My Papa's Waltz Analysis Essay

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Analysis of “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke Since the genesis of the traditional family unit, parents play an immutable and paramount role in the nurturing of their children and successive progenies. Universally, in most societies, it is widely acknowledged that the father is the figurehead of the family unit. However, the role of the father is not cogently defined, especially in the contemporary society, and may vary from one family to another. On the one hand, there are fathers that act as the temporal providers to their children till they grow to adulthood. On the other hand, there are those fathers are actively involved in all details of their child’s development. The dominant and leadership role that the father naturally or culturally assumes engenders a close relationship with the children, particularly the sons’ who perceive them as role models. Through his poem, “My Papas Waltz,” the American poet, Theodore Roethke imaginatively reflects, through a dance, the complex relationship between a father and a child. Often considered by many readers as an intimate and personal reminiscence of his own troubled…show more content…
Although one may misinterpret the first paragraph, “the whiskey on your breath, could make a small boy dizzy; but I hung on like death: such waltzing was not easy” (Line 1- 4), it means that, despite the fact that the father was slightly drunk, he was capable of waltzing with his son, albeit clumsily. He was excitedly frolicking with his son and certainly not pummeling him as some readers may think. Lines in the second stanza, “we romped until the pans, slid from the kitchen shelf; my mother’s countenance, could not unfrown itself” (Line 5-8), suggests that the child was clearly enthusiastic about the waltz only to the penitence of his concerned mother. To further suggest that the poem is written as a warm nostalgic memory, the author employs a waltzing tune and
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