Comment on the Ways Hardy Presents a Sense of Loss in “Your Last Drive”

Topics: Poetry, Death, Rhyme scheme Pages: 2 (839 words) Published: August 17, 2013
Comment on the Ways Hardy Presents a Sense of Loss in “Your Last Drive” The sudden loss of a loved one can reveal that a seemingly intimate, idyllic relationship can in fact be complex, distant and lifeless. In "Your Last Drive", by Thomas Hardy, it is indicated that although there may be no afterlife, the dead live on in our memories and through imaginative recreation. Hardy manages to depict these concepts through his intricate control of language. One of the foremost ways in which Hardy expresses his sense of loss in the poem is through the constant flowing guilt that he drizzles throughout. The first stanza gives us a subtle hint about the conversation that Hardy might have had with his wife Emma a week before she died. When Emma got back from her ‘last drive’, she might have told Hardy that she simply loves the moor way road when the ‘borough lights’ are all turned on without realizing that these lights would never ‘beam on’ her again. Hardy has also contrasted Emma’s face before death and after death. Her face was ‘lit’ up a week before she died, but now she has ‘the face of dead’. Here, face is basically a synecdoche because the poet has used the word ‘face’ to describe the whole being of Emma. Even had Thomas been with her on the drive he now realises that he would not have looked at her long enough to read her state of health nor the thoughts that he then imagines might have been going through her mind. Hardy had no belief in a personal God or an afterlife, although Emma did. He therefore discounts any idea that she might still possess any sort of “knowledge” of what he is thinking or feeling. Death is a final parting of the ways, with one partner having an existence and the other having none. The nearest Hardy can come to imagining an afterlife for Emma is as a ghost, and it is to her ghost that this poem is addressed. With Emma dead, any feelings of rancor for past wrongs, done or imagined, have no further meaning and there is no point in raking up...
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