This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Birthday Cake Essay

1036 words - 5 pages

For many people a birthday marks a day of festivities: inviting family and friends over for a celebration with a meal, presents, and the popular cutting of the birthday cake. However, I believe that Paul Goodman’s “Birthday Cake” depicts a painful and upsetting scene with the celebration of a birthday. Through his choice of words, images portrayed in the poem, and symbols, Goodman reveals a dark point of view on this special day: birthdays celebrate death rather than life for the old. The ...view middle of the document...

Goodman describes the cake as a “fiery crown” that is going “through the darkened room advancing.” Reading this, I picture the image of a candle-lit cake being brought into a dark room to the speaker. The fire from the candles light up the room as it travels deeper into the room. Symbolically, “the darkened room advancing” represents the darkness that terminates old age—death. The birthday cake with candles fills the dark room with light, but the speaker will blow out the candles and the room will be dark again. Death is the dark room that is approaching. Like blowing out the candle fires, the life of the speaker will fade as well. The birthday cake symbolizes the old age, and ultimately death, of the speaker. The fifth and sixth stanzas confirm that the speaker has only a few years left to live, “among our savage folk / that have few festivals.” However, the speaker mentions the birthday cake “is still the most loveliest sight.” I imagine the speaker experiencing nostalgia, reflecting on past birthdays when he was happier and younger. This is the only positive connection Goodman makes with the birthday cake. Unfortunately, this tone is reserved only for the second stanza because frustration takes over in the first and third stanzas.
Furthermore, Goodman shows a nostalgic, emotional tone in the second stanza as opposed to the frustrated tone in the first. The latter consists of short, abrupt verses consisting of cacophony. The former consists of euphonic verses with the lovely, as Goodman describes it, image of a lit birthday cake ready to be presented with a song to the speaker, despite the underlining dark message within the dark room. The cacophony and constant reminder of too many, too many, too many candles in the first stanza reveal the frustration of the speaker. It almost seems as if the speaker is stammering with frustration, like an elderly person would stammer. The second stanza uses longer verses with euphonic words such as “fluttering,” and “most loveliest sight.” These words possess harmony and easily roll off the...

Other Papers Like Birthday Cake

Learning Experience Essay

1053 words - 5 pages sold cakes. The first time I helped her decorate a cake it was for a family member’s birthday. I had no prior experience to decorating a cake except spreading frosting from a can on the top of the cake. My grandmother showed me some tips and tricks, but mainly let me watch what she was doing. The next time we decorated a cake, I already had certain expectations about what I would be doing. I did what I expected, but was given more tasks from my

2nd Birthday Essay

815 words - 4 pages to him that this is how we would sing happy birthday to him. I went and got Adrian's cake and lit the candles. I started to sing, everyone joined in. I brought the cake to Adrian and then placed him on my lap, by then the song was over, and I told Adrian to make a wish and blow the candles out. He sat there for a second, tried to blow the candles out, he couldn't, so i said one more time Adrian and I helped him. Everyone cheered which made Adrian

Christmas

565 words - 3 pages that made sure that everybody got a present from everybody. No matter how big or small the present was nobody got left out. It was almost time for dinner. My mom cooked most of the food but we also had other relatives bring some things in. there was turkey, ham, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, collard greens, black eyed peas, yams, potato salad, stuffing, and you can’t forget about my birthday cake. It was a red velvet cake with vanilla icing

How Corn Came Into Being

649 words - 3 pages only seven legs." Ollie went home and told her mother that she was sad. "Everyone treats me differently because I only have seven legs," she said. "Don't worry," her mother said. "Tomorrow is your eighth birthday and you will finally grow another leg! Then you will never be lonely." That night Ollie dreamed that she grew another leg. Everyone celebrated and ate delicious food. She was so happy. But the next day, when Ollie woke up and

This Is Where I Leave You

268 words - 2 pages In this movie this is where I leave you the main character Judd Altman was put in very awkward place. On his wife’s birthday he tried to surprise her with a beautiful cake just to find her sleeping with his boss in their bed. Where his life just went down hill from there. With the situation with his wife going on he finds out that his father has passed away. So one of the hardest things he has to deal with while going through a divorce. Then

Close to the Waters Edge

987 words - 4 pages the same with Harvard. He also lives a life where he does everything to make his family happy with him. “It is a pink cake, the pinkest cake the young man has ever seen, like a cake you’d have at a christening party for twin girls. The millionaire is grinning” I am convinced that the stepfather by Harvard's gay. The stepfather often makes jokes about it, and he always asks questions about his sexuality. At Harvard's birthday, the stepfather

Dickens Is Famous For His Eccentric Characters, Which Characters Have A Particular Effect On You And Why?

