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On the Threshold Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 17 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of On the Threshold.
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Although the orchard could, geographically speaking, be anywhere, in many of the poems in the collection Cuttlefish Bones, Montale drew on the landscape close to his family villa, which was situated in a very secluded spot on the Ligurian coast. Montale spent long summer holidays at the villa, and he is quoted by editor Jonathan Galassi in Montale's Collected Poems: 1920—1954 as saying that the seclusion he experienced there led "to introversion, to an imprisonment in the cosmos." This comment provides a clue to the theme of the poem, as does the fact that Montale intended this poem to sum up, or possibly act as an overture to, the collection as a whole. Also relevant is the fact that the original title of the poem was "Liberty."

The theme of imprisonment and freedom can be understood at several levels. The poet may be making a plea...

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This section contains 595 words
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Poetry for Students
On the Threshold from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.