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Viewing The Body Essay

961 words - 4 pages

Daniel Lombardo Viewing the Body Viewing the Body by W.D. Snodgrass is a poem that mixes the story of a boring and soulless life with rhythm, bright colors, and emotions which make the woman in the poem seem that much more boring and wasteful of life. The poem discusses the funeral of a woman and how she is presented in her funeral as someone people would be more likely to romanticize than what she actually was, perhaps out of a misguided sign of respect. The other more hidden meaning behind the poem is the author's reaction to the women herself and how she is portrayed in almost a spiteful, angry way because of his anger over her wasting her life in gray dullness. To ...view middle of the document...

It's difficult to think of a better way to portray a boring person than by using the color gray. Calling her a mouse is also significant because it portrays a quiet, small creature that is at the mercy of almost everything and can never stand up for itself in the wake of trouble. The next line adds information as to how she lived her life, apparently living with her mother till her death, and sleeping alone under the covers lets us assume that she was never married, or possibly ever in love. Two more words that really stand out in this paragraph are the "dark" halls and the "dim" bedcovers. These choice words continue the gray imagery that portrays her life so well. The final paragraph combines three vivid words in a row "obscene red folds of satin". Red and obscene definitely go well together, it being the color of blood and notorious for its sexual undertones, definitely a color that the woman would have avoided during life. The last word that grabs attention is the satin that lines the inside of the coffin. Satin is one of the most soft and smooth materials that is both comfortable and attractive as well as a sign of wealth and extravagance. This is a most ironic way to be spending an eternity of death in such lively and extravagant surroundings after a life spent working so hard to avoid anything that makes life worth living. The actual structure of this poem is very strict having four paragraphs with four lines each. I think this is yet...

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