How can Tennyson's "In Memoriam"  Section 7 be analysed?  VIIDark house, by which once more I standHere in the long unlovely street,Doors, where my heart was used to beatSo quickly, waiting for a...

How can Tennyson's "In Memoriam"  Section 7 be analysed? 

VII
Dark house, by which once more I stand
Here in the long unlovely street,
Doors, where my heart was used to beat
So quickly, waiting for a hand,


A hand that can be clasp'd no more—
Behold me, for I cannot sleep,
And like a guilty thing I creep
At earliest morning to the door.


He is not here; but far away
The noise of life begins again,
And ghastly thro' the drizzling rain
On the bald street breaks the blank day.  

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This section of Lord Tennyson's "In Memoriam" can be analyzed several ways, including in terms of its autobiographical meaning, its literary devices, and its sound devices.

From an autobiographical standpoint, we know the author wrote this section and, indeed, the entire poem as a way of processing his grief over the untimely death of his best friend, Arthur Hallam. The poem speaks of the poet walking past his friend's home in the early hours of the morning because he has been unable to sleep due to his grief. This is an action that many who have lost loved ones can relate to. Even though we know the person is no longer there, we hope to gain some comfort from being in the place where we used to meet our loved one.

In terms of literary devices used in this section, Tennyson uses three major ones. First, he uses apostrophe, the dramatic technique of addressing an inanimate object. Tennyson addresses the "dark house" in the first line and the "doors" in the third line. He invites the house and the doors to "behold me," to watch him as he sneaks to Hallam's home in the predawn hours. He confesses that he has been unable to sleep. The use of apostrophe intensifies the description of the poet's emotions by implying that inanimate objects might be able to sympathize with his grief.

It is similar to the pathetic fallacy—ascribing emotions to nature that match those of the persona—which is the second literary device used in this section. The "drizzling rain" creates a "blank day" that matches the dull emptiness of the poet's grief.

The third obvious literary device used in this section is hyperbole —exaggeration for effect. The poet admits to creeping around Hallam's house "like a guilty thing," but this is surely exaggerated. No one would condemn the poet for his early morning excursion to the home of his lost loved one, so he need not creep around or feel guilty. The hyperbole shows the intensity of his emotions. In the final stanza, he refers to the streets as "bald" and the day as "blank," which depict his emotions but not the literal reality. He also refers to the new day as "ghastly," which means macabre or...

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