Traveling Through The Dark Analysis

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Traveling through the Dark

Every day the average adult, "makes 35,000 decisions in one day", but one wrong decision can change lives and history. In the poem, " Traveling through the Dark," by William Stafford, he shows the decision making in human nature. The first stanza opens with the man driving down the road only to find a dead deer on the side. He is initially left with an easy decision to either throw the deer off the side of the road or allow people to die trying to avoid the deer. However, when he touches the deer, he notices a fawn in the side of its stomach still alive, contrasting the "stiffened...cold" deer that lays on the side of the road. He is now left with a complex situation, that with no matter his decision, death is imminent. Stafford presents the road and the decision he makes through numerous allusions and metaphors. All while leaving the reader wondering what does the road really represent.

William Stafford was born in Kansas in 1914. Stafford was an acclaimed pacifist and an out spoken one, often described as soft spoken and even referred to as "quiet of the land." Stafford wrote "Travelling through the Dark" in the early 60 's and was published in 1962, in the middle of a pivotal time during history. Stafford could have been alluding to many events that were taking place during that time period. Vietnam War that was taking place at this time and referring to that no matter the outcome that death will be the result. While the Vietnam War
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