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Themes

Even though we meet spirits along the way, we can tell that the speaker is making this trip alone. In fact, loneliness fills "Dream-Land." The word pops up all over the place, and we can tell that there's not much that's friendly in this world. This is all tied up with the sadness of the speaker. He's sad because he's completely alone, because he's lost so much. At least that's part of the explanation, and it definitely helps to create the mood of this poem.

Questions About Isolation

  1. Do you think that sadness and isolation are separated in this poem, or are they just two sides of the same coin?
  2. Is there a point in the poem where the speaker seems to feel less isolated, less lonely than he did at the beginning?
  3. Is there any difference between being isolated and being lonely? If so, do you think this poem is more about isolation or loneliness?
  4. Do you buy the speaker's intense, deep feeling of isolation the whole way through, or are there moments where it seems like he might just be feeling sorry for himself?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

"Dream-Land" is a careful study of the relationship between sadness and isolation, and it ultimately shows us that the two feelings are inseparable.

The absence of any speaking, recognizable characters in the poem, combined with the speed with which we move though this new world, gives the reader a feeling of isolation that matches the speaker's.

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