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The two speakers in Thomas Hardy's "Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave?" are a woman who has died and the dog who is digging in the spot where she is buried. The woman asks repeatedly who is digging at her grave and, one by one, goes through the list of the different people who might be missing her (and thus attending her grave). She asks, for example, if her loved one is present, then if her dearest kin is planting flowers, and finally she asks if her enemy is digging at her grave. Each time the answer is no.
When the dog finally admits to digging on the grave, the woman concludes that, even though humans have abandoned her, the dog is loyal and loving. But then even the dog admits that he was only digging in this spot in search of bones. The irony is that even the dog has turned away from death to the concerns of the living. This bleak poem is reflective of Victorian naturalism.
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