In Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” the speaker is a son talking to his aging father and pleading with him to fight against death. The son knows that death is the inevitable end to every life, but feels one should not give up to death too easily. By using metaphor, imagery, and repetition, Thomas reinforces the son’s message that aging men see their lives with sudden clarity and realize how they might have lived happier, more productive lives. These men rail against fate, fighting for more time to set things right.
The son uses dark and the end of day as metaphors for death. He tells his father “old age should burn and rave” at death rather than grow dim and peacefully slip away. The light and dark comparison is also used to create a vivid picture of dying men struggling to keep the darkness at bay. “The dying of the light” brings a sudden, brief illumination to old men so that they see their lives clearly when it is too late….
Opposition of Black and White in Heart of Darkness
The Opposition of Black and White in Heart of Darkness
In Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad explores the psychological “heart of darkness” within all of humanity. The text looks at the European societies false illumination of civilization, of which obscures the internal darkness, in relation to the psychological environment in which human’s are placed. Conrad sets up the opposition of black and white to display the superficial pretense of light in the European society, and the true heart of darkness which is present within all of humanity.
From the start of Marlow’s journey into the African Congo it is apparent that he is a product of the colonialist European society, which is where the first oppositions of black and white evolve. Marlow understands the premise behind colonialism, but is unprepared for the savagery and the wilderness of the heart of darkness. This is most apparent when Marlow encounters the “grove of death”, where many natives are sick and dying, yet Marlow, although confronted, is unable to deal with this foreign situation. He encounters a young boy with a piece of white European yarn around his neck. In this instance white is usually associated with purity, and innocence, yet Conrad challenges many of these assumptions, with the white piece of thread used as a symbol of the evil of colonialist practices. The white thread remains a constant reminder which forms a contrast to the black child, it looks out of place and artificial, and thus, is symbolic of the colonialist practices. Marlow responds to the situation with questions – “Why? Where did he get it?” (27) – showed that he had not yet come into an understanding of the effects of imperialism on the wilderness. This is further emphasized when he giv…
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…e false “light” of the European society.
Works Cited and Consulted
Adelman, Gary. Heart of Darkness: Search for the Unconscious. Boston: Little