English Composition II
26 February 2012
The poem “Suicide Note” tells the story an Asian-American college student who commits suicide because she could not live up to what she believed were the expectations of her parents. The girl left a note that turned out to be an apology to her parents, apologizing for her failures as a student and as a daughter. This poem takes you inside the mind of the young girl as she preparing for her final hour of life. It is apparent that all through life she was held to the very high standard of her parents and at this point in her life she can’t seem to maintain their lofty expectations. In line three “not good enough… not pretty enough… not smart enough” (I. 3) she expresses what her parents feel about her. Over time the feeling that her parents have for her have obviously been projected on the young girl. As you read through the third stanza you realize that the girl’s parents may have not been happy with having a daughter at all, and would have preferred a son: If only I were a son, shoulders broad
As the sunset threading through pine,
I would see the light in my mother’s
Eyes or the golden pride reflected
In my father’s dream
Of my wide, male hands worthy of work
I would swagger through life muscled and bold and assured,
Drawing praises to me
Like currents in the bed of wind, virile
with confidence (v 10-21).
It is very obvious that the parents made it very clear to her that they preferred a son, someone who was strong and confident, who would meet the every expectation. The girl seems to believe if she had been born a man, that the level of expectations would have been somehow different; perhaps it may have been enough for her just to be a man. In line twenty-three she makes her apology and explains how each failure, disapproval and disappointment make her feel. “Each failure, a glacier.\ Each disapproval, a boot print.\ Each disappointment, ice above my river (IV...
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