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Discuss ways in which Yeats presents his vision in The Cold Heaven

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Introduction

Discuss ways in which Yeats presents his vision in ?The Cold Heaven? ?The Cold Heaven? presents Yeats? epiphany in his understanding of his life; the vision of the extremes, the icy cold bleakness of life, as well as the hysteria which erupts from him upon this realisation. His vision of life is presented with searing pain, memories of his wasted youth and sadness in his relations to Maud Gonne which eventually consume his willpower, and he concludes that life is without use, a punishment from ?the injustice of the skies?. Yeats? vision focuses on the pain in life, describing his youth memories as ones ?that should be out of season?; he has spent much of his youth in search of Maud Gonne, only to be met with rejection and in this moment of realisation he senses that he has in fact wasted his youth, and has been unable to fulfil his goals of creating happy memories. This failure is attributed to Yeats? vision, where he sees that the future only holds a bleak outcome for him: his version of ?heaven? is only described ?as though ice burned? in this heaven, and ?was but the more ice?, a supposed paradise that to him will only bring him more pain. ...read more.

Middle

?An Irish Airman foresees his Death? notes the intense feelings of regret upon a similar realisation, describing ?the years to come [seem] (a) waste of breath?, and his vision similarly concludes that he indeed takes on the view that life is without any use and was wasted by him; his hope for romance with Maud Gonne was a bout of craziness on his behalf, and the contrasting heat of youth from the brittle and fragile ice serves to show Yeats life full of wasted opportunity. Yeats notably with a sudden crash, his vision abruptly setting his mind alight with the realisation that the remainder of his life, the so-called ?heaven? of the supposed future is only ?cold and rook-delighting?; he cannot cope with the same level of isolation that the rooks he describes can, and in this he also alludes to his vision as being shocking. Yeats is shocked to realise that he will never be able to succeed in his pursuits for Maud Gonne, and while this leads him to wish to be able to move on, he soon realises that this new future, or supposed ?heaven? will only contain ?more ice?. ...read more.

Conclusion

He finally questions the purpose of afterlife, venting his anger on the possibility of divinity forcing his life to be a ?punishment?, quoting the injustice as what ?the books say?. Yeats comments on his vision as being an abrupt, awakening experience for himself as he realises that his entire life before him has been wasted by his fruitless pursuits for Maud Gonne. His failures in youth is also attributed to his inability to see any positivity within his future, instead describing it as a ?cold heaven?, ironic in the sense that his form of ?heaven? is neither heavenly or pleasant; Yeats? idea of a ?heaven? is very much hostile and threatening, only serving to force ?injustice? upon him, and from this Yeats begins to see his feelings of regret from his vision, his regret for spending his entire youth fruitlessly despite it being ?hot blood?, a stark contrast to the later clarity and burning nature of ice. As Yeats continues to contemplate this bleak view, another vision springs into his mind, alluding that this failure and pain could possibly be linked to divine intervention, or possibly fate itself. Despite these visions, Yeats implies that these visions are still confusing, and at the last line Yeats is still not able to find any meaning for life. ...read more.

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