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Comment closely on "The Going" (by Thomas Hardy) paying particular attention to the ways in which Hardy expresses a sense of grief.

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Introduction

The Going Thomas Hardy conveys the grieving of Emma?s death through his elegy where he irritably questions her ?fleeing? and recollects memories of their courtship in an hopeless attempt to strengthen his grasp on ?the swan-necked one who rode?. Deaths fragility is illustrated as Hardy extensively stresses the ease of Emma?s passing and his unsatisfied desire of a ?hint? that ?that night? she?d go ?up and be gone?. Hardy almost appears unaware of the years passed distanced from his wife until the fifth stanza, suggesting her death has the effect of a virtual awakening, allowing him to finally accept it, yet not settle from mourning it ,as is made evident by the following 1912-13 poems. The Repetition of ?Why? beginning the first, third, and fifth stanza illustrate Hardy?s rejection of Emma?s death, probably resulting from the regret of not having taken advantage of the time she was alive. ...read more.

Middle

In addition the aural imagery created through the use of the monosyllabic words, ?up and be gone?, has the effect of emphasizing deaths suddenness. The ?llow? sound created by the feminine end rhyme of ?where I could not follow - with wing of swallow? has the effect of something continuous, in this case suggesting Hardy?s growing distance from Emma now that she is dead, as well as foreshadowing the long period of grief to come. ?The Going? is reference to Emma?s gradual fading from Hardy?s memory. Emma death is also described to be a ?swift fleeing? and a ?great going?. Death and the after life are never referred to explicitly. Therefore Hardy?s use of euphemisms illustrate his avoidance of reality, as well as his fear of acknowledging Emma?s death. Furthermore, Hardy?s commemorations of his courtship with Emma in the fourth stanza further stresses this point. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the third stanza, the use of the words ?darkening dankness? and ?yawning blankness? coupled with Hardy?s description of his wife?s hallucination ?at dusk?, convey this diffusion of light. In the final stanza Hardy appears to be undergoing acceptance, suggested by the use of the words ?well, well?. Nevertheless his grief has not yet subsided.The broken syntax alters the rhythm, as well as giving the impression of it faltering forward. Hardy describes himself as a ?dead man held on end to sink down soon?, this conflicts with the ?rising? of Emma in the first stanza, nevertheless, may imply the same idea. Hardy is now plagued with a wish to join his wife in the after life, yet this does not bring them any closer to her, as Hardy feels he?ll ?sink down? instead of rising up. In addition, similarly to the sun ?rising? in the first stanza, the use of ?sink down? may symbolize the sun now sinking, bringing about darkness. ...read more.

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