Analysis Of ' On The Subway '

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Jake Lipschutz Lipschutz 1

Ms. Kristen

ENGL 101

17 September 2015

Textual Analysis Essay #1

Sharon Olds, poet of “on the subway” depicts a situation where a white female makes observations and internal thoughts about a black male that she witnesses on a subway that Olds describes as representing tension between the white and black races. The black teenage male possibly portrays not just one black teen, but the entire race as a whole. He represents the entire race. Olds uses enjambments, powerful imagery, as well as figurative language, specifically metaphors, in order to point out the stereotypical differences and tensions between races in today’s community and the bigger picture of the common stereotype of Caucasian people being “above” the African American people on the socio-economic ladder. Her forceful tone reflects the severity and prevalence of this harsh commonly seen contrast between the two races.
Enjambments can be utilized for a variety of different reasons in order to change the way the reader analyzes and thinks about the poem. A basic reason to use enjambments would be to make the lines of the poem look more even, but in this poem they are used for a little more reasoning. One example of a critical and essential enjambment in the poem that helps Olds prove her purpose exists when she says “I am / living off his life” (18-19). This really

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