Connotation In Thanatopsis

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In William Cullen Bryant’s “Thanatopsis,” Bryant speaks of death, saying that it is just a part of nature, as if he is trying to tell us that we should not be afraid of dying. When analyzing Bryant’s “Thanatopsis”; I find that there are many different ways that Bryant’s poem can be interpreted, and I can see that the shift, attitude, connotation, and meter are all big factors in his poem. Bryant’s “Thanatopsis,” is very much about death, and how it is closely related with nature. In the beginning Bryant acts as if death is something scary and sad, “…last bitter hour come like a blight…” (line 9) and “… the all beholding sun shall see no more…” (line 18), then towards the end he changes, acting as if he has come to peace with it, and accepted that everyone will die, “Yet not to thine eternal resting-place shalt thou retire alone…” (lines 31-32) and “… like one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.” Bryant starts by saying that death is something bad that just hits us, then detours into saying that it is normal and something that we should all accept because it happens to everyone. Although the …show more content…

It is very clear that the theme of “Thanatopsis” is death, we can see this in line 18 “… the all-beholding sun shall see no more…” where Bryant is saying we will die. Bryant uses imagery, to give a clear picture of death, in many lines: “As the long train of ages glide away…” (lines 66-67) “… the youth in life’s green spring…” (line 68) and in lines 8-9 “When thoughts of the last bitter hour come like a blight…” Bryant also uses personification, “The oak shall send his roots abroad…” (lines 29-30) and “…the complaining brooks…” (line 41) Bryant’s poem is in iambic pentameter, and also he use enjambment; meaning he doesn’t finish his sentence until the next line, making the reader follow to the next line to continue

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