1160 words - 5 pages imagery in the novel to help you see her character. Another effective way in which dickens portrays Miss Havisham is how he introduces her with mystery."will be the finished curse upon him"-Miss Havisham talks of her death, but never says who "he" is. Chapter 11 page 89This is when Miss Havishams relatives come to her house, as they do every year on her birthday but not to celebrate her birthday, to make sure she hasn't died. Miss Havisham does

Customer Service Experi

865 words - 4 pages My first customer service experience I will discuss was a positive one. I went to a restaurant name Stephanie’s for my birthday a couple months ago. Stephanie’s is a small soul food restaurant owned by a lady name Stephanie. When we entered the restaurant the hostess greeted us with a smile and was very pleasant. Because my friends had balloons and cake they were eager to know whose birthday it was and once they found out it was mines it became

Social Networks

524 words - 3 pages over the world. My best friend lives in London her birthday was a couple weeks ago. I was unable to attend the event but I felt like I was there. She sent me pictures of the event and her birthday cake. Even though I was not there physically I felt like I did not miss a thing. My friend was tweeting how her birthday party went on twitter. I had to check her twitter and her facebook to keep myself updated about the event. Secondly, Most of my

How to Save Water

2174 words - 9 pages are original, delicious and utterly delectable. Ask anyone where you can find a good birthday cake (or any cake for that matter) and the immediate response would be Secret Recipe. From cheesecakes to sponge cakes and even ice cream cakes, this establishment’s great success comes from its consistent delivery of all things sweet. One of the most popular cakes that has been a mainstay on the menu since the beginning is the Chocolate Banana

Famous Chefs

838 words - 4 pages . She eventually resigned and started a business making birthday and wedding cakes as well as teaching baking and cake decorating. - In 1985, Sison opened the Heny Sison School of Cake Decorating and Baking. Later, she renamed it to Heny Sison Culinary School after adding cooking classes to her regular baking repertoire to provide a more comprehensive culinary education.  d. Nora Guanzon Villanueva-Daza - popularly known as Chef Nora Daza, is

Related Essays

Business Cake Essay

3597 words - 15 pages Tuesday, November 22, 2011 From chennai wwith love last minute drawing of the Man U logo because I find it a bit difficult to draww the shoes, believe it or not, shoes!! then again, but her initial order was for Man U, so i guess she finally got what she wanted...:-) this vanila cake was for her nephew's 10th birthday, although she's not here to celebrate it with him and the whole family for she's far away in chennai, India ( just like the

Remembering Event Essay

539 words - 3 pages cake with eleven candles on it. It was a large and beautiful cake. I wish a big red Ferrari and blew out the candles. Music was played throughout the birthday party. My mother ordered party size pizzas and sodas. The rest of the party went well. And I never wondered why I didn't have a backup plan because I didn’t screwed up. I received all the gifts from my friends I thought I'd get. I unpacked all my birthday gifts. My parents

Baking A Fruit Cake Essay

3258 words - 14 pages begin. These cakes are usually very lightly flavored and served plain or topped with a simple glaze or water icing. A pound cake is usually baked in a loaf or Bundt pan. Many coffee cakes, sour cream cakes, and fruit crumb cakes are variations of pound cake.  Butter (and Oil) Layer Cakes: Many different types of cake can be arranged in layers. However, classic American layer cakes are usually butter or oil cakes. The birthday cake you ate

How To Plan A Party Essay

640 words - 3 pages can prepare simple platters such as fruit plates, sandwich trays, cheese and cracker trays, and vegetable trays. This is also the time to order the cake. The cake should match something that the birthday person has an interest in. Also you should provide a variety of drinks such as, water, soda, and alcohol, if age appropriate. To ensure your guests will have a jolly time have great entertainment planned. A DJ is generally a great