The speaker’s language towards the woman’s death in “The Last Night that she lived” portrays a yearning attitude that leads to disappointment; which reiterates human discontent with the imperfections of life. The description of woman’s death creates an image of tranquility that causes the speaker to aspire towards death. Her death compares to a reed floating in water without any struggle. The simile paradoxically juxtaposes nature and death because nature’s connotation living things, while death refers to dead things, but death becomes a part of nature. She consents to death, so she quietly dies while those around her refuse to accept her imminent death. The speaker’s description of death sounds like a peaceful experience, like going to sleep, but for eternity. These lines describe her tranquil death, “We waited while She passed—It was a narrow time—Too jostled were Our Souls to speak. At length the notice came. She mentioned, and forgot—Then lightly as a Reed Bent to the water, struggled scarce- Consented, and was dead-“ .Alliteration in “We waited”, emphasizes their impatience of the arrival of her death because of their curiosity about death. The woman’s suffering will be over soon. This is exhibited through the employment of dashes figuratively that form a narrow sentence to show the narrowing time remaining in her life, which creates suspense for the speaker, and also foreshadows that she dies quickly. The line also includes a pun because “notice” refers to the information of her death, and also announcement, which parallels to the soul’s inability to speak. “She mentioned, and forgot—“, refers to her attempt to announce her farewell to everyone, which connects to the previous line’s announcement. The dashes fig...
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...e questions than before which cause the speaker’s confusion to increase. The speaker’s yearning for death shifts after the realization that it also creates problems because complications occur in life and death.
The speaker started the poem by desiring the privilege of death through the use of similes, metaphors, and several other forms of language. As the events progress, the speaker gradually changes their mind because of the many complications that death evokes. The speaker is discontent because of human nature; the searching for something better, although there is none. The use of language throughout this poem emphasized these emotions, and allowed the reader the opportunity to understand what the speaker felt.
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