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The Valuing Of Vitality Essay

1580 words - 7 pages

The cycle of life always ends in death, but the frightful aspect of death is not necessarily death itself, but the concept of timing. Mark Twain states that “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die anytime” which means people’s fear of dying stems from their fear of living, and this frightful emotion takes over people’s lives and prevents them from living each day like it is their last. This fear prevents many from taking action on their dreams and ambitions which inevitably is giving one’s life up too quickly. Dylan Thomas, a famous contemporary author, believes existence is taken advantage of and when one’s existence is threatened, most people are too quick to give up. In Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” the speaker of the poem confronts his deceased father about releasing one of the most valuable things in nature: life (Pattern #3).
The villanelle begins with “Do not go gentle into that good night” which repeated throughout the poem to emphasize the theme and purpose of the poem, to inform the reader that one should not let life slip through one’s fingers (Thomas 1). After, the speaker says “Old age should burn and rave at close of day;” which means those who are nearing the end of life should not easily accept their demise and should oppose against nature for more time to live (Harrison) (Thomas 2). In this line, “close of day” is a metaphor for death and is telling the reader that the elders should go against death and be vigorous (Keeling). The stanza concludes with “Rage, rage, against the dying light” where rage is repeated to emphasize the theory of battling intensively to live and against the dying light is portraying light as a symbol of life and the idea of the light “dying” provides an image of life slowly fading like a light (Thomas 2-3).
In the second stanza, the reader is told that “wise men at their end know dark is right” which means that men who understand that life will end in death, will know that death is unavoidable (Thomas 4). Those who understand that death is inevitable are more likely to live life unscathed and make their life adventurous because regardless of what happens, everyone’s life will pass. The speaker then decides to state that wise men know death is inevitable “because their words had forked no lightning” which leads the reader to understand that the meaning of the metaphor; thoughts and actions of certain people have not yet left a mark on people or the world which may be a concept many attempt to achieve but fail to do so because of fear (Thomas 5). The stanza ends with a repetition of the title to emphasize that wise men do indeed understand that their life is not infinite, and with this understanding, these men haven’t created enough of an impact to leave the earth quickly, so the wise men fight for their vitality long enough for their life to create an impact that will allow them to pass away with success on their minds and...

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