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Sherman Alexie Essays (Examples)

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Alexie and Another Poem About an Emily
Words: 626 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 33159152
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Sister Buried in a Trunk" by Aaron Barth-Martinson evokes the loneliness of death and the fear that the living must encounter when death strikes down one they love. That is the case in Barth-Martinson's poem, as the narrator calls for Emily and begs her to come down to walk with him rather than die alone in her room.

The blank verse poem makes allusions to two famous Emily's of literature: Faulkner's Emily in "A Rose for Emily," and Emily Dickinson, the famous hermit poet, who died virtually unknown, with all of her poems under her bed unpublished. The allusion to the first Emily is made by the last line, "I shed a tear for Emily," as the narrator cries for the recluse. Allusion to Dickinson is made in the lines referring to the poems found in the trunk: "I found a trunk full / Of slanted verse / And I…

Frost Hughes Alexie the Meaning of Home
Words: 1380 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Thesis Paper #: 83366662
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Frost, Hughes, Alexie

The Meaning of "Home" in Frost's "Hired Hand," Hughes' "Landlord" and Alexie's "I ill Redeem"

Robert Frost writes in "The Death of the Hired Hand," "Home is the place where, when you have to go there, / They have to take you in" (122-3). Implicit in these lines is the notion that "home" carries certain rules. "Home" is not just a place devoid of higher meaning, but an abstract idea -- a concept bound by a principle of belonging, of submitting, of caring. Just as Langston Hughes shows in "Ballad of the Landlord" (with the tension between negligent landlord and suffering tenant) or as Sherman Alexie shows in "hat You Pawn I ill Redeem" (Jackson sharing a portion of his winnings with Mary, whom he considers family -- "It's an Indian thing"), the principles of "home" are understood and upheld by those who realize its deeper meaning.…

Works Cited

Alexie, Sherman. "What You Pawn I Will Redeem." The New Yorker. 12 Apr 2013.


Frost, Robert. "The Death of the Hired Man." Bartleby. 12 Apr 2013. Web.

Hughes, Langston. "Ballad of the Landlord." 12 Apr 2013. Web.

Othering in Alexie and the Classroom Othering
Words: 870 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 58274138
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Othering in Alexie and the Classroom

Othering in Alexie and classroom

Otherness describes a relationship that is imposed by dominant groups with the power to define who is undesirable or lower-status. This a power relationship where the dominant members justify their own privilege even if the power group is the minority, with a classic example in South African Apartheid where a white minority kept the wealth, power and legal decision-making status for themselves even though they were far outnumbered. Othering by males against females provides a more balanced example where domination results in different pay for equal work; different social roles and different unpaid work expectations for example.

Most often however, stigmatization takes place by dominant groups against minorities where the dominant majority designates itself the norm, and then enacts values the minority group can never share. This allows the dominant group to assign others temporary privileges, but if the…

Within their larger stigmatized group, the other Indians treat the two men in different ways. Victor was a member of the dominant group, those with some kind of income, but Thomas was stigmatized by the other Natives as 'crazy.' This forces Victor to overlook Thomas' status as "other" while he is necessary in resolving the unfinished business of collecting his father's remains. Thomas is really a member of another stigmatized group, "dusty" elders, by his telling of stories (Alexie, 1993, p. 65). Thomas' peers hate him because he had the courage to act toward his dream, but he also represents the traditional native culture through this tie to the elders, to Victor's father, and by his learning and inventing stories in the traditional style.

Thomas's obligation to look over Victor (Alexie, 1993, p. 70) also ties him with the traditional culture the elders are closer to. What this symbolizes is the stigma youth imposes on their elders once they are no longer of use to the newly dominant generation. Since the father's obligation to Thomas was that the young "take care of each other" (Alexie, 1993, p. 61), this is also a rejection of each other. But Thomas demands Victor pay attention to the traditional ways, if only once over the rest of his life. The modern generation represented by Victor feels ashamed to have lost their community (Alexie, 1993, p. 74) by throwing away what they see as useless, dusty old stories even though those are what gives Thomas the power to live out dreams Victor has never been able to achieve by his own choice (Alexie, 1993, p. 74).

