Night, it is characterized as the time in which it is dark due to the sun descending below the horizon. For Dylan Thomas he puts a symbolic meaning behind the night. The poem that he wrote regards night as death. Death is a heavy concept and is seen differently by many. In the poem there are five different men who are depicted in how they react to the dying of the light and they are as follows: The wise men, the good men, the wild men, the grave men, and the speaker’s father. It is of no importance if those categories encompass all humanity, but it is important how each type of man reacts to their coming death. Everyone will die, but until that point there is no certainty in how that twilight will proceed.
Wise men, that may give the idea of a life lived in which knowledge was gained. To be wise is to have learned through experience, be that they are good or bad ones. In truth to be wise has nothing to do with IQ but more to do with time. A wise person has most likely been through enough to be able to have gained their wisdom. Sometimes it may not come easily and that wise person at one point in life could have been a stubborn fool, but eventually they come to conclusions. Concerning death, they conclude that it is the right path. Death is an inevitability that can only truly be accepted when the time is right. That is no easy task and requires the wisdom to do such a thing.
A good man will still meet with death. Death comes for us all, good or bad. Despite the quality of man, they will still reach the same fate as all life. Perhaps in their prime they lived their best life but that only lasts so long. Good men die, there is no way around it. With that said their death does not mean they cannot have a legacy. There have been many good men to walk the earth and they would not be known if not for the legacies they left behind. Good men do not simply just accept death, but they look past it. These men think of the new dawn after their night comes. They make way for the future to shine ahead onto better and greater things.
A wild man works on impulse and pure emotion. They look at life as something of an adventure in which they can go and become incredible. In a way it is selfish in that they seek self-grandeur, but wild men are the ones who push beyond where any sane man would go. Unlike the wise man they push on ahead without thinking on previous experience. The thrill seeking is what pushes them forward, but not all wild men are able to succeed. Some burn out and reach darkness prematurely. For them nighttime comes early, and only a few move on to perhaps become another form of man.
The grave man is the man that is destined for every man to become. They live near death teetering on the edges of day and night, more nearer to the time of dusk. That grave man can be a grave child sadly, it is all up to circumstance. Within those eyes of a grave man life is slowly beginning to make way for death. For some grave men death comes swiftly, but for others they are not given the mercy. Some grave men may return to the light of day perhaps through a miracle or others might say through pure luck. No one wants to be a grave man but becoming one is something out of our own control.
Then there is the speaker’s father, but, it is the speaker who is the fifth man. They are the man who is not losing their splendor, but witnessing another man lose theirs. To once see someone who brightly shines in your own eyes only to become a dim shadowy version of what they once were. The fifth man is a witness to death, in the poem’s case a man who wishes for it to slow its advance to choke away the last bit of their father’s light. Being the nature of life, we are all witnesses to death, some more than others. Everyone reacts differently to it’s inevitable arrival upon another person. Some may look on in horror and others in a morbid curiosity. No matter who it is being a witness do that dying of the late has an effect. That loss of light is one that can profoundly change someone.
Men of this world are in constant evolution and change. All those men are to reach an end be them wise, good, wild, grave, or someone we know. Whether those men become a different man in their life they will all reach the great equalizer. The night always comes after day, it is the cycle that always stays true. That day may have had its fair share of storms that may have stifled the light or maybe it was always clear skies, in the end we all reach its dying out. We can rage against it all we want but the night will always come, it is up to us to all individually prepare for that time.