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“A wife in London” concentrates on the wife of a soldier fighting in the war. It focuses on her feelings and thoughts of what’s going on. In the first stanza it shows how the wife is feeling and the atmosphere she is in as she waits for a rejoinder from her husband. In this stanza the poem is written in present tense this is too add feelings and effect as if we were with the wife waiting there.
As it quotes “she sits in the tourney vapour” this provides us with a atmosphere to go about as we can tell from this she is lonely and in a cold house, It also gives us the feeling she is very isolated and it is as if she is dying. “The street lamps glimmer Cold” this again symbolizes the weather as it is so cold they flicker cold. The word cold has been associated with here atmosphere a lot this can seem to make the atmosphere very depressing. The letter arrives of her husbands death with the words “Flashed news is in her hand…
Dazes to understand” these two words clarify that she has just that very moment received the news (flashed news) and that as she is reading she becomes unstable (dazes to understand) as she reads on and is unable to come to terms with her husbands death. The letter is very blunt and gets straight to the point, as it says, “He has fallen in the far south land”. The Euphemism in this letter disguises the horrific way her husband has died. As the letter stands it makes us feel even more for the wife as she has just received the most depressing news in her life.
In stanza three there’s a quote “the fog hangs thick” this represents the depression of the wife. As here depression gets deeper and deeper the fog does too. She is so isolated and depressed she hardly makes any contact with the outside world “the postman nears and goes”. The only light she is in, is the light from the fire this is very depressing as it symbolizes that she has given up all hope. “his hand, whom the worm now knows” this graphical image the poem slows down and allows the reader to take in this grotesque image.
The poem describes the husband’s hand writing as “Fresh and Firm” this is ironic as the husband is now decomposing. This depressing contrast makes us feel even more sorrow for the wife. The poem gets more depressing as the letters talks about a return home, this is again very ironic as he is already dead. The letter also talks about the summer weather this is very ironical as at wife is sitting cold in a dark house depressed. All of text in this stanza has made the reader’s mourning for the wife grow.