America By Tony Hoagland Analysis

529 Words3 Pages
Journal 03: America Tony Hoagland’s poem “America” uses specific nouns and metaphors to tell readers that America is too obsessed with material objects and self-satisfaction. Hoagland uses these nouns and metaphors to hide truth from the naked eye, specific diction is also used in combination with these metaphors to expose corruption in American society. In the opening lines, Hoagland writes, “Then one of the students with blue hair and a tongue stud / Says that America is for him a maximum-security prison / Whose walls are made of Radio Shacks, Burger Kings, and MTV episodes.” Hoagland almost lists the details of American trends by mentioning hair color and piercings, and by describing businesses like Radio Shack which sell 70-inch flat screen televisions, which are completely unnecessary, and fast food restaurants like McDonald’s that give super-sized food portions. These allow readers to immediately see the ridiculous…show more content…
Hoagland writes, “… what kind of nightmare it might be / When each day you watch rivers of bright merchandise run past you / And you are floating on your pleasure boat upon this river / Even while others are drowning underneath you / And you see their faces twisting in the surface of the waters / And yet it seems to be your own hand / Which turns the volume higher?” This metaphor of “rivers of bright merchandise” makes it easier for readers to understand the idea of consumerism because they can picture millions of unnecessary merchandise barreling down a huge river. We see that we are a part of this “nightmare” since we are on our own “pleasure boats” flowing on the river, too. The metaphor continues by placing victims suffering beneath the very waters of merchandise that drown them. They are drowning in this materialism, and then there are those of us who “stay afloat” just to watch and ignore by “turning the volume

More about America By Tony Hoagland Analysis

Open Document