A Country Churchyard And The Deserted Village By Oliver Goldsmith

1605 WordsMay 9, 20177 Pages
The poems “Elegy Written in A Country Churchyard.” by Thomas Gray, and “The Deserted Village,” by Oliver Goldsmith, both lament the current state of society in rural areas. Each poem idealizes rural life, but offers differing ideas of the people of the villages. Gray 's poem talks about the unrealized Miltons and Cromwells of the poor that were able to live their lives honestly, innocently and the free of temptation faced by the wealthy. Goldsmith talks of the swain and the tradesmen, and the politics that force to live in famine or leave their lands. In their poems, Gray mourns what the people could have been and never did, while Goldsmith grieves for who these people once were and what has become of them, which makes his poem feel more…show more content…
In the city, there is more opportunity for people to be educated, so talents are more easily discovered and cultivated, just like gems and flowers in well explored territories. In the country, the unexplored potential of the people leaves room for so much possibility. This goes against the idea that the people of the more wealthy urban areas are naturally greater than the rural folks, equalizing them through the life them never had. Gray continues on his evaluation of these unrealized people by saying that they are actually blessed because “Far from the madding crowd 's ignoble strife, / Their sober wishes never learned to stray” (Gray 73-74). They are fortunate to be simple country people, never knowing what they are missing out on and never having to face the temptations that come with being wealthy and great. These innocents are free from greed that the wealthy suffer from daily. They blessed to be more pious due to a lack of education outside of the bible. Overall, their hard lives have been well-lived, so they are better off than those with wicked lives of the wealthy. Death is what gives the hope and value to the rural lives. Whether a person is wealthy or poor, everyone dies eventually. The ornateness of the resting place is not what matters, but rather where their soul is received after death. In Gray 's Epitaph, the lines “Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere, / Heav 'n did a recompense as largely send: / He gave to Mis 'ry all he had, a tear,

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