What could be the implications of getting dark in the line “Can it be getting dark so soon?” in Michael Mack’s poem ‘Small Pain in My Chest’?
When the soldier boy in the poem says that it is getting dark, it apparently suggests that the boy is suffering from a loss of sight due to the severe injury he had received in the battle. But ‘getting dark’ has greater implications here suggesting that he is approaching death.
The following line, “It’s growing dim and I thought that the day had just begun.” completes the symbolic meaning. Here ‘day’ is indicating life, while ‘night’ is symbolic of death.
The boy is talking about the day in the literal sense, as it was morning then. He found it unnatural that the day just begun was coming to an end so soon. But the readers and even the narrator himself would realize the greater implication that the life of the soldier boy had just begun but unfortunately coming to a premature end.
This symbolic implication of the words helps in arousing the pity of war in the minds of the readers. That is what the poet wants to achieve and he is successful in doing so.
Getting dark in the ‘small pain in my chest’ signifies death coming close to him.It is that death knocks in his door of life.there are the symbols used where darkness stands for approaching death and sunlight stands for life.
It was getting dark because his vision was going dim because of loss of blood and energy. as the soldier is dying , the sun for him is becoming dim even though it is morning. it symbolises the darkness that is entering the soldiers life