The Tenement Room

692 Words3 Pages
Stephanie Roatis 3/10/12 Fisch, Freshman English Acc. Sometimes people can escape from a hard life or a stressful time by detaching themselves from the world. In The Tenement Room, Chicago by Frank Marshall Davis, a person is trapped in a bruised and battered tenement room. The writer uses powerful techniques to paint the picture of a poverty-ridden life for an individual and uses the room as an extended metaphor for the person living in it, spiritless and defeated. During the day when everything is easily visible, the harsh points of poverty stick out and are accentuated. However when the sun sets, the room becomes dark, allowing the person to escape from his/her poverty stricken life. This poem shows how although individuals may be trapped in a desolate place, they have the inner strength to liberate themselves. The first stanza in the poem describes dusk, when the day creeps slowly from the tenement room. The author uses this short opening stanza to introduce the struggles of poverty. He describes the room as “bruised and battered” (Davis 1), showing that it is weary and, like a person in poverty, struggling. He also characterizes the room as “tired” after a long day (Davis 5). The poet uses this adjective to define the mental struggle that poverty can thrust upon someone. Poverty can have a large emotional effect on many people, and often they become mentally exhausted or depressed. The poet truly emphasizes the hardships of a poverty-stricken life in the second stanza, when he describes the day-time image of the tenement room. During the day, sunlight illuminates everything so that every point and detail can be seen. The author makes this stanza the longest to illustrate how hard it may be for individuals to escape the mental state of poverty during the day. He describes the furniture with a bleak mood, such as the two chairs, “spiritless as
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