Travelling Through The Dark Summary And Important Questions

 

Travelling Through The Dark

-William Stafford

Summary of Travelling Through The Dark

The poem “Travelling Through The Dark” was composed by an American poet William Stafford. This poem presents a conflict between two realities of life feelings and emotions. On the one hand, good judgement and responsibility on the other. The poem is very powerful it does full justice to both of the realities.

The speaker of this poem found dead deer on the Wilson River road while travelling at night. Using his good judgement, the speaker thought of removing the dead body off the road because it might cause an accident in the narrow road.

Getting down his car, he went towards the back of his car and stood by a recently killed ‘Doe’. She had been stiffened and cold. When he dragged her off, he noticed that she was pregnant touching her on the side of her big belly, which was still warm. He realised that there was a ‘Fawan’ inside, which was waiting to be born. But since its mother had already died, it would never be born.

Hence this scenario can be compared to the natural world, animals and plants. The ‘Doe’ represents the natural world while the ‘Fawn’ represents all the creatures in nature. If the earth is destroyed all kinds of life are destroyed as the ‘Fawn’ is doomed to die due to the death of his mother.

Then the speaker fell into a dilemma. The fourth stanza is a break in the narrative. Instead of developing the narrative ahead, it is more focused on the activities of the car.

The speaker is in contrast in between the dead doe and his car. He is standing beside the car listening to the sound of the engine. He looks around and finds that everything is quiet and silent. The tree seems to be listening to the car engine. It refers to the domination of modern technologies over the natural world. Because of the technology, the importance of human values animals life and natural resources is decreasing.

At the end of the poem, he gives importance to efficiency and responsibility by clearing off the road. The speaker thought very hard both in favour of the fawn and the passengers who might fall in an accident because of the deer. Finally, he decided to remove the dead body from the road and push her over the edge, into the river.

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Some Important Questions And Answers From “Travelling Through The Dark ”

Question. Explain the title of the poem. Who are all those travelling through the dark?

Answer. The title “Travelling Through The Dark” suggests a journey made at night. The title of the poem seems a very suitable one. It implies an event that might have taken place during the journey. Since the word “Dark’ symbolises death and decay. The event implied by the title is something ominous.

People travel mainly in the dark when there is some urgency or something special or of great priority. So, the speaker of this poem is travelling in the dark with some special purpose or urgency. But in the road toward his destination, he finds a dead doe. He is in dilemma whether to throw the doe or to rescue the baby Fawn which is about to born inside the belly of the doe.

The very scenario happened in the poem can be compared to the natural world, animals and plants. The ‘Doe’ represents the natural world or earth while the ‘Fawn’ represents all the creatures in nature. If the earth is destroyed all kinds of life are destroyed as the ‘Fawn’ is doomed to die due to the death of his mother.

The word “Dark” in the title also suggests the domination of modern technologies and gears over the natural world. Because of the technology, the importance of human life, animals life and natural resources are decreasing.

All those travelling through the dark might have been romantic nature lovers or adventurers who might have been there to enjoy nature in sanctuaries.

Some Important Questions From The “Travelling Through The Dark” From The Examination point of View:

  • At what point does the physical action cease to be replaced by another kind?
  • Why is the reference to the alive but never-to-be-born fawn moving?
  • How do the last two lines of the poem “Travelling Through The Dark” complete both types of action?
  • How do the last two lines complete both the type of action in the poem “Travelling Through The Dark”?
  • Why do you think the reference to the alive but-never-to-be-born fawn sentimental?
  • Do you agree with what the narrator did? Why?
  • Show how the action develops stanza by stanza in the poem “Travelling Through The Dark.”
  • Write an essay on “Travelling In The Dark Through The dense Forest.”
  • What is the central idea of the poem?
  • Show how the action develops stanza by stanza in the poem.
  • What does the traveller feel when he touches the dead doe?

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