Sunday, November 17, 2019

Which three poems show alternate views of death Essay Example for Free

Which three poems show alternate views of death Essay Remember, Plena Timoris, and Refugee Mother and Child all depict alternate outlooks on death, yet similarly emanate from the prospect of lost love. Remember by Christina Rossetti is about the uncertainty when anticipating death; Plena Timoris by Thomas Hardy is about the death of a woman due to the transience of love and the effect of this death on another woman; conveying a similar stance to Refugee Mother and Child by Chinua Achebe, which is about the death of a child in times of famine and destitution, as both view death in a negative light. Plena Timoris, or a woman full of fear and dread, revolves around the theme of the transience of love and warns of the dangers of becoming too attached to your lover. The melancholic tone of the poem is immediately inferred, as the use of Latin in the title automatically indicates a certain formality. Indications of the fact that it was written during the Victorian period are also made evident through use of language such as tryst, suggesting that the lovers are meeting in secret. This reflects the discreetness of courtship during the Victorian era, as a man could not publicly declare his adoration for a woman, nor could she respond. The reader is primarily introduced to the lovers in the first stanza, where a romantic and light-hearted mood is created through the use of alliteration in her earrings twinkled; her teeth, too shone and they laughed and leant. There is an immediate mood change thereafter, once the dead body of a woman is found in the river. Not only is action indicated by the immediate change in atmosphere, but is also accentuated by Hardys use of the triplet climbed over; slid down; let go. The tone for the rest of the poem is a depressing and dismal one. This is given prominence to through Hardys use of ominous and morbid language, such as in the statement a dripping body began to show, thus showing the reader the dangers of unreciprocated love; so much for love in this mortal sphere!, implying that it is considered unfeasible to find real love on earth. There is yet another immediate change in tone hereafter, once the reality of death has hit the female protagonist in the poem. She becomes, along with the mood, detached, aloof and indifferent, as intensified by the simile it seemed as to freeze her. Hardys use of long vowels in day and lay also slows down the pace of the stanza, and further stresses the mournful tone of the poem. After witnessing the death, the reader learns that she no longer feels safe as his arm dropt from his as they wandered away; it is presumed that the arm represents security, and thus the girl is willingly abandoning the connection she had with her lover. In Remember, Rossetti directly addresses her lover regarding her forthcoming death, resulting in the use of an advisory tone throughout the poem. Similarly to Plena Timoris, an overtone of mournfulness and grief is also present, and this is emphasized by the repeated imperative to remember me, as well as the euphemistic feel created by the metaphor Remember me when I am gone away/Gone far away into the silent land. Her comparison of death to a journey sets a tranquil mood for the remainder of the poem, as the words silent land indicate a dormant state; a remote place that is neither happy nor painful. Comparatively to Plena Timoris, Rossetti is torn between love and death; on one hand, she seems to be truly devoted to her lover, and begs him to remember her once she is dead; on the other hand, she seems nonchalant in her compliance to tell him to forget her just the same, as shown in the opening line, Remember me when I am gone away. In contrast to Plena Timoris however, she is not frightened of death, nor scared of what will become of her, and needless to say death has not made her reconsider her relationship with the one she loves. Unlike Plena Timoris, Remember is written as a sonnet, implicating that Rossetti is trying to be calm and rational about death, and she is doing so by controlling her inclinations into an ordered poem. Again, in contrast to Plena Timoris, the sonnet indicates that this poem was written during the Renaissance era, a time when love and courtship was openly celebrated opposed to in secret. In this sonnet, the octet is used to depict the problem, You understand it will be late to counsel then or pray, in contrast to the sestet where Rossetti offers a solution; Yetdo not grieve. As well as this, the regular rhythm throughout the poem keeps with the formal structure, and differentiates between her irregular contradictory thoughts. This is clearly shown in the poem when she hesitates between telling her lover to remember her when she has gone away, yet advises them to forget and smile rather than that you should remember and be sad. In one way, this makes it seem as if Rossetti has accepted death, almost as if she is anticipating it without worry. However, in the line nor I half turn to go yet turning stay she shows that she is still torn between life and mortality; both her lover and her death dominate her thoughts. Refugee Mother and Child portrays the harshest depiction of death and its tragic value out of the three poems, as told from a narrative viewpoint. In contrast to the first two poems, Achebe is a visitor at the scene of death, not experiencing it personally with a lover like in Plena Timoris and Remember. However, as a result, he reflects upon the inevitable tragedy he has witnessed. On the whole, Refugee Mother and Child is about the theme of the strength of humanity. Comparably to Plena Timoris, the reader gets an immediate implication of what the poem is about from the title; in this case, war. His use of foreshadowing in the first stanza in the line for a son she would soon have to forget also adumbrates the events to come for the reader. He emphasizes both his horrific and shocking view of death, and the ruthless circumstances of war and famine in his own country, through his use of vivid imagery in the second stanza, the air was heavy with odours of diarrhoea of unwashed children with washed-out ribs and dried-up bottoms. The cruelness and realism of death are also made present throughout the poem, shown through Achebes use of deathly connotations such as ghost and skull. It is also similar to Remember and Plena Timoris in the fact that love is lost somewhat unwillingly as a result of death. Achebe shows his approbation for the woman and her love for her son by comparing them to Madonna and Child; this representation of the epitome of a perfect white mother-child relationship greatly contrasts the black refugees that they represent. Contrast is also used to put emphasis on the, aforementioned, horrors of famine, as seen in washed and unwashed. Her love for her son is yet again accentuated in the line as she combed the rust-coloured hair left on his skull. The fact that she is combing his hair shows that she deeply cares for and has not given up hope for him yet. However, this is conflicted by the simile now she did it like putting flowers on a tiny grave, as it in fact shows that deep inside she has faced reality and knows that her son she soon would have to forget. In all three poems a great number of different linguistic styles and techniques are used by the poets to portray their alternate views of death. Plena Timoris successfully juxtaposes the living with the dead to emphasize the transience of love; the contrast between staying with the one you love and death results in an ambiguous yet slightly more optimistic outlook on death in Remember, whilst similarly in Refugee Mother and Child, the images of death are contrasted with the loving and caring impression of the mother created by Chinua Achebe. All in all, these alternate depictions of death are not only successfully accentuated by contrast, but by use of vivid language and imagery as well.

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