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Uphill

Christina Rossetti
Does the road wind up-hill all the way? Yes, to the very end. Will the day's journey take the whole long day? From morn to night, my friend. But is there for the night a resting-place? A roof for when the slow dark hours begin. May not the darkness hide it from my face? You cannot miss that inn. Shall I meet other wayfarers at night? Those who have gone before. Then must I knock, or call when 'ust in sight? They will not keep you standing at that door. Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak? Of labor you shall find the sum. Will there be beds for me and all who seek? Yea, beds for all who come. –Christina Rossetti

THEME

•‘Uphill’ is about death and doubt, about the existence and possibility of entering heaven
after a hard life’s struggle.

TONE
She uses a frightened and insecure tone for the first speaker, and a much calmer and simple tone for the second one.

DICTION

•Rossetti uses simple but effective language to convey her message that it is worth
struggling in life to reach Heaven.

•Language in the Victorian Period

‘Of labor you shall find the sum.’ = what you reap is what you sow.

while night represents dying and heaven for those who deserve it. RESPONSE •The poem seems to suggest that pain and suffering during life are to be expected and accepted. one benefits from them in the end. To what degree to you agree? . beds for all who come’ is particularly powerful and reassuring as it suggests all the travellers seeking peace will be welcome in Heaven. •The poem follows the structure of the sonnet. All the poem is a metaphor: extended metaphor. In the first stanza the poet uses the images of night and day. The second speaker reassures the first speaker that you cannot miss reaching Heaven if you live a good life. STRUCTURE •The alternate rhyming pattern of this poem (ABAB CDCD …) also instills a sense of calmness in the reader. •The poem is structured as a question and answer. •In the last stanza ‘Yea. •The poem has elements of the Allegory: A symbolic narrative in which the surface details imply a secondary meaning. with the first speaker seeming at times afraid and the second trying to reassure him. •In the second stanza the poet uses the image of the inn to represent Heaven. Allegory often takes the form of a story in which the characters represent moral qualities.IMAGERY •The symbolism itself is built over the course of the entire poem rather than just having it appear within two lines or so. Day is our life and our journey.