Hardy and Nature Essay

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“The Darkling Thrush” and “In Tenebris I” by Thomas Hardy contains prominent references to nature. The auditory and visual imagery of nature offered in “the Darkling Thrush” has been used by Hardy to convey the mood and setting, while in “In Tenebris I”, they act as It has also been suggested that nature has been a channel for Hardy’s pessimism in his poems. The time in “the Darkling Thrush” is made clear through the use of imagery. Hardy puts forth the image of winter, ‘when Frost was spectre gray’. In the following lines, the winter scenery is captured as empty and darkening. This image could have been used to draw attention to Hardy’s isolation from the rest of the world. It may suggest that Hardy is the only one that is pessimistic about the new century and what it will bring. In the first stanza of “the Darkling Thrush”, Hardy creates a sense of sadness and darkness through his description of his surroundings. The image of darkness that comes with the poem stems from the words ‘frost’ and ‘gray’, which not only invokes an image of a cold and dark surrounding, but allows the reader to experience the chills of winter. The use of the colour ‘gray’ itself seems to hint either misery or dreariness. Hardy chooses to use negative diction, such as ‘tangled’ and ‘broken’ to depict the scenery as well, which in turn suggests that nature is no longer functioning and all that was beautiful is no longer in existence. By portraying nature in this way, one could argue that Hardy sees nature’s winter appearance as a parallel to death. This idea is further explored in the second stanza as Hardy uses funereal imagery alongside references to nature. ‘Corpse’, ‘crypt’ and ‘death-lament’ have been incorporated into different elements of nature itself, specifically time (‘the Century’), the trees (‘cloudy canopy’) and ‘the wind’. The alliteration of ‘crypt’, ‘cloudy’ and
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