My Papa's Waltz analysis 2

My Papa's Waltz analysis 2 - Wendy Candler & Vernon L....

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Oct 17, 2007 4 th per “My Papa’s Waltz ” by Theodore Roethke Upon the first reading of this poem, the image of a happy childhood memory and a hard working father dancing playfully with his son before bedtime takes form. The mother looks on in disapproval as the pair makes a mess of her kitchen, but does not interrupt the father-son bonding. However, for the assumed happiness the two must be sharing as they waltz, when looking at the words of the poem individually there is only one word, “romped,” that has any positive connotations. Overwhelmingly the diction of the poem is negative with words such as “death,” “battered,” “scraped,” and “beat.” After reading multiple times with just those factors alone, the poem’s message begins to transform into a picture much more gruesome. Within the very first line, Theodore Roethke mentions the word “whiskey.” Even though just the fact by itself, that the father has had some alcohol of some sort, does not necessarily make him drunk, an alcoholic, or abusive—it does, however, let the reader know that he may not be completely in control of his actions. Also, the alcohol content is enough to “make a small boy dizzy,” which could be referring to the quantity of whiskey on his breath or the fact that he is so intoxicated the “waltz” becomes too boisterous and rough for the child to take. This description
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This note was uploaded on 01/28/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Cornett during the Spring '08 term at N.C. State.

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My Papa's Waltz analysis 2 - Wendy Candler & Vernon L....

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