30 March 2015
The poems arearguing that it is better to resist death weather or not the personhas lived a successful life. Robert Frost interprets it as peacefulrest from unforgiving, hard yet deserving life, while Thomas on theother hand, and regards death as unfortunate end to yet unfulfilledlife. On the contrary to all the characters in Thomas’ poem thatrants against death due to its arrival, prematurely, the speaker inFrost’s poem oozes a feeling of acceptance but is inclined to liveup to promises. The purpose of this paper therefore is to analyze thetwo poems separately then integrates the way they address the sametheme of death. In addition, the paper’s aim at giving an answer tothe manner in which the two poems are similar of different based onthe analysis.
To begin with,Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go Gentle into that Good Night” examinesthe helplessness that is associated with aging and moving slowlytowards death. The speaker in the poem seems to think that aninteresting or a great man would not be suitable or honorable toquietly die due to old age. He pushes the reader to start believingthat death is a thing that has to be fought against rather thansilently accepted. For example the writer uses the line, “Rage,rage against the dying of the light” four times. He also uses theline, “Do not go gentle into the night” four times. The poem hasstanzas that resonate with more personal tone of the speaker, whilehe talks about his father. It is easier to read this section andprovide an overall statement that suggest living a fulfilling andstrong life, while at the same time, refusing to deteriorate andquietly go down as easily as the poem suggest through the process ofaging and dying (Thomas & Frederic 49).
Through enticingand attractive images of relaxation, solitude and peaceful diction,the poet explains the reason why death and nature appear to coincide.On the second stanza, he makes such “mysteries as death, resolvewith the nature” and instantly the “mysteries becomes simple”(Frost & Jeffers 34). At this point, he uses the “darkestevening of the year” to set up the mystery that surround death,however simple the scenery and character is. In contrast with Thomas’“Do not go Gentle,” “Stopping by Woods” deals withcontemplation of nature. The tone of the poem is serene and calm, yetdepressing and dark at the same time. The speaker in the poem cravesfor a chance to pause quietly at a spot to watch a falling snow,perhaps to be soothed by the view and marvel on the nature (Frost &Jeffers 35). The feeling of being in the woods maybe the reason thespeaker wants to be alone and again the lure of freeing himself fromresponsibilities. But how does Thomas’ “Do not go Gentle”compares to Frost’s “Do not go Gentle?”
Contemplation ofnature in Frosts’ “Do not go gentle” contrast greatly withThomas’ tone and acceptance of reality, especially in the secondstanza. The speaker at the beginning of the second stanza states that“though the wise men towards their end know that the dark is right”(Thomas & Frederic 59). The wise men portrayed here, presumablyold men, are aware that death is nearer and that it has to beaccepted as the fact. This statement is followed by “Because theirwords had forked no lighting they do not go gentle into that goodnight”, which easily expresses the sentiments of the speaker thatwhen they look back, they are satisfied that they have lived afruitful, fulfilling life, but are now powerless to fight for it eventhough they once used words as their powerful ally.
Frost in his poem, contrast from the speaker’s point of view inThomas’ “Stopping by Woods” since the speaker in Thomas’ poemsuggest a sense of adventurous feel and attraction to nature’sdanger – the “dark” and “darkness” of the woods. Thespeaker in this poem, perhaps, wants to experience unique things andplaces however, his responsibilities – his family, his community,his work – prevent him from exploiting the dark, yet dangerousadventures. To interpret this, work should be prioritized beforeplay, whereby the little horse triggers memories of the shaking ofthe bells, as if to state that we have adventures to exploit (Thomas& Frederic 45). The speaker seems to disapprove the idea of justwatching the snow fall, but doing something before death knocks.
While thespeaker in Thomas’ “Stopping by the Woods” sets out the tone ofdisapproval in the poem and appear to disregard death through aging,while fighting against the idea of accepting the course of nature,Frosts’ “Do not go gentle” presents a desire to be realized,heard of, and understood, which means that the poem aims at standingby the idea to fight death, since they have a feeling that more hasto be done. The third and fourth stanza echoes these ideas as thespeaker in the poem present “good men” crying about “how brightthe frail deeds may have dances within a green bay” (Frost &Jeffers 54), and the manner in which men that lived full lives stillcomplains about the “dying light” since they view their livesshould have been a lot more (Frost & Jeffers 56). Even the menconsidered wild during their peak, as is shown in the third stanza,now realizes the importance of their lives, and how much more itcould have been, and therefore, they wish it should not fade away. The speaker in the poem urges men like this to only rage againstdeath since they are too special to move gently into the “darkness”of death, and thus the mean “Do not go gentle” (Thomas &Frederic 67). But what does the two poems share?
The two poems,“Stopping by the Woods” and “Do not go Gentle” shares thesame theme of death but varies in the way both poems view death initself. Thomas’s “Do not go Gentle”, however, speaks about“darkness” can draw a little similarity to “Frost’ “Stoppingby the Woods”. Thomas’ darker analysis of the poem addressesinstances of exhaustion with living and a long to die. The speakerstates that it is “the year’s darkest evening”, and that thedarkness, the cold, and the isolated position, ensures that thefrozen lake do not sound like a very enticing place to visit andcommunicate with owns thoughts (Frost & Jeffers 78). Withdarkness and death resonating across the poem, the hibernatinganimals, and dying plants, the earth will take a long time before itawoke again. And how does Thomas’ tone bring out the theme in thepoem?
Thomas’ “Donot go Gentle” turns out to be more personal towards the laststanza with a sense of darkness resonating around the author’sfather saying “curse and bless me now with the fierce tears, I beg”(Thomas & Frederic 32), which means he wants his own father toburn with emotions and feelings while he is still able, even if hethrows curses to his son, as long as he dies while fighting. As muchas the poem addresses different kinds of men, the darkest part isthat the speaker does not view his father has wild, grave, or a goodman. The writer portrays death as unwanted and oppressing to hisfarther. He imagines that his father can fight vigorously but deathis inevitable. Evidenced by the speaker not concerned about hisfather, and whether he blesses or curses him, shows that he is notconcerned at all with whatever his father had to suggest, but onlythat he did not fade into death quietly.
Frost, Robert, and Susan Jeffers. Stopping by Woods on a SnowyEvening. New York: Dutton, 1978. Print.
Thomas, Dylan,and Frederic Prokosch. Do Not Go Gently. , 1982. Print.