Better Living Cookbook Poem Analysis

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The quotation from Better Living Cookbook added at the beginning of the poem provides knowledge to the reader on the origin of the onion. There is a reason as to why Nye incorporates a historical fact about the onion. It was an attempt for her to demonstrate the lengthy distance that a vegetable went. Yet, already in this quotation Nye already incorporates a theme of the lack of awareness society has. Suggesting that society believes they know absolutely everything about the world; when in reality they know very little. This demonstrates a motif to the reader that people may think they know everything there is found inside the depths of the world’s history; when in fact, people’s knowledge is quite small compared to the millions and millions…show more content…
The repetition and destruction of history. The onion at first glance seems to symbolize the forgotten hardships when it comes to the personal necessities needed in a lifestyle. Thus demonstrating to the reader how ill forgotten it is about the smallest fundamentals that construct a persons’ luxurious life. Although the onion is a symbolism about the essentials, Nye’s poem actually highlights the struggles that humanity had to undergo after the catastrophic events of the World Wars. In the poem, a reader can sympathize towards the agony that the previous generations endured through reparations. This parallels society’s emotions to a person’s lifestyle. She uses the onion to resemble the shape of the world. And when opening an onion, the “pearly layers in smooth agreement” (lines 5) convey the unity of all nations together as one. The description of “the way knife enters onion” and “falls apart” (lines 6-7) is a powerful imagery on the initial breakout of World War I. It plays on the idea of how quickly ideologies can cause damages to the countries, but more importantly develops paranoia to humanity. Nye continues to discuss the onion in a different way in the following stanza. She does in a subtle way through a shift in tone. Instead, the onion is still symbolizing the world but focuses on the broken layers as a torn apart society. This powerful stanza displays the “small and forgotten.” (Lines 12) people in war. It signifies an issue found in World Wars where politic leaders’ strategies were to use society as bait. Instead of the leaders discussing their ideology's. Now this society becoming “the translucence of onion, now limp” and “its traditionally honorable” (lines 15-16) dignity was gone and taken for granted. Nye’s final two lines of the poem “For the sake of others, disappear.” (Lines 17-18) is a powerful message to the
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