Jay Ong 4I2
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Literature Home Based Learning

Literature Home Based Learning

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas

Jay Ong 4I2

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Jay Ong 4I2 Jay Ong 4I2 Presentation Transcript

  • Attempted Poem: Part 2 “Do not go gentle into that good night ”
  •  
    • [in a poem] ” the sound [of a word] should seem an echo to the sense [of the word]”
      • ‘Sense’ refers to the meaning of the word
    • What is your understanding of Alexander Pope’s quote?
      • The sound that the word makes when pronounced should reflect the meaning of the word.
        • E.g. The word ‘aggressive’ focuses on the crunching sound of the ‘g’ syllable, thus sounding fierce
    • Pledge and Ledge
    • Flower and Power
    • By the shore of Gitchie Gumee, 
By the shining Big-Sea-Water, 
At the doorway of his wigwam, 
In the pleasant Summer morning, 
Hiawatha stood and waited.
          • (Hiawatha's Departure
 from The Song of Hiawatha, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
    • Little trotty wagtail he went in the rain,And tittering, tottering sideways he ne'er got straight again,He stooped to get a worm, and looked up to get a fly,And then he flew away ere his feathers they were dry.
          • ( Little Trotty Wagtail, John Clare)
    • "Those images that yet
Fresh images beget,
That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea.”
        • (Byzantium, W.B. Yeats)
    • "The spider skins lie on their sides, translucent and ragged, their legs drying in knots.”
        • (Holy the Firm, Annie Dillard)
    • Whose woods these are I think I know. 
His house is in the village though; 
He will not see me stopping here 
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
        • (Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,
        • Robert Frost)
    • And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
        • (The Raven, Edgar Ellan Poe)
    • Our first foe, the serpent Satanas,
That hath in Jews' heart his wasps nest,
Up swelled, and said: "O Hebraic people, alas!
Is this to you a thing that is honest,
That such a boy shall walken as him lest
In your despite, and sing of such sentence,
Which is against your law's reverence?
            • (Prioress' Tale, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales)
    • … the moan of doves in immemorial elms,
And murmuring of innumerable bees.
        • (Come Down, O Maid, Sir Alfred Tennyson)
  •  
    • The tone is one of forewarning.
    • The poet gives instances of wise men, good men, wild men, and grave men regretting not fighting against death, and he does not want his father to succumb to the same fate.
    • ‘ Do not go gentle into that good night’
    • ‘ Rage, rage against the dying of the light’
    • A sense of desperation is created where the poet refuses to let his father succumb to the hand of death, regardless of whether or not he goes in to the ‘night’, a metaphor for death, gently or with ‘rage’ against the ‘dying of the light’ (loss of life). The interlocking rhyme pattern effectively synthesizes the meaning of both the refrains into one meaning, reaching its climax at its repetition of both refrains at the end of the poem.
    • What is the effect of ending with both refrains?
      • It shows how the poet is reluctant to let his father die. He does not care if he dies calmly (‘going ‘gentle into the good night’) or struggling (‘rage, rage against the dying of the light’), he refuses to let his father die.
    • Why do you think Dylan Thomas chooses to do so?
      • While each type of ‘man’ only has one refrain in the respective stanzas, having both for the last stanza heightens the desperation of the poet with regards to his father’s resistance to death.
    • Do you see the use of onomatopoeia in this line?
      • The pronunciation of the ‘g’ syllable creates a sense of unresolved conflict which is made apparent by the crunching sound of the ‘g’ syllable. The sound created by the pronunciation of the ‘g’ syllable does not have a distinct pronunciation, not as distinct as a ‘ch’ but not as gentle as a ‘j’ either, creating a sense of resistance.
    • What is the effect of onomatopoeia here?
      • This lack of a clear pronunciation creates a sense of resistance which emphasizes how people should resist death to the very end.
    • ‘ sang the sun in flight,’
    • ‘ see with blinding sight’
    • Both utilise the pronunciation of the hissing sound of the ‘s’ syllable
    • Wise men
      • Regretful
      • They lived their life discovering and finding out new ideas and concepts. However, none were substantial enough to create an impact to the world. If they had lived for a while longer, such a discovery could have been made.
    • Good men
      • Regretful
      • They lived their life doing good deeds, but are regretful that life had to be taken away so soon before their ‘frail deeds’ could truly be glorified
    • Wild men
      • Grieving and extremely sad
      • They celebrated life and enjoyed life to the fullest, only to discover that the world they celebrated was slowly dissolving around them as comrades age and die.
      • Just when they were celebrating in the sunlight, they fail to realise that night (symbolizing death) is coming and imminent
    • Grave men
      • Full of willpower towards death
      • Even though they are weak and losing their faculty of sight, they can still use what strength they have to ‘rage’ against death and refuse to succumb to it
    • How is this change in tone shown, and what is its effect?
      • He addresses his father personally, using words such as ‘you’ and ‘me’, creating an intimate atmosphere, far different from the detached atmosphere in the other stanzas. Moreover, while the other stanzas focus on broad categories of men, this stanza focuses on one sole individual, his father. This intimate atmosphere brings the element of emotion into the refrain, creating a larger impact.
    • Why does Dylan Thomas implore his father to “Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray”?
      • Struggling against death can result in two extremes. If he struggles but ultimately succumbs to death, his suffering is simply prolonged, making the pain for both the poet and his father more severe. On the other hand, if he struggles and overcomes death, it is a blessing instead.
    • He wants his father to live life to his fullest and not succumb to the natural laws of death. In this sense, he wants his father to live life without regrets and make his mark in the world and ultimately have full control of his life, including his death.
    • Is it because he himself fears a world without his father?
      • This is another possible interpretation of the poem. He refuses to let his father die as he cannot survive without his father, with the father’s fate subsequently dictating his own life.
  •  
    • “ the sound should seem an echo of the sense” - Alexander Pope
    • The sound of the word and the overall feel created by its pronunciation should complement the meaning of the word.
    • However, this is not the case for all poems.
      • Not every poet would employ such a method, perhaps preferring other methods such as focusing on imagery instead.
    • A poem which relies heavily on aural poetic devices to impact the reader
      • The Raven by Edgar Ellan Poe
    • A poem in which sound is not as important.
      • The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
    • Which do you prefer, and why?
      • I prefer poems which utilise ‘aural’ poetic devices.
      • Poems are meant to be read out. Hence, the auditory elements in the poem can be fully capitalized upon, where the sound of the word creates a fuller and more distinct impact on the reader as compared to an image which takes time to be conjured.
      • A larger emphasis on words can be created by using auditory devices such as assonance and consonance
      • Onomatopoeia can effectively contribute to the overall atmosphere of the poem
        • E.g. Hissing sound created by the letter ‘s’
    • Substantiate your response with examples from poems of your choice
      • Come Down, O Maid by Sir Alfred Tennyson
      • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
      • Holy the Firm by Annie Dillart