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Poetry Analysis - Our Generation

            Jason Nichols' poem "Our Generation" was written in early February 2014. Nichols was 14 and in eighth grade at the time he wrote the poem. The title "Our Generation" simply brings in readers to see what the speaker has to say. The poem starts off with heavy critique of today's generation. The meaning is later reversed. The tone changes and the reader can potentially be motivated at the end. This is all due to the speaker's last line of the poem. It is what truly unravels the power of this reverse poem. The fact that an eighth grader at the time wrote this, means that it does not take much to prove a major point. "Our Generation" is a perfect look in the mirror for the self-conscious modern generation.
             The tone of the poem appears to be very serious, as the speaker heavily criticizes the audience. His first criticism states that "Our generation (is) a failure" (5). If that is not enough, he continues to criticize this generation's negativity. Calling the audience out on being quitters, he states that "Giving up was how we handled our problems" (17-18). After the speaker's heavy criticism, he states what could potentially happen. If we continue to stray down this path of negativity, "Never will anybody say, We were the peak of mankind" (l2-3). Everything appears to be a failure for this generation. That is until the last line "(Read from bottom to top now)" (25) comes into play. The poem is now flipped and the perception changes. The speaker has a positive tune as he states that "Working hard (is) how we handle our problems" (19-18). He further compliments the audience calling them "The peak of mankind" (3). This technique is very passive aggressive as the speaker goes from degrading the audience to the point where they would need a compliment. It all turns out to be a blessing in disguise as the entire poem is just taking a look into the mirror.

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