Anna Akhmatova Allusion

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“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” quotes Proverbs 31:8-9 (New International Version, Prov. 31:8-9). This maxim has been accomplished by people throughout all of history. One example of such a person is Anna Akhmatova, a 20th century Russian poet who lived through Joseph Stalin’s rule of the Soviet Union, a time period characterized by severe oppression and a persistent fear of death. Akhmatova used a variety of techniques throughout her poetry, but nevertheless the biblical allusions used in Requiem, Lot’s Wife, Rachel and “Thank you, God” were effective in demonstrating the suffering of Russians during Stalinist Russia. …show more content…
Akhmatova used a simile to describe Jacobs first encounter with Rachel when he “bowed to her like a humble wayfarer” (Rachel 2). This encounter began their love for each other and Jacob “bargained to toil seven years” to Rachel’s “artful father” in order to take Rachel for marriage (Rachel 9-10). An oxymoron is used to describe Jacob’s experience as “sweet little sadness” with “seven years [seeming] as a few dazzling days” (Rachel 7; Rachel 12). Jacob’s endurance to attain Rachel is comparable to how hard the people of Russia worked at forced labor camps in order to see their loved ones again. Moreover, religious elements are seen in “Thank You, God…” which demonstrates gratitude to God for helping her endure the loss of someone important to her life. Akhmatova expresses appreciation to God for helping her “dream of him more seldom” (“Thank You, God…” 1) and making “[her] soul healthy” (“Thank You, God…” 15). Religion is what could have helped many Russians persevere, but it was banned and those pursuing it were persecuted. The shift from the personal pronoun “I” to the plural possessive pronoun “our" in “Our Lord” demonstrates the universal functionality of religion in helping Russians persevere in Stalinist Russia (“Thank You, God…” 15). Hence, Akhmatova used religious references to explain the despair that Russians were experiencing during Stalinist Russia and …show more content…
Even in new grief. Even if they clamp shut my tormented mouth through which one hundred million people scream” said Anna Akhmatova in Requiem (Requiem 204-207). This quote encapsulates the role of Akhmatova as a mouthpiece who demonstrates the suffering of the Russian people during Stalinist Russia through a variety of methods, particularly biblical allusions. Allusions to the crucifixion of Jesus showed the grief that many, especially mothers and close friends, went through due to losses. Allusions in Lot’s Wife showed the sentimentality many Russians felt about the past and the feeling of apathy towards tragic events. Allusions to Rachel and Jacob showed how many endured to reconnect with those they loved. “Thank you, God” showed how religion could have been used by Russians to cope with their misfortune. These biblical allusions and the literary techniques accompanied with them explain why Akhmatova was able to effectively act as a mouthpiece and “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” (New International Version, Prov.

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