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The Colonel Analysis

Decent Essays
Kerri Brown
Professor Jegede
ENC 1101
9/12/11
Carolyn Forche’s “The Colonel”
In the poem “The Colonel,” Carolyn Forche recounts a cruel encounter with the titles main character of interest while working for Amnesty International in El Salvador. The colonel personality can best be summed as a remorseless man in a chaotic country where violence is customary to the colonel and his people. He also cares not for the civil liberties of the citizens of El Salvador that he governs or the fact that he is revealing his evil personality to Forche with no compunction. The theme for “The Colonel” could be that if people see that wrong is being done in their presence they should try their best to give those a voice that don’t have one.
The poem
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Forche then begins to describe the ordeal in grim detail. For example, “They were like dried peach halves,” (13) or “He took one of them in his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into the water glass. It came alive there.” (13-14) Forche probably does this so the reader can easily visualize what the whole ordeal was like for the speaker. The colonel then says “I am tired of fooling around he said. As for the rights of anyone, tell your
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