Introduction Section One Section Two
Section Three Section Four Conclusion
Being among school children, Yeats confronts human frailty, reflecting on the impact and worth of his life. Frightened by the inevitability of death, Yeats initially chooses to wear a mask of acceptance and reconciliation, while internally, he agonizes over the most basic of questions—the value of life itself. By comparing Maude Gonne’s current appearance to her appearance in youth, Yeats realizes time’s toll on the physical being. After finally understanding the mortal implications of humanity, Yeats searches for any possible way to subvert his certain death. As Yeats discovers from his assessment of the great ancient thinkers, there is no way to separate “the dancer from the dance.” He learns that one cannot divide life into “the leaf, the blossom, or the bole,” analyzing each individual part. Instead, one must view life with a “brightening glance,” seeing the beauty in its entirety. Through this intense examination, Yeats comes to terms with himself, realizing the necessity of a peaceful, self-honest existence.