Discuss Ways in Which Edward Thomas Presents Feelings About Death in ‘Rain’

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“Remembering again that I shall die”

Discuss ways in which Thomas presents feelings about death in ‘Rain’

The oblivion of nothing is accepted by Edward Thomas as he contemplates over the nature of both life and death. Aside, Thomas’ usual theme of preserving England’s nature a theme of isolation, darkness and melancholy takes over in ‘Rain’ and was, understandably, common within poets around the First World War. In particular Thomas’ collection is reflective of the work by Thomas Hardy and Wilfred Owen. Introspection of Thomas’ own death is portrayed in ‘Rain’ and ‘The Glory’.

Thomas is particularly affected by the contemplation of the effects of war due to the brutality and inhumanity. Words such as ‘broken’, ‘pain’, ‘solitary’ are used through the poem, ‘Rain’, and the repetition of these melancholic words exemplify his introspection of death, particularly his own, which further evokes sympathy as we identify his mental suffering due to the work of war. Similarly in ‘Aspens’ the absence of humanity due to the war is exposed through the portrayal of emptiness from the use of the simile ‘empty as sky’, which emphasises the emptiness as so vast it is overpowering. This suggests Thomas contemplates his significance as an individual in the war. Emptiness is also a theme in the poem ‘As the Team’s Head Brass’ where a conversational tone conveys the effects the war has had on a farm.

Thomas seems to accept the oblivion of nothing and the idea of love and death becomes a psychological theory. Thanatos is the motivation or desire to escape and therefore this completion of oblivion seems to conclude the poem. Further the ‘tempest’ brought Thomas a vision of nature of both life and death as it ‘tells me [him]’ and gives him a glimpse of death, which is at once a ‘bleak’ sense of consolidation. The epiphany that Thomas experiences gives this sense of awareness of mortality and the value of life. The oblivion of death is contrasted with the gift of life as...
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