It's like This Essay

Stephen Dobyns
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Heims is a writer and teacher working in Paris. In the following essay, Heims argues that Dobyns presents an everyman for whom the lure of death is stronger than his attachment to the routines of his life.

The opening stanza of “It's like This” alerts the reader to the central theme of the poem, a struggle—which goes on inside “the man” himself—between life and death. This struggle is repeated throughout the poem, represented in a series of images and situations that outline the contours of “the man's” daily life. What is ironic about the conflict as it is presented in the poem is that the conditions of life frustrate the man and that death, as it unfolds and is fully revealed in the last stanza, is the only gratifying element in his life. Life itself offers no pleasure, but death is alluring. Within the framework...

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This section contains 1,561 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the It's like This Study Guide
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