(A literary analysis of the three messages portrayed in “To an Athlete Dying Young”)
Athletics, they’re everywhere you look. In schools, on the television, and even in a local park: sports are a part of everyday life. It all started when you were a little kid and played on a local soccer team, or even football in the school yard at recess. The amount of different sports ranges anywhere from: soccer, football, basketball, to even track and cross country. Almost anything can be made into a sport. In A.E. Houston’s poem “To an Athlete Dying Young” the main character was once praised in his town for winning a local race. He brought much fame to not only himself, but also his town. Tragedy struck when his life was taken at a young age. The speaker of the poem goes on to explain that it really was not the worst thing that could’ve happened. The three messages portrayed in Houston’s poem are that life is short, dying young shields you from the hurt of the world, and that you are always remembered when you die young.
Initially, the first message portrayed in Houston’s poem is that life is short. Many people believe that life is some really long drawn out thing, but what they don’t realize is that it can be taken from them at any moment. It doesn’t matter who you are. When it is your time to go you do not have a choice, you can be a homeless man on the street, an average middle class hard working man, or even a millionaire. “Smart lad, to slip betimes away/ From fields where glory does not stay/ And early though the laurel grows/ It withers quicker than the rose.” (Houston, lines 9-12) Here Houston says that the runner who was once praised by his fellow peers has died a young man. He was taken from this earth...
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... that you are always remembered when you die young: are the three messages portrayed in Houston’s poem. Many people believe that life is some really long drawn out thing, but what they don’t realize is that it can be taken from them at any moment. No one knows when the day will come that they will be on their death bed. Your life can end at any moment and that time is short. Everywhere that you go there is going to be some form of hurt. Dying young was good for the young athlete, because he will never live to see his record be broken. An athlete makes a name for himself the second he steps foot out on the pitch, no matter the sport. Not only will he be remembered for what he did do, but he will also be on people’s minds when they think of what he could’ve gone on to do. Much can be taken from Houston’s poem, and these are the most important to be remembered.
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