Death and Suffering Through a Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

These are enumerated to elicit feelings of fear, terror, and hopelessness, emotions that the voice also feels. But Akhmatova goes beyond this kind of interpretation: as expressed in the poem, the woman states that she will be able to withstand all these forms of suffering, for this is not equal with the kind of suffering that cannot be depicted accurately by the poem's language and words. This part of the poem brings into lucidity the poet's interpretation and understanding of what suffering means for women, which is more emotional rather than physical.

Death is also a vital element in the poem, primarily because this is a dreaded reality that humanity cannot endure in spite of the sufferings that society had experienced through the years. However, in "Requiem," death is depicted as a welcome 'escape' to the reality that the voice experiences in her life. Synonymous with the idea of death is succumbing to insanity or madness, another option in which the voice can also 'escape' the hard realities she can no longer accept and witness as she lives. The opening lines of "To Death" demonstrate the first assertion about the acceptability of death by the woman: "[y]ou will come anyway -- so why not now? I wait for you; things have become too hard. I have turned out the lights and opened the door for you, so simple and so wonderful..." The voice's desire for death also made it possible for her to consider as an option her potential downfall to insanity, as explicated in the following effective lines in "Requiem": "Madness with its wings Has covered half my soul... That's when I understood While listening to my alien delirium That I must hand the victory to it." In essence, the darkness of Akhmatova's poem reflects the darkness of the soul of the voice and souls of all Russians, who are in one with the voice in expressing their hopelessness about their sorry plight and unfortunate lives in their chaotic society.

From these depictions of death and suffering in "Requiem," it becomes evident that the utilization of the voice of a woman, who is also a mother and wife, in the poem establishes Akhmatova's attempt to illustrate the poem as a feminist and socio-historical chronicle of Russian society during the 1960s. Underneath the darkness of the message and characterization of the voice in the poem is the manifestation of the strength of women in Russian society, whose fight against tyranny and injustice is reflected in their humanistic illustration of their lives to the world (through the poem).

More than a literary work, "Requiem" is a form of socio-political protest against Stalin's administration. It is evident that the woman is more than just a subject in the poem; taken symbolically, the woman represents Mother Russia, and through her, the country was able to bring awareness into the world its strenuous and trying history as it enters the twentieth century. Just like a mother rearing a child towards adulthood, the voice's depiction of her life as a victim and witness to Communist Russia expresses Akhmatova's celebration of her country and the women sector in Russian society, as it develops and shifts from being traditional to a modern society and nation. "Requiem" is the rite of passage of Russia towards achieving freedom and social progress in the future, in the same way that Akhmatove expresses hope for all women and Russian society at the end of the poem.

Works Cited

Akhmatova, a. (1963). E-text of "Requiem." Available at

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Akhmatova, a. (1963). E-text of "Requiem." Available at

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