“A Sunset of the City”
Gwendolyn Brooks, “A Sunset of the City” is presents a depressing and mournful viewpoint of growing old. The poem begins as the narrator describes her appearance, as she is no longer viewed as beautiful or lovable. She goes on to describe that she is not in denial of her old age, though she is unhappy about it. Toward the end of the poem, the narrator discusses that she no longer feels needed, and contemplates whether to fade away slowly and miserably or to die. Old age is perceived negatively because people believe their lives will lose meaning -- they will be less loved, become undesirable, and lose their importance. Brooks use of imagery, metaphors and rhyming emphasize the narrator’s sadness and sorrow, as her old age haunts her.
Brooks use of literacy devices contribute to the overall theme of the poem, with emphasis on imagery, metaphors and rhyming. In “A Sunset of the City”, imagery is used to describe the authors damaged appearance as she grows of old age. “The sweet flowers indrying and dying down/The grasses forgetting their blaze and consenting brown” (12-13). The narrator describing her self-worth through dried out, dead flowers. As flowers being to die, they lose their physical appearance and desirability, as does she. Imagery is also used to highlight the narrators sorrow as she no longer feel’s loved or of any importance. In the second line, Brooks conveys this lost love and low self worth through a comparison of the past and present: “My daughters and sons have put me away with marbles and dolls/Are gone from the house” (2-3). The narrator is being compared to marbles and dolls – toys that are a part of your childhood, and then forgotten about. The narrator no longer feels loved or needed by her children, as her role as a mother has lost its importance. Rhyming is used to stress the narrators overwhelming feelings of needlessness. “I am aware there is winter to heed/There is no warm house/That is fitted with my need”...
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