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The Darkling Thrush Essay | Critical Essay #2

This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Darkling Thrush.
This section contains 859 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay #2

In the following essay excerpt, Maynard explores the themes of death and a life without hope in "The Darkling Thrush," especially as they relate to similar conclusions in nineteenth-century thought.

The poem offers two complementary portraits of the "senselessness" of nature. One is literal and the other figurative, corresponding to the two meaning of "darkling": "in the dark" and "obscure."

In the first two stanzas, the world appears physically dead. The first suggests the exhaustion of sense experience. There is little to see in the "spectre-gray" landscape; the "eye of day" is weak. "Winter's dregs" offer little to satisfy the sense of taste or smell. Heaviness characterizes the sense of touch, as suggested by Hardy's use of "leant" to describe his own physical posture in the scene. Finally, there is no sound at all. The image of tangled bine-stems resembling strings of broken lyres vividly conveys the utter...

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This section contains 859 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Darkling Thrush Study Guide
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The Darkling Thrush from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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