Death In Souster's The Coldest Winter

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Death, in “The Coldest Winter” has a more animated in which it is no longer merely in the collective imaginings of the population but rather a real experience known to many. When “the woman took / her last leap” off the platform “in front / of the subway train” death is drawn into reality within the text (Souster, “The Coldest Winter” 4-6). The woman’s fate has been finalized through what can be read as a suicide, thus drawing her life to an end. It is also significant that the death occurs in front of “the crowds on the platforms” because it situates the suicide into the public consciousness through having borne witness (Souster, “The Coldest Winter” 7). And yet, the death of the woman is represented as having minimal impact on the people watching. The crowd as a unanimous entity “stood completely frozen / for almost a second” (Souster, “The Coldest Winter” 8-9). The people’s reaction shows that they were only briefly affected before having continued on with the rest of their day as though nothing had happened. This response implies that while the event is abnormal enough to cause brief pause, it is not so surprising as to illicit any lasting …show more content…

The concept of the discouraging urban environment presented in the texts suggests that the functioning industrial world threatens all classes of society. This can be seen through images representative of the urban setting, the conception of crowds, and the individual’s longing for death. Therefore, the poems draw attention to the Canadian urban centre as a place of isolating corruption that be escaped only through death. And while these texts criticize the industrialized society of the 20th century, the mechanized city life is still prevalent in the experience of many urban populations of modern

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