Alcoholism in Spoon River

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Alcoholism in Spoon River

The Spoon River Anthology, written by Edgar Lee Masters in 1916, was a unique piece of work in both style and structure. There are over two hundred “stories” told by the dead people who once lived in the town of Spoon River. The lives and dreams of these people are written as poems. Alcoholism is known to affect many of the families and friends in Spoon River, and many of them are not even aware of it. Alcoholism is a bane to society, damaging those who choose, or from the alternate perspective are victimized, by the evils of alcohol damage. Alcoholism is a disease that has many different dimensions. Alcoholism victimizes children, changes family lives, and destroys families.

We will start with a look at a boy victimized by alcoholism. The boy that sits in the third row of the classroom and sticks out his tongue at the teacher. The teacher turns around and sees this behavior, thinking that this student will be such a trouble maker and will turn out to be a very disruptive student. But honestly is this student really that bad? Maybe he has problems at home, and this is his way of expressing it. Emily Sparks sees this in one of her students and says, "Oh, boy, boy, for whom I prayed and prayed in many a watchful hour at night" (9). Well this young boy is beginning to show signs of becoming a scapegoat. Which is a person that will take the blame for others or is known to suffer in their place as Reuben Pantier talks about here: "And the tears swam into my eyes" (14). Many children will take on this role when there is an alcoholic parent in their lives. I believe Reuben is saying that he has overcome this here: "I pass the effect of my father and mother" (7), but in fact he never really could. When someone has a drinking problem it will affect everyone around them whether that is their kids, wife, close family members or friends.

Almost everyone has been affected by alcoholism...
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