In the poem, “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke, you see a child wanting a father’s love and care. The story opens up by talking about his father being a drunk. Although it does not directly say it, we can tell by the way the boy talks about his father, and his father’s actions. “The whiskey on your breath” (1) is the first line of the poem, which indicates someone talking about alcohol on someone’s breath. As the poem goes on you can start to pick up that it is getting told by a son.
I have a toolbox that I am constantly adding things to that I think will help me mold my son. In My Papas’s Waltz, a poem by Theodore Roethke, the first line reads “The whiskey on your breath could make a small boy dizzy” (lines 1 – 2). Assuming that the poem is about a son’s father and starting off
Diction has a strong affect on how readers interpret a passage. This is proven through Theodore Roethke’s poem, “My Papa’s Waltz”. The poem presents a boy roughhousing with his father. However, some critics see the roughhousing taking place as abusive, due to the negative word choice displayed throughout the poem. The author set a positive and negative tone throughout the poem, representing the respect and fear he had for his father.
The poem “My Papa’s Waltz” written by Theodore Roethke uses vague and ambiguous language about the relationship he and his father share. The unique circumstances of each family are never easy to understand. Father’s helps build a solid foundation in their sons lives by their presence, their absence, their criticism, their encouragement, and ultimately, the lessons passed along from one generation to the next. The tone of the poem gave me the impression that Roethke loved his hard working, rough housing, playful father.
Chiu Ching 3U (8) My Papa’s Waltz Questions 1. Comment on the simile in the first stanza. (3 marks) The simile used in the first stanza is “I hung on like death”(3). The next line, “Such waltzing was not easy”(4) suggests that the father and son’s boisterous, wild “romping”(5) around was difficult for the child, and he had to hang on tightly because the father was romping around drunkenly and did not hold onto him well.
Theodore Roethke’s poem, “My Papa’s Waltz,” unfolds the seemingly frequent event of a young boy receiving a beating from his drunken father. The speaker of the poem is a young man, possibly in his early teenage years. This conclusion is based upon line 2, “Could make a small boy dizzy.” This line gives an indication that the main character of the poem has been involved in this type of tussle since he was a small child. There could also be a very strong connection between the author of the poem and the speaker.
While the subject of “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke has spurred passionate academic debate from professors, scholars, and students alike, the imagery, background, and diction of the poem clearly support the interpretation that Roethke writes “My Papa’s Waltz” to reminisce upon a nostalgic memory from childhood of dancing or “waltzing” with his father. Many individuals believe that the poem is about an abusive relationship between the author and his father. Although this may seem true through certain aspects, the author intended for this poem to be a reflection upon a happy memory with his father. According to the author, Roethke meant for this poem to be a dedication to his father, who has passed away while the author was at a young age. Thus, Roethke achieves his purpose
The imagery of “My Papas Waltz” can clearly be understood as a father waltzing with his son in the kitchen, tapping the beat too his son’s head, and his ear scraping his buckle against his child’s ear. The poem is playful when the poem says, “At every step you missed/ My right ear scraped a buckle” (Roethke lines 11-12).
While the subject of “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke has spurred passionate academic debate from professors, scholars, and students alike, the imagery, syntax, and diction of the poem clearly support the interpretation that Roethke writes “My Papa’s Waltz” to ruminate on the abusive memory of his alcoholic father. Roethke uses playful imagery and a rhyme scheme to lighten the traumatic tone. Without a doubt, personal experience shapes one’s interpretation of “My papa’s Waltz”. One can say the “waltz” means Roethke and his father joyfully and formally dance , others say it means a continuous cycle of abuse. Ultimately , I believe that during our analysis of the poem we will come to find it is quite dark in tone.
We took them to the edge”(8-9, 21). The frequency of this word suggests that the father and son regularly spent time with each other, not completing daily tasks separately, but together. This type of unity will often improve the dynamic of a loving relationship. To further emphasize the pleasant father-son relationship, Ortiz writes his poem in a soft, warm tone.
In Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” and Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” there are similar topics of negatively portrayed fathers. In Plath’s “Daddy,” Plath portrays the father with hatred and abhorrence although she loves some parts of him, and in Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz,” Roethke portrays the father as an oblivious drunk, whom he still loves. These events not only contribute to the mental illnesses that Plath and Roethke later acquired but also they contribute to how we interpret the meanings of their poems and what topics their poems are about. Sylvia Plath and Theodore Roethke have backgrounds that have a major influence on what topics they choose to write about, they share mental illnesses, their backgrounds influence the way each reader
For instance, when talking to his father after the man finds out about his alcoholism and homosexuality, he states, “You told me! I told you” Throughout this play in particular, Brick appears to have quite a narcissistic relationship with his dad. Furthermore, in Glass Menagerie, Williams implements a similar style of writing. The play, “in which William’s aims not to represent ‘objective’ reality, but rather somehow depict the subjective emotions of the characters” contains the element expressionism, which focuses on the internal state of being Williams twists “reality” through excellent use of character emotion such as suffering and post-World War I
Some people are never ready to be parents. Even when the baby is about to come out, people aren’t prepared for the life of a parent. It isn’t until you hear your child cry that your instincts flare up and you just take control, and in that moment you are a parent. However not everyone takes control in that moment because even in that moment they just aren’t ready. It’s a tragic topic that ties into two poems: “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke and “The Mother” by Gwendolyn Brooks.
In the poem, My Papa’s Waltz, the speaker, Theodore Roethke, writes about a father and son waltzing. Further investigation suggests there is more going on than a waltz. The poet utilizes figure of speech and a negative toned vocabulary throughout the poem. Thus, alleviating the reader of the harsh truth of an abusive relationship whilst never dehumanizing the father.
Theodore Roethke’s poem, “My Papa’s Waltz,” discusses a child and father’s interactions within their kitchen as the mother watches while frowning. Roethke delivers his work through the child’s perspective, an unreliable speaker, which enables an ambiguous tone. This allows the reader to interpret the child and father’s relationship in many ways. Words involved in Roethke’s diction, such as “waltzed,” “romped,” and “dizzy,” indicate enjoyment within the relationship. On the other hand, “beat,” “death,” and “battered” create a sinister picture of abuse.