My Papa's Waltz Analysis

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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. If he did not hang on as tightly, he might fall and get hurt. This simile could be related to the idiom “hanging on like grim death”, which means to hang on tightly, for fear of falling. The word “grim” might have been omitted so that this line can fit into the iambic trimeter. The word “death”(3) is rather negative in the context of the father and child playing around in the kitchen, and casts a certain gloom on the poem. It could be a subtle hint of the father’s death; both the child and death were “hanging on” the father. Looking at the larger picture, the simile is also a metaphor of their father-son relationship. Although the father causes harm to the boy sometimes, the boy still clings onto his father and cherishes the time they spend together. 2. What was the mother’s attitude to events? (3 marks) The mother was disapproving of the father and the child’s “romping”, playing noisily and boisterously around in the kitchen. Her “countenance/ Could not unfrown itself”(7-8), which means she was frowning the whole time. Her facial expression, her posture,

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