Good Night and Dance in America Essay
Death is inevitable and comes in different cases, and when it’s nearly there people has different ways on how they deal with it but the most affected of all are the people around them. Just like in Lorrie Moore’s “Dance in America” and Dylan Thomas’ “Don’t Go Gentle into that Good Night” both features dying people and how they live knowing anytime soon, they could die. Life is a gift from God; everyone should learn to value his life, maximizing what he can do while he is still alive, especially for his family, friends and other people around him, because nobody knows when will be the final hour.
The poem “Don’t Go Gentle into that Good Night” is strongly emotional and by reading each line, you can feel the author’s anger or bitterness about death. Thomas used the term “good night” to represent death with respect to the Christian belief that death is a peaceful rest of the body as it enters the next life. Though it can be interpreted in different ways, as a personal note, the poem summarizes his thoughts about the inevitability of death and the way people deal with it.
He states that people know that death is for certain, that people already accept the fact that everyone will come to their end according to the will of God but, at the end of the day, they fear leaving the world and regrets start to bother them. He mentioned in his poem about wise men that despite their wisdom cannot truly tell why death is inevitable and just accept the fact that they are dying; of the good men who did good deeds but still end up with death; and those men who lived with serious illnesses who should have enjoyed life more than just wait for their final hour.
Then when their time comes, it would be too late to regret things and time wasted. Thomas also addressed there his father as he witness how his father suffered from blindness and illness, crying in pain but seems like just waiting for his end. He doesn’t like the idea that one should readily accept his death but instead, one should fight for his life and struggle against death, whether you are a wise, good, wild, or grave man. Gently accepting death, for him is narrowness, that God’s greater plan is being given up: there’s more to life.
For him, death is not the end of life on Earth and the beginning of another life. Life could be more valuable and may be lived longer if people would never give up easily and fight death. (Thomas, Dylan) In Moore’s work, she also tackled the different issue in life including death. A seven year old boy named Eugene was born with a disease that affects the lungs called cystic fibrosis. He got the disease from his father. He also had some relatives who died with it. In the story, Eugene’s case had become more serious that he generated too much liquid in his lungs.
But despite the graveness of the health condition, the researchers, doctors, and his family lose no hope that somehow he can survive. But like any parents, Eugene’s experience brings them sadness and grief knowing that their child is suffering from a very serious health problem. They don’t want to lose him not just because he is their only child but also because they believe he is such a good boy for God to let him die at a very young age. Eugene, himself, is also very open-minded about his condition. He understands everything and the disease didn’t pave the way to make him enjoy his childhood.
He and his parents are making sure he is enjoying every moment of his life, making things seem normal. (Moore, Lorrie) The death of Simone’s first husband is also mentioned. That he killed himself after she dumped him. The author indirectly tries to say that life is unfair and ironic. There are people who longs and would do anything for a healthy life but then there are people who were granted with a normal life and healthy body would just give it all up and commit suicide. (Moore, Lorrie) In comparison, the two authors both discussed about death and the way people deal with it.
Some readily accept their death and some even waste the opportunity to live, while some still fight as long as they are alive. They question its inevitability. They show that death comes unexpectedly. Life is unfair. Thomas argues about struggling in life, same as Moore as she presented the life of Eugene who is fighting against cystic fibrosis. Life is worth living and therefore it should be greatly valued by people. Their writings both presented a clear visualization of the scenarios. The works are both full of emotions and imagery.
Thomas’ work is very conversational, that it is directly telling people to value life and struggle against death, especially in the part where he is talking to his father: “And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. ” (Thomas, Dylan) He is saying “curse me for being still alive saying all these things, and bless me as well. You should have not readily accepted your death just like that. Life is worth living.
” While in Moore’s, she leave the emotion and the message for the readers to interpret to themselves what she is trying to say by just presenting circumstances and issues. “Don’t Go Gentle into that Good Night” has an angry, sorrowful, and persuasive tone which strikes through the heart, while “Dance in America” has mixed emotions such as fun, sorrow, and anticipation which is more entertaining. The works of these two great authors agrees with the same thing, that life is worth living. Everyone is entitled to take care and value his own life for you’ll never know when it will end.
Life can be very unfair and ironic. Live and enjoy your life as if everyday would be the last. Value it knowing there are some people who would have wanted to be in your shoes for having a normal and long life. For those who have serious illness or is determined to anytime soon, one should not lose hope for there are more good things to come and instead of getting bored in life or get yourself stuck on your room crying and just wait for the final hour, spend your time exploring the world with your family, friends and loved ones.
There are just too many reasons for someone to stay alive and embrace life whole-heartedly. Do what you want before it is too late. Take care and value life just like what Dylan Thomas said in his poem, “Rage against the dying of the light! ” You can make your light shine brighter.
References: Moore, Lorrie. Birds of America. USA: Picador, 1999. Thomas, Dylan. “Do not Go Gentle into that Good Night. ” 19 March 1999. 21 August 2007
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