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Critique: “The Tantrum”

2021-09-10 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

51Due教员组今天给各位留学生带来一篇纯原创代写评论范文,评论:“大发脾气”,在这篇评论中,作者分析了这首诗的标题和结构的意义,然后讨论了诸如押韵、措辞、风格和视角等要素。这些元素共同作用,展现了孩子对世界的真实看法。希望这篇可以帮助到各位留学生,同时需要代写也可以直接联系我们51Due客服vx(vx:Jenny_dynh)进行咨询。


A. E. Stallings is an American poet and translator born in 1968. Her poems explore the classical and conventional poetry styles and techniques in revealing a vivid insight about modern family life. Stalling is known for her mastery of the different classical poetry structural styles, such as sonnets, couplets, and quatrains. Her highly structured styles combine with rhymes and syntax to create highly appealing works. As a mother, Stallings has also created a unique perspective on children. “The Tantrum” is such a work, included in Archaic Smile (1999). The poem describes a tantrum thrown by a 4-year-old kid after its mother cut off the long hair she once had and became a total stranger for it. The sense of loss for the child was incomprehensible for the adult world, while Stallings provided an insight on child psychology in the poem. In this critique, the significance of the title and structure of the poem is analyzed, followed by the discussion on elements such as rhyme, diction, style, and perspective. These elements work together to reveal an authentic image of a child’s perspective of the world.

 

The title of the poem “The Tantrum” is simple and high generalization of the overall poem. Instead of revealing the deeper and hidden message of the poem, it creates a hook for audience attention that intrigues the readers from the very beginning. The “tantrum” is also high explanatory, as it enables the readers to understand immediately what is going on in the poem: a kid throwing a tantrum. It serves almost like a note for the readers reminding them what is happening in the poem. Moreover, the title is also an indicator of the uniqueness and originality of the poem. Using a classical style of poem to describe a tantrum of a child seems to be a unique creation of the poet, as not many poets have paid close attention to the psychological behavior of a child. However, the identity of a mother has enabled Stallings this unique perspective, creating something entirely new for the readers. Finally, there is also a hint of humor and amusement in the title, as a tantrum is treated by the adults like no big deal. Reading further into the poem, the readers will find that it is not the case for the child. This contrast between the adult and the child perspectives highlights the message of the poem.

 

Stallings has adopted the classical terra rima structure in “The Tantrum.” In this structure, the stanzas are composed of three lines, except for the last. The main feature of the terra rima is its rhyme. In each stanza, the first and the last lines rhyme with each other. For example: “though only four (1)” and “smiling at the door (3),” “willful, cruel despair (4)” and “hiccupped for air (6)”, “curses, cake, playthings (7)” and “the golden rings (9).” This continues through the entire poem. At the end of the poem, the last stanza has only one line, and it rhymes with the second line in the previous stanza. This forms an interchanging rhyme in the last four lines of the poem: “they told you this (13)” and “always about loss (15)”, “and just as long (14)” and “and they were wrong (16).” This structure brings a classical charm of the poem, leaving a strong impression on the readers. The neatly adopted style also helps the readers appreciate the beauty and expressiveness of the language, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the poem.

 

The diction in the poem is found to be interesting, as it uses big words and serious emotions to describe a child’s tantrum. For example, the anger of the child seeing the mother’s hair cut off is described as “willful, cruel despair (4)”, “sobbed until your lungs hiccupped for air (6),” and “mourned a mother now herself no more (8).” The use of these words intensifies the emotions expressed in the tantrum. Meanwhile, it is almost amusing that such emotions and deep sorrow are used to describe a child who’s throwing a tantrum over something seemingly so trivial to the adults. The author has given the perspective of a mother here: even when a child is throwing a tantrum, she or he is also filled with adorableness. A series of simple yet descriptive words are also used to show the psychological activities of the child: “your mother cut her mermaid hair” forms a sharp comparison with “stood, a stranger, smiling at the door (3).” The once beautiful, perfect fairytale image of the mother is destroyed, replaced by a smiling stranger. Here the consecutive uses of “s” emphasizes the sense of loss and distance created in the child.

 

In order to show the child’s inner world with authenticity, the style and language of the poem is carefully crafted. The verbs and adjectives describing emotions are emphasized throughout the poem. For example: “struck with the grief you were (1)” brings the adjective to the front to stress on the sense of shock experienced by the child. “Unbribable with curses, cake, playthings (7)” places the adjective at the front again to show the determination in the tantrum. Sentences are short in length, or broken into segments, just the way a four-year-old child comprehends them the best. For example, “You wept down on the floor (12)” and “she wept up in her room (13)” are a simple pair of sentences that directly describes the situation to the readers. The reasoning process at the end also mimics the psychological activities of a child, leading to the conclusion that “they were wrong.” The lost things can mean so much to a child that it is never found again. Even if the readers cannot comprehend the “logic”, they are able to feel what the child is feeling.

 

The poem is written in the second person, which also enhances the effectiveness of it. By using the second person, the poet places the readers into the perspective of the four-year-old child. The gender of the child is unspecified in the poem, which means that the poet has intentionally done so, so that readers of both genders can comfortably assume the perspective of the child and experience what he or she is experiencing. The first line basically provides the setting for the readers: “struck with grief you were, though only four (1).” It is like an instruction for the readers, or a starting role. In addition to the second person, there is the third person, represented by the “they”. They are the crowd visiting the child’s place and witnessing the tantrum, they are the ones who fail to understand why the big fuss, as “they frowned, tsk-tsked your willful, cruel despair (5).” “They” are also the ones telling the child that the hair would grow back, “lying always about loss (15),” because they make no attempt to emphasize with the tantrum of a little child.

 

In conclusion, Stallings has effectively revealed the inner world of a child to the adult readers. The sense of loss felt by a child, even over something trivial to the adults, can be so genuine and full of sorrow. The poet has used a simple title, diction, short sentences, and an asexual child perspective to form a sharp contrast between the adults and children, increasing the effectiveness of the poem. The strict practice of the terra rima structure and rhyme further enhances the effectiveness of the poem.


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