Thomas Hardy's Ah, Are You Digging On My Grave?

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Many people across the globe believe in some form of afterlife, whether it be reincarnation, Heaven and Hell, or some other version of the ‘ideal utopian land and realm of punishment’ trope. Thomas Hardy decided to dispose of this contemporary way of thinking in order to provide a thought-provoking poem that questions the way we think about death and how it affects others. In “Ah, Are You Digging On My Grave?,” Thomas Hardy utilizes a peculiar point of view, diction, structure, and tone to develop the meaning that people remember someone differently after death based on their relationship.
One of the most influential aspects of a poem is the point of view. The point of view, or perspective, allows the poet to control how new information is presented to
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In this poem, Hardy gave the speaker a unique point of view that is not often seen in writing. To elaborate, by choosing to make the speaker deceased, Hardy allows the reader to experience the story from the perspective of a character that is buried underground. In particular, numerous times throughout the poem, the speaker asks, “who is digging on my grave?” (Hardy 19). By including this in his poem, Hardy is confirming that the speaker is indeed dead. This strange perspective sets up the poem to allow the message to be conveyed, as the theme would have to be different if the speaker was alive. This also helps to build suspense because both the reader and the speaker are unable to discern what is happening above ground. As can be seen, the peculiar yet effective perspective from Hardy supports the theme by allowing the reader to understand how the theme can be conveyed.
Similarly, diction is another crucial component of a poem, as it arguably contributes the most to establishing a theme. In “Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave?,” the diction helps support the reader’s own assumptions of the relationship before death between the speaker and whomever is being discussed. As proof, early in the

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