THE DARKLING THRUSH

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  • THE DARKLING THRUSH
    • KEY QUOTES
      • "The land's sharp features seemed to be/The Century's corpse outleant".
        • METAPHOR & SIMILE
      • "The ancient pulse of germ and birth/Was shrunken hard and grey".
        • METAPHOR
      • "At once a voice arose among/The bleak twigs overhead".
      • "An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,/In blast-beruffled plume,/Had chosen thus to fling his soul,/Upon the growing gloom".
        • PLOSIVES - wind through feathers.
        • "Fling his soul" - METAPHOR.
      • "Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew/And i was unaware."
    • CONTEXT
      • Written at the turn of the century "Century's corpse".
      • Since the spread of Darwinism, many had been rejecting the traditional idea of religion (the beginning of the Modernist movement).
      • Since the industrial revolution, nature had been partially destroyed and many had lost "Hope".
    • LANGUAGE & IMAGERY
      • PERSONIFICATION of  the "land" and "Century" reflects the regret the narrative voice has that the century is a "corpse" - through many of his poems Hardy exhibits both Modernist views while seeming bitter towards the change (i.e. 'The Oxen').
        • CONTEXT
          • Written at the turn of the century "Century's corpse".
          • Since the spread of Darwinism, many had been rejecting the traditional idea of religion (the beginning of the Modernist movement).
          • Since the industrial revolution, nature had been partially destroyed and many had lost "Hope".
      • The "Voice" may be a METAPHOR for God - again showing Hardy's struggle with religion.
      • Also a METAPHOR for God, the "Hope" that the narrative voice is "unaware" of shows the antithesis Hardy creates between Modernism and religion.
      • "The ancient pulse of germ and birth" shows Hardy's fear of time (also clear in 'A Broken Appointment' among others) and emphasises the eternity of life and death - an unbreakable cycle.
    • STRUCTURE & FORM
      • Regular ABAB rhyme scheme.
        • Easy/ traditional - contrasts with the content of his poetry.
          • Increases tension of the poem - untrustworthy speaker?
      • Iambic pentameter throughout.
        • Easy/ traditional - contrasts with the content of his poetry.
          • Increases tension of the poem - untrustworthy speaker?

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