Louise Gluck's Gretel In Darkness

Decent Essays
In the poem “Gretel in Darkness”, the author Louise Gluck writes based off of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale “Hansel and Gretel”. Gluck visualizes herself as Gretel, seeing and feeling from her point of view after being faced with her terrible encounter with the witch. Gretel is distraught and feels as though no one is there for her or cares about what she is feeling. She is overwhelmed with this certain sensation of darkness. Darkness is a word filled with a strong meaning. It represents the absence of light, an important aspect used in sight. As a result darkness denies humans this sense which can make a person feel trapped, unable to see or protect oneself. The speaker is haunted by her past unable fulfill her expected “happy…show more content…
Gretel asks “why do I not forget?” which illustrates the fear she still withholds (Gluck 10). She knows after all these years that she is safe in her home which her father has barred up to keep harm away yet she cannot figure out why she can’t get past this event and forget like the rest of her family has.
Gretel’s depressing thoughts give the feeling that her family, especially Hansel, have abandoned her. When she goes to her brother for support he is not there to help her. “No one remembers. Even you, my brother, summer afternoons you look at me as though you meant to leave, as though it never happened” Gretel says (Gluck 13-16). Maybe not physically, but mentally and emotionally, Gretel feels that her brother isn’t there for her because he doesn’t feel haunted by the incident with the witch like she does. Gretel is overwhelmed and caught up in this whirlwind of emotions where “she feels as though the events that occurred in those woods are weighing down on her and as though she never really got out of that hell at all” (Bufka). Her loneliness truly comes out when Hansel seems to want to leave the house and leave the incident in the past to move on while she is desperate for his help.
The tone of this poem effects the internal message as it starts off somewhat calm then takes a sadistic turn. Even though Gretel had achieved the life she essentially wanted, the remembrance of the witch makes it unbearable for her
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