Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Her Kind" by Anne Sexton (Analysis)

Instantly when I read this poem I was connected with it and I knew that Anne Sexton wrote this poem with the purpose of being able to relate to a numerous amount of people all of over the world and throughout the ages. “Her Kind” is eloquently written using vivid imagery to allow her readers to clearly imagine, the suffering that she is enduring by her isolation from society. Also her use of “I”, lets us see that she is giving us a personal testimony of the exclusion she faced, though when she switches the persona to “A woman”, in every stanza: the second to last line, she gives the poem its relatable factor where many other women could have been in the ‘same shoes’ (or even men).

The descriptive nature of the poem brings the poem to life and draws the attention of the reader. Sexton describes the typical witch with “twelve-fingered”, “warm caves”, and all the appliances that a witch may possess. She also describes vividly the killing of a witch, or herself in this case, with “flames [that] still bite my thigh” and “my ribs crack where your wheels wind”. These vivid descriptions coincide and help her transport us (the audience) back and forth from the past (times of the ‘witch era’) to the present where we all can relate to the feeling of being a “lonely thing”

Another essential part of this poem is how Sexton moves us through space and time from a time where the poem seems to place us in a time where The Salem Witch Trials are occurring to a current time where people are being ostracized by their fellow peers. “I have found the warm caves in the woods” has the theme of being lonely while at the same time brings us back to the time where people are in caves. She mentions these caves because they are her seclusion from society, and calls them warm because sees them as her “home”. Also by saying “ridden in your cart” she implies how during the ‘Trials’ the driver takes her to her death because society decided to exclude her by sending ‘the witch’(herself) to her death. “I have been her kind” is a very prominent line in this poem. This line and the line before it in every stanza bring us back to the current time and makes the reader realize that people nowadays sometimes also feel excluded and unwelcome by society.

“Her Kind” lets us imagine the life of a woman who once was excluded from society and looked down upon simply because she was different. Many people can relate to this type of situation because we all have once felt lonely. Also in her poem she conveys the point that throughout time all people (witches and people who are a bit different) can all feel like a “lonely thing” In closing, we should regard this poem, “Her Kind”, as a deep insightful glimpse into the life of Anne Sexton or any person that feels ostracized by society.

(sorry its a couple mins late!)

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