My Papa's Waltz And Those Winter Sundays

683 Words3 Pages
Every story consists of different elements, such as characters, plotlines, and settings. Nonetheless, many stories portray the same messages or ideas. “My Papa’s Waltz,” by Theodore Roethke, depicts a reckless father who is loved by his child, while “Those Winter Sundays,” by Robert Hayden, depicts a hardworking father whose child is indifferent to him. Though the poems depict exceptionally different childhoods, both contribute to the idea that perceptions of parents alter as one grows into adulthood. Both poems use harsh words and critical tones in order to convey this notion, however in “My Papa’s Waltz,” they signify the recklessness of the father and how the narrator perceives his father as an adult, while in “Those Winter Sundays,” they…show more content…
The narrator states that his father woke up and got dressed “in the blueblack cold” in order to go to work where he developed “cracked hands that ached.” Hayden uses the words “cold,” “cracked,” and “ached” to describe the father’s working conditions; the hard Cs in these words make them sound harsh, and therefore imply that the father’s job is difficult. This enhances readers’ impressions that the father continues to work at his challenging and demanding job in order to provide for his family. Both Hayden and Roethke chose to describe the fathers’ hands to represent the children’s living situations. The father in “Those Winter Sundays” had “cracked hands that ached,” while the father in “My Papa’s Waltz” had “battered” hands. Many individuals believe that hands tell a lot about a person, such as their job or even their class. For instance, rough hands might indicate that the person works in construction and soft hand might indicate a person of high-class who is able to take care of his or her skin. The most common reason for cracked and aching hands is cold weather, which implies that the father in “Those Winter Sundays” is a blue-collar worker who performs his job outside. This contrasts with the battered hands seen in “My Papa’s Waltz,” which indicates some form of violence. The harsh words in both “My Papa’s
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