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Analytical Assessment on "stop All the Clocks"

Autor:   •  October 9, 2013  •  Essay  •  450 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,052 Views

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In the poem, “[Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone]” by W.H. Auden, the reader is captured by the references to God. These references are not in a praising manner; instead they are set to be a form of the denouncement of God. The central theme of the denouncement of God because of the death of a loved one is seen through the tone and imagery of the poem.

The tone of the poem is depressing and remorseful as seen through the diction and attitude the speaker gives. In the beginning stanza, the reader is aware that a death has just occurred, “Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come,” (l 4). This understanding, as well as the desire to stop or prevent noise alerts the reader that the poem is going to be depressing. However, the poem involves two deaths instead of one, “Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead/ Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,” (l 5-6). The capitalization of the words “He Is Dead” grasps the reader’s attention. He is generally capitalized when referring to God without saying His name. Also, the fact that it contrasts to the popular statement “He Is Risen” gives light on the statement’s connotation. Other connotations that arise in the poem are when the speaker is stating what the dead meant to him/her, “He was my North, my South, my East and West,/ My working week and my Sunday rest, /My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song,/ I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong,” (l 9-12). The remark that the dead man was everywhere to the speaker resembles the idea that God is everywhere. The statement that the deceased was the speaker’s Sunday rest as well as his/her working week also gives note to religious concepts. The idea that one should rest on Sundays, the Sabbath, as well as attend church makes God the sole purpose of the day. This stanza as well as the word “dead” and the verbs “cut”, “prevent”, “silence”, “muffled”, and “moaning” make the remorseful attitude

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