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Poetry Analysis - The Blue Dress

            Children often put themselves in adult situations wanting to feel and have a sense of acknowledgment by adults. This is something everybody at some point in their life dreams about; being a grown up and being acknowledged. However, sometimes if that acknowledgment is absent it may be easier to tell yourself a lie and believe a false reality rather than face the truth and risk being alone. In the poem The Blue Dress, by Sharon Olds, the speaker is an enlightened young woman remembering and reflecting back to a time when she was caught up in an ever so loving lie created at the hand of a gift from her divorced father. The speaker reminisces on her longing feelings for a father figure and comes to the ultimate conclusion that she has past that longing point in her life and has moved on.
             In The Blue Dress the speaker remembers feeling enthralled when she receives a birthday gift, for the first time, from her father. The gift comes with no card and is described as being from an adult clothing store named Hink's. The speaker describes this beautiful department store as:.
             [A] dark department store with a balcony and.
             mahogany rail around the balcony, you could.
             stand and press your forehead against it.
             until you could almost feel the dense grain of the wood, and stare down into the rows and rows of camisoles,.
             petticoats, bras, as if looking down into the lives of women. (3-11) .
             This description of Hink's is a vivid memory from when the speaker was young, and when she remembed peering down into the women's clothing section seeing how amazing and beautiful the clothing was. The fact that the gift from her father was from Hink's, a women's clothing store, not a girls clothing store, made her feel as if her father was treating her as a woman creating a sense of love and acknowledgment in her life.
             The heightened affection from her father is explored again in the poem when the speaker mentions that "[her father] had braved [Hink's] for [her] the way he had entered [her] mother once to get [her] out" (12-14).

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