Anne Sexton: An Analysis of “Wanting To Die”
In “Wanting To Die”, Anne Sexton illustrates vividly an analogy that compares one’s desire to commit suicide and drug addiction. Though this poem may initially seem to revolve around the themes of death and suicide, there are several examples in the poem that can be referenced to drug addiction and the intentions of the drug user. In general, the tone of this poem is luridly depressing as it produces an imagery that is painstakingly dark and morbid. It encapsulates the reader within the mind of the suicidal thinker through specific personifications of suicide and death. Sexton also utilizes metaphors and similes in this poem to describe how suicide conducts a mind of its own which engages in one’s desire for death.
The first stanza of this poem reveals the relationship between the body and the emotional indifference that suicide has placed upon the narrator. Initially, the lines “I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage / then the almost unnameable lust returns” morbidly describes how the narrator is made alienated and apathetic by her own body (Sexton, 646). Her “unnameable lust” is pronounced as the desire for death that arises from her emotional insignificance. This example can be easily paralleled to those who are addicted to drugs. The metaphor “I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage” describes most individuals who resort to substance use, and how they commonly have a difficult time understanding where their goals and priorities lie.
In the first line of the third stanza, Sexton personifies suicide by describing how “suicides have a special language”, and emphasizes the idea that it has a very distinct way of communicating with the suicidal thinker (646). The words in which the speaker and the suicidal thinker exchange are seen as extremely intimate in a way. This sort of “conversation” they have reveals a melancholic side of narrator as it somewhat illustrates suicide as an addiction. This...
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