Poets tend to explore various aspects of human life and draw people’s attention to the most relevant issues. Hence, many poems may contain similar themes, but the emphasis is likely to be unique for every work of art. In this paper, a common theme in two poems by Robert Frost and one poem by Dylan Thomas is analyzed. In the artworks in question, the poets concentrate on the metaphorical meaning of travel, which is the common theme for the three pieces.
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The travel as a metaphor of life with its complexity and end is examined in Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and “The Road not Taken.” In the former case, the poet emphasizes the need to go on and remain responsible, “But I have promises to keep / And miles to go before I sleep” (Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” 1106). Frost admits that the travel will end sooner or later, so it is necessary to go through all the challenges with dignity. It is noteworthy that the journey is regarded as something pleasant and comforting, although certain difficulties can emerge.
The travel full of difficulties and choices to be made is the prevalent theme of the latter poem as well. The author refers to travel as a metaphor for life as people have to live through numerous challenges and choose among countless alternatives, which is often hard. The poet also shares his perspective of the choice he made, “I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference” (Frost, “The Road not Taken” 1107). The analysis of the theme of travel and the way the author deals with it suggest that Frost sees life as something rather complex and challenging. Again, similar to the work analyzed above, some beauty, as well as hazards, is described revealing the intricacy of human existence.
The theme of travel is also employed in Thomas’s “Do not Go Gentle into That Good Night.” However, the focus is not on the journey itself but on its inevitable ending. The poet addresses readers with a call for action as he tries to encourage people to fight until the end. The author repeatedly states, “Do not go gentle into that good night / Old age should burn and rave at close of day; / Rage, rage against the dying of the light” (Thomas 1118).
Importantly, Thomas sheds light on possible challenges and problems people have to address throughout their lives, but he still acknowledges the miraculous nature of living. Therefore, the author tries to convince everybody that an individual should never give up and stop fighting for their life.
Interestingly, all the three works in question are characterized by the use of repetition, which enhances the impact of the theme. Frost repeats two final lines in his “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and utilizes a frame repeating the line “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood” in his “The Road not Taken” (“The Road not Taken”1106-1107). Thomas repeats the line “Do not go gentle into that good night” four times, which creates quite a specific didactic atmosphere (1118). Authors use repetition to draw readers’ attention to the major theme they scrutinize in their artworks.
In conclusion, it is necessary to note that the poems in question have a similar theme as poets depict life as travel that is characterized by challenges and alternatives to choose from. The atmosphere created by the works is also remarkable since the efforts made by the narrator are brought to the fore. Every reader considers their own problems and challenges that they had to endure and address. The use of repetition in all three cases serves as an enhancer of the primary theme. Readers’ attention is drawn to the complexity of human existence.
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Frost, Robert. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Arguing About Literature: A Guide and Reader, edited by John Schilb and John Clifford, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2017, pp. 1105-1106.
Frost, Robert. “The Road not Taken.” Arguing About Literature: A Guide and Reader, edited by John Schilb and John Clifford, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2017, p. 1106.
Thomas, Dylan. “Do not Go Gentle into That Good Night.” Arguing About Literature: A Guide and Reader, edited by John Schilb and John Clifford, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2017, p. 1118.