Figurative Language In Thomas Hardy's The Darkling Thrrush

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The poem, “The Darkling Thrush” was written during the turn of the nineteenth century. The poem overall is about the lack of hope that the speaker has. It is set in winter; the season where many people become depressed because of the lack of color and life during the season. Eventually the speaker finds hope in the song of a Thrush, however, it is not until he is more than half way through the poem that this happens. The poet’s use of figurative language aids him in conveying just how miserable he is. Hardy begins showing off his adornment for figurative language in the second and third lines of the first stanza, writing, “When Frost was spectre-gray, / And Winter’s dregs made desolate” (Hardy). By capitalizing the words “Frost” and “Winter”…show more content…
The speaker of the poem is standing by a pond in the dead of winter staring into the bleakness that has become his relationship. The poet uses imagery and symbolism to convey the precise state of the relationship. By setting the poem in the winter, Hardy is able to convey a feeling of vacancy, which not only describes the landscape, but the feelings within the hearts of the speaker and the woman in the poem; they are both vacant of feeling for each other. Hardy uses the lack of color to his advantage. He only speaks of white and gray, even calling attention to the color of the sun, saying, “And the sun was white” (Hardy, Neutral Tones). Normally one would describe a sun as yellow and happy, bringing life. However, Hardy calls it white, adding it to the coldness of the landscape, a symbol for the coldness of their relationship. He uses the lack of color in the last two lines of the poem to create imagery that truly describes the state of their relationship. He writes, “Your face, and the God curt sun, and a tree, / And a pond edged with grayish leaves” (Hardy, Neutral Tones). By comparing her face to the lack of color in the landscape, he is focusing in on the fact that her face has been left expressionless, much like their relationship, blank. Hardy does not rely completely on imagery and symbolism to paint a picture of the dissolved relationship. He incorporates paradoxes as well. In…show more content…
The poem surrounds the speaker, a man who feels he loves a woman. However, she does not return his love and instead rejects him. Hardy emphasizes these feelings mainly by repetition. In lines one and eight he repeats the phrase, “You did not come” (Hardy, The Broken Appointment). He then does it again in lines nine and sixteen, this time repeating the phrase, “You love not me” (Hardy, The Broken Appointment). While the repetition Hardy uses does make a point and emphasizes the feelings of the speaker, Hardy’s change of meter and cadence allow the repetition to make its full effect. He begins and ends each of the stanzas with short four syllable phrases that are repetitive of each other. On the other hand, all of the other lines in the poem are ten syllables each. By changing the meter and cadence the reader can almost feel the speaker’s heart breaking as it is read. The repetition in the poem reinforces the hurt tone that the poem

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