The theme of death and mortality is discussed from varied angles in “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas. Overall, the poet encourages his audience to fight against death with screaming and kicking just like the new born babies fight for their life when they come into this world. In the following paper, the theme of death and mortality in this poem will be addressed in detail. On the whole, the analysis of this piece of literature suggests a conclusion that the theme of death and mortality in «Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas is disclosed in its title, the statements concerning fatality resistance, and the lines in which he urges his father to fight with the forthcoming death.
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First, the very title of the poem under consideration reveals the theme of mortality by naming the death “that good night” and stating that people should not go “gentle” into it. Using the word “gentle”, the author suggests that humans do not have to contend with the death. Instead, they have to fight to continue living no matter how hard it can be. To demonstrate how strong their struggle should be, Thomas mentions the illustration of a robust warrior not willing to give up in the face of the foe. He urges his readers to stay firm and be courageous even at the deathbed.
Next, the theme of death is revealed in the many lines, where the author renders an advisory opinion on how people should meet death. Thomas claims that it is absolutely necessary to resist fatality with all ones might. He states, “rage, rage against the dying of the light” (Thomas 14). Similar piece of advice is offered in the other line, “do not go gentle into that good night” (Thomas 14). It is remarkable that the idea of death resistance is so important for the author that he implements the literary device of repetition of the two above-mentioned lines through the whole course of his storytelling in this existential opus.
Finally, Thomas develops the theme of mortality reflecting on the image of death in his own life by speaking about his father who was dying at the time the poem was written. The suffering of his aging father who is struggling with a serious disease and the weakening of his formerly strong body is the representation of the power of death in human life for the poet. Thomas is concerned about his father’s imminent death, which can be seen from the following line, “and you, my father, there on the sad height, curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray” (Thomas 14). Moreover, the poet experiences inner turmoil regarding the inevitable death that awaits every human under the effects of seeing his father’s anguish.
Reflecting on the above-mentioned, the theme of death and mortality is observed in detail in “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas. Particularly, the author refers to this theme in the very title of the poem, in the repeated statements encouraging resistance to fatality, and in the lines in which he urges his father to fight with the forthcoming death. All in all, the theme of death and mortality is the central theme in this excellent work of poetic art.
Thomas, Dylan. The Essential Dylan Thomas. New York: Dover Publications, 2000. Print.