Dylan Thomas: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

909 words - 4 pages

When discussing the different aspects of New Criticism in Dylan Thomas’s poem “Do Not Go Gentle into The Good Night”, the impression that comes to mind is death. The use of imagery was a necessity for Dylan Thomas to express the different techniques of writing which involved a mixture of surrealistic and metaphysical tones. His ability to change a words meaning to incorporate symbolism is noticeable in circle of unity from life to death and renewed life.
The Author presents the poem in a narrative argumentative point view from a son to his dying father upon his final moments. The imagery and symbolism of the Thomas’s reflections on his feelings of childhood and death become evident the approach the poem through psychological analysis. Thomas is addressing his father from the perspective of why he should fight death, giving valid reasons that the father cannot refuse. The imagery and symbolism show the connection between nature and the soul, whereas psychological aspects of Dylan Thomas’s life must be evaluated from his relationship with his father.
Dylan Thomas was born in 1914 of intellectual parents both being literature professors. Long before he could read, his father would recite poetry from classic authors. Many of his poems can be traced to the illustrated style of D.H Lawrence. The imagery he provides of disparity and death in many of his poems. In the span of Dylan’s life, he witnessed both Great Wars. The first war may have been the main topic of discussion by his parents at childhood. And later at service in the air defense over London. Because of his determined health Thomas was not able to enroll in an active combat role during World War II. Thomas life’s experiences played a major role in influencing his writings which dealt with death and survival.
The first stanza of the poem talks about fighting against the darkness “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light” (Thomas 1-3). The image which comes to mind is a son pleading with his father in a place with low lighting. Thomas is asking his father not to concede to death, but instead fight for the light of life from the characteristics of the second line.
The setting of the poem could be envisioned in many places, but is never alluded to. The reader must place the characters in a setting of somber environment. The narration Thomas gives his father in a simple, low lit room of a small private home. The idea that death of his father is clear is also given in the words “And you, my Father, there on the sad height” (Thomas 16) which...

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