The first, and most conventional interpretation of “A Slumber,” identify the pronoun ‘She’ in the third line as “Lucy,” who is the subject of the four other poems in the collection. The male speaker (the speaker of a poem must be separate from the poet, in this case Wordsworth) describes how this woman whoever she may be: mother, lover, sister, or friend; has died. The word “slumber” is a euphemism to suggest an easy passing on to the afterlife. The final two lines of the first quatrain point to the tranquility of her death, and the narrator’s consolation that she is beyond the grasp of human mortality.
In the second quatrain, the impact of her death is starting to dawn on the speaker. In the first line, by saying that she has “No motion…no force” (line 5) he is possibly reflecting on how she was in life: a woman in constant movement, one that took part in life, rather than sitting on the sidelines. Now, all of that energy has ceased to exist. The speaker, however, tries to look at the situation on the positive side. He is counting on his beliefs that there is a life af...
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...eliefs help ease the passing of a loved one, assuring themselves that there is a life after death and that it is assuredly better than this one. On the other hand, death, for some, is an escape from their troubles. They wish it upon themselves because they believe they have no other options. Then there is the most despicable act of murder. The man who believes he possesses the right to strip someone of his or her own life. Once the illusion is broken that there is only one interpretation to the poem, there is no looking back. Wordsworth forces the reader to experience the different sides of death no matter how different or repulsive they may be. However, Wordsworth writes the poem so that each experience comes from the same eight lines of metrical verse. Death, to Wordsworth, is all encompassing, no matter who is involved; eventually it reels everyone into its web.
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