A Work Of The Artifice Essay

Topics: Conformity, Trees, Tree shaping Pages: 3 (538 words) Published: January 7, 2015
A Work of the Artifice

In the poem, A Work of the Artifice, the author, Marge Piercy, uses a bonsai tree to represent people who are being controlled or influenced by a type of authority or higher power. She does this by using playful imagery, contradicting tone, and strong metaphors to make this representation throughout this poem. The playful imagery which compares a bonsai tree to the way people are conformed and molded into the “perfect” person or the mold of what is “right”. In the poem, the author writes, “The bonsai tree in the attractive pot could have grown eighty feet tall… But a gardener carefully pruned it. It is nine inches high. Every day as he whittles back the branches the gardener croons, it is your nature to be small and cozy, domestic and weak”. This can be interpreted to a person being conformed into something they are not. The bonsai tree had a chance to grow up to eighty feet tall, but stayed at a small nine inches because the gardener cut the braches and kept it small because he believe that is in the trees nature. Many people have the chance to do great things with their lives, but are often told their dreams are unrealistic. Such as an artist whose parents tell them to take them a more realistic route. That artist could have been one of the greatest the world would know, but they never stepped foot into the realm of art because of someone conforming them into a more “realistic” person. The author also uses contradicting tone in this poem. One particular instance where Piercy used this type of tone was when she talked about the bonsai tree’s height. As I put in the previous paragraph, Piercy wrote, “The bonsai tree in the attractive pot could have grown eighty feet tall… it is your nature to be small and cozy, domestic and weak”. Here, Piercy contradicts her first statement, “The bonsai tree in the attractive pot could have grown eighty feet tall” by later saying, “it is your nature to be small and cozy, domestic and weak”. I don’t...
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