Aaron Hill

In: English and Literature

Submitted By n182
Words 2168
Pages 9
How does Aaron Hill use memory to combine generalised moralising with personalised lament in the poem in list B? Use close reading to support your points.

In the poem ‘Alone, in an Inn, at Southampton’, by Aaron Hill, the speaker recounts the memories he once shared with his wife whilst staying in a room at a guesthouse before her death. He is now writing as a widower in the same room twenty years later and he expresses his feelings of anguish by projecting specific memories of his wife on to objects within the room, before going on to make broad statements on morality and the vices of life. The poem could be said to be split into three parts, the first section being the speakers lament for his wife, the second section outlining his now changed philosophical outlook on life, and the third detailing his resolution which concludes the poem. This essay aims to show, through close reading, how the protagonist of the poem combines his personal memories and feelings of sorrow with his own general moralising about life’s hardships.
The first section of the poem begins as a simple lament, as the speaker remembers his wife and the happiness she brought him and contrasts it with the emptiness and loneliness which he feels now in her absence:
“Twenty lost years have stoln their hours away,
Since, in this inn, ev’n in this room, I lay:
How chang’d! what then was rapture, fire, and air,
Seems now sad silence all, and blanc despair!”

In the opening lines, Hill describes the distinction between what was happening in the room twenty years ago as opposed to what is happening now, where at one time there was “rapture, fire and air” and now all that exists is “silence” and “Blanc despair!”. The “rapture” and “fire” presumably has sexual connotations and is an insight into how the speaker remembers the intensity of the passion with which he and his wife…...

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