anne sexton "young" analysis

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Poets often incorporate elements of their real lives, thoughts, and emotions into their writing.   Though we live in a world where every issue that we experience is sorted out on the couch in a therapist’s office, many writers seem to take a different approach. They express their feelings through their literature and are able to acquire some peace of mind in doing so. In the poem “Young,” Anne Sexton, refers back to the time in her life when she felt most alone and unsure of her place in the world. These are easily relatable feelings, because most people have felt this way at least one time in their lives. However, Sexton felt that even though we all may feel completely alone at times, we would always have God and the stars to listen to our innermost thoughts.

Like much of Sexton’s work, “Young” deals with the issues of parent-child relationships, female identity, and religious ideas. These themes also appear in many of her other poems, such as “Her Kind” and “The Truth the Dead Know.” Born on November 9, 1928 in Newton, Massachusetts, Sexton, apparently suffering from depression, attempted to commit suicide many times. After giving birth to her second child, she was diagnosed with postpartum depression and was subsequently hospitalized (Empire Zine). As a way to help her work through her dilemma, her doctor suggested that she take up writing as a hobby. Her brush with insanity resulted in the development of the themes of madness and suicide, which she incorporated into much of her work.

In “Young,” Sexton dives into the emotions and thoughts of a child who is at a time in her life where she is lonely. In the beginning of the poem, Sexton describes the woman who is looking back to her childhood summers at this time saying, “A thousand doors ago when I was a lonely kid in a big house with four garages and it was summer as long as I could remember.” The young girl seems to have been pretty wealthy but lonely without her parents in her big house. Sexton uses...

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