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In “Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock,” Wallace Stevens creates a poem that explores the ordinariness of life and the loss of imagination in modern society. The poem’s thematic elements emphasize the importance of imagination and the power of dreaming, using vivid imagery to convey this message. The speaker observes that the night-gowns are all the same and lack any unique features or eccentricities that would make them stand out. They are only white, the use of specific colors, such as green, purple, and yellow, would not create a sense of dullness and conformity. Moreover, the speaker notes that only an old sailor, who is drunk and asleep in his boots, is able to dream of catching tigers in red weather, suggesting that only those who are free from societal constraints can escape the ordinariness of everyday life. The use of the surreal image of a sailor catching tigers in red weather highlights the importance of imagination, as it allows individuals to escape the mundane reality and explore the world beyond the ordinary. The sound devices used, such as alliteration and internal rhyme, add to the poem’s musicality, emphasizing the beauty and power of language and imagination. Stevens uses these formal elements to illustrate the importance of imagination and the need to embrace the unconventional in a world that often values conformity.

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