Don't Go Gentle Into a Good Night Sleep

Topics: Poetry, Tercet, Word Pages: 3 (1180 words) Published: December 13, 2007
Poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" By Dylan Thomas

This poem, in the form of a villanelle, is about the universal subject of death. As line sixteen suggests, the speaker is not only talking about death to us, but to his father as well: "And you, my father, there on the sad height," (l. 16) The speaker does not want his father to accept death passively. He wishes his father would fight death just as the types of men he mentions in stanzas two to five have done. For instance in stanza two, the men want to continue living until their words influence people – if they die without doing this then they would have been useless in life. As further proof - in stanza four the wild men have chased life, caught it and have felt successful in doing so. But by chasing life they have not lived it and they regret this. Consequently they also want to maintain living life in order to live it instead of chase it. The father is not like them in that sense, which is why in line sixteen he is distanced from the speaker by the use of the word "height" (see above quotation). Because this is a villanelle, the father is further separated from the other men because he is mentioned in the only quatrain rather than a tercet. Furthermore this encourages the reader to notice this stanza, and highlights the importance of it too. The poet is disappointed that his father is unlike these other men because he does not want his father to die. When parents die, we lose our last grasp of childhood. Our parents are no longer around to care for us, so we have to look after ourselves – we are forced to mature and become more responsible. Thomas feels very emotional about this. "Rage", "fierce" and "curse" are all very strong and emotive words displaying his feelings well. Perhaps he wants his father to live longer for the reason that Thomas was not really in control of his own life. He was renowned for his alcohol addiction, and this shows that he was not in control of himself. He probably...
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