Essay 8

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Lesson 8
Shannon Frenzel
Questions:
1. In “My Papa’s Waltz” there are many different words used to imply an abusive father. The third like in the poem “But I hung on like death:” is the first example of a little boy clinging to his father in fear. It shows the fear of the little boy with his father but also that he looks up to him. Another place where an abusive relationship is conveyed is the last 2 lines in the second stanza “My mother’s countenance Could not unfrown itself.” While the father and boy are waltzing around, the mother is unhappy with what is happening in front of her which leads me to believe this is not a happy dance around the living room. Another time violence is expressed in the last stanza, first line “You beat time on my head.” The word “beat” alone is a violent action and not a loving, affectionate way to communicate. 2. Death is characterized as a polite intruder, if you will, in the story. He comes and takes your life away but while he is driving you along, he is taking you past pleasant sights, reminding you of peaceful times. 3. The dashes in the poem fit in because when reading the poem, the dashes pause your reading, causing a stop in the poem. Just like death, you are stopping for “me.” 4. I believe the poem’s attitude is that the moth’s death is simply a natural occurrence in life. I think it explores the idea of cause and effect through the spider and moth, night turning into day. The spider became hungry, so it killed the moth. The sun was coming up, shining light on the murder that happened over night and whether or not the spider was just a cold blooded killer. 5. Daddy is depicted as a memory in the woman’s mind. The memory is not a kind one, almost evil at some points. He is someone that the speaker is trying to get out of their life for good. First, by killing him and again later by trying to kill herself. 6. The holocaust allusions bring a sense of fear into the poem. The speaker is in constant...
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