Winter's Light

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Cameron Elliott
Kinkade
RWS 200
14 February 2013
The Poison of Words
War, violent mass murdering used to accomplish political and government goals, hate crimes, acts of violence or harm to individuals with personal differences, and suicide, the ending of ones own life. All of these unfortunately happen on a daily basis and is considered a norm in today’s news broadcasts, but why are these tragic events simply glazedover and accepted as a common part of the news most people listen to while eating dinner? M. J Hardman, a board member of the American Humanist Association, proposes through her work, “Language and War,” that it is the violent language and war glorifying metaphors used in daily life that has made people accustomed and accepting of violence in speech and reality. Martha Kinkade, author of Winter’s Light, recalls violent experiences from her past in Wyoming highlighting Hardman’s ideas that today’s speech is constructed to unintentionally promote the acceptance of violence. Through Kinkade’s poems “Boots, Sugar”, “Skinning”, and “Snowy Milkweed” Hardman’s argument that hostile language is making violence more acceptable is shown through the metaphors and violent thoughts and action of these poems.

Of course, some violence is unavoidable and simply the production of a mistake, as seen in Kinkade’s poem “Boots, Sugar”. In the poem a father mistakenly shoots his daughter while cleaning his gun as the other daughter watches the scene unfold. Hardman exclaims that “The all-day every-day level is where the seeds of violence are planted and the appropriateness of war is taught.” This claim about are language makes the next scene in Kinkade’s poem understandable. After shooting his daughter the father and mother tend to the injury while the other daughter cleans up the blood on the floor. As Hardman assertion states, that violence is becoming accepted, it is easy to see that the sister cleaning the blood has become accustomed to the violence around her...
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