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In sections L(50) and CXV(115) of In Memoriam A. H. H., show how Tennyson conveys...

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isabel17 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted October 1, 2012 at 6:19 PM via web

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In sections L(50) and CXV(115) of In Memoriam A. H. H., show how Tennyson conveys despair but also a sense of hope.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 2, 2012 at 6:36 AM (Answer #1)

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Section 50 is clearly one that focuses on the massive despair in Tennyson's heart. To the speaker, "Time" is imagined as being "a manic scattering dust" and "Life" is "a Fury slinging flame." He is clearly somebody who is suffering great emotional distress because of his feelings of loss and grief over the loss of his friend. This despair is evident, too, in section 115, where the speaker talks about his "regret" that is firmly lodged in his breast.

However, both sections also equally talk about a sense of hope that pervades the despair. In section 115, for example, the fading of winter and the coming of spring heralds a similar passing from grief into a state of hope:

in my breast

Spring wakens too, and my regret

Becomes an April violet,

And buds and blossoms like the rest.

The hope is evident through the eventual "budding" of the speaker's "regret" and is something that is able to flower and become a source of beauty. Hope is also evident in section 50 with the repeated refrain of "Be near me." Even though the speaker is clearly going through a very difficult time, he is able to take hope from the presence of the figure he is addressing, be that God or the spirit of his dead friend. In both sections, the despair is shown to have the potential to be transformed into hope.

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