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Does it become important when other peoples lives or feelings are at stake? According to this poem it becomes important when it is convenient to you. The speaker wants to get back into his car so he stops thinking about the baby and just does what he always does. After further investigation he realises that the deer is pregnant, and the fawn is still alive.

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  • The poem’s theme of nature versus technology disintegrates at this outlook.
  • The decision is also a specific answer in a specific situation to the question of one’s individual and communal responsibility to the environment in which one lives.
  • The way that the man had already traveled is a symbol of his past.
  • The speaker suggests that this is the best practice when one finds “them.” Here, he’s alluding to the fact that he, or others he knows, have more than once been in this same situation.
  • Or has he been made to swerve himself because of the negligence of others?

He stops, and tells you that normally they push the deers off the side because drivers could swerve and be killed. Then he realises that the doe has a fawn in its tummy and it is still alive. The persona then demonstrates his responsibility by pondering, he makes an informed decision. The narrator mentioned that the road was narrow and fatal accidents have already happened along that road ‘to swerve might make more dead’ so it was usually best to roll the deers into the canyon.

If you just conform to common thought you would lose your individuality sooner or later. If you just think for yourself, refusing always to conform to common thought youre going to get a lot of people angry with you who think you are an idiot. For example, you cannot say that you think Charles Dickens or William Shakespeare were bad writers because they dont hold your attention well. On things like that it is best to just conform even if you cant understand why they are great authors so that people wont think of you as uneducated. This actually seems to be the way that Stafford functioned in life.

traveling Through The Dark Poetic Devices & Figurative Language

Because “to swerve them might make more dead” , it is the best solution for a driver to push the dead animal over the road’s edge. This action, as well as the mentioning of the road, is a metaphorical representation of difficult choices people have to make on their road of life. It is not only this man who has a problem determining his actions at a certain point in life. Every person meets obstacles and stumbles over complicated issues when they travel on the road of their existence.

A narrator is a man who traveled at night and found a dead doe off the road. The pregnant doe is murdered, and its unborn fawn and the car are two symbols that the author uses to reinforce the main campsites on harris outer hebrides theme of the poem. In addition to the symbols, an American poet exploits vibrant images, metaphor, symbolism, and personification, which strengthen the dynamic of the poem. These stylistic devices hint at the difficult decisions and their consequences in the man’s life.

Travelling Through The Dark Analysis By William Stafford

While driving on a narrow road at night, the poem’s speaker finds a dead deer and decides to move the body so that it won’t cause other drivers to dangerously swerve out of the way. Upon dragging the deer toward a canyon, however, the speaker discovers that she was pregnant at the time of her death—and that her fawn is still alive inside her womb. Deciding that the fawn is doomed no matter what, the speaker only hesitates for a moment before pushing the doe off the road and into the river below.

Stafford presents a metaphor to illustrate the theme of death. It relates the literal path of life, “that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead” (Stafford & Bly, 1993, p. 43), and calls the Wilson river Road. The author represents the road in a very dark and isolated way. However, the section of the road, where the narrator is traveling, is illuminated.

By William Stafford

At the same moment, the hesitation comes to rescue the situation forth. In the final couplet he makes his decision, the only one he can possibly make if he acts responsibly for all involved; he pushes the doe over the edge of the canyon and into the river. The decision is difficult because he has realized humankind’s responsibility for the whole natural world, especially the animal world. The first lines of this narrative poem begin with the speaker describing how they came upon a dead deer on the side of the road. Rather than drive past it, they decided to stop and roll it down into the canyon. The speaker suggests that this is the best practice when one finds “them.” Here, he’s alluding to the fact that he, or others he knows, have more than once been in this same situation.

William Stafford And A Summary Of Traveling Through The Dark

Or is he going to roll the doe down the bank and condemn the unborn deer to death? The last line of this poem is a great example of personification. It suggests that something as broad and specific as the “wilderness” is capable of listening as a human being would. Firstly I would like to point out the symbolic meaning of the use of the word swerve.

William Staffords traveling Through The Dark Poem

« Travelling through the Dark » is a representation of life. Many conventions can be plucked from this one poem, one which I have chosen to sight reference to is, life is about reactions and the consequences of those actions. The tittle of the poem deals with the difficulty of finding the right path in life… The matter-of-fact attitude the speaker has makes it easy for me to agree with his secision. He tried to find another way out of this moral dilemma and so I am of the same mind.