Thomas Hardy wrote the poem, “The Going” to look at the past and reconsider the relationship between himself and his wife, Emma, before she died. The poem in the form of a monologue uses the passage of time to convey lament for the poet after losing his wife. There is no explicit statement of her death but there is very much a sense through the overall tone, bitter regret and self-pity that the poet expresses she is dead. Hardy treats the passage of time as a compass to guide him to reminisce and portray the past, which creates the confusion of emotions, regret, love and hate, it also adds to the overall dramatic effect of Emma’s death throughout the poem. In fact, Hardy uses the passage of time similarly in a poem a month earlier, November 1912, “The Voice”.
The poem consists of six stanzas which are constructed around an irregular rhyme pattern of ababccb. The rhyme pattern conveys a sense of relentlessness as though there is no solace for Hardy, no resolution for these feelings that erode him. The rhythm of the poem is rather fast paced to portray strong emotions and sense of persistence. This rather fast rhythm reinforces the irritated tone and intense confusion adopted by the poet. The rhythm slowly breaks off at the final stanzas to indicate the way in which the poet is coping with his loss; we see he is staggering on, consumed in his grief and regret for not having rekindled their love before her death.
The first stanza begins with the simple ambiguous question, “Why did you give no hint that night”. This inquisition is to the recently deceased Emma, it projects the poets feeling of confusion powerfully at that moment of time. The poem commences in the present and as time goes slowly by Hardy reveals the past and in process reflects on the near future. Emma’s abrupt death leads to the unevenly pattern emotions of the... [continues]
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