Textual Analysis final draft

Textual Analysis final draft - December 10, 2007 Final...

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December 10, 2007 Matt Doherty Final Draft Textual Analysis A Near-Death Experience Breeds Rebirth How close have you come to dying? What value do you place on your own life? Mary Oliver poses these very deep and thought-provoking questions to the reader in her short poem, “Alligator Poem.” In the poem, the persona has an experience in which she comes very close to death: an alligator walks by her as she drank some water out of a river while sitting on a riverbank. Oliver describes it in this way: “I didn't understand/I drank up to the very moment it came/crashing toward me/its tail flailing/like a bundle of swords/slashing the grass/and the inside of its cradle-shaped mouth/gaping/and rimmed with teeth and/that's how I almost died/of foolishness/in beautiful Florida.” Clearly she has had a near-death experience. The language used in describing that passage shows true fear: “…tail flailing/like a bundle of swords/slashing the grass.” This experience has exposed the persona to the very real possibilities of death. This experience also was most likely the persona’s first near-death experience. Oliver indicates this with the statement “…that’s how I almost died/of foolishness/in
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This note was uploaded on 04/23/2009 for the course EN EN010 taught by Professor Bustamante during the Fall '07 term at BC.

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Textual Analysis final draft - December 10, 2007 Final...

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