Study Guide

Up-Hill Perseverance

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Perseverance can take lots of forms, pretty much all of them beneficial, but in "Up-Hill" we're really talking about perseverance as it relates to climbing, or perseverance as in the determination to deny gravity its due. We mean, Speaker #1's journey sounds pretty tough—the road winds up-hill all the way—but in spite of all his questions, we see zero indication that he plans on bailing. Rossetti, conveniently enough, talks a lot about upward movement in her poetry (not just in "Up-Hill") and uses the idea of persevering on a climb to mirror the dedication necessary for a person to get closer to God.

Questions About Perseverance

  1. Who do you think is more perseverant? Speaker #1? Or Speaker #2? Why?
  2. Do you think Speaker #1 will finish the journey? Why or why not?
  3. What technical elements (we're talking meter, form, word choice, and the like) does Rossetti use to bring out the theme of perseverance? (Try picking one and making your case.)

Chew on This

Onward and upward: the rising progression of the climb described in "Up-Hill" is designed to mirror not only the difficulty of the Christian life, but also the idea that one's spirit is being "uplifted" and raised higher as you become closer to God.

Need the info, gang. Speaker #1 demonstrates his perseverant spirit by continuing to ask questions. His determination to find out all the answers before he leaves is a sign that he will be successful in his climb.

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