Analysis of "Elegy for My Father, Who is Not Dead"
Andrew Hudgins' diction, point of view and tone used in "Elegy for My Father, Who is Not Dead" convey feelings of fear, jealousy and uncertainty in the possibility of an afterlife. The speaker, discussing the future death of his father, is forced to confront his own convictions as to the finality of death. All religions have a belief in a "life after death" in some form. Hudgins' is pessimistic as to any form of a life hereafter. He is attempting to understand his father's beliefs and the effect of the poem on the reader is to question one's own faith and beliefs in a life hereafter.
The speaker has apparently placed serious thought on his father's death and is attempting to alleviate his own fear of losing his father. An impression is given early that the matters of death and a life after death have been debated. The speaker is aware that "One day I'll lift the telephone/and be told my father's dead...." (1-2) He is seeking to find an answer to conquer his fear of losing his father. The fear of the speaker produces the stark contrast in the characters. Whereas the father is joyfully anticipating his own death, the speaker is not and will not entertain the notion "about the world beyond this world."
By using a first person point of view, the speaker reveals the emotions produced within himself. He is unwilling to let his father die, although his father "[is] ready".(2). "...I do not think he is right" (13) is the speaker's response to his father's '...new desire"(7) to move on to a better place. By attempting to discredit his father, the speaker is focusing the attention to
himself and his beliefs. A jealous attitude toward death, in that death is taking what belongs to him, is overshadowing the speakers' judgment. He is jealous that his father is ready "to see fresh worlds. Or older ones" (9) and leave him alone in this life. Although he acknowledges his f...