Poetry is one of the oldest arts. Poems come in many forms from songs, ballads, and epics, to haikus. Many poets use elements like similes, metaphors, personification, rhymes, and imagery to get their themes or meanings across to the reader. In the poem “Schizophrenia”, Jim Stevens uses personification of the house to give the poem its overall meaning. Personification and symbolism are the most important poetic elements to “Schizophrenia” because they are used to describe how the house can never be the same after the effects of schizophrenia and how the house personifies and symbolizes a family and the person with schizophrenia.
One of the first major and noticeable uses of personification of the house takes place in the lines “It had begun with slamming doors, angry feet scuffing the carpets, / dishes slammed onto the table, / greasy stains on the cloth” (Stevens 673) These lines show how the house is personifying a person when they first get schizophrenia and how things began to change. Things in the house had started to be destroyed but it was only the beginning of what will happen to the house or person with schizophrenia. The next use of personification in the poem is “The house came to miss the shouting voices, / the threats, the half apologies, noisy / reconciliations, the sobering that followed.” (Stevens 673). This shows how the house is personifying a person with the illness. This can also personify the family that takes care of the person with schizophrenia. It helps by making it clear that the illness has changed the way everyone has been acting and how they have been affected by schizophrenia in the family. The third major use of personification used by the poet is in the lines 12-15 in which the house begins to be torn apart:
The lines were drawn, borders established,
some rooms declared their loyalties
keeping to themselves, keeping out of the other.
The house divided against itself. (Stevens 673)
In these lines the...
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