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Word Count: 414
Roethkes Waltz or Abuse Is Theordore Roethkes poem My Papas Waltz a description of playful roughhousing or an abusive situation between father and child After reading and analyzing this work I envision one of abuse Initially the first two stanzas might possibly have been interpreted either way The father and boy could be having fun when the author writes We romped until the pans slid from the kitchen shelf 2640 3 However there exists a negative atmosphere The father is drunk and the mother unhappy Also the boy didnt just hang on tight He hangs on like death Word choice is everything to a poet The introduction of the atmosphere and use of language with a negative connotation leads me to the belief that something else exists behind these closed doors rather than a playful waltz Subsequently after reading the third stanza the picture becomes even clearer and abuse is the only verdict I can render After all why would his fathers knuckle be battered and why would the author choose to word it in such a way His fathers knuckle is bruised because he has hit something hard Apparently he attempts to hit the boy but because the father is too drunk and the child wouldnt be still he misses At the every step you missed my right ear scraped a buckle 2640 11-12 Admittedly I roughhoused with my father and brother as a child but without bruising our knuckles Again the key words battered knuckle scraped and buckle purposely conjure up the negative Next the fourth stanza begins the same pattern Abuse is clear For instance the words beat head and palm are used right after each other Why not say tapped or patted The reason for this is because he isnt tapped or patted He is beat Then the poem concludes and the incident is over The boy is carried of to bed by his father while
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