Redefining Heroism Throughout The Language Of The Brag

1308 Words6 Pages
Samuel Ballantyne
Dr. Van Aken
English 152
Final Essay
Redefining Heroism in the Language of the Brag
Sharon Olds author of the “Language of the Brag,” suggests through her experience in the poem that our society and culture altogether is male dominated towards achievement and focused more for men 's success and heroism. Men are typically known for their strength and courage, especially heroic acts in society. When things are expected to get done, it 's naturally expected for the guy to do it. And through her use of repetition and tone in the “Language of the Brag” the author describes certain attributes that she once lacked to later achieving in the poem. Significantly, Olds uses repetition to make a statement from “I have
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There is also poetic action depicted in the poem, in which the writer establishes her longing to perform an act of heroism or extraordinary achievement. I think my biggest surprise was her casual use of sexual language, using a vibrating cock as a metaphor, and later using the knife reference again saying she was stabbed in her inner sex. Sharon Olds speaks so fiercely about the woman 's body, that you feel she 's almost competing against the constant objectivity against the woman 's body. You can tell she speaks from experience, she 's watched the boys play and all she wants is to show them that she has suffered as a woman and is better for it. She 's stronger, prouder, and for that reason has a right to brag and redefine heroism.
The middle of the poem is crucial because Sharon Olds is able to link heroism to the act of birth. It is also where the speaker changes her statement from “I have wanted” to “I have.” Sharon Olds does this by using graphic images to emphasize her point in the act of birth. She states, “my inner sex/ stabbed again and again with terrible pain like a knife./ I have lain down./ I have lain down and sweated and shaken/ and passed blood and feces and water and/ slowly alone in the center of a circle I have/ passed the new person out” (lines 19-25). This transition “I have wanted” to “I have” is important not only because its shows the author 's new found strength through the process of the act, Olds herself is finally the center of

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