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Do Not Go Gentle

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Do Not Go Gentle
Dylan Thomas’ poem Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night simultaneously comments on how people should die and how they should live. This poem serves as a statement that every life should be meaningful and impact others, and we should refuse to accept death and cling to this life. The first stanza introduces the main message of the poem: to fight death at all costs. This is apparent when he says “Old age should burn and rave at close of day; rage, rage against the dying of the light” (Thomas). In this sentence, he encourages the reader to believe that death should not be quietly accepted, rather, it should be honorably fought. He expresses this idea through the repetition of ‘rage’ and the connotation of ‘burn.’ The word ‘burn’ produces imagery of fire-This can be interpreted as the author telling the dying to continue to burn with life like a fire. The repetition of rage highlights how passionately he wants people to carry on and fight, even if it is difficult to do so. The second stanza adds a new layer to the poem, expressing his ideas on how life should be lived. Thomas writes, “Though wise men at their end know dark is right, because their words had forked no lightning.” This passage instructs people to make an impact before they die and criticizes those who do not accomplish this. Using the personification of ‘words,’ he says some people deserve to die because they have not said or done anything meaningful in their life. He also makes the reader fear that they have not ‘forked lightning’ with their words, which creates a desire in the reader to have a meaningful life and make an impact on the world. This poem reflects the views of my great-grandmother. She lived to be ninety-eight years old. My grandma asked her once if she was ready to die, and she replied with “Of course not. Death can kiss my wrinkly ass.” No joke, those were her exact words. I had always admired her ability to fight. She never quit something once she started- she would finish a

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