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What is the theme of "On the Beach at Night Alone"?

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One theme that emerges in "On the Beach at Night Alone" is the reality that darkness and hardship cannot last forever.

The poem begins with a young girl standing with her father on a beach at night. The imagery and tone are serene, yet an abrupt shift occurs in the second stanza. Suddenly, darkness overtakes the sky. The speaker uses words such as "ravening," "burial," and "black masses" to connote the intensity of the hardship that metaphorically spreads around and encompasses the world of this young girl and her father.

Sure that the darkness will "devour all," the girl begins to weep.

And then the tone shifts again. Her father assures her that he is there to comfort her through the darkness; she does not have to face it alone. And these clouds are temporary, reinforced by his comments that "the ravening clouds shall not long be victorious." He reminds her to be patient in watching for the light to return, as it always does.

Through these contrasting images of light and darkness, the poem...

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