Symbolism In Those Winter Sundays

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In the poem “Those Winter Sundays” by Hayden, a man looks back on his childhood to realize his father showed his love through his actions. The father woke up before the crack of dawn, even on Sunday, Hayden states, “then with cracked hands that ached/ from labor in the weekday made/ banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him,” (Lines 3-5) His body, at least his hands, showed the physical labor of his job taking a toll on him, but still he woke up early to make sure the house was warm for him and his children, yet no one ever showed his appreciation. The speaker is scared of his father’s anger issues, he writes, “fearing the chronic angers of that house,” (Line 9). This helps us understand why the speaker thought his father did not love him …show more content…
The speaker, as a boy, did not show love when he spoke to his father, even though the father had done so much to make sure he was comfortable, because the boy focused on his father’s angry words rather than his actions. In “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke, a man remembers his father beating him as a waltz. Roethke starts the poem by showing the father as a drunk, “The whiskey on the breathe/ Could make a small boy dizzy/ But I hung on like death” (Lines 1-2). It is not immediately obvious that the father is abusive, but it’s interesting that the child hangs on to him so desperately. It’s undeniable that this is a child abuse story when he states, “At every step you missed/ My right ear scraped a buckle,” (Lines 11-12) This line is more complex because it does not pertain to the dance, it says every time his father made a mistake in his life he would take it out on his child and beat him with a belt to the …show more content…
This line speaks the most to me because the speaker still loves his father after the abuse, and purposely or not the memory of his father beating him are replaced with the waltz. In “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath, the speaker describes her rough relationship with her father and how it negatively affects her relationship with her husband, ending in her killing them both. The speaker sees her father every time she sees a German, “I thought every German was you./ And the language obscene/ An engine, an engine/ Chuffing me off like a Jew./ A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen,” (Lines 29-33). She fears his native tongue because she finds German to be harsh, even comparing it to being a Jew on a train to a concentration camp. She may also describe herself as a Jew because he oppressed

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