A Complete Turnaround


Sharon Old’s poem, “The Victims,” deals with an underlying theme of abuse. Old’s illustrates this theme through the tone of the poem, which is achieved by imagistic language, rhyme and rhythm. In this poem the speaker is illustrated through two points of view, first as a child then as an adult reflecting back on a troublesome childhood experience. As the speaker’s point of view changes so does the use of poetic devices.
The poem opens with the speaker remembering the behaviors of an abusive father when she was a child. The tone at this point was one of disgust, hatred, spite, and taking joy in her father’s failures. This was due to the fact that she was taught to feel this way by her ...

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When the father was fired from his job, “we grinned inside” (5-6). The pleasure that the entire family took watching their father’s demise was quite vivid. “We were tickled to think of your office
taken away, you’re secretaries taken away” (7-9). The finality of the father’s loses was shown by the taking away of his pencils and reams of paper at his job (11). The images used in the first 16 lines are very dark and gloomy and are associated with death. This is as if to represent the family’s way of “killing him through his loses. The suits that belonged to the father were depicted as “dark carcasses that hung in your closet” (13) and Olds specifically pointed out that even the noses of his shoes were black (14). After the first 16 lines of the poem, the feelings of hated by the speaker towards her father begins to change.
This drastic change begins in line seventeen, but is preceded by clues in the previous lines when the speaker says, “She [the mother] had taught us to take ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 7/26/2004 02:52:05 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1095
Pages: 4

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