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Alyssa Prydz

English 9H/Period 6
Final Score 24/25

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night: Poetry Essay

All throughout history, thousands of lives are lost because of the violence and terrors of

war. Most likely, more than one can imagine, people due to a strong patriotic desire to serve their

country. The poem, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night thoroughly describes the

consequences that war and death can bring upon the people that fight for their country . It is

heroic and brave to serve, but additionally heartbreaking that men leave their families and life

behind in order to do this. Thomas, the author of Do not Go Gentle into That Good Night goes

into detail about how deeply the men that enter the dangers of war and their families are affected.

Serving for ones country is a choice. One can either stay with their loved ones and live a full life

or head out to try and prove their honor and dedication to their country, despite that it could lead

to death by doing so. There comes a time in every mans life when they feel the need to serve

and fight for their country such as in the poem, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night as we

clearly see that a son is begging for his father not to leave to war, creating a dark and anxious


The author creates a dark and anxious mood through the use of different types of

figurative language in order to illustrate his overall message, such as that of using similes that

convey the message of persuading his father to stay home and not go out to war. For example,

when the author explains how his father could choose to still be happy and brave without blindly

going into war to die, Thomas writes, Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight.
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay.(Thomas, lines 13 and 14). He uses grave and

death to elicit a sense of despair and anxiety that he feels with having his father go to war.

Here the author is describing to his father that men on the verge of death see the dying of the

light because their time is going to be at its end. Men who are out at war and see the dying of the

light know that they are now going to die and are mournful and sorrowful that their life is

coming to an end. Soldiers who blindly go into war still have the opportunity to live lives that

shine and blaze ever so bright. This demonstrates how Thomas ultimately fervently persuades his

father that he can still lead a full life filled with courage and happiness by blazing like meteors

and be gay, living life to the fullest, without having to go to war. The son does not want to lose

his father that he loves so dearly, all because his father wants to be courageous and serve for his


Furthermore, the author uses imagery to portray the entire theme and mood in that there

are better ways to live out your life instead of leaving your family and going out to war. For

instance, there are numerous amounts of men that go out to war, but the wild ones who believe

that they are brave and courageous are mistaken about what is to come from the war, Thomas

states, Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight. And learn, too late, they grieved it on

its way.(Thomas, lines 10 and 11). We see that the wild, fearless men who have signed up to go

off to war, act heroic and courageous knowing that they are ready to fight. These men feel like

they are almighty and powerful such that they can do anything, even catch the sun in flight.

Yet, instead, they realize that they are not at all ready for this huge commitment they have

volunteered for as war is far worse than what they could have imagined. The author is creating

an image of the dichotomy between how these wild men that set out for war have no idea of the
realities deeply embedded with terrors and horrors of war. The author creates a mood that

contrasts the idea of life with that of wild, powerful men singing in vigor, catching the sun with

that of these same men later learning that they will grieve sorrowfully in the darkness of death.

Thomas author supplicates for his father to see that setting out to fight would make his

nightmares come true and surely make him regret his decision. All the author wants to express is

that there are many types of men that will just go out to show their worth and how courageous

they are, but choosing to stay with your loved ones is brave enough.

Not only do similes, and imagery play a major role with exemplifying the mood of the

poem, but metaphors are also used to describe how much the authors feels his father should not

pursue that of fighting for his country. In particular, when Thomas says to his father that he must

live out his life to its maximum and that he should die old in the brightness as well as in his most

jubilant of days, Thomas specifies,Do not go into that good night, Old age should burn and rave

at close of day.(Thomas, lines 1 and 2). The son or author implores to his father that he should

not go into the good night, meaning to not go out into the depths of war and think that everything

will be alright. His father should die when he has lived out his life in a overjoyed way and not

die desperately trying to survive in the dark of war. Ones life is meant for so much more than

dieing in a battlefield with little strength left within you. Spending time with the ones you love is

more fulfilling than saving your dignity by heading patriotically towards the soldiers glory of

war .

To conclude, one must learn that there is a more profound sense of life than going out to

war to show that you are a courageous and brave. The son is persuading his father to ignore that

he must foolishly prove your worth as a man by going to war. In pursuing war, men lose their
innocence forever. There will be men that volunteer to head out to war to be known as the most

audacious of men, but in truth, the most noble act is to care and live out your life to its fullest, in

a meaningful manner. There is never shame in not going to war because in doing so we know

that living a life by being with the ones most dear to us is a life of true fulfillment. Serving for

your country is most definitely heroic in that you risk your life in order for others to have better

lives, but we must take in consideration that you can live out a life that is genuinely heroic

simply by being an honorable person. Life is worth living and feeling wonderful, not grieving the

life of fighting enemies and so as the author whole-heartedly asks for his father to stay and live

out a fuller life that is most definitely a courageous one.