Anorexia Poem Analysis

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The Curse of the Sacred Fruit
In the beginning of time a serpent slithered through a garden as he notices a soft nude woman walking alone. The serpent comes up behind her and tells the beautiful woman of the apple from a sacred tree that will make her as all knowing and powerful as god. Although god had told this woman to never eat from this sacred tree, she was convinced by the evil snake. After convincing her male companion they both eat the sacred apple and immediately are awaken as their eyes open wide. That very instant they, for the first time in human history, become aware of their physical self; the birth of self hatred of the human form had emerged. Soon after God exiled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden and dammed their ancestors. Today a young girl stands in front of a mirror disgusted by what is been reflected upon her. This girls struggle against the disease her primordial ancestor had given her is depicted in Eavan Boland’s poem “Anorexia.” As Boland begins her own demise she is envisioned with the beginning of time where man had not yet fallen and self awareness had not been created; a vision that will consume her to do whatever it takes to go back to Eden. As the speaker stares at the mirror she is consumed with negative thoughts in her mind. She begins to believe her “flesh is heretic”(line 1) as her body is rejecting her ideal thought of what she wants it to be. Her flesh begins to play tricks on her as it “Meshed [her] head / in the half-truths”(7-8). Her flesh becomes “a witch”(2) using tricks to control the girl from not eating. To cure this manipulative disease she is to destroy her exterior. In the following lines the speaker becomes much more explicit in how she is to cure herself:

I am burning it
Yes I am torching
Her curves and peps and wiles
They scratch in my self denial
Here it shows how she is starving herself by burning away whatever fat remains from her fragile bones that are protruding from her skin as she now...
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