How do you analyze section 54 of Tennyson's poem "In Memoriam?"

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Section 54 of "In Memoriam" is a section where Tennyson displays some of his deepest doubts about the meaning of life and mankind's place in the universe. The entire poem was written to process Tennyson's grief over the loss of his good friend, Arthur Hallam, who died at age 22, probably of a stroke. This section was probably written about a year after Hallam's death. Various sections display greater or lesser degrees of religious faith. In this section, although the poet references God, he seems to be struggling with the idea that a God who is good could allow bad things to happen.

Thus, in the first stanza, he says that "we trust that somehow good will be the final goal of ill." The statement in itself is obviously contradictory; Tennyson's skepticism is emphasized by starting the section with "O, yet." The "yet" implies that despite what our experience tells us, despite what seems to be the case, we "trust." In other words, the trust we have seems like mere blind faith.

The second and...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 634 words.)

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