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Cole's "Dignity"

I explain the the relationship between language and content in this poem. I also cite specific poetic techniquea used in this poem and how well the analysis is supported with an example protrayed in the poem and how well the relationship between these poetic techniques and reader response is explained.

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Firstly, I was not sure if you were missing an attachment containing your own ideas or an essay in response to the poem. Both of the attachments were copies of the poem. I have tried to provide an exegesis of the poem based on the points raised in your problem; please let me know if I can clarify any of these ideas.

(1) Relationship between language and content in this poem

If you examine the title of the poem, you realise that the language and images are meant to convey something about "dignity". The use of particular words related to business and war suggest that the poet thinks that they are alike in their denial of human dignity.

The words "deadline", "shoot to kill" and "bombing" are all borrowed from the battlefield but they are actually being used by the poet in the context of the business world. In particular, the word "deadline" is hyphenated (lines 4-5) to give it a sense of urgency: "dead-" is on one line and "line" is on the second. In business, one is often under urgent deadlines to get a project done in order to satisfy the client or meet the obligations of a contract. However, this word also has another meaning encrypted in its origin, which the poet provides in parentheses (lines 5-9). The juxtaposition of a business deadline and the grim origin of this word has ...

Solution Summary

Cole's "Dignity" is examined.

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