Theme Of The First Boy That Kissed Me

Decent Essays

The poem, “the first boy that kissed me” (12), found in the first chapter, discusses the nature and consequences of rape as a quality of patriarchal societies’ tendency to degrade and belittle women. The poem narrates the speaker’s experience of her first kiss, from a boy, as a result of force at the age of five and compares it to the abuse endured by the boy’s mother. Kaur’s poem identifies the central theme, the abuse inflicted by patriarchal traditions in twenty-first century societies, with the use of literary devices. Firstly, the four-stanza poem begins, in first-person narration, with an exposition of the speaker’s first kiss at the age of five as an act of force and objectification by a young boy. The speaker illustrates their experience as they were held down by their arms in the lines 3-5: like the handlebars of the first bicycle he ever rode The use of simile, in the first stanza, allows the comparison of the speaker, at the age of five, to an ordinary object or game of the abuser’s life. This degradation of the speaker to a mere object for pleasure reveals the abuse caused by patriarchal traditions of belittling women. Furthermore, the lack of capitalisation throughout the stanza, evident in the line “i was five” (6), demonstrates the speaker’s continuous feelings of abase associated with her experience, which further …show more content…

The unified, unchanging tone in the poem and the imagery used by the speaker to reveal her criticism towards the tendencies of patriarchal societies’ to belittle and degrade women demonstrates the inflicted abuse. The poem “the first boy that kissed me” is included in the section “the hurting”, which announces the submissive nature of modern twenty-first patriarchal societies and presents the diminishing of

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