Not Waving but Drowning Essay

524 Words3 Pages
“Not Waving but Drowning,” by Stevie Smith, shows the idea of isolation and being misread by the loving people around one. It also shows the unheard cries for help by others around one. The literal meaning of this poem is, the man was truly not waving to ones he saw, he was in a desperate need for help due to drowning. The author described the man making noise to get others to help him, but nobody heard anything, so he drowned. One would believe the man to be in a stage of pain, grief, hurt or misery for a period of time now. Although the author has a literal meaning, there is also a thematic meaning. Overall the thematic viewpoint is to show the death one may have from being ignored or neglected through-out their lifetime. Society has a great impact on one, and could be hurt real bad if one does not feel welcome. Once can believe this interpretation because each line shows the hurt, and pain the man felt through the authors words. Overall, the author tends to show a lot of emotion towards the mans misery. In this poem, the author has many literary techniques he used throughout the poem. The first literary technique being used is a metaphor; a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things that area basically dissimilar. The author uses a metaphor by comparing waving to drowning. This is a device because the action of waving to a person, compared to drowning is completely different. This shows the author was trying to show society is not very concerned about what others are doing, and are just concerned about them. One can be in need of help miserably, but one will not give one the help needed to fix a situation. This poem shows that point very well through such a metaphor. The second literary technique the author uses is irony; a contrast or an incongruity between what is stated and what is really meant, or between what is expected to happy and what
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