This all provides the structure and language with which Alexie delivers his perspective on Othering, that marginalizing individuals by criteria that can never match those of the dominant, hegemonic culture who defines norms and bars these characters from ever being able to achieve privileged status, causes isolation, bullying and violence, crime and permanent suffering. In short, othering is deeply harmful for the entire society but particularly those who are disenfranchised. Alexie argues othering creates isolation from the dominant society through his father's death going unnoticed for many days until the smell of his rotting corpse gets too bad, but also within the Native culture where Thomas Builds-The-Fire is ostracized for his identification with traditional culture (above). Thomas experiences actual physical bullying, which is Alexie's fictional way of asserting that othering provokes real physical violence, even within peripheralized minority cultures. The young men who

Representation and Reality Alexie on Film
Words: 1752 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 30761945
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Alexie, Victor, Thomas and Tonto

Alexie's experiences as a boy compare to those of Victor and Thomas each. It is as though Victor and Thomas are two alternate projections of Alexie's character: Victor represents the unhappy Indian, who is dissatisfied with the way his family and the people on the reservation conduct themselves (they drink too much); he wants to think of himself as a proud, warrior Indian. Thomas on the other hand is far more sympathetic to Victor's family and sees good points in Victor's dad. He also reminds Victor that their tribe was not a warrior tribe but rather a fishing people -- which is a humorous reminder because it completely takes the wind out of Victor's prideful sails and returns him for a moment back to earth. This is essentially the push and pull that Alexie identifies in his own self going to the movies to the…

Native Americans in Public Schools
Words: 928 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Research Paper Paper #: 27847544
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Indian Education

Although sometimes it goes unrecognized, ethnicity or other superficial prejudices can help to determine an individual's role in a group or community. For example, in a community that is predominately white, those who are among this majority will often receive the most opportunities. Although this does not necessarily guarantee their success, those individuals in the majority will often have the first chance to fulfill the desirable roles. By contrast, individuals within the minority might commonly receive a mediocre education as well as more obstacles to have the same opportunities as other groups; sometimes these obstacles are virtually insurmountable. The feeling of unfairness and inequality can led many students who are disadvantaged to give up or drop out and their futures do not have the same probability for success. In the short story "Indian Education" by Sherman Alexie, the author tells a story in which the stereotypes that people…

Moore Flight Sincerity Sarcasm and
Words: 1258 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 55906064
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In the third chapter of Flight, Zits describes who is perhaps "the only real friend of [his] life" as a "pretty white boy" who "doesn't even like or respect Jesus -- or Allah or Buddha or LeBron James or any other God" (Alexie 24). In what is otherwise a very poignant passage, where Zits is explaining is near-instant love for this boy he meets in jail, the mention of LeBron James in the company of various prophets/deities is a not-so-subtle cynical undercut of what could be an intensely emotional scene. It is not further referenced, and this type of occurrence doesn't appear again in this passage, but there is a sense of slight self-mocking throughout due to remarks like these.

The self-mocking is anything but slight in Moore's "How to Become a riter." The speaker opens by telling you to try to be something else, and to fail at it…

Works Cited

Alexie, Sherman. Flight. New York: Grove Press, 2007.

Moore, Lorrie. "How to Become a Writer." In Self-Help. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 1995.

Indians Diverted Desire in Ten
Words: 1007 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 54422424
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The scholarly heroine of the library set tale, entitled "The Search Engine," turns to books and literature, for the "huge number of books confirmed how much magic she'd been denied for most of her life, and now she hungrily wanted to read every book on every shelf. An impossible task, to be sure, Herculean in its exaggeration, but Corliss wanted to read herself to death," in a fashion that suggests this spinster has diverted her sexual desires into words and literature with a ferocious appetite. She feels ignored, so resolves not to allow books to go similarly ignored. "hat happens to the world when that many books go unread? And what happens to the unread authors of those unread books?" she wonders.

Frank Snake Church of "hat Ever Happened to Frank Snake Church," diverts his frustrated desires into basketball. Both Corliss and Church are incapable of expressing love, for a…

Works Cited

Alexie, Sherman. Ten Little Indians. New York: Grove Press, 2003.

Humanities Even With the Fact
Words: 811 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 46546819
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This does not only apply in the case of someone interested in Native American culture, as it can also assist someone performing business with natives, concerning that the respective individual would know the attitudes that he needs to employ in order to make the partnership as effective as possible.

Lala Guerrero's song "No Chicanos on Tv" is meant to induce strong feelings in audiences as individuals acknowledge the fact that the contemporary society straightforwardly discriminates particular groups on account of their particularities. It is difficult to determine whether it is best to laugh or to cry when hearing the lyrics, as they are intense and sarcastic at the same time. When considering the humanities in general and their connection to this song, it appears that they are also directed at changing people's perception of certain communities. The song raises public awareness concerning the gravity associated with discriminating particular groups and…

Individual Knowledge and Power 19th Century Poet
Words: 720 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 44022605
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Individual Knowledge and Power

