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The Sun Rising
The Sun Rising
by John Donne

The Sun Rising Theme of Dissatisfaction

Sure, "The Sun Rising" is a love poem, but you'll notice the speaker never actually talks to his main squeeze. Instead, he's whining at the sun to leave him alone. Mostly, that's because he doesn't want the night to end. He doesn't want to rejoin the world. Hey, speaker, we never said love was easy. It's full of disappointments, so Shmoop's advice is to buck up.

Questions About Dissatisfaction

  1. What if you pretended the sun was, say, his mom? How much would his language change?
  2. If love is, as he says, impervious to time, how do you think he feels when the sun rises? What happens to his love, really?
  3. By the end, the speaker has changed his mind and wants the sun to shine. Is he settling or does he really think he has won the argument? In other words, is he satisfied?

Chew on This

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

Behind all his strutting, the speaker knows that the sun will rise, he'll have to leave his love and go back to his normal life.

At night, the speaker can pretend that he and his love will be together forever. When the sun starts to move across the sky, he's reminded of the possibility that it won't last, and that's where the real frustration comes in.

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