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Thomas Hardy uses change and passing time as symbols of death and loss in both poems: Beyond The Last Lamp and During Wind And Rain.

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Introduction

Apoorva Kanojia L5W Compare the ways in which Hardy presents reactions to the loss of loved ones in these two poems Thomas Hardy uses change and passing time as symbols of death and loss in both poems: Beyond The Last Lamp and During Wind And Rain. The title, Beyond The Last Lamp, is a metaphorical way of describing darkness as the lamp signifies light and beyond light lies darkness, a representation of pain and misery. The whole poem revolves around a supposedly grieving, mysterious couple that the speaker observes over time. During Wind And Rain is also a depressing title as the rain suggests anguish and sorrow. The wind suggests progressing time, which could be seen as life, and perhaps death because that?s what life ultimately leads up to. A family is the subject of this poem and the speaker, again, tracks their progression over time. It is said that the poem is about the family of Emma Hardy, Thomas Hardy?s wife. ...read more.

Middle

There is also a close association between people and place as the speaker only remembers the lane through the couple: ?Without those comrades?that lone lane does not exist?. Contrastingly, the atmosphere of During Wind And Rain is lively and happy for the first four lines of the stanza, as it focuses on a garden and family, however, it seems like the cheerful recollection ends with an ellipsis and the speaker is almost shaken back to reality. The last line of the stanza shows the place and nature in a dramatic and ghastly way, a clashing chord to the beginning: ?How the sick leaves reel down in throngs?, showing the uncontrollable nature of death and the autumn season. ?Reel? connects with the previous to lines about music, ?they sing their dearest songs? since as a noun it means an Irish or Scottish folk dance. ?And the rotten rose is ript from the wall? uses alliteration to dramatize and emphasise the suddenness and horrific nature of death. ...read more.

Conclusion

Time represents a change for the worse. Their emotions follow a similar pattern and can also be traced from 'heavy thought' in the first stanza, to 'misery' in the second to 'wild woe' in the third. The actual change from happiness to misery isn't shown extensively in the poem, but it is hinted at: 'no longer orbed in love's young rays'. However, the family’s relationships seem to remain intact throughout During Wind And Rain. The family of During Wind And Rain are shown as happy but unaware of the way time and death can remove everything: 'they are blithely'. This almost naïve unawareness and the sudden, unexpected loss of happiness is used to emphasise feelings of pain. Time and their growth is shown by the differing description of its members: ‘Elders and juniors’ to ‘Men and maidens’. But they all die in the last stanza: ‘Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs’. Time in this case represents death. The speaker has two very different styles in the poems although the perspectives are just as pessimistic about life and time. The already pessimistic perspective of the speaker also worsens as the poem progresses. ...read more.

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