Analyzing Dylan Thomas's Plea to 'Rage Against the Dying of the Light'

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Analyzing Dylan Thomas's Promise: To Rage Against the Dying of the Light "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night", by Dylan Thomas is a plea from a dying man's son to steel his reserve and fight against imminent death. Thomas begins by presenting the example of wise men that fight their impending death valiantly, despite knowing that defeat is inevitable. Good men also "rage against the dying of the light" (Thomas 9); a suggestion that Thomas hopes that his father will take to heart. Wild men war against their impending doom in an attempt to prolong their doomed existence, and grave men who stand on the threshold of oblivion still do not accept death with complacency. Dylan's plea extends so far as to encourage his father to, "curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray"( Thomas 17), making it obvious that Thomas is unconcerned with what his father chooses to fight for or against, as long as he makes a stand for something before he is extinguished. Dylan Thomas implements repetitive metaphors and strict form to underline the case he makes to his father; the gift of life should be passionate and valiant up to its last fleeting seconds. Dylan Thomas's poetic form and usage of metaphors create a representation of all the men that he desires his father to emulate. Thomas begins by invoking the wise men who, "Because their words had forked no lightening they/ Do not go gentle into that good night"(Thomas 4-5). The wise men Thomas speaks of refuse to resign to their fates as dead men because they have not yet accomplished what they set out to do. Thomas's "lightening" is a representative metaphor of the goals set forth by the strong that serve as motivation to continue living robustly. By idolizing these wise men, Thomas implicates that he desires his father to emulate them; to press on toward anything that may at least give him some purpose besides waiting

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