Spoon River Analysis Albert Schirding

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1. What is the character’s “essential spirit”—that is, what was the single greatest motivating force in her/his life? In other words, consider the story the character tells, and then consider what is so important about this story that the character chose to tell it from the grave. Explore this in at least two sentences.

Albert Schirding expresses shame of his failure contrary to his children’s success. He believes that his own success is more important than that of his children’s. He compares his failure which is losing in a County Superintendent of School election to his daughter’s success of winning the first prize in a competition.

2. List at least two examples of lines or phrases from the monologue that have a poetic quality. Briefly describe the poetic qualities Consider: alliteration, assonance, metaphors, similes, imagery, enjambment, symbols, etc.

In line five and six Albert Schirding compares himself to an abandoned bough and compares his children as eagles who flew away. This metaphor reflects Schirding’s failure and his children’s success. Also in lines eight, nine and ten the poem repeats and emphasizes “to” which gives a sense of his devotion to his success. In lines thirteen and fourteen the poem repeats the “p” sound. This suggests the jealousness of his daughter’s success.

3. What is something important in the monologue that is unspoken?
Albert Schirding’s former occupation or life story is not spoken. His previous job or his life story could tell us why he desires much about his title that is more important than his children’s success.
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