Man’s New Toy
In William Stafford’s poem “Traveling through the Dark,” the persona drives alone at night on an isolated mountain road and happens to encounters a dead deer. As depicted in the poem, this anonymous persona is most likely a man since he managed to carry a 200-pound dead deer away from the road. Moreover, the chances of a woman wandering around an isolated mountain by herself at night during the 1960’s were highly unlikely. A man who is willing to live in the midst of nowhere and near a mountain tells us a lot about his inclinations; the man must be passionate about nature and the wilderness because he is jeopardizing his life every day as he goes to work to the country. He must face many inconveniences every day on his way to work; yet despite any adversities and against all odds he insists on co-existing with nature. The reader can also infer that he is familiar with the road and the challenges of driving them. He instantly knows what to do when a road kill blocks the road; “It is usually best to roll them into the canyon”( 3).
He goes through a lot of trouble in remove the deer from the road and successfully gets past the challenge, but not without risking his life in doing so. The persona deduces that the accident that killed the dead deer was not long ago once he realized that the fawn inside the deer is still alive. Even though traffic is not heavy on the mountain road at night, the chances of him being hit by another car while dragging the dead our the road still existed. Nevertheless he is willing to take that risk, showing that he has a strong sense of ethics and duty towards other beings.
He decides to move the deer from the road to prevent any accidents, but he then realizes that something inside the deer is “alive , still never to be born”(11). He hesitates because he will have to kill the...