Snapping Beans Analysis

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English 102
6 February 2013
“Snapping Beans” Analysis
The poem, “Snapping Beans” ( rpt. in Michael Meyer, The Bedford Introduction to Literature, 9th ed.[Boston: Bedford, 2011] 782), by Lisa Parker, is about a student who came home from school to visit her grandmother. When asked by her grandmother how school was going, the student reveals that she likes it there even though she knows that her grandmother would not approve of her friends and what they talk about. The narrator uses figures of speech, language devices, and most importantly, imagery to help the reader understand on an emotional level of how the student may be feeling while sitting on the porch with her grandmother.

Lisa Parker uses two different kinds of figures of speech. She uses similes and personification. With only a single simile in this poem, Lisa Parker is extremely defined with the way she delivers her words. A small example is seen here: “…the revelations by book and lecture as real as any shout of faith, potent as a swig of strychnine” (17). What she means by the use of this simile, is that her mind is starting to open up to other ways of thinking, being open-minded. The line also warns that being too open-minded may be dangerous if you are willing to believe anything. This was one of the deepest parts in the poem to where it foreshadowed her conversation with her grandmother. Now, in Parker’s poem, single personification was used for the way the narrator felt about being far from home. For example: “…heartsick panels of the quilt she made me” (27). The panels of the quilt are heartsick because she cries into the quilt at night when she would miss her grandmother.

One of Parker’s alliteration phrases is, “I snapped beans into the silver bowl”(1). The s- sounds in snapped and silver and the b- sounds in beans and bowl are being emphasized. “…that sat on the splintering slats” (2), is another example of alliteration. An example of assonance in the poem is seen here: “…of the...
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