ISC “The Darkling Thrush” Question and Answers :Search for Meaning in the World


The Darkling Thrush: by Thomas Hardy

.        Image source : Google

Question  : In what way is the poem”The Darkling Thrush ” an attempt by the poet to search for meaning in the world? 

Answer:  The poem”The Darkling Thrush ” is an attempt by Thomas Hardy to search for meaning in the world which is moving on from the old world to the new.

    The growth of industrialisation  and urbanisation had changed human beings and their relationship with their environment. It also caused to agricultural depression due to decrease in numbers of farmers, as people had moved towards the Industrial cities. The wars fought by the British Empire to prove herself as the leading power of the world also degraded the living conditions of urban labourers. They were now cut off from any relationship to the land but also cut off form the products of their work. 

        Technological progress and scientific knowledge had not only brought enlightenment to the masses, but they also brought more misery and pain. Hardy’s hopelessness is mainly due to the abandoned farms of the countryside and for the loss of rural customs and traditions. 

     Hardy himself mourned the passing of agricultural society and saw little cause to celebrate England’s rapid industrialisation, which helped destroy the customs  and traditions of rural life. He finds no hope for humanity’s future. 

      He feels himself as an isolated man from those who have “sought their household fires”. He has lost his connection with the nineteenth century and has no hopes for the coming twentieth century. He is saddened by the fact that the old century is dying and there is nothing to replace it.

      The poet in the poem is melancholic and “fervourless”.

He ” leans upon a coppice gate “as the sun sets –  “the weakening eye of day” and meditates the century  that is almost over, as well as the century that is about to begin.

        He is also surrounded by the “dregs”of winter and several images of death eg.-   “haunted”, “corpse ” and”death lament “, pervade the poem.

          The decay of the old world depicted in the poem through ” spectre – grey “landscape, the weakening of  “eye of day” and“winter – dregs” which offer little to satisfy the human needs of warmth. He describes the previous century as a “corpse”. The implication is that the speaker has no hope for the coming century and sees no meaning in life. He says – 

” The ancient pulse of germ and birth

 Was shrunken hard and dry”

Here he wants to say that there is no sound and the very “pulse” of creation or the life force responsible to create this world, is dead and the nature is at a standstill.

      In the third stanza, however he hears and then sees an “aged thrush” singing in such a dark and hopeless night, this thrush gives him some meaning. 

  “In a full hearted evensong

      Of joy illimited”

     The thrush sings “full hearted” and “flings his soul /             Upon the growing gloom”, even though he is ” aged “, ” frail “, ” gaunt and small’. This offers the speaker some“blessed Hope” and meaning seems to lie in that hope.

    The speaker wonders that when there is nothing to be happy about then why the poor little weak bird had chosen to sing such a joyful song. He could not find any terrestrial cause.

See more click here

3 thoughts on “ISC “The Darkling Thrush” Question and Answers :Search for Meaning in the World”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top