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Analysis Of Breaking Out By Marge Piercy


Looking through the poem, will I be damn correct to conclude the feeling of justification in the poet's mood?

Well, either you consider the above a rhetorical question or not, naijapoets.com is willing to analyze the poem further. In life, one of the though decisions to make is to break out of something or somewhere because it requires more efforts and planning not excluding teamwork in some cases_ just like in the case of Michael Scofield in the TV drama title "Prison Break". It took Andy a very solid and brave plan to break out in the movie titled "Shawshank Redemption" where he used a chess piece called Queen to dip through the prison wall.

Breaking Out is a poem written by Marge Piercy; an American poet and author born the 31st of March, 1936. She is considered one among the authors of feminism with many books to her credit. Her book "Gone To Soldiers" made the list of New York Times Best Sellers (it's worth mentioning though this present era has gone pass the craziness of Best Sellers tag)

The poet shared her childhood experience (not a pleasant one though). One of the things that children disliked in their tender ages is chores irrespective of the gender_ boy or girl. Marge Piercy, in this poem "Breaking Out", showed her childhood dislike for chores from a feminine point of view. She saw it as one of the most unfair things to the female gender by sympathising with her laborious "...mother removing daily/ the sludge the air lay down like a snail's track".

She further explained her mother's plight metaphorically in stanza four:
"so that when in school i read of Sisyphus
and his rock, it was her I
thought of, housewife scrubbing
on raw knees as the factory rained ash."

To further justify her hatred for chores, she pointed at the unwilling mangle that helplessly does ironing, an upright vacuum complaining via deflated sighs while the two opened doors gossip and mock them. As seen in the poem, the laziness of the poet was always corrected with beating.

In the semifinal stanza of the poem, the poet "broke out" by putting an end to the punishment of evading chores and referred to her victory as a power gained than a tale of innocence lost:
"When I was eleven, after a beating
I took the ruler and smashed it to kindling.
Fingering the splinters I could not believe.
How could this rod prove weaker than me?
It was not that i was never again beaten
but in destroying that stick that had measured my pain
the next day i was an adolescent, not a child."

What are other things of note? The setting which is home, the theme which are the children dislike for chores, and the inferiority of the female to the male gender. The poem is a free verse of nine stanzas written with the first person singular point of view_ the repeated use of "I". The stanza six is simile filled "When I had been judged truly wicked
that stick was the tool of punishment,
I was beaten as I bellowed like a locomotive
as if noise could ward off blows." Other figures of speech are enjambments, "stuffed sausage bag" is both imagery and alliteration, "Sisyphus" is a metaphor.

There's Further Poetic Analysis >>>

Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo With Wings Flying)
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