Hope and Despair in Poetry

Hope and Despair in Poetry

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The dictionary definition of hope is ‘a desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment.’ The meaning of despair according to the dictionary is ‘the utter loss of hope.’ So we can see how these two terms are related.

In Kundera’s “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” the first time we see Tomas go through both of these emotions is when he dealing with the issue of his son. After his divorce he has some hope that he will remain a part of his son’s life with scheduled visits. However, when his ex repeatedly cancels these visits he loses all this hope and is in a state of despair and then decides that he will no longer see or speak to his son again.

For the longest time in the beginning of the relationship between Tereza and Tomas, Tereza felt despair in that Tomas would give up his ‘erotic friendships.’ Her emotions were so strong that she left her husband and returned to Prague. Tomas realized his love for her soon after and returned to be with her.

These feelings also became a part of Franz and his affiliation with Sabina. Franz could not live with lies and told his wife of his infidelities wit Sabina. After doing this he felt lighter and had hope for a future with Sabina. He hoped that she would replace his wife and they would be together. Sabina rejected this idea and decided that upon their return from their vacation weekend she would leave town without a word to Franz. Later when Franz has been kicked out of his home, he searches for Sabina to find her things being moved out of her home without a mention of where she has gone. At this point he is in absolute despair and has no hope of a future neither with Sabina nor with his wife. He has lost all hope of what the future will be.

“The Visit” by Durrenmatt is a story of hope. A small European town is rather poor and looks somewhat shabby and devastated. The richest woman in the world comes to the town and makes an incredible offer of a large sum of money if justice is brought to her. This offer of money brings much hope to the townspeople of a prosperous future and to bring them out of their poverty-stricken state.

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