Analysis Of Tennyson's Poem Tears, Idle Tears

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Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean, Tears from the depths of some divine despair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . And thinking of the days that are no more. (Lines 1-5) As time draws one closer to the finality of death, these lines from Alfred Tennyson’s poem “Tears, Idle Tears” become increasingly relevant. During midlife and old age, the question of what one has done with his or her life becomes of greater importance, and the sinking realization that the time during one’s youth or career has passed becomes harder to bear. Instead of changing one’s ways in response, it is often easier to deceive oneself into believing that his or her life was truly meaningful. In fact, many people do, convincing themselves that even their worst…show more content…
For example, Stevens often insists that the public perception of Darlington is incorrect, as “the great majority of what one hears said about his lordship today is . . . utter nonsense, based on an almost complete ignorance of the facts . . . . Darlington was a gentleman of great moral stature” (Ishiguro 125-126). This demonstrates Stevens’s defensiveness against the notion that Darlington’s life could have ever been shameful, since he immediately dismisses this idea instead of proving it wrong. Furthermore, Stevens trivializes one of Darlington’s worst actions, stating that it is “salacious nonsense . . . to claim that Lord Darlington was anti-Semitic” (Ishiguro 137), despite Darlington having ordered Stevens to fire two Jewish housemaids on the basis of their ethnicity alone. Furthermore, Stevens says that he “cannot see what there is to object to” (Ishiguro 225) after hearing that that
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