How might one analyze Thomas Hardy's poem "He Didn't Expect Much"?

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Line 18 is especially interesting, since the speaker imagines that life regards him and other humans as children. In other words, he assumes that life is not belligerent or hateful, just honest and forthright. It doesn’t promise too much, and thus it wins the respect of the speaker, who appreciates its paradoxically reliable unreliability. In other words, life is consistently inconsistent and never gave any indication that it would be otherwise. To add further irony to these kinds of paradoxes, precisely because  life has proven to be consistently inconsistent, the speaker has been able to plan for it and cope with it. And, to add yet one further irony to our reading of the poem, we realize by the end of the work that this poem has not really been a dialogue between the speaker and life (since life cannot participate in any such dialogue) but has simply been an extended meditation by the speaker, who himself deserves credit for the solid good sense he...

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