The Importance Of Dreams Throughout The Great Enigma By Tomas Tranströmer

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The importance of dreams throughout ‘The Great Enigma’ by Tomas Tranströmer.
‘The Great Enigma’, written by Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, features a diverse range of poetry and prose accumulated over his lifespan. ‘The Great Enigma’ regularly deals with abstract concepts such as social interaction, consciousness, life and death. In order to communicate these concepts, Tranströmer utilises numerous techniques, recurring motifs and symbols. This essay will examine the importance of dreams throughout ‘The Great Enigma’ using a small selection of poems. In addition, this essay will analyse Tranströmer’s intent behind the use of the recurring motif of dreams.
Tranströmer’s use of dreams throughout ‘The Great Enigma’ helps convey the message behind
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‘Prelude’ is split into two stanzas. This structure is significant as the longer first stanza sets the tone for the reader with vivid imagery, similes and metaphors. The message of the poem is delivered in the second stanza, in which ‘man’s place in nature’ is dealt with. The contribution of dreams can be seen in the first line of the first stanza, as Tranströmer creates an extended metaphor when he states “Waking up is a parachute jump from dreams” (p. 3). This extended metaphor helps the reader relate to the descent of the traveller. Tranströmer proceeds by describing the descent using diction such as “dazzling” (p. 3) and “flare” (p. 3). The extended metaphor combined with this vivid imagery helps to immerse the reader. In order to emphasis this imagery, Tranströmer also incorporates enjambment into the first stanza. The enjambment reflects the traveller’s supposedly smooth descent towards “a tropical flood” (p. 3) of “greenery” (p. 3). In addition, the transcendence from dreams to reality is compared to an “osprey’s repose above rushing waters” (p. 3), which is another example of Tranströmer utilizing dreams in order to create imagery and engage the reader in ‘Prelude’. These metaphors lead into the reader into the final stanza, in which Tranströmer proposes a rhetorical question regarding the fate of the traveller. Essentially, by engaging and helping the reader relate to nature through the use of imagery and metaphor (involving dreams), Tranströmer enhances the ‘man’s place in nature’ theme in

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