“Could make a small boy dizzy” is telling us that the fathers breathe smells of alcohol. The smell of alcohol is getting to the son that is why he feels dizzy (line 2). In the line “But I hung on like death” is stating that the son was on his father’s leg and he was holding on tightly. The description “like death” introduces a note of fear (line 3). The line “Such waltzing was not easy” indicates that the father and son were dancing.
The language and phrasing makes the poem seem strong and abrasive. For example the son is described to cling to his father “like death”. This reflects a negative sentence when really the son is holding to his father as to not fall to the ground when his father dances around the kitchen. I reasoned that there was a strong relationship between them. It is also important to note that the father had been drinking.
“My Papa’s Waltz” The vagueness of “My Papa’s Waltz” makes it difficult to be certain what it is about. Some might argue that the poem is a tale of child abuse, but it is more likely telling the story of a father and son’s horseplay. “The whiskey on your breathe could make a small boy dizzy.” This line doesn’t refer to the father as being stumbling drunk. Many people have an evening drink without getting drunk. “But I hung on you like death.” The boy holds on like his life depends on it because he is having so much fun, not because he is terrified as it may seem.
The Point is Not Terror There is much debate on whether “My Papa’s Waltz,” written by Theodore Roethke in 1948, is a child screaming out in cries of abuse or a child remembering a moment with his father. The poem goes back and forth using both positive descriptive words, “then waltz me off to bed,” and abusive descriptive words, “but I hung on like death.” The speaker of this poem is the son as he is describing an evening playing with his father after a long day of work. There are several critics that take sides to this poem but one in particular took it to the extreme. Ciardi gives examples of how the line and word usage Roethke uses conveys to as abuse. In John Ciardi book, How does a Poem Mean published in 1956, takes the meaning of this poem to the severity by saying Roethke wrote this out of terror but Ciardi lacks to understand of Roethke’s childhood, different uses and metaphors, Roethke’s relationship with his father, Otto.
I Hate How Much I Love You -My Papa’s Waltz by Theodore Roethke Explication Essay Theodore Roethke's ambiguous poem "My Papa’s Waltz" is filled with an interesting background that is directed toward the speaker and his father. This particular free verse is unique because it offers numerous situations that the child was put in with his father, more distinctly, the love toward the father. The incentive of this poetry displays how powerful the bond of loved ones can be; this is evident when the flaws of the father was overlooked and the speaker was still “clinging” onto his shirt. Upon reading the first stanza, it was obvious that the speaker realized that his father was drunk. However, in the mist of it all, he still cared and loved his father.
“Reunion” by John Cheever is a short story about Charlie who hasn’t seen his father since his parents’ divorce. So on his way back to his mother’s house he schedules a lunch with his father. Yet Charlie’s view on his father changes when his father continually has problems controlling his bad attitude. In “Powder and “Reunion” the authors use father/son relationships, point of view and conflict to portray to the reader that almost all father and son relationships have their flaws. In the two short stories it seems as if the sons’ relationships with their father were quite different, but they also had their similarities because both of them cared for their son.
Then the whinng schoolboy he remembers back to his schoolyard friends and the shenanigans they would have. Next the young lover he sees his older brother desprately trying to impress various females with stunts as opposed to the second version which shows a man against a pillar strumming his guitar. As he thinks of the fourth age he envisions his best friend Geoff a former army photographer as opposed to the other versions straight faced private. Shortly after the justice he sees his various lawyers working to protect his projects. When he thinks of the hyperactive grandfather he sees his own father jubiously playing with his two sons as opposed to the youthful old man by the fire in the other version.
Similar to "My Papa's Waltz", is the short story "Reunion", by John Cheever. It also shows an alcoholic father and an abused son. It is solely a recall of one of his own memories mainly about a reunion with his father, but the story has a more subtle implication psychologically when it comes to a relationship between a prolonged absent father and an innocent son, who was so looking forward to meeting his father and expected a change in him. The son expects to have some good time with his father, what he gets is abuse. Both stories show a dysfunctional father-son relationship where the son is abused by the alcoholic father.
I think that Jackie feels that Billy now is a shame for the family, because of what he is doing, and he cannot really see why Billy should do something as ridiculous as ballet. Jackie changes his mind about ballet, when he sees Billy dancing in the boxing hall, with one of his friends, and after Billy has told his father, how much he loves ballet. Jackie opens up his eyes, and
As the dance proceeds the lines “The hand that held my wrist, Was battered on one knuckle” (9-10), could lead one to believe this was in an abusive manner, as in he had injured his hand on the little boy. Secondly you can look at the poem as a positive memory. “We romped until the pans, Slid from the kitchen shelf” (5-6). This can simply be viewed as a little boy fondly remembering a father coming home from a hard day of work and still having time to play before bed. Also these words aren’t harsh but lighthearted and energetic.