Thursday, October 3, 2019
Isolation in Hardys poems Nobody Comes and The Darkling Thrush Essay Example for Free
Isolation in Hardys poems Nobody Comes and The Darkling Thrush Essay In the poems Ã¢â¬Å"The Darkling ThrushÃ¢â¬ [Ã¢â¬ËTDTÃ¢â¬â¢] and Ã¢â¬Å"Nobody ComesÃ¢â¬ [Ã¢â¬ËNCÃ¢â¬â¢], Hardy presents two similar images of isolation. In both poems, the personae are isolated from human company, whilst Hardy explores this using imagery of ghosts and the supernatural in both also. However, individually there are differences in tone; although NC ends upon as dire a note as it begins, Hardy engineers an optimistic outlook in TDT and suggests that the personaÃ¢â¬â¢s isolation may not Hardy ensures that the persona of Ã¢â¬ËTDTÃ¢â¬â¢ is isolated from any other human presence or, until the poemÃ¢â¬â¢s third stanza, any living organism. Whilst leaning against Ã¢â¬Å"a coppice gateÃ¢â¬ , he notes that Ã¢â¬Å"all mankind had sought their household firesÃ¢â¬ . Although this is an indication of the low temperature, it is noticeable that the rest of humanity are seeking light in an otherwise dark environment; reciprocally, the persona is deprived of both warmth and living company. To further this point, Hardy personifies non-human entities, such as frost and winter Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å"WinterÃ¢â¬â¢s dregsÃ¢â¬ , for example. In this way, Hardy makes the reader personal not with living creatures but with inanimate entities, isolating the animate persona even more. Indeed, Hardy makes such a division more striking by picturing the personaÃ¢â¬â¢s surroundings as very extreme. Surrounded by deathly imagery, the persona imagines the landscape as Ã¢â¬Å"the CenturyÃ¢â¬â¢s corpse/ His crypt the canopy,/ The wind his death lamentÃ¢â¬ . Even HardyÃ¢â¬â¢s animate entities seem ghostly; Ã¢â¬Å"Frost was spectre-grayÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"mankind haunted nighÃ¢â¬ . Such is the state of decay that even Ã¢â¬Å"the ancient pulse of germ and birth was shrunkenÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â the regenerative power of life has itself died, leaving the persona as the sole animate existence. A similar loneliness can be seen in Ã¢â¬ËNCÃ¢â¬â¢, especially towards the end of the poem. In the aftermath of the car passing, the persona observes, Ã¢â¬Å"mute by the gateÃ¢â¬ , that he Ã¢â¬Å"stand[s] again alone.Ã¢â¬ The sudden silence and soft, finite Ã¢â¬ËtÃ¢â¬â¢ sound of Ã¢â¬Å"muteÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â in contrast to the onomatopoeic Ã¢â¬Å"whangsÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â amplifies the personaÃ¢â¬â¢s loneliness; as does the empty assonance in the repeated Ã¢â¬ËaÃ¢â¬â¢ sound, in Ã¢â¬Å"aloneÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"againÃ¢â¬ . Equally, the present tense verb Ã¢â¬Å"standsÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"againÃ¢â¬ emphasizes that this is an ongoing and repeated state of isolation. However, the persona in Ã¢â¬ËNobody ComesÃ¢â¬â¢ is not simply isolated in terms of being physically alone or the sole living creature Ã¢â¬â he is also isolated from modernity. Hardy again uses Ã¢â¬ËsupernaturalÃ¢â¬â¢ imagery to explore this. The persona notes that Ã¢â¬Å"The telegraph wire intones like a spectral lyre/ Swept by a spectral handÃ¢â¬ . Rather than see the telegraph wire as a means of communication, the persona rejects it in presenting an image of disassociation; the vagueness of the verb Ã¢â¬Å"intonesÃ¢â¬ summons an image of faceless voices. He also creates negative supernatural connotations; there is an innate ghostliness about the archaic lyre Ã¢â¬â juxtaposed to contrast with the innate modernity of the telegraph wire Ã¢â¬â which is reinforced by the wraithlike Ã¢â¬Å"spectralÃ¢â¬ . Hardy repeats this for emphasis in Ã¢â¬Å"spectral handÃ¢â¬ . In this phrase, he also creates an incongruity between the concrete verb Ã¢â¬Å"sweptÃ¢â¬ and noun Ã¢â¬Å"handÃ¢â¬ and the abstract concept of Ã¢â¬Å"ghostlinessÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â the Ã¢â¬ËhandÃ¢â¬â¢ does not exist. Its invisible presence and visible effects are unnerving, making the modern telegraph wire an unpleasant image. The personaÃ¢â¬â¢s rejection of modernity can be seen also in the depiction of Ã¢â¬Å"a car com[ing] upÃ¢â¬ . Having shone its aggressive lamps at Ã¢â¬Å"full glareÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â which Hardy emphasizes by placing at the end of the line Ã¢â¬âthe persona states that Ã¢â¬Å"it has nothing to do with meÃ¢â¬ . This maxim, in being so blunt, is very powerful. It operates to present a rift between the persona and the modern world and, given the unusually colloquial verb Ã¢â¬Å"whangsÃ¢â¬ , it indicates that the car is viewed as a callous representation of modern life from which the persona wishes to isolate himself. It leaves Ã¢â¬Å"leaving a blacker airÃ¢â¬ , which may indicate either a corruption of nature (in terms of polluting the otherwise fresh air) or a darkening in the personaÃ¢â¬â¢s emotions. Indeed, the poem concludes with the same negativity, with the word Ã¢â¬Å"nobodyÃ¢â¬ in both the title and the last line. The persona is left Ã¢â¬Å"again aloneÃ¢â¬ and isolated, prompting a large amount of sympathy from the reader. By contrast, Ã¢â¬ËTDTÃ¢â¬â¢ concludes with a hopeful note. At the appearance of the thrush, in the third stanza, the reader notes that the bird is similarly isolated and surrounded by death. In truth, the readerÃ¢â¬â¢s initial reaction to the Ã¢â¬Å"aged frail, gaunt and smallÃ¢â¬ thrush is to question whether the creature will survive the bleak conditions. There is a sense of desperation present Ã¢â¬Å"fling[ing its] soul/ Upon the growing gloom.Ã¢â¬ However, the persona notices Ã¢â¬Å"some blessed HopeÃ¢â¬ in the birdÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬Å"happy good-night airÃ¢â¬ . Although Ã¢â¬Å"unawareÃ¢â¬ of why this may be Ã¢â¬â such Ã¢â¬Å"joy illimitedÃ¢â¬ is unintelligible to the persona Ã¢â¬â this leads the poem to end in an optimistic fashion. Although both the persona and the thrush remain isolated from any other company (the persona fails to deeply associate with the bird) and the anxiety about the future lingers, Hardy does much to suggest that such deep rooted Ã¢â¬Å"fervourlessnessÃ¢â¬ may change in TDTÃ¢â¬â¢s persona, as opposed to the ongoing isolation present in NC.