How does the metaphorical structure and style of "Uphill" emphasize its theme?

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The poem "Uphill" utilizes a metaphorical journey to underline its theme of life as a strenuous, uphill struggle, but with rest and reward at the end. Structured as a question-and-answer dialogue, the speaker inquires about the life journey and is reassured of shelter, companionship, and ultimate rest in the form of a bed. The metaphor, honest about life's hardships, offers solace in the promise of rest. This can also be interpreted as a spiritual journey towards God, suggesting divine benevolence.

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Rossetti's "Uphill" uses the extended metaphor of an journey to describe our passage through life. The poem is structured as a question-and-answer dialogue in which a speaker queries an unknown respondent about the "road" of life ahead and receives a series of answers. Each of the four stanzas consists of the speaker asking a question in the first and third lines that are answered in the second and fourth.

The poem's theme is that life is difficult and laborious, compared to walking uphill—a laborious and tiring task but with rest guaranteed at the end.

We learn that the journey of life will take "From morn to night." The rest that comes at the end of life is compared to an "inn," like one we might find while traveling. Its owner will will not keep us "standing" at the "door."

The final stanza sums up the theme: life will be full of labor but at its end there will be a "bed," signifying rest.

Comparing life to a journey concretizes it: the metaphor is honest about how hard life is but offers comfort in the imagery of an inn and a bed where we can rest at the end.

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How does the metaphoric structure and style of the poem "Uphill" by Christina Rossetti emphasize its central theme?

The poem "Uphill" is a metaphor representing a difficult, arduous journey. Indeed, the phrase "an uphill struggle" is a common idiom even today. Throughout the poem, the speaker enquires about the journey and is told that there will be shelter when she needs it, "other wayfarers" that will welcome her when she sees them, and a resting place at the end, in the form of a bed, for her and for all those who make the same journey.

If we interpret the journey itself as a metaphor, then the shelter, the wayfarers, and the bed are also all parts of the metaphor. They all represent how she will not be alone on the journey, and how she will be cared for and given a reward at the end. In other words, this will be a difficult journey, "up-hill all the way," but it will be worth it in the end.

One interpretation of this poem is that it serves as a metaphor for one's journey to God. Rossetti was a devout Christian, and the poem can be read as a conversation between her and God. Indeed, structurally, each stanza is a back-and-forth dialogue between the speaker who enquires about the journey and the voice who replies with reassurances. The fact that the voice always replies indicates that God will always be there for the speaker, accompanying her all the way on her journey. This touches upon the main theme of the poem, which is the benevolence of God.

If we break down the metaphor, then the speaker's journey to God is an uphill struggle because it requires patience, humility, asceticism, and devotion. The fellow wayfarers who she will meet on the way are fellow Christians. The bed she is promised at the end of the journey is the respite she shall receive in heaven.

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