"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"
Dylan Thomas was born in Wales in the year 1914. He is best known for his first three poetic works, Eighteen Poems (1934), Twenty-five Poems (1934), and The Map of Love (1939). Thomas also wrote several works that were somewhat autobiographical. He has been praised for his imagery in his writing, using vividly dreamlike representations to convey his message. During the War years, Thomas wrote several volumes through his childhood eyes, which emphasized his religious principles. Dylan Thomas passed away at the age of 39, a month after completing his last work Under Milk Wood, a vocal play.
Theme: The theme of this poem involves one's attitude in old age, when they are approaching death. The message is that although death is natural and inevitable it can seduce people, making them spend their last days waiting to die rather than trying to live. Analysis: In "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night", a somber mood is reflected. The poem deals with the inevitability of death. The author is showing encouragement to his dying father (as indicated in the last stanza) to hold on to life and "not go gentle into that good night." He uses "that good night" as a metaphorical reference to death. When one wishes a person "good night" or sweet dreams they are bidding that person to a dreamland, or promised land.
Thus I believe "that good night" is an allusion to heaven. The contrast between night and day is used throughout the poem with reference to life and death. This is a commonly used metaphor, with daytime and light indicating life and darkness and night representing death. The last lines in each stanza alternate between "Rage, rage against the dying of the light" and "Do not go gentle into that good night." In the last stanza, both lines are used. The "dying of the light" is a reference to the end of the day, or in this case, of life. When the author talks of going "gently into that good night" he alludes to the beginning of night, or death.
When the two lines combine in the last stanza, it shows that both the father and the son have come to the realization that the end of the day (or "dying of the light") and beginning of night ("into that good night") are one and the same. In other words, they realize that just as night and day intertwine, so do life and death. He uses The second stanza shows that the author is unhappy about things left unsaid between he and his father. The line "Because their words had forked no lightning" refers to something that was not said for fear that the words would have "forked... lightning" or caused controversy. In the third, fourth, and fifth stanzas the author refers to "Good men", "Wild men", and "Grave men" is an allusion to the stages of life, birth, life, and death.
He uses "Good men" to symbolize birth, and all people being born "good." The words "Wild men" refer to a person living life to it's fullest, to being free or "wild." The fifth stanza, which talks of "Grave men" is a reference to how men on their death beds can become very sombre. The phrase "Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay" refers to the bright, coloured lights reportedly seen by many people having near-death experiences. This shows how easy it could be to embrace death rather than cling to life, as he wishes his father to do. The last stanza talks of the author's father "there on the sad height" or at a point where he can see all that he has done in his life, and realizes that it is about to end. The author begs his father "Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray." This indicates that he wants the father to cling to the last strands of life and not simply give up and die. When he says "Curse, bless, me now" he shows that if his father is displeased in his passing, it will be a painful sight for the son to bear (hence the "Curse"), but it is better than simply giving up and ceasing to live before the end of life.
The author is then "blessed" in that he can watch his father die at "close of day" rather than in the twilight between life and death.