“Judging Distances” Analysis
In “Judging Distances” by Henry Reed it is indicated that there are two voices speaking within the poem because they both have a different style of speaking. The first voice seems to be starting sentences such as, “Not only how far away, but the way you say it is it.” (1). The second voice then steps in to finish the latter’s sentence, “Is very Important. Perhaps you may never get the knack of judging a distance, but at least you know.” (2-3). The changes in the speaker happens every line. The First speaker is explaining concepts such as: saying distance between objects the correct way, and how maps are of time of time not place. The second speaker acknowledges the first speaker and tells him, “Again, you know.”(9). The first speaker can be characterized as a beginner who just recently joined the army. He is unsure on how to speak in a militaristic fashion. The second speaker is a higher ranking official with many years of experience. He teaching the new recruit and is correcting him on how to speak properly, “Moderately satisfactory only …/ The human begins, now: in what direction are they,” (32, 34). The first speaker makes assertions such as, “sheep may be safely grazing” or “The still white dwellings are like a mirage in the heat.” The first speaker is still young and naïve. He doesn’t understand the world too well yet. The second speaker is more world wary and cautions the first against making over-sure remarks.
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