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The New Colossus

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  • June 2011
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"The New Colossus" is a poem that can be related to respecting differences in a way that the Statue of Liberty symbolises freedom, hope and a land of opportunity. The Statue of Liberty welcomes anyone, no matter their differences. It welcomes people into her country providing safety and not intimidating or frightening like the Colossus of Rhodes.

The octave opens with a direct point about the difference between the statue of Liberty and the Colossus of Rhodes. It explains that the statue of Liberty is a beacon of hope and freedom, a symbol of hope and a mother of exiles. It represents America as a land of opportunity. The Colossus of Rhodes was a bold, strong man who was in a threatening stance and was made to frighten invaders. Alliteration was used in line three and line seven. In line three “sea washed, sunset gates shall stand” it repeats the “s” sound which gives a soothing or softening sound. In line seven “glows world-wide welcome” it repeats the letter “w” to make that statement stand out. Personification is also used in line four “A mighty woman” gives the statue human characteristics.

In the sestet, the Mother of Exiles speaks, “with silent lips”: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” The silent-lipped mother opens her arms to the world’s outcasts and lifts her light to guide their steps to their new home. Emotive language is used in line nine and ten. In line nine “cries she” it gives the impression that the statue is crying out saying to “keep ancient times in the past; it is time to let people in.” In line ten “give me your tired” gives a meaning of poor, exhausted and hungry people coming in to America for a fresh start. Symbolism is used in line fourteen, “the Golden Door” symbolises hope, freedom and a second chance for exiles.

Just as Lazarus' poem gave new meaning to the statue, the statue emitted a new ideal for the United States. Liberty did not only mean freedom from the aristocracy of Britain...