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Word Count: 876
In Memoriam is a poem through which Tennyson was trying to make sense of the death of his friend Arthur Hallam The consistent and intentional use of imagery throughout the poem helps reveal the inner healing process that Tennyson was experiencing during the seventeen years he composed In Memoriam One recurring image in the poem is shadow In the early parts of the poem Tennyson usually refers to The Shadow and when he does he is usually speaking of a personified Death such as an Angel of Death or Grim Reaper type of figure After this has been taken to fruition he uses shadows to represent his memories and thoughts His purpose in personifying death is twofold First a shadow fills a spot with darkness that had before been covered in light In section 22 we see this when Tennyson takes a stroll down a path he and Arthur had been down together in the past There sat the Shadow feared of manWho broke our fair companionshipand spread his mantle dark and cold12-13 His friend is no longer with him death has replaced him Tennysons second purpose in personifying death as The Shadow is that both can be with us at any time unnoticed and unannounced This too is quite visible in the final lines of section 22 Tennyson knows that death waits for him as it had for Hallam These feelings reach their climax in section 30 where the joy of a Christmas gathering is interrupted by an awful sense Of one mute Shadow watching all7-8 Tennyson and his friends pause weep over Hallams death then break out in a song singing They do not dieNor lose their mortal sympathyNor change to us although they change22-24 This is a turning point for Tennyson This song reminds Tennyson that death is only the beginning so he no longer mentions death as a Shadow after his In fact a number of sections after this mention
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