Critical Analysis Of Jana Harris's 'Don T Cheapen Yourself'

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Strong Born in San Francisco, Jana Harris is the author of “Don’t Cheapen Yourself”, a poem empowering woman. This poem was created at a time when women were fighting for equal rights. In the poem the subject, who appears to be a young woman, is confronted by her mother who calls her “sleazy” (line1). This would suggest her mother does not agree with the selections of clothing of her daughter, since she is accustomed to more conservative ways for a woman to dress and present herself in public. In response to her mother’s harsh words, the subject simply replies, “I was not allowed to do high school cheap and now I’m doin cheap” (19.4). The implication being that she made this choice intentionally. Modernism describes this as a Byronic Hero; someone who “appeals to society by standing apart from society, superior yet wounded or unrewarded” (Craig White's Literature Courses). The Harris poem evokes contradicting feelings of rebelliousness, and acceptance; it speaks of taking control of your life by letting go.…show more content…
The supposition drawn from this is that the subject in Harris’s poem is adapting to her constantly changing environment. The Harris poem challenges the audience to think abstractly by using strands to describe a young woman, who looks like “a bird with red waxed lips, and wearing a snake dress”. (9.10.13). From this analogy, it is evident that the subject presents herself to the world as carefree and independent. Modernism describes Realistic- Allegory as things or abstract ideas used to convey a message or teach a lesson. The subject of the Harris poem is thought-provoking, which is the only way she knows how to project herself. She is finding inspiration from beautiful things in nature while adapting and morphing into a care free woman who refuses to
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