Liu at 2:43:54 12/31/97 from t196-170.dialup.seed.net.tw
|This is really a special poem, for the way it uses to appear the theme
is so abstract that almost everything mentioned in it has a symbolic meaning.
You can not just see the literal meanings of those words, or you will get
completely confused with what this poem talks about. The whole poem could
be separated into two parts. One is from sentence 1 to 11, the description
about white night-gowns, and the other one is from sentence 11 to the end,
a short description to the old sailor. In fact, night-gowns and the old
sailor are symbolic to two different kinds of people, and the theme of
the poem is just to talk about this. Here are my further analyses:
"The houses are haunted by white night-gowns." "white" here means boring and lack of color. "night-gowns" give us a kind of lifeless feeling. People who wear white night-gowns are like ghosts entering in and out to their houses, so the houses are "haunted". Then, from "None are green," to "And beaded ceintures", all these sentences are used to stress the unanimity and monotony of those people. "Green" means alive. They really lack of vitality like dead men for their life have completely lost meaning. They lose their value of existing for the reason they are all the same with others like the description of the sentence " None of them are strange,"-they don*t want to be different from others. Even their dreams which should be full of color and belong to oneself *s are still not special at all and are similar with others. "Baboons" and "periwinkles" are not so usual to see in daily life that to dream of them may mean to dream of having some adventures to see something news and different, but those people still don*t. They are afraid of danger.
The sentence "to dream of baboons and periwinkles." also plays a very good role to connect the first part with the second part--the old sailor, because an old sailor certainly has went to many places and seen lots of things, including "baboons" and "periwinkles" for sure. Therefore, it seems to be very natural to have an old sailor showing up after the two things. "Drunk and asleep in his boots"---it seems a little romantic and free and not to care so much. If someone who cares less, he will have more courage to do something different. "Catch tigers in red weather" may be his dream, such a full of danger and bravery-needed dream. It is also very imaginative. The color "red" is really a bright one. It means hot, means a kind of enthusiasm to his mind and his dream . Because the old sailor has different and rich life experience, he could dream of something special.
From the whole poem, I think the author used three things to form a sharp contrast between the two parts, the two kinds of people, which are colors, dreams, and their behaviors. Besides, the most ironic part I think is that the author used "night-gowns", things, not human beings, to represent those people who are all the same and described them like the dead. It really shows that the author looked them down very much and disagreed with what they do. He prefers to the old sailor who has his own thought and does something different although it might be a little dangerous. His life is really a meaningful one. The title of the poem "Disillusionment of Ten O*clock" means to start to free from people*s society, because when it is about ten O*clock, it is the time to go to bad or do something personal. I really agree with the author. We should all have our own thought and feel free to do what we like. In addition, we shouldn*t be afraid of danger which would show up on our way to seek for our dreams, because as long as we come through it, we will make our life more meaningful than before, than others. Being a person who is controlled by the society, always fellows other*s step and loses himself is really the most stupid thing on the earth.