Examine how the metaphorical structure and style of the poem "Uphill" emphasize its central theme.

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Rossetti's "Uphill" uses the extended metaphor of an journey to describe our passage through life. The poem is structured as a question-and-answer dialogue in which a speaker queries an unknown respondent about the "road" of life ahead and receives a series of answers. Each of the four stanzas...

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Rossetti's "Uphill" uses the extended metaphor of an journey to describe our passage through life. The poem is structured as a question-and-answer dialogue in which a speaker queries an unknown respondent about the "road" of life ahead and receives a series of answers. Each of the four stanzas consists of the speaker asking a question in the first and third lines that are answered in the second and fourth.

The poem's theme is that life is difficult and laborious, compared to walking uphill—a laborious and tiring task but with rest guaranteed at the end.

We learn that the journey of life will take "From morn to night." The rest that comes at the end of life is compared to an "inn," like one we might find while traveling. Its owner will will not keep us "standing" at the "door."

The final stanza sums up the theme: life will be full of labor but at its end there will be a "bed," signifying rest.

Comparing life to a journey concretizes it: the metaphor is honest about how hard life is but offers comfort in the imagery of an inn and a bed where we can rest at the end.

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