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Literature & Language
English (U.S.)
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Travelling Through The Dark Written By William Stafford (Essay Sample)


This is for my weekly discussion. here is the teacher question.
"Read "Traveling Through the Dark," and answer one of the following questions:
1. Find three images and discuss how they contribute to the poem's meaning. You will have to state what you think the main idea of the poem is and then explain how the images support the idea.
2. How does the title of the poem contribute to the poem's meaning? You will have to state what you think the main idea of the poem is and then explain how the title supports the idea.
3. Explain how the emphasis on light and dark adds to the poem's meaning.You will have to state what you think the main idea of the poem is and then explain how light and dark support the idea. "


Date of submission
‘Travelling through the dark’ is a poem written by William E Stafford. The title travelling in the dark makes the reader understand that the poet was travelling in the night and the dark night atmosphere highlights the jeopardy of the situation. The poem describes how the poet was moved by the death of a pregnant doe while he was driving a car along the mountain road at night. At the side of Wilson River he saw a deer. The road was narrow so he thought it was best if the deer moved into the side of the river, she was a doe and had recently been killed. Later on he pushed it into the river. The poem takes place at night just as the title suggests as we also find the car’s headlights are later in the poem. However metaphorically, the poem reveals modern men living in the age of science and technology are the ones travelling through the dark night and they barely realize that the safety of human beings lies in the harmonious co-existence between nature and man.
‘Travelling through the night’ also refers to the ignorant, insensitive, and unmindful people who are heading meaningless tasks and putting more emphasis on their own work and belittling the importance. The central idea of the poem is the conflict that goes on in the human mind like responsibility or duty. In the poem, the speaker is in a dilemma as he is made to think deeply whether to save the unborn fawn for which he is not responsible. Unfortunately he does nothing, and unthinkably pushes the Doe into the river.
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