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My Papa's Waltz - Perception and Reality

            You never expect a child that has grown up in poverty of single parent household to have the same perception of life of a rich kid who grew up on Beverly Hills. We shouldn't assume the same while we are reading poems. Theodore Roethke "My Papa's Waltz" can be used as an example of this theory. Depending on how you grew up all has an effect of how you view this poem. The poem "My Papa's Waltz" has a double meaning it is either a waltz between a father and son, thus bringing them closer together, or on the darker side it is a fight between a drunken father and his son where the intimacy of the dance is overshadowed by the anger the reader feels from his her past. In this poem Theodore Roethke finagles our emotions with his literary conventions. Someone who has been through a struggle in their life tends to follow the negative connotation of this poem which depicts an abusive drunken father. .
             According to kidshealth.org kids in abusive relationships teens tend to focus more on the items they are abused with than any other feature in an area. Throughout the poem the only features of the father that are described are his battered knuckles, belt buckle, and palms. This leaves one to assume that his knuckles are battered from the "waltz" him and his father have just had in the kitchen and they are starting to swell up. He then explains how his right ear scraped his father's belt buckle showing that he is on his knees and is either falling down or trying to get back up. The frown on his mother's face shows how she is disappointed, but her silence throughout the poem shows how she is powerless. This is an example of how this is not the first time this situation has occurred due to her lack of help. You can also see that it is not a pleasant situation by how the father grabs his wrist and not his hand which is what you typically hold when you participate in a waltz.

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