Is the purpose of the lines 1 & 3 that are repeated throughout the story about trying to resist death so the father can survive or to go out with a bang?    Because my teacher says it's...

Is the purpose of the lines 1 & 3 that are repeated throughout the story about trying to resist death so the father can survive or to go out with a bang?

 

 

Because my teacher says it's about dying in a fashion.

Expert Answers
Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Those lines, "do not go gentle into that good night" and "rage, rage, against the dying of the light," are imperatives (kind of commands) which the speaker, we discover, is speaking to his father.  It does appear as if the lines are intended to encourage his father from giving up and dying. 

The narrator addresses four kinds of people in this poem:  the wise, the good, the wild, and the grave (serious).  None of them lived up to the potential they were given or made the world around them a better place to live, yet they should not, says the narrator, give in to death.  They should, he says, rebel against "the dying of the light" and the "close of day."

I don't claim to know what your teacher intended or meant; however, your view that these men should "go out with a bang" seems to me very similar to your teacher's "dying in a fashion."  I think perhaps you're saying something similar, something like--you may have to die, as we all do, but fight it as long as you can, rage against it, get mad, don't just roll over and let it take you, go out strong! 

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