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What social struggles is the character faced with in this poem?What social struggles...

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What social struggles is the character faced with in this poem?

What social struggles does the character of this poem experience?  What is an example that demonstrates how the poem reveals a specific social struggle.


I have to choose three works of art for a long powerpoint presentation that touches on many areas of each literary work. I'm stuck on this question for one of the poems I've chosen, I would choose a different poem, but out of my options there aren't any others I would rather choose.

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Posted (Answer #1)

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The character in this poem is experiencing a severe struggle as to whether he can and should go on with his life.  He has just lost the love of his life, whom he describes as his "North ... South ... East and West/(his) working week and (his)Sunday rest/(his) noon, (his) midnight, )his) talk, His)song."  This person was EVERYTHING to him, and he wonders if life is worth living without this lost love.

He also can't get over how the daily routine of the world continues.  His life has been turned upsidedown, and he somehow believes the world itself should come to a halt as well.  Clocks should stop ticking, phones should stop ringing, dogs should stop barking, pianos should stop playing - and everybody should join in the mourning.  How can they just go on with their jobs as if nothing has happened?

For the speaker of the poem, all hope for the moment is lost.  He sees no future for himself.  Therefore, he argues: 

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

He "thought that love would last forever," and his whole worldview has been shaken by the reality of life's mortality.  Whether that leads him to suicidal thoughts is not directly stated in the poem, but we clearly get a picture of a person who has given up on life and is lost in the deepest depths of grief.

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Posted (Answer #2)

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I also wanted to share a link to the poem



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