"Meditation/For Whom the Bell Tolls by John Donne; I need to write an analysis of the rhetorical elements, diction, and sytactical structure.

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here's the poem:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

The poem uses plain style, simple diction.  It uses much end-stop (commas and periods at the ends of lines).  Only a few lines carry over to the next (enjambment).

The imagery used is natural: "island," "sea," "continent," "promontory," "clod."  The only non-natural image used is the bell, which is synonymous with death.  In other words, death, though inevitable, is not to be taken lightly.  The overall metaphysical conceit is an analogy: a piece of nature is not expendable in nature just as a human death must not be expendable to humankind.  The theme, of course, is connection: we are all connected.