The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

The Darkling Thrush book cover
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What is the theme of "The Darkling Thrush" by Thomas Hardy?

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It is December 31, 1899.  The dawn of a new century is just on the other side of this night.  Thomas Hardy sets the scene by examining an aspect of nature which can be unwelcoming but also hopeful.  “The Darkling Thrush,” set in England, and the poet look forward with trepidation at the future.

The setting is a wintry landscape. It is desolate and dismally cold. The sun is setting in the west. The narration is first person point of view with the poet as the narrator. The mood of the poem begins with a depressing outlook. During the poem, a voice speaks and interjects a ray of hope.

The poem begins with a description of the scene.  The speaker is leaning on a gate created by bushes and shrubbery.  The sky is gray and dismal.  The sun is going down. The poet looks up and sees the barren branches intertwined. 

Men are inside their houses seeking the warmth of...

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