Project #80758 - Journal writing 4

Read the poem below.  As you reflect on the poem and literary elements, respond to the following statements and questions in a journal writing consisting of 250 - 300 words.  Use details from the text (poem) to support your responses.  1) Identify themes in the poem. 2) Highlight the point at which the speaker’s tone changes.  Explain why the tone changes. 3) Who are the victims? 4) What does the word “this” mean in “given it all away and had nothing / left but this”? (Lines 25 and 26).

“The Victims” by Sharon Olds

 

When Mother divorced you, we were glad.  She took it and

 

took it, in silence, all those years and then

 

kicked you out, suddenly, and her

 

kids loved it.  Then you were fired, and we

 

5              grinned inside, the way people grinned when

 

Nixon’s helicopter lifted off the South

 

Lawn for the last time.8  We were tickled

 

to think of your office taken away,

 

your secretaries taken away,

 

10           your lunches with three double bourbons,

 

your pencils, your reams of paper.  Would they take your

 

suits back, too, those dark

 

carcasses hung in your closet, and the black

 

noses of your shoes with their large pores?

 

15           She had taught us to take it, to hate you and take it

 

until we pricked with her for your

 

annihilation, Father.  Now I

 

pass the bums in doorways, the white

 

slugs of their bodies gleaming through slits in their

 

20           suits of compressed silt, the stained

 

flippers of their hands, the underwater

 

fire of their eyes, ships gone down with the

 

lanterns lit, and I wonder who took it and

 

took it from them in silence until they had

 

25           given it all away and had nothing

 

left but this.                                                                                           1984

 

 

 

When Richard Nixon resigned the U.S. presidency on August 8, 1974, his exit from the White House (by helicopter from the lawn) was televised live.

 

Olds, Sharon.  “The Victims.”  The Norton Introduction to Literature.  Shorter Tenth Edition. 

 

        Ed. Allison Booth and Kelly J. Mays.  New York: Norton, 2010.  810.

 

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 09/07/2015 12:00 am
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