Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night Essay

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Jhan Hochman is a freelance writer and currently teaches at Portland Community College, Portland, OR. In the following essay, Hochman suggests that the contradiction inherent in Thomas's instructions to "rage against" a death that he terms a "good night" serves as a plea to the dying to show their love for those whom they leave behind.

While Dylan Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" could be addressed to anyone, by the end of the last stanza, the reader realizes that the specific addressee is Thomas's sick father. In this poem he never sent, the son entreats his father not to accept death quietly, but instead, to fight it. While the more usual-sentiment counsels accepting death peacefully and gracefully, something more provocative is at work here: that is, though death is a "good night" in its romantic or hopeful sense of restful bedtime and peaceful darkness...

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This section contains 1,536 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.