In Memoriam Aliam Tennyson Analysis

1158 WordsNov 16, 20175 Pages
“In Memoriam,” is a poem that describes the journey of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, his growing Christian faith, and his experiences after the passing of his dear friend Arthur Hallam. Although throughout the memoriam, Tennyson is submerged in deep sorrow and constantly faced with questions and challenges through every bit of the mourning process, Tennyson slowly becomes a faithful and strong believing Christian who is filled with hope and Gods love. Tennyson slowly but surely comes to believe that God will eventually unite him with his dear friend. By thoroughly reading Tennyson’s memoriam, the text reveals that Tennyson underwent a massive spiritual transformation that somehow was able to deepen his belief in God and the hope of a life with…show more content…
It is also important to note that all five stages of grief do not occur in order and many times people are not “afforded the luxury of time required to achieve the final stage of grief” (Axelrod). As Hsiao points out, Tennyson’s own words stated that “The sections [of the poem] were written at many different places, and as the phases of our intercourse came to my memory and suggested them” (Hsiao 174). However, for the sake of relevance, Tennyson was able to cross each of the five stages and enter the recovery stage. The very first stage of grief is denial (and its phenomenon, isolation). In this part of the grievance stage, the person at loss begins to cut themselves off from the real world. In other words, this is a temporary state of shock from which Tennyson begins to recuperate slowly. Typically, within the first stage the outside world becomes meaningless, overwhelming, and an inconvenience (Axelrod). In canto 5, line 8, with phrases such as, “Like dull narcotics, numbing pain,” Tennyson describes the isolation he feels (8). Not only this, but lines 15-16 of canto 4 are a psychological acknowledgement of Tennyson’s denial of realty: With morning wakes the will, and cries/ ‘Thou shalt not be the fool of loss (15-16). While waking from dreams full of grief, his mind affirms that it’s doing everything in its power to stop him from believing. Canto 6 in its entirety consists of Tennyson providing examples of others

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