A reflection on Tennyson's In Memoriam.
Throughout the majority of Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem In Memoriam, he is clearly struggling with the idea death. More specifically, he addresses the death of his friend Arthur Hallam. Tennyson's words show the reader that his suffering is almost unbearable, and it seems that parts indicate that Tennyson is flirting with the idea of entering the "door" and ending his life. However, by the end of the poem has seemed to work through his pain and obtained a more optimistic outlook on death. .
In the last few sections of the poem, Tennyson has glorified his friend's death through the beauty of nature. On one hand, it can be argued that Hallams death was a form of a blessing or epiphany for Tennyson. Before his death, Tennyson was blind in a way. He was not aware of the beauty in nature which has surrounded him for his entire life. He finally notices that beauty in his ongoing questioning God's rational for taking his friend, a man that was so young, moral, and intelligent. Throughout the poem he wrestles with the idea of God and faith. He wants to end his life and be with his friend, but he retracts at the same time because he is not totally sure if he will be in heaven with his friend as a result of sinning by taking his own life. However, by the end of the poem he realizes that there is undoubtedly a God. Tennyson can see God in everything in nature that is on this earth. Moreover, if he can see God in all of his natural creations, he can see Hallam in these creations too. He realizes that his friend is not lost. He now has the realization that his friend is everywhere. Hallam, like all others who die, is serving a greater purpose. .
Through out the poem Tennyson compares himself and his experiences to a baby. Perhaps this metaphor serves to illustrate the point that Tennyson has had a re-birth. Now he understands that God, nature, birth, and death are extremely cosmic and transcendental aspects of the universe.