My Papa Waltz Essay

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Timothy Gayton Professor Campbell English 102 28 February 2012 My Papa’s Waltz When you read the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke you feel a dark cloud overcome you because the feeling you get from it is sad. The poem is about a little boy getting beatings from his alcoholic father and he expresses how the beating affected him physically and emotionally. This poem’s title would confuse the reader because it is called “My Papa’s Waltz” and “Waltz” is a dance performed by a couple, in triple time. This poem shows the child’s emotions and physical damages while taking abusive disturbing beatings from his “Papa”. In the first line of this poem the speaker says “The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy” this proves that the child’s father was an alcoholic and that the child did not like it because of the feeling he got from the whisky. The speaker said “But I hung on like death” this line of the poem shows that he hung on no matter how much pain that he felt while taking the abuse from his father. When people get abused they tend to compare their pain with something peaceful, fun, and enjoying acts. The speaker chose the word “waltz” because waltzing symbolizes a dance which people enjoy so calling it that probably took his mind off of the pain that the beating that were given to him. In the second stanza in the poem the speaker said “We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf” this shows how hard the father was beating him that it resulted to pans being moved around in the kitchen. Most readers then begin to thing did the child have anybody to run to. The mother of this child was present during his abusive times and the speaker said “My mother's countenance Could not unfrown itself.” The mother wanted so badly to help her child but she was scared as well. The child saw her facial expressions. She could not save her child

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