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Traveling Through The Dark Essay

727 words - 3 pages

"Traveling Through the Dark" by William Stafford was published in 1962. This poem has no consistent line length; there is also no specific rhyme scheme. One characteristic I found in this poem is the similarity between some of the words. Some of the words have the same sounds such as lines five and seven: "By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car.../she had stiffened already, almost cold" (Stafford 155), the words "car" and "cold" both have the C sound. I have found the same similarity between sounds in other lines also.

"Traveling Through the Dark" is about a man's hesitation to give life to a fawn. This man swerves on the road when he spots a dead deer that is basically lying in the middle of the road. The man gets out with intentions to move the deer so other cars would not swerve like he did and cause another accident. When this man reaches the deer, he realizes that she has been dead for a short time, and notices that her belly is warm, and she is pregnant. The man can feel that the fawn is still alive but knows that the fawn will never be born, and this is where he starts to hesitate about what he is going to do. The speaker's intentions were to push the doe over the edge of the road into the river, but now that he knows the doe is pregnant, he is hesitant on his actions. The speaker is confused on whether he should save the fawn or not, but saving the fawn would mean he would have to open the doe right then and there, but what would he do next? The speaker's tone is confused.

The speaker wants the wilderness to give him a sign about what he should do; here he is personifying the wilderness as a living entity. The wilderness does not give the speaker a sign, and here he finds himself in the dark, literally he is in the dark because it is night time, but metaphorically he is in the darkness of uncertainty between knowing what the right choice is and what the wrong choice is. If he saves the...

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