Theme Of To An Athlete Dying Young By A. E Housman

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The Death of an Athlete and His Career
During the prime years of a person’s life or career, many do not realize that youth and success are dwindling. As they age, the unavoidable aspect of death becomes more significant. A.E Housman, the author of “To an Athlete Dying Young,” conveys that everything in life is not going to be happy all the time, but people need to deal with what they have before it is too late. The audience will learn the entire lifecycle of an athlete and how age is a big factor in this. The theme is mortality and natural transitions throughout life. The speaker of the poem uses extended metaphor, personification, oxymoron, and repetition to show that the athlete should die young so that he will be remembered as a youthful
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Repetition is repeating a word or idea over and over again. An example of repetiton in the poem is “And the name died before the man” (20). This quote means that everything that he has worked so hard for is no longer being cared about. Winning the race was now old news as well as his career. No one took any interest in him anymore, so he was already dying in a sense. The athlete’s job was slowly dying and now no one wanted anything to do with him. Another example of repetition is “Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,” and this quote shows that he is now dead and does not have the strength he once had when he was alive (26). Both of these quotes bring up points about his death and how if he would have died when he was younger, his name still would be recognized by…show more content…
Housman revealed the true meaning of getting older and how it touches each person differently. Without these literary devices, this poem would have no depth and no symbolization, which meant that it would have primarily been a worthless poem. These elements inherently show that no matter what stages in life, there are always changes that will transform not only that person, but the people around them. When the man’s career and life was almost over, no one showed any gratitude towards him. So, what the speaker was trying to say was that as life goes on, so does the world around it. New people will always come in and take the place of another because of the fact that they have more skill, and that is just how life is. Through the repetitiveness of the author’s thoughts on death and change, the audience should interpret that any person that was once successful could reach their plateau at any point in time. The devastating part about reaching those stages is that slowly the realization hits and then the next generation comes in and takes over. Leggett was another useful source, who also confirmed the themes used about death and immortality. Overall, the poem gave an insight as to how an athlete went through life changing episodes that cannot be stopped and with only a few words Housman made a great
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