My Papa's Waltz analysis

My Papa's Waltz analysis - The young child seems to...

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“My Papa’s Waltz ” by Theodore Roethke The playful and innocent voice of the child narrating the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” reminds me of the childish antics and fun I used to have with my own father. Unlike many fathers, mine was always wiling to take precious time out of his busy schedule to play with and entertain me. He has always been a loving parent who is tolerant and forgiving, and who would never dream of being violent towards me or my sister. Within “my Papa’s Waltz,” the sibilant words scattered throughout like “whiskey” “dizzy” and “waltzed” and “wrist” seem to emphasize the swaying and unstable motion of the father physically and emotionally. They also recall to mind the way an intoxicated person tends to slur together their words and compromise his or her judgment when extremely drunk.
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Unformatted text preview: The young child seems to describe his father’s actions in playful and loving terms as the pair “waltzed” and “romped” throughout the house. However, despite the innocent and naive words of the adoring child, there are blatant hints of violence lurking under the surface. The child “hung on like death” as they danced in the kitchen until the pans themselves were knocked off the shelf as the mother looked on with a “countenance [that] could not unfrown itself.” The father clutches the child’s wrist with a “battered knuckle” and “beats time” his head before carrying the clinging child off to bed. Is this really the case of a happily intoxicated father playing childishly with his son, or of domestic violence by a father who is overworked which is not fully comprehended by the child?...
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