Losing a loved one is one of the hardest experiences every person must go through. The experience does not end with the loss though, but begins with it. The loss of a dear person leads those left behind into a downward spiral of emotions and memories. A poem entitled “Lucy Gray” by William Wordsworth focuses on that loss and the emotions that follow it. By reading the poem one can objectively experience both the grief that Lucy Gray’s death brings on but also her parents’ acceptance of her death.
The poem in brief summary allows us to experience an outsider’s view of the death of Lucy Gray and her parents’ grief. The character narrating the poem tells the story of Lucy, a girl who was sent by her father with a lantern to light the way home, for her mother in town. On her way to town a snow storm hits and Lucy is never found neither dead nor alive. The fact that a stranger is narrating the story as opposed to one of the parents telling the story, allows the reader to witness the tragedy of Lucy Gray without feeling too tangled up in the parents’ grief. By having an outsider who is in no way involved in the tragedy tell the story, the writer of the poem William Wordsworth, gives the reader an objective point of view on the tragedy as well as room to relate the reader’s own experience to the poem without feeling uncomfortable. Had the poem lacked objectivity the reader would have surely felt uncomfortable and stifled by emotions of the parents’ or a parent telling the story of their daughter’s death. As well as that, the objectiveness of the stranger narrating gives the reader almost a communal experience. It is as if the reader was in a small town one day, and a local just happened to...
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... to accept that nothing can change the fact that Lucy is dead. What really makes it apparent that Lucy’s parents refuse to let her fade away, is the fact that the stranger is telling the story. The stranger is narrating it as if it was told to him by one of the parents, word by word, to be repeated and spread throughout the town, so in a way Lucy is always kept alive. In words of Wordsworth:
- Yet some maintain that to this day
She is still a living child;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome wild. (57 – 60)
Though Lucy died at such a young age and under such unfortunate circumstances she is still remembered by the town’s people as well as the reader now.
William Wordsworth. “Lucy Gray.” English Romantic Poetry .Ed. Stanley Appelbaum. New York: Dover Publications, 1996. 33 – 4.
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