Literary Analysis Of Donald Hall's My Son, My Executioner
Figurative language is a major element within the poem. The reader sees this immediately within the first line, as the author deems his newborn son his “executioner”. Of course, he is not actually the person that will put him to death. However, he is a symbol of new life, and therefore, the impending death …show more content…
He makes it clear that even though he is calling this child his executioner, he does not feel hatred for him. He still loves him as a father should.
Diction is another strong element within “My Son, My Executioner”. The author’s word choice is what brings the poem to life and gives it such deep meaning. We see this most visibly when he calls his son both his “executioner” and his “instrument of immortality.” However, we see it even more as we delve deeper into the poem. It is with words and phrases such as “sweet death” and “enduring life” that the author so vividly describes the contrast between a baby and his parents. The author uses his choice of vocabulary to effect the reader. He wants to make them truly understand what he is feeling, and what he is trying to make them feel as well. He also uses his word order to move the poem in certain directions. This is most obviously done by his pairing descriptions in groups of three, such as, “Quiet and small and just astir” and “Sweet death, small son, our instrument of immortality.” This infliction drives the idea into the readers mind, helping them to further