My Papa's Waltz Analysis

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The speaker in “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Rocthke is a grown up looking back on his childhood when he was a boy. In line seven and eight, “My mother’s countenance - Could not unfrown itself,” the speaker used both adult and child vocabulary. The speaker used the word “countenance” to signal the audience that he is narrating as an adult telling his story about his childhood. That is where the childish word “unfrown” comes in. Many children make up words, such as “unfrown” when they talk. The speaker used that word so he could take the audience back to his pass to when he was a child. Irony is used in the poem in lines one and two, “The whiskey on your breath – Could make a small boy dizzy’ (Rocthke). The ironic part of these lines is that a boy cannot get drunk by just the whiff of another person’s breath that smells like they have been drinking a lot of whiskey. The lines suggest that Papa is drunk that could lead to the situation of violence toward the boy. Another view can be that the boy is small compared to the father. If the boy and the father are waltzing, then the boy could have gotten dizzy by the dance since his father is bigger than him and the description of the father would be that he smelled like whisky. The irony in these lines show the speaker’s descripted memory of his father and how he had become dizzy during their waltz. “My Papa’s Waltz” is written in iambic trimester. It meter is almost sounds like a waltz tempo. This is because Papa is waltzing with
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