Analysis Of The Gift By Yusef Komunyakaa

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Do parents’ actions affect their children? This is a question asked by individuals across the globe; a question which the poems “The Gift” by Li-Young Lee and “My Father’s Love Letters” by Yusef Komunyakaa set out to find the answer to. Both poems are narrated by their author and are about their relationship with their father. However, the narrator of “The Gift”, Li-Young Lee, had a positive relationship with his father. In contrast, Komunyakaa had a negative father-son relationship in “My Father’s Love Letters”. The parent-child relationships in the poems reveal a moral theme that parents’ actions will mold the future of who their children will become. With a literal and symbolic interpretation of “The Gift”, individuals will determine the overarching theme that the actions of parents mold their children's’ future. The sliver within the poem represents the evil within individuals. This is indicated through the author’s description of the sliver as a “a tiny flame”. The flame represents evil, which is lodged into individuals from outside pain, just as splinters …show more content…

Komunyakaa’s father made Komunyakaa write letters because the father was illiterate. The letters “would beg, promising [the father] would never beat her again.” Not only did his father expose his child to violence, but the father also introduced alcohol into his child’s life by opening “a can of Jax after coming from the mill.” Both excerpts are red flags that the father is careless about his child, and places the father’s own values above the needs of his child. This creates a toxic environment for Komunyakaa to be raised in, and it blurred his perception of right and wrong. The futures of individuals raised this way become unpredictable. When this type of environment is compared to that of Lee’s childhood, a theme that parents’ actions will influence who their children will grow up to be is

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