On the Subway

562 Words3 Pages
The poem "On the Subway" by Sharon Olds, describes the intesity of racial confrontation, gender contrasts, and financial differences by the use of poetic devicies, imagery, juxtaposition, and tone. Olds uses imagery in her poem to decribe the racial confrontation. An example of this devicie is in line 3-5 of the poem, "his feet are huge, in black sneakers laced with white in a complex pattern like a set of intentional scars." The scars portray to the discrimination against the black man by white society. Olds imagery denotes that whites purposely harm blacks, such as whites are powerful; blacks are subservient. The two characters are stuck on opposite sides of the subway car,this shows how they are permanently separated from each other. The description of the clothing is an example of imagery also, here the black man is "exposed," while the white woman is in her fur. This reinforces the opposition between the white woman and the black boy. The use of juxtaposition in this poem is how Sharon compares the differences between race. Her examples of race are very clear in the poem. She compares the black boy to the white woman by the way they are dressed. She writes how the black boy has on red like the inside of the body and how he looks like a mugger; compared to the white woman who has on a fur coat and is staring at the boy while she thinks to herself how easily he can take her life. Sharon Olds organization in "On the Subway" uses incidents of anaphora, and asyndeton. Her use of anaphora gives her poem the repetition that it has to embody to have the meaning she is writing about a portrail. The meaning of the poem is the intensity of racial confrontation, and gender contrast. Olds use of asyndeton helps her writing seem more like someone who is in a scary situation from their point of view. The organization of these things helps to get the point of the poem
Open Document