From This Height Summary

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The poem “From this Height” by Tony Hoagland explores the ideas of the power of wealth, individual versus society, and the circle of life. The speaker, a very wealthy man, uses his money to support his opulent lifestyle. His wealth gives him a very affluent place in society and access to many things a middle class man would only dream of. The speaker struggles with the fact that society played a huge role in his success, yet most people do not get to life the way that he does. The idea of the “circle of life” gives the speaker a reason to justify the way he uses his money and lives his life, because he realizes “it would be a sin not to enjoy” all that he has been blessed with. The speaker in “From this Height” is a person of wealth and power. While having “conversation by the hot tub,” he reflects on his life and how he got to where he is now. The speaker is in a dilemma with himself, because he feels as if he does not deserve all that he has been given in life. Even though he has a feeling of guilt and remorse, the speaker decides “it would be a sin not to enjoy” all of the things he has. His indifferent tone causes the reader to contemplate their life and all of the hard workers it takes to help them get somewhere big like the speaker. In his poem “From this Height,” Tony Hoagland uses words that connote wealth in order to emphasize…show more content…
A paradox, or self contradictory statement, is the perfect way for the speaker to express his predicament. He does not “ deserve pleasure”, but he also “does not deserve pain” explains the speaker’s feelings of guilt and remorse for his immense fortune, while the working class can barely get by. In parallel lines in his poem, the speaker uses the words “failed” and “successful.” He uses these words so close together to demonstrate the failure he and civilization throughout history has faced in order to be
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