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Field's Icarus

            Field's poem "Icarus" sets Icarus in modern times. Instead of drowning, Icarus swims to a city and blends into society. The poem portrays how conformity makes people lose sight of their true identities. .
             Icarus" drowning was ordinary. "Only the feathers floating around the hat- (1) showed that anything more than usual had occurred. The word "only" conveys a sense of inconsequentiality concerning the fall. The police could not think outside of what was familiar and "preferred to ignore/The confusing aspects of the case" (3&4). Therefore a spectacular case of a flying man falling became just "the usual drowning" (3). The public ignored Icarus" fall and believed that nothing "more spectacular had occurred" (2). Even "a gang war" (5) was more important than a man's flight. The witnesses who saw this miracle chose to ignore it and instead ran off to pursue personal interests. The word "forgotten" (6) further emphasized the insignificance of Icarus" flight. .
             Conformity molded people so that everyone was the same, ordinary and inconspicuous. Icarus became the "nice Mr. Hicks" (10), average and ordinary. The name Hicks is implies provinciality. His neighbors never knew about how Icarus once challenged the sun. They thought he was a normal citizen. Even if they find out, they would have "answered with a shocked, uncomprehending stare" (15&16). Icarus wore a " gray, respectable suit" (11) like every other businessman in the city; no one would ever have thought that he "had controlled huge wings" (12) or ever did anything out of the ordinary. The grey suit made him identical to everyone else. The color grey emphasized the bland, mute life Icarus had taken on, and the word "respectable" contrasted with his bold actions before his fall. Words such as "concealed" (12), "controlled" (12) and "compelled" (14) relayed the sense of power that Icarus had before he fell. Yet, after his conformity, Icarus only possessed "sad, defeated eyes" (13).

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