English 202 First Paper

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Tyler Burch Professor Stewart English 202 4/18/2015 Thomas Hardy: The Darkling Thrush When I first read the poem The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy, I got a cold feeling due to his explanation of the setting. The persona explains that everything around him is dead or in the process of dying in this cold winter setting because that resembles his summary of the 19th century and explains how he has no hope for the upcoming century. The title “The Darkling Thrush” confused me at first because according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, Darkling means “in the dark” (Webster). A thrush is a song bird. Song birds to me are supposed to be positive creatures because they chirp in the way of singing and bring positivity to life. The title expresses that the bird is dark so that gave me something to think about as I was reading the poem. The title gave me a sense that it was going to express something dark or that the authors tone was going to be dark and negative. In the first stanza, I got a sense of the authors tone towards the setting. The words spectre-gray, dregs, desolate, and weakening is a sense of cacophony and gave me the feeling that he was a negative person or expressing something negative. The imagery of the first stanza was winter time. To the persona, it wasn’t a beautiful snowy winter. It was a dark winter and his attitude towards it was negative. In lines 5-6 Hardy brings an instrument into the poem. A lyre is a strung instrument so he is trying to play mind games with the reader because when readers think of an instrument, they think of singing and music and happiness. That is completely wrong because there is no happiness in the poem, there is just darkness and sorrow. In the second stanza, the first two lines really confused me after examining it a little bit more. The persona uses the word outleant in his poem and I did not know what it

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