'Hanging Fire' By Audre Lorde

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Throughout “Hanging Fire”, copious examples of negativity riddle the entire work which has caused me to come to the conclusion that someone 's mindset can severely affect their chance to capitalize on opportunities. "Hanging Fire" is a compendiary poem written by Audre Lorde that expresses the feelings of a distressed teenager in simple and direct context. Audre Lorde 's use of the phrase "hanging fire" in the poem 's title is metaphorical. The poem 's not about guns, or gun malfunctions, but about adolescence. “Hanging Fire” is a poem of thirty-five lines of free verse. The poem is divided into three stanzas with lines ranging in length from two to seven syllables. The persona, a fourteen-year-old female, uses terse, declarative sentences, speaking directly toward her audience, making readers aware…show more content…
By the author utilizing her diction and portraying her shortcomings, it is quite obvious that she dwells on her failures/flaws, which is another reason her mindset is affecting whether or not she is taking advantage of opportunities presented to her. If the author was not so obsessed with the negatives in her life, she would inarguably have the opportunity to try and right her wrongs and work on the things she believes she lacks in. Going back to line two, I inferred that the protagonist is black or at least a part of a minority. Lines 6-7 fueled my idea a little more. Of course anyone can have ashy knees, but from my personal experience with african-american friends, they tend to have ashier skin than white people. This mindset of the author further proves my thesis statement. The author could possibly mean that by her skin “betraying” her, possibly she is a victim of racism and believes she does not receive equal opportunity. So, not only does her own personal negativity limit her, but other’s negativity affects her as well. By the author including line seven, she also provides the reader with imagery, another literary device used to help paint a mental
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