• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In his poem, "Traveling through the Dark," William Stafford presents the reader with the difficulty of one mans choice.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Laura Pandiani 2013 LPandiani@assumption.edu 1977 The Road of Life In his poem, "Traveling through the Dark," William Stafford presents the reader with the difficulty of one man's choice. Immediately, the scene is set, with the driver, who is "traveling through the dark" on a treacherous winding road when suddenly he sees a dead deer in the road. Right away, the speaker realizes what he must do: "It is usually best to roll them into the canyon." The reader can recognize that this is not a new situation for the speaker and he makes it clear that to leave the deer lying in the road could cause an unsuspecting car to swerve and go toppling into the canyon, which "might make more dead." The speaker then continues to report the details of what he did next: he got out of the car, which he parked just ahead of the deer carcass, and "stumbled back of the car." He examines the deer and finds that she has "stiffened already, almost cold." But as he drags her body over to the lip of the canyon, he notices that "she was large in the belly." ...read more.

Middle

This may be true for the safety of other cars and people, but symbolically the reader sees it is necessary to deal with this problem so one can continue on their path in life. The canyons with the river at the bottom could symbolically represent a way to wash all our problems away. By just pushing the deer over the edge and not hesitating, one is getting rid of this problem without letting these troubles hold them back. Another way the decisions made when stopping along the road of life are symbolized is through Stafford's use of language. The word "swerving" is used twice in the poem. When explaining why the man should move the deer, Stafford writes, "to swerve might make more dead." This also could symbolically refer to a swerve in judgment. If the speaker makes a swerve in his decision, it has consequences which may cause problems or even death. The second time Stafford uses "swerve," it is more clear that he is referring to judgment. He says, "I thought hard for us all - my only swerving." Because the deer is pregnant, the man's decision is extremely difficult, and he hesitates to think. ...read more.

Conclusion

In just a few lines the poem is able make the reader think hard and wonder what they would do. Is it fair to say that technology and the growth of humankind are more important than preserving wildlife? It is a dark road we travel, hoping to make good decisions that will lead us on the right path. "Traveling through the Dark" By: William Stafford Traveling through the dark I found a deer dead on the edge of the Wilson River road. It is usually best to roll them into the canyon: that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead. By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing; she had stiffened already, almost cold. I dragged her off; she was large in the belly. My fingers touching her side brought me the reason-- her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting, alive, still, never to be born. Beside that mountain road I hesitated. The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights; under the hood purred the steady engine. I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red; around our group I could hear the wilderness listen. I thought hard for us all--my only swerving--, then pushed her over the edge into the river. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Mending Wall by Robert Frost. Given the use of enjambment and blank verse in ...

    The diction employed by the neighbour shows that he sees no sinister implications in the construction of the wall, and therefore does not question its necessity or desirability. The speaker on the other hand, through his criticisms of the wall and his neighbour, exposes his misjudgment as he reads too

  2. Marked Essay.Compare and Contrast the effect of the narrative point of view in 'The ...

    Analysis of some complex connections between personal experiences, ideas, values, and beliefs, and those explored in familiar, and some unfamiliar, texts. In comparative exercises, a clear analysis of connections between texts, based on analysis of similarities and/or differences. Analysis of a range of ways in which authors use language techniques

  1. The depiction of life choices are seen through the works of Carl Sandburgs Choices ...

    The entirety of the poem contrasts the outcomes of an intelligent life choice versus what the speaker is stuck with in the end. When he says, "come and have now" he knows that if he does not act or take the path less travelled by he will suffer.

  2. In my opinion, Henry Jamess work The Turn of The Screw and William Faulkners ...

    There are inner thoughts of characters and their observations. only are there voices of family member but also reader is provided with the thoughts of the neighbors and some people from Jefferson , including Addie-the dead woman-.With Addie's voice book is divided and it could be seen as a flashbacks as we have with Darl.

  1. Storyteller This poem is a descriptive poem, which illustrates the ...

    'Held breath' suggests their eager anticipation. The ending we knew by heart' takes one back to one's own childhood. We remember the bedtime stories that our parents related to us and how we pestered them to relate the same old story every night. Elaborate. In the last stanza, the poet describes the effect of these stories on the minds of the little children.

  2. Analysis of "The verger" by William Somerset Maugham. (Text of story in Vietnamese).

    Má»t buá»i sáng, khi ông tá»i ngân hàng Äá» gá»­i tiá»n gá»m má»t bá»c toàn tiá»n giấy và má»t túi nặng Äá»±ng toàn tiá»n Äá»ng, thì ngÆ°á»i thủ quỹ nói giám Äá»c ngân hàng muá»n gặp ông. Ông Äược dẫn vào vÄn phòng và viên giám Äá»c bắt tay ông.

  1. Annotations for Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand

    Luther headed for a bunch of spears and fortunately caught himself on the rail with his hands and swung around it like a gymnast. Luckily, his wife was praying. Any son of Man o? War all you could do was pray because they inherited Hastings temper.

  2. Notes on Clarice Lispector (1953 - 1977):

    surrealistic nature to them Zeitgeist: -1950-1954: Brazil experiences inflation and growing national debt under Getulio Vargas' dictatorship. Discontent among the army and people. -1964-1985: Brazil under military rule with some moments where democracy seems to have returned. In the beginning, there was a lot of media censorship and trade unions were suppressed.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work