Discuss How Edward Thomas Communicates His Strong Feelings Towards Life and Death in Lights Out

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'Discuss how Edward Thomas communicates his strong feelings towards life and death in lights out, with reference to imagery, language, and structure.' Thomas portrays strong, melancholic feelings towards life in ‘Lights Out’ as he depicts his sense of hopelessness in his life. In contrast, he connotes death as an ambiguous but inevitable occurrence that can give comfort to a person, being the only inevitable thing to happen to humans. The frequent use of forests in his imagery shows the confusion Thomas feels towards death and the journey toward it. He denotes that “the cloudy foliage lowers” while you find yourself in this forest on the “brink” of death. This use of the metaphor implies that when you are close to death everything becomes unfathomable and you can’t decipher your surroundings. It is as if this ‘foliage’ is smothering you and luring you into death. This could be seen as a positive view towards death from Thomas, as he often found comfort in nature, which involved foliage. It is surrounding him and he feels at peace because he is in a familiar place to him where he feels safe. Reference to melancholic language throughout the poem could suggest a negative attitude toward life and the journey to death. Thomas exclaims how the forest “deceived the travellers” while travelling on many tracks. The use of the word ‘deceived’ connotes that the travellers entered the forest with the belief that they would find a way out and return, although they have misinterpreted this and the forest has confused them so they can’t ever escape. Thomas shows a pessimistic view of life here, because it implies that the journey towards death (life) is deceitful and constantly changing. This can dishearten people as life is always moving, but with death you can only take one path, as it is the one everyone takes. The rhyme scheme through “Lights Out” mainly follows a

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