What type of analysis can a person make about the different types of men Thomas uses through out the poem?I specifically mean: the grave men, wild men, good men and wise men. 

Expert Answers
hbrown-phs eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Think about a man talking his to his father as his father is about to die.  What would the son want to say to the father--finish strong!  Don't let death take you without a fight.  That's the refrain of this poem.  He chooses the four men probably for a lot of reasons.  Maybe because they are all qualities that all men exhibit during some phase in their lives.  Also, perhaps he is using the men of all kinds to encourage his father that, whatever the reason, we should all hang onto as much life as possible.  

You also must pay attention to the metaphors thomas uses to describe these men.  The frail deeds dancing in a green bay, the irony of blindness, the sun moving across the sky as a metaphor for life, unpacking the meaning of each metaphor will help you to see the message that thomas wants to send to his father by making his four comparisons.  In each stanza, ask yourself:  How is Thomas helping his father identify with other men?  What encouragement does thomas offer through his metaphors of these men?  

Finally, what is Thomas' attitude when he pleads with his father to "curse, bless. . . with your fierce tears"? What is the son saying about his needs at the end and not just the needs of his father to fight death for his own sake?

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question