17 March 2014
Understanding the Difference
In the poem, “Enter The Dragon”, we see a relationship between the speaker and his dad. Throughout the poem, there is a shift in tone. One interpretive problem presented by John Murillo’s “Enter The Dragon” is the tone the speaker uses when he says “I learn the difference between cinema and city, between the moviehouse cheers / Of old men and the silence that gets us home” (ll. 30-31). The poem begins with the speaker and his dad watching a Bruce Lee movie, Enter The Dragon. For the speaker the good part “starts with a black man / Leaping into an orbit of badges,” (ll.1-2). Here we are seeing imagery because you see this black man, Jim Kelly a super hero, being in the middle surrounded by cops orbiting him. The black man uses “arc kicks” and “karate chops” to beat the thirty cops. After beating them up, Kelly takes off with the cop car. And the way the speaker talks about this is in a good tone. The next couplet, the speaker talks about moviegoers saying deep hallelujahs and drowning out the “wah wah” guitar. We see here the poem is not only addressing the relationship between the speaker and his dad but the poem is also concerned with race. The “deep hallelujahs” connects to the black church and the wah wah guitar addressing the white race. Then the speaker talks about his dad “glowing so bright he can light the screen / All by himself.” (ll. 12-13). We see the speakers tone as being confident when he talks about his dad. After the movie is over, they’re driving back “cadillacking across King Boulevard” (l.15) jabbing and clutching with popcorn breath and see lights flashing in the cracked side mirror. From this moment on, the poem of the tone changes. The speaker then says “I know what’s Under the seat,” (ll. 20-21). We are not sure what the speaker means by this statement. Could there be drugs, weapons, or nothing at all? When the cop leans into the father’s window,...
Cited: Murillo, John. “Enter The Dragon.” Up Jump The Boogie. New York: Cypher Books, 2010. 17-18. Print
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