The Theme Of Death In Pablo Neruda's Death Alone And Walking Around

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‘Death Alone’ and ‘Walking Around’ (Tarn, 1992, P.59, 173; subsequent citations refer to this edition and appear in the text) by Pablo Neruda adopts an ominous tone to present emotions of distress towards the theme of death. The compelling use of imagery in ‘Death Alone’ demonstrates the journey and nature of death, leading to images of decay and annihilation to show the irony life has installed upon us. Similarly, ‘Walking Around’ depicts a journey to portray the persona’s grim perspective towards life and accepting death as escape. Regardless, Neruda expresses two different concepts of our demise, portraying the inevitability and inescapability of death, while questioning the true meaning of life.
In ‘Death Alone’, the chilling and frightening atmosphere is vividly portrayed through personification. Death’s stealthiness is depicted as it “comes to shout without a mouth, a tongue, without a throat” (L.27), conveying a sense of devastation that Death brings despite
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Neruda personifies “mirrors” to “weep with shame and horror” (L.38), evincing the persona’s despair and making the mirror an object of blame and resentment. Neruda uses a mirror especially to suggest that the persona is looking at its own reflection, denoting how it is, in reality, the shame and horror. Neruda also epitomises “clothes” to “weep slow dirty tears” (L.43-5), using the paradoxical adjective “dirty” to illustrate a final image of hopelessness from any sort of purification. As the final conclusion and last line of the poem, it holds a more influential meaning and connotes the overall feeling of the persona’s resentment. Although things are meant to be pure, they are reflected as weeping inside, showing what the persona is feeling. Neruda’s use of objects ultimately expands the deeper meaning in both poems, leading to the inevitability and distress for

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