The Violence of Child Abuse in My Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke

517 Words 3 Pages
Child abuse is physical mistreatment that unfortunately happens to children everywhere around the world. In the same way, the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke, describes and gives the readers an insight of what child abuse is like. The poem presents a relationship between a drunken father and his son. Therefore, the setting, sensory details, and word choice of the poem allows the reader to understand the violence the little boy goes through after his father returns from work.
The setting of the poem is very important to understand key elements that the poet is trying to express. The poem, “My Papa’s Waltz,” is set in the family’s kitchen. The lines “The whiskey on your breath…slid from the kitchen shelf;” let the readers assume
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Child abuse is physical mistreatment that unfortunately happens to children everywhere around the world. In the same way, the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke, describes and gives the readers an insight of what child abuse is like. The poem presents a relationship between a drunken father and his son. Therefore, the setting, sensory details, and word choice of the poem allows the reader to understand the violence the little boy goes through after his father returns from work.
The setting of the poem is very important to understand key elements that the poet is trying to express. The poem, “My Papa’s Waltz,” is set in the family’s kitchen. The lines “The whiskey on your breath…slid from the kitchen shelf;” let the readers assume that some type of music is playing on the radio in the kitchen which the little boy and his drunken father are dancing to (Roethke 126). But the little boy’s mother does not seem too happy and the apparent reason as stated in the poem is that the waltzing in the kitchen is making all the pots and pans fall of the shelf. The mother’s unhappiness can be later defined as something else. Moreover, the poem is written in the mid-twentieth century which helps readers analyze the setting of the poem. The kitchen is like the heart of the home, especially during that time period where the families would eat after each family member returned home. Hence, it can be predicted that the mother and their son are waiting in the kitchen for the father to
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