No Ultimate Message in Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas

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One of his best works, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas, is a famous example of the poetic form called villanelle. Enriched with a raw emotional power, Thomas uses this poem to address his dying father and encourages him to defy his fate and cling onto his life for as long as he can. As a result, the poem shifts from an unclear yet universal audience to the poet’s own dying father, thus making the poet the speaker as well. Though the poem comprises of various poetic devices such as metaphors, visual imagery, alliteration, repetition, assonance, (and many more), the speaker’s critical and insurgent tone is considered the most important aspect as this is what has has preserved the poem amongst the most-read works in English for more than half a century. The speaker asks the aged to “not go gentle into the” “night”. Using the “day” as a metaphor for existence and “night” for afterlife, the speaker feels that the old shouldn’t slip away quietly from life or die peacefully. Instead they should “burn and rave” with fiery intensity. Though he admits that “wise” people understand that death is inevitable, and cannot be stopped, he points out that even the most sensible do not depart without leaving a “lightning” and a striking mark on the world. For him, true goodness lies in rebelling against the unavoidable with all your might and fighting for all those “deeds” and could have “danced” and been absolutely brilliant. In the fourth stanza, the speaker describes a different kind of men- though “wild”, they do not allow themselves to give in to fate and fade away. They live life to they live life to the fullest, catching and singing with the “sun”- the source of brightness and happiness for life. However when they th... ... middle of paper ... ...e his father. This may also hint upon the ferocity of the dreams, the father once used to have, and now is reminded of them by the desperation in the son’s tone. According to the various sources, this poem doesn’t have any specific title, thus is referred to, by its first line “Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night”. This not only re-enforces the poem’s themes and ideas, but it also helps focus on one of the many emotions the poet has weaved into this poem - grief. Thus simultaneously amplifying the anger and the desperation present in the poem. As a reader, I feel that there is no ultimate message for the poem. Throughout the compact verse of the nineteen lines, there are various small messages- all folded and hidden within the poem. However in a nutshell, the poet is in the favor of making an impact throughout one’s life and especially at the moment of one’s death.
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