The Black Walnut Tree Essay - Ian Macato Lovelady AP...

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Ian MacatoLoveladyAP LiteraturePeriod 0“The Black Walnut Tree” Analysis EssayHumans are recommended to make decisions developed through logic and calculation, yet, often times there are instances in which the emotional potency of sentiment may overrule thepragmatic benefits of reason. In Mary Oliver’s “The Black Walnut Tree,” a mother and daughter consider selling the titular tree in order to pay off their mortgage, however, against a clear indication of financial stability, they decide to preserve the tree not only for its literal aesthetic beauty, but also for its symbolic embodiment of their family heritage. Oliver’s exploration of the dangers of devaluing kinship and family culture in the face of financial rewards is emphasized through the nature-oriented symbolism and the speaker’s cautiously evolving point of view. The conflicted imagery of the speaker’s description of the tree emphasizes Oliver’s assertion that the black walnut tree, a prominent symbol of familial heritage, ought to be valued more than the financial rewards it may bring. Oliver illustrates that the tree is becoming

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