“Wanda Why Aren't You Dead”
A poem is a composition of emotional language or expression artists incorporate into their form of art. Poetry can be extremely emotional coming from the artist. The poem “Wanda Why Aren't You Dead” by Wanda Coleman focuses on an African American woman who is degraded and belittled by the people she associates with. It shows just how damaging words can truly be when used to hurt a person. “Wanda Why Aren't You Dead” is about Wanda's struggling with the people around her and their harsh opinions about her, however maintaining her identity and becoming stronger by the end of the poem. Wanda, being a poet, expresses her feelings into this poem and does a phenomenal job at it. It allows the readers to feel what the protagonist feels and share in her sadness. Coleman's protagonist undergoes internal conflict within herself due to the bullying she experiences from others. They batter her name around and disrespect her constantly, shown by the repetition of the name Wanda. The voices in the poem point out her imperfections, annoy her, support her insecurities, and antagonize her in any way they can. Wanda has no good features, according to the busybodies in the poem. Wanda is scrutinized for her appearance and any other noticeable aspect she has. The meddlers ask her constantly why she does or does not look a certain way. For example, one says, “why don't you lose weight” (5) While another says, “how come your feet are so goddamn big” (7). These small insults amplify as the poem progresses. They become more malicious and cruel. She relives these hurtful judgements recurrently throughout the poem. Throughout the poem, Wanda is told numerous hurtful and malicious things about herself. Wanda has been verbally and probably physically abused on more than one occasion. The questions they ask her are not actually questions, they are verbal attacks. The tormentors do not want an answer,...
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