19th century poet Emily Dickinson is famous for her writing about the sometimes odd quality of being human, or rather the unnatural social norms that humanity has constructed. Dickinson claims that "[m]uch Sense -- the starkest Madness -- / 'Tis the Majority," meaning that most people guide their lives through typical principles of an objective common sense. Despite the best efforts of the philosophers and statesmen who have fostered Western principles of common sense throughout the centuries, people are not mathematical certainties; and while general rules are essential to the well-being of the population, individual lives cannot be dictated by a standardized social formula. True human growth and progress is a journey often taken alone, in which a person has to develop his or her own ideas of right and wrong. This short essay examines three different ways individual knowledge and power is originated, fostered, and…

Breaking and Entering Main Plot Summary in
Words: 315 Length: 1 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 79959599
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Breaking and Entering

Main Plot Summary

In Sherman Alexie's Breaking and Entering, the protagonist accidentally kills a teenage burglar in his home. He had meant only to protect himself and he reacted mainly as a reflex when the burglar ran toward him intending to make it past him to escape from the crime scene. Unfortunately, the single swing with his son's Little League baseball bat turned out to be a fatal blow even though that was hardly the intention. The author assumes, probably correctly, that the police treated the investigation as completely routine at least partly because the burglar was black. The African-American community in the neighborhood, including the family of the dead burglar, rallied to support his family and to protest his killing by a white man. Ironically, the homeowner was not actually white but Native American and, therefore, of a racial heritage whose people had also suffered tremendously…

Smoke Signals Directed by Chris Eyre Released
Words: 1063 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 20109475
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Smoke Signals" directed by Chris Eyre

eleased on video in June 1999 by Miramax films, Smoke Signals is the first full-length film that has been performed and directed by the American Indians. Smoke Signals is "from top to bottom, an American Indian production, and that makes it historically unprecedented" (Ward Churchill). Adam Beach and Evan Adams play the roles of Victor Joseph and Thomas Builds-the-Fire respectively. They are Coeur d'Alene Indians and the movie opens in Idaho on the fourth of July 1976. Thomas' parents who were alcoholics die in a fire and Arnold Joseph, played by Gary Farmer, the stepfather of Victor, saves Thomas. Arnold Joseph is seen to have a drinking problem and is eventually thrown out of the house by his wife. Arnold, leaving his son behind, goes off to live in Phoenix. After a long period of no contact with him, Victor finds out that his…


(1) Ward Churchill -- Smoke Signals in Context: An Historical Overview. [Online website] Available from: [Accessed on: 22/09/2005]

(2) Anonymous -- Plot Summary of Smoke Signals. [Online website] Available from:  [Accessed on: 22/09/2005]

(3) Anonymous -- "Smoke Signals" Summary. [Online website] Available from: [Accessed on: 22/09/2005]

(4) Paul Bond -- Stories from the reservation. [Online website] Available from:  [Accessed on: 22/09/2005]

Native American Expressive Culture the
Words: 4153 Length: 15 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 77872456
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Black Elk utilizes his visions to create understanding of nearly all things he is later exposed to. The discussion in closing will further illuminate his utilization of vision, to ask for help for his people in a time of crisis.

To discuss the vertical model of artistic communication it is difficult to narrow the filed to just one example, as Native American literature, and to a lesser degree film have become somewhat prolific as genres. Two authors who build upon this tradition are Scott Momaday and Alexie Sherman as they are significant and prolific writers of Indian tradition. Each has written and published several works, including a variety of genres, that all attempt to translate the oral traditions of their nations into a written form that contains the expression of the oral tradition.

In Alexie Sherman's collection of short stories, the Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven he offers…

Works Cited

Allison, Sherry R., and Christine Begay Vining. "Native American Culture and Language." Bilingual Review (1999): 193.

Bluestein, Gene. Poplore: Folk and Pop in American Culture. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1994.


Churchill, Ward. Acts of Rebellion: The Ward Churchill Reader. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Conceptualize Zits The Main
Words: 2455 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Research Paper Paper #: 25842436
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The decision of the pilot to crush the plane in the city can have no valid motivation and is deeply painful for Jimmy who feels betrayed by his student. The pilot who decides to crash the plane is a further stereotype, an incarnation of the belief that people belonging to the same cultural space as him are most likely to engage in terrorist acts.

Throughout his transformations, Zits realizes that he has done many mistakes in the past. In fact, he interprets the negative situations in which he is cast as a sort of divine punishment for his bad behavior in the past. He feels as if the violence episodes are supposed to make him learn from his mistakes- a task which he successfully performs.

