My Papa's Waltz Argument

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Clash of the View Points The line 'Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder' is a cliche that in a nutshell means, nobody else can tell you what your opinion of something is (as_beauty). This holds true to many subjects like politics, movies, and literature. One such example can be found in a tidy little poem written by Theodore Roethke. “My Papa's Waltz” usually splits most people upon its main theme with the reader depending on their own personal opinion to choose how to view the poem. Through the use of word choice, Theodore Roethke allows readers to interpret the meaning of the 'waltz' into either domestic abuse, or a childhood memory in “My Papa's Waltz”. Depending on which side of the fence people sit, “My Papa's Waltz” can be very dark, or a very touching piece. Roethke decided to make the father's drinking the first fact to be conveyed. Some see the poem as a sweet memory, to prove this they bring up the time period that the poem was written in, “during 1948 whiskey on a man's breath was not negative but part of culture for the working class”(Goodwin). This finding is worth little to people these days as drinking is more abused now and in many instances this over drinking often leads to domestic abuse. Even though the reader has only read the…show more content…
The 'small boy'(Booth line 2) is talking directly to his father. This, in the positive readers eyes, evokes a feeling of intimacy between the two characters. In the mean time, the fathers breath making the boy dizzy gives ammo to the readers who believe the poem is about domestic abuse. For them, this line indicates that the father was not drinking socially, but drinking oppressively to the point of abusing the whiskey. The readers that see no abuse in the poem retaliate that the boy becoming dizzy is a realistic description of the two figures being close physically, and dancing around in circles as they attempt to

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