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Poems about the past

Highlight the connection between the different readings below, and explain the connections by identifying the works' contexts, the use of specific literary devices, how the authors and readers create meaning from the text, and how individual experiences shape interpretations.
Using two secondary sources, how do the readings share memories of the past?

"Daddy," Sylvia Plath
"My Papa's Waltz," Theodore Roethke
"Child of the Americas," Aurora Levins Morales
"The Glass Menagerie," Tennessee Williams

Solution Preview

In order to formulate your paper, I give you some notes on your chosen topic for each of the pieces:

First, Roethke's poem is definitely about the power of memory to honor the loving father/son relationship. Because dancing is such an intimate activity and display of affection, the narration recalls how his father "beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt."

The last line resonates with affection since the boy does not want the dance or bond to end. Research further suggests a loving memory of bonding since "Born in 1908, Roethke offers a glimpse of parenting in his era and social situation. At that time, laboring fathers did not retreat to back yards to play catch with sons. Their affection was expressed, for better or worse, as the rolls ...

Solution Summary

Poems about the past are compared and contrasted thematically.