Looking at the episodes in which Zits plays the main role, the reader realizes that Alexie is actually describing the history of the American people.…


Alexie, S. Flight: a novel, Grove Press, Black Cat, First edition, April 17, 2007

Barbash, T. Native son in NY, May 27, 2007, Retrieved April 9, 2011 from 

Christie, S. Renaissance man: the tribal "schizophrenic" in Sherman Alexie's Indian Killer in American Indian culture and research Journal, UCLA American Indian studies center, volume 25, number 4, 2001

Cummins, a., Flight: a novel (by Sherman Alexie)- Time traveling boy in the Washington Post Book World, Review a Day, April 20th, 2007, Retrieved April 8, 2011 from

House Made of Dawn by N Scott Momaday
Words: 1388 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 69202754
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House Made of Dawn by N.Scott Momaday - An Extension of Central Thematic Preoccupations in Sherman Alexis' 'Indian Killer'

This is a two and half page paper on two novels. 'House Made of Dawn' by N. Scott Momaday though encompasses various genre of autobiography, history, fiction, memoirs, and ethnography, this paper will strive to present an analysis of the awakening factor highlighted in the strong wordings of the author, as also depicted in the novel 'Indian Killer' by Sherman Alexis.

The awakening of the Indian literature of the Americans, more commonly known as the Red Indians, achieved its breakthrough in the writings of Momaday, in particular his first novel 'House Made of Dawn' written in 1969. House Made of Dawn also had the distinction of getting the famous Pulitzer Prize. The novel presents a detailed insight into the Native American life, through the eyes of an Indian caught between the…


Kenneth M. Roemer, accessed on 10.04.02

N. Scott Momaday: Biographical, Literary, and Multicultural Contexts, Modern American Poetry 

Unknown author, *****, Literary/Historical Information, accessed on 10.04.02

Smoke Signals Directed by Chris Eyre Specifically
Words: 713 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 88900646
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Smoke Signals directed by Chris Eyre. Specifically it will discuss what the film is attempting to say to us.

"Smoke Signals" made history because it was the first film made by Native Americans, and acted by Native Americans. The story is really about two young men coming of age and learning to accept each other, and their past, to move ahead in life.

The textbook calls Native American history "among the most intriguing in history, that has captivated scholars for centuries" (Gibson 2). This film is a natural evolution of that history. It is natural that Native Americans would want to tell their own story on film, and this film is the culmination of Native Americans working together to tell their own story. Victor and Thomas have to come to terms with their past in order to move on with their lives in this film. That past revolves around Arnold,…


Gibson, Arrell Morgan, The American Indian: Prehistory to the Present. Lexington, MA: DC Heath and Co., Publishers, 1985.

Smoke Signals. Dir. Chris Eyre. Perf. Adam Beach, Evan Adams, Irene Bedard. Miramax Films, 1998.

Humor and Violence in U S
Words: 1160 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Research Proposal Paper #: 27845192
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..There is reason for concern, therefore, when aggressive acts are presented in a humorous context in the media" (622).

Although it is intended to refer to society and its misdemeanor, satire cannot be considered to be offensive, since there is a small probability that it will produce any resentment in people. A good example of the American society giving birth to something that is funny and enjoyable, despite its satirical character, is Charlie Chaplin. In times when movies were something new to the American public, the English actor succeeded in making it addicted to him and to his movies. His merit is also largely owed to the scriptwriters and to the movie directors that invested hard work in making the respective movies. Even with his obvious success among the American public, there still are a number of critics believing that the characters played by Charlie Chaplin had been too vulgar…

Conflict the Theme of Freedom
Words: 2503 Length: 7 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 56411818
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The choice cannot be repudiated or duplicated, but one makes the choice without foreknowledge, almost as if blindly. After making the selection, the traveler in Frost's poem says, "Yet knowing how way leads on to way/I doubted if I should ever come back" (14-15). And at the end, as one continues to encounter different forks along the way, the endless paths have slim chance of ever giving the traveler a second choice. One can see this as similar to Mrs. Mallard's change. As she looks out into the future, she sees endless possibilities for choice and nothing feels like she would ever return to the determinate state of marriage.

The final two lines of "The Road Not Taken" say, "I took the one less traveled by / and that has made all the difference" (19-20). Unlike in Chopin, the traveler determines to take the path. In Chopin, the path forces…


Carver, Raymond. (1981). Cathedral: stories. New York: Vintage.

Chopin, Kate. (2003). The Awakening and selected short fiction. New York: Barnes & Noble.

Frost, Robert. (1969). The Poetry of Robert Frost: the collected poems E.C. Lathem, Ed. New York: Holt.

Smoke Signals the Film Smoke
Words: 577 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 38530988
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As such, despite the fact that he is a likable character - certainly the "popular" type, who is good at sports, attractive, and with a good sense of humor - he also has certain flaws that are rooted in his sense of abandonment. It is clear that he never really got over his father leaving him and his mother when he was so young. He had to grow up without having any further contact with his father, and he clearly feels that as a major absence in his life.

