An Analysis Of Komunyakaa's Assassination

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Readers know that Martin Luther King Jr. is dead; and it can be suspected that the white prisoners are indeed laughing, cooperating, and making a joke of the beleaguered black POW. The lonely prisoner must reject everything he is told and fall back upon the consolation of being “American.” If he survives, he will surely discover Martin Luther King Jr. really was murdered by a white sniper. Komunyakaa uses his readers’ knowledge of King’s assassination to underscore the physical and psychological isolation being exploited by the prisoner’s Viet Cong captors.

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