Synthesis: "The River Merchant's Wife" and "Disappointment"

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The use of imagery helps to create the attitude of both poems. In the “River Merchant’s Wife”, the imagery created and what it symbolizes changes as the poem progresses. For example, in the first stanza, there are images such as “I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.” (2), whereas in the final stanza, there are quotes like “the leaves fall early this autumn” (21). The first quote creates a positive image of children playing, a joyous mood. In contrast, the latter quote establishes a sorrowful attitude. In the poem “Disappointment”, the tone created by imagery changes multiple times. Quotes such as “my plants all died” (8) in the first stanza, “I have … some healthy philodendrons” (17-18) in the second, as well as “If you pounded on my door, sobbing my name” (31-32) in the third emphasize this. The first stanza shows the speaker’s desperation, in contrast to the second stanza, where the speaker tries to create the mood of independence, expressing their success in “moving on”. The images in the third stanza set an apathetic tone, making it loud and clear that the “you” in the poem won’t be forgiven. In addition to imagery, figures of speech can further emphasize the speaker’s attitude. The “River Merchant’s Wife” uses subtle examples of figures of speech. One instance of this is “the monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead” (17). This quote gives insight to the tone of the stanza, which carries over to the next stanza as well, setting up the sorrowful tone once again, which is almost as sad as the Presidents’ Trophy winner losing 4-1 and being eliminated in the first round. “Disappointment” uses figures of speech more frequently, and this, combined with the imagery, establish a stronger attitude in each stanza, through the use of mostly hyperbole and simile. Examples of hyperbole include “my alarm clock exploded” (11), as well as “my fingernail became long knives” (12), both in the first stanza. These not only paints a strong image, but also...
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