Afterwards - Thomas Hardy Q: Discuss the theme of the poem, and evoke how it is fully developed. Also give details to how the poem is conveyed to the reader.

Essay by rmeodprps2High School, 11th gradeA, August 2005

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Hardy's lofty speculation and attitude towards his death and nature are the central themes of the poem. As the poet's death inevitably approach, the poem is structured around the eternal questions as to, how he would be remembered among the people, and the "mysterious" bond between human and nature. In the text, it is remarkably paradoxical that, the serene images of nature convey the ideas of death and the transitory nature of life. This contrasting irony also has the effect of emphasizing the fragility and brevity of human being's life. In overall, the poem evokes the proposal that we ought to make our short stay on earth, - worthwhile - by endless interactions between nature and its inhabitants; human beings and creatures. By doing so, we are leaving our traces of life, allowing others to remember us through nature itself. Then we are enabled to live an eternal life. These intense ideas are fully conveyed through explicit images of nature, diction and the versification of the poet.

Although the poem handles the tragic reality of inevitable death, the text's atmosphere is kept on a fairly sanguine level, allowing alleviated flow of narration. This is accomplished by the abundant, paradoxical images of serene nature; conveying the ideas of death and nature, at the same time. The imageries of nature also contribute towards conveying and developing the theme. "And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings, Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk..." This personified image of May portrays a figure of a butterfly, which was once an unattractive caterpillar, now a beautiful butterfly with "wings" that seem like "new-spun silk". This creature has gained a new form of existence. This evokes nature's ability to endow the world with exquisiteness, and also grant organisms with new life. This mere imagery of nature...