Figurative Language

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In the poem “Death of a Young Son by Drowning,” Margaret Atwood uses different uses of figurative language to explain the pain of losing a child. The speaker of the poem has recently lost a child to drowning. The pain of losing a child is uncomparable to anything in the world, and Margaret Atwood uses the title, tone, language and structure to describe the pain. The author uses different similes and metaphors to describe her son’s recent death. The title of the poem is essential as it sets the tone for the rest of the poem. Before the reader begins to read the poem they will read “Death of a Young Son by Drowning,” after reading that title they will then see the focus of the poem. The title shows that the poem to follow will be serious, sad, …show more content…
Margaret Atwood uses different uses of figurative language to make her viewpoints realistic and easy to understand. The poem starts off with a strong metaphor that is connecting birth to the accident. The author is using the way her son has recently died, in a river, to describe how a river is the cycle of life. He has crossed the river into birth and if he crosses the river again it would be into death. In the second stanza the son’s birth is described as a life full of success to come, it is then followed with how since he is now dead his life will now be a “voyage of discovery.” This means that his life was once an open opportunity but now will forever be unknown for what he could have been. In the ninth stanza there is another metaphor as the mother begins to look back on the things that have happened to her. She says how “My foot has hit rock,” meaning that she has hit rock bottom in her life and will forever be in pain. Throughout the poem the author uses similes, such as in lines twenty eight and twenty nine, “I planted him in this country like a flag.” In this simile she is saying how no matter someone's age they can leave an impact on the world. The death of the young boy has left an impact on the mother’s life forever. Personification is another example of figurative language that is used within this poem. In lines twenty two and twenty three the mother says, “the new grass leapt to solidity.”

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