Ron Rash Local Color Analysis

Decent Essays

Poetry has always been a way of expressing emotions about life experiences. Poetry allows us to use symbolism to express ideas without the use of proper language. Things like our feelings about local scenery and culture can be expressed in symbols and imagery. One example of this, Ron Rash’s poem “Local Color”, explores the concepts of place and identity and suggests they are intertwined. Examples of how place and identity are intertwined are shown in the grandfather’s identity as a regular at the local bar, the grandmother’s identity as a homemaker and wife at home, and the idea that by going to the church the grandfather was going to change his identity. First, the main thrust of this poem is about how after a long day of work the grandfather …show more content…

This change of location is implied to change his entire identity as a “new man”. But, really it did not change him at all and because he went back to his old ways. You pretend to be someone you really are not and when you sober up nine times out of ten you will go back to the way you were before. Unless, you are serious about changing. Unfortunately, in the grandfather’s case, he was not serious enough about changing. The truth is he was just a drunk man committing an old sin over and over. He did not care enough and he just went back to his old ways. That is exactly what happened in “Local Color”, “While my grandfather swore he’d alter his life, / give up the drinking, go to church twice a week. / He was contrite and seemed to have changed. / He was a new man, for a few days. / But by Saturday, he was at it again.” (32-35) Generally, people would go to alcoholism groups to get better but as the Appalachian newsgroup says “Appalachian people share a religious world view, even those members “without religious beliefs.” Because of this religious view, Appalachian people look upon some behaviors, such as alcoholism, as sin even though they are intellectually aware that such behaviors are a form of mental illness.” (“Appalachia: Is It a Region or Culture?”, web) Because of this religious view in the area the Grandfather decides to go to church to be reformed instead of going to Alcoholism

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