At the same time, Thomas has had to grow up as an orphan - both of his parents died before he even got a chance to know them. This may explain why, in certain moments of the film, Thomas appears to be insensitive towards Victor on the subject of his father. As Thomas never had any strong feelings towards his own…

Feminism Heaney and Dickinson Feminist
Words: 380 Length: 1 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 76683429
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Because society compromises the value of the woman, it is allowed the life of domesticity and life. The speaker however remains forever beyond this because she chooses self-realization instead.

In Heaney's "Punishment," feminism can be seen from the male viewpoint, as it were. The corpse of a bog girl, an adulteress, educates the narrator regarding issues of gender and politics. The narrator, far from the conventional male reaction of disgust, instead becomes infatuated with her. It is as if he is the male representative of the feminist viewpoint; that women offer value and education rather than objects of sex or symbols of domesticity. The intimacy between the speakers involve no blame. Instead of man and woman, they are equals, in strong contrast with the society that would condemn them both for their actions and their association.


Academy of American Poets. A Close Reading of "I Cannot Live With You."…


Academy of American Poets. A Close Reading of "I Cannot Live With You." 2007. /page.php/prmID/310' target='_blank' REL='NOFOLLOW'>

Various Authors
Words: 1199 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 81419675
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erewolf, Harrison Bergeron, and a Continuity of Parks

hen considered together, seemingly disparate stories can sometimes actually serve to illuminate each other better than a discrete reading of any given text. ith that in mind, this essay will examine the short stories "Harrison Bergeron," "The erewolf," and "A Continuity of Parks" in conjunction with each other, specifically looking at how each story challenges the reader's assumptions with a kind of "surprise" twist at the end. In particular, the unique way in which each story reveals the reality of the situation demonstrates how different stories may accomplish the same goal using means especially relevant to that particular story, because where "Harrison Bergeron" uses the bluntness of language to shock its reader out of a reverie, "The erewolf" adapts a well-known fairy tale as a means of subverting the reader's assumptions, and "A Continuity of Parks" uses the structure of the narrative…

Works Cited

Carter, Angela. "The Werewolf." The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories. 2011. Web. 3 Jul



Cortazar, Julio. "A Continuity of Parks." Blow-up, and other stories. New York, NY: Knopf

Tale as Told by Another Character Sweat
Words: 1821 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 54374529
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Tale as Told by another Character: Sweat - Zora Neale Hurston


The spring came along with its flare of sunny afternoons in Florida on that particulate Sunday afternoon. For a given number of women in the small village populated by the black persons would be thinking of what the family would have for supper. However, for Delia Jones, she was still in bed, thinking of her previous life when she was still young and pretty. Then the thought of her poverty and suffering stricken husband hit her mind, and the trail of cursing and lamentations flowed from her mind; and eventually found their way into verbal words oozing from her mouth like the waters of the spring streams of the Amazon. Sure, this situation was getting to the peak of the humiliation and underpinning of poverty and suffering that she could take.

Delia sat up in her bed of…


Anders Bjorklund, Donna K. Ginther, and Marianne Sundstrom. "Family Structure and Child

Outcomes in the U.S.A. And Sweden." Journal of Population Economics 20.1 (2007):

183. ProQuest. Web. 24 Aug. 2013.

Hurston, Zora N. Novels and Stories. New York, NY: Libr. Of America, 1995. Print.

Poetry Explication
Words: 1171 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Research Paper Paper #: 30519883
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Fern Hill (Dylan Thomas)

The "Poetry Explications" handout from UNC states that a poetry explication is a "relatively short analysis which describes the possible meanings and relationship of the words, images, and other small units that make up a poem."

The speaker in "Fern Hill" dramatically embraces memories from his childhood days at his uncle's farm, when the world was innocent; the second part brings out the speaker's loss of innocence and transition into manhood. This explication will identify and critique Thomas' tone, imagery (including metaphors) and expressive language (as it contributes to the power of the poem). ("Fern Hill" uses 6 verse paragraphs; there are 9 lines in each paragraph.)

"Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs / About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green / the night above the dingle starry / time let me hail and climb / golden…

Works Cited

Bible Meanings. (2011). Lamb. Retrieved December 9, 2012, from

Cox, C.B. (1959). Dylan Thomas's 'Fern Hill.' The Critical Quarterly, 1(2), 134-138.

Thomas, Dylan. (2012). Fern Hill. Academy of American Poets. Retrieved December 9, 2012,

from .