Dylan Thomas: Poems

The Unattainable Force in Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night College

Dylan Thomas expertly investigates notions of reality and higher power as he reflects on life and death in his poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. Seemingly a rejection of religion and God altogether, the poem never directly states a presence of a higher power. It does address the constancy of life in death in society and the approach humanity has to each. Thomas’ poem suggests a new notion of religion that describes a force that is both unattainable and unstoppable to humanity as evident in the end rhymes, diction, symbols, and images of the poem.

Thomas employs the traditional structure of a villanelle in order to reveal that life and the forces that drive it are not as simple one may believe. The villanelle stays true the classic formula in rhyme the rhyme scheme ABA ABA ABA ABA ABA ABAA. Additionally, the repetition of the first two A lines are utilized as the structure typically calls for. This tight formula first suggests that life, like the poem is clearly understood and defined by the ideologies that humanity holds. However, upon a close look one realizes that the end rhymes suggest a completely different notion about tradition. The A end rhymes include words like “night,” “light,” “right,” “sight,” and more....

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