Dorothy Parker's Poem 'Symptom Recital'

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Brooke Jakins Mrs. Huval English II-H 6th 18 September 2015 The Wittiest Woman in America Poetry is an escape from emotion. It doesn’t show someone’s character, but how they escape it. Only people who have emotions and character would know what it feels like to want to escape them. In Dorothy Parker’s poem “Symptom Recital” she states, “My soul is crushed, my spirit sore; I do not like me anymore” (15-16). Dorothy Parker, the wittiest woman in America, captures her audiences with poems expressing her opinion about life’s hardships. Throughout Dorothy’s disordered life, she was married three times, attempted suicide, and had an abortion. Her lifestyle was very influential on her writing. According to Mervyn Horder, “She was a kind of female Housman, her specialty unrequited or misdirected love, her tone generally despondent, her vehicle verse of unfailing neatness, crying out to be read aloud and making an instant effect in that form” (page 1, Mervyn Horder). What Horder …show more content…

In the beginning, Dorothy states, “I do not like my state of mind; I’m bitter, querulous, unkind. I hate my legs, I hate my hands, I do not yearn for lovelier lands” (1-4). She talks about being uncomfortable with herself, but she doesn’t want to change the way she is. Throughout the poem there is repetition, anaphora, and antithesis. Dorothy also talks about wanting to speak her mind, but she’s scared that people would think she’s crazy and depressed. As stated in the article “Dorothy Parker”, “Her sharp wit, which often played off of sexual themes, belied the prevailing stereotype of women as humorless and prudish” (page 1, Dorothy Parker). In “Symptom Recital” she states, “I shudder at the thought of men… I’m due to fall in love again” (19-20). That statement is ironic because she’s saying that even though she hates herself and men, she will fall in love all over

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