, and those who are dying to fight unavoidable. Death is inevitable, and no one can escape it; thus, society should make out of the best of our every moment. It is a wake-up call to the youth to remind them of how much they are to accomplish. As we are all in the race and the goal is to make it, the destination, at last, would eventually be death. In addition, the poem also celebrates the energy of human life and vibrancy, as much as life is short and fragile.
Michael, Meyer, and Quentin Miller. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. 12th ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2020.