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Critical Analysis on Ah Are You Digging on My Grave by Thomas Hardy

Uploaded by bdogg on Apr 25, 2007

"Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave," Thomas Hardy Critical Analysis

"Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave," is a poem written by Thomas Hardy. The central theme of this poem is death, which is also seen in several different forms throughout the works of Thomas Hardy. There is a great deal of disappointment expressed in this poem. The Oxford Reader's Companion to Hardy deems it, "a satire of circumstance" (Page 378). Thus, death and the afterlife are things of tragedy in this particular work. The point that Hardy makes is that no love or hate outlasts death.

An important aspect to the poem's structure is that it is written sequentially in order to prepare the reader for an unsettling ending. Hardy takes us on a downward spiral through, as The Pattern of Hardy's Poetry puts it, a "series of steps from appearance to reality" (Hynes 53). The dead woman believes that someone she loved is there at her grave. This, however, she finds out is untrue through a devastating sequence of disappointments. The woman originally suspects that the person at her grave is her husband, but sadly it is not. In reality, her husband is off with his new love, and feels that since she is dead it, "cannot hurt her now" (p.48; l.5). Consequently, the woman guesses again, thinking this time it is her closest of kin. She is, yet again, disappointed. She finds out that they do not care to think of her anymore. This feeling of neglect is seen in the line, "What good will planting flowers produce?" (p.48; l.10). In other words, the family of the woman would rather not think of her than hurt themselves by doing so. Their reason for not going to see her is that nothing can bring her back from, "Death's gin" (p.48; l.12). At this point, Hardy has still not revealed the digger's identity. He continues to do this, according to A Critical Introduction to the Poems of Thomas Hardy, to show that, "the eager hopefulness of the dead woman is mercilessly quenched" (Johnson 138).

Next, we come upon a slightly different subject. In the third stanza, the woman sees now that not only has she been forgotten by her most beloved, but also by her worst enemy. She...

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Uploaded by:   bdogg

Date:   04/25/2007

Category:   Poetry

Length:   3 pages (720 words)

Views:   34083

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