Poetry Response 1.3 A Dream Within A Dream By: Edgar Allen Poe The structure of "A Dream Within a Dream" consists of two stanzas containing two disparate but ultimately connected scenes. The first stanza shows the first-person point of view of the narrator parting from a lover, while the second places the narrator on a beach while futilely attempting to grasp a handful of sand in his hand. The juxtaposed scenes contrast in a number of ways, as the poem moves from a calm, though solemn, farewell to a more passionate second half. Whereas the first stanza features a thoughtful agreement, the seashore scene contains expletives such as "O God!" and anguished exclamations along with despairing rhetorical questions to reflect the torment in the narrator's soul. Despite much literal difference between the two stanzas, they are ironically linked through evanescent nature. In the first scene the narrator is leaving his lover, giving a sense of finality to their love. In the second scene the sand falling through the hands symbolizes an hourglass, which in turn has a larger meaning of passing time. As the sand flows away until all time has passed, the lovers' time also disappears, and the sand and the romance each turn into impressions from a dream. Through the alliteration in "grains of the golden sand," Poe emphasizes the "golden" or desired nature of both the sand and of love, but he shows clearly that neither is permanently attainable. All in all Poe is a morbid depressed person, much like me. I am a pessimist who views reality and actuality. Poe is viewing reality here by saying love and time are not attainable, which is true. By juxtaposing that the whole thing is a “Dream within a dream” he really means the whole thing is reality.
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