The relationship between father and son is one that is both sacred, yet complex as each side of the relationship faces hardships. This relationship between a son and his role model, a father and his child, is one, has its ups, but one must also know it has downs. In Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz,” Roethke’s use of ambiguity through diction allows room for the audience to interpret the text in a positive or a negative way, representing the relationship between a father and a son, which on the outside can be interpreted in an either positive or a negative way.
In the poem, My Papa’s Waltz by Theodore Roethke, is known to be a controversial story about a father and son relationship. The speaker in this poem has contradicting emotions about his father and the tone told throughout the story can be ribald yet many readers find it all just a happy memory. The main subject of My Papa’s Waltz is a young son who loved his son but still feared him. In this poem the speaker will illustrate the family views using a certain word choice and the tone he uses. The specific diction will highlight the real truth between the father and son relationship and what it means.
In Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz”, the speaker seems to be an adult reminiscing his childhood through a metaphor of a dance. The poem suggests that the boy was abused and the mother stood by without doing much about it. Three topics that
“The hand that held my wrist (line 9). While dancing his father holds his hand. Holding his son’s hand can be interpreted as a way that the parents supports their children’s in all the aspects of their life. “Was battered on one knuckle” (line 10). When a person’s hands are battered, it that he/she must be a worker.
In discussions of “My Papa’s Waltz,” one controversial issue has been that several people believe it’s an abuse issue. On the other hand, some readers argue it is not abuse although, a loving dance between a father and son. 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 show a beating of a son by his father that is told in a beautiful dance. Roethke uses imagery, syntax and diction which brings his poem together to reveal a profound meaning.
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.
In the poem, “My Papa’s Waltz”, Theodore Roethke illustrates the complex relationship between a little boy and his father by juxtaposing images of love and violence through word choices that portray feelings of fear yet affection for his father. Roethke’s shifting tone encompasses distress and a sense admiration that suggests the complexities of violence both physically and emotionally for the undercurrents of his father and son relationship. The poem begins with a series of negative images, each of which are considered violent and undesirable in a family. For example, “The whiskey on your breath” suggests alcoholism, and “Could make a small boy dizzy” emphasizes that a boy is suffering from the effects of the alcoholic parent.
A Father’s Affection “My Papa’s Waltz” and “Those Winter Sundays” describe a character who reflects on their childhood. Although they based on the same theme, the two poems have very different perspectives. “Those Winter Sundays” talks about how the son regrets for not showing his love for his father, when all his actions went unnoticed. “My Papa’s Waltz” reflects on a son 's memory with is father where his danced around the house after the father long day at work. Both poems reflect on how their fathers showed his love for his son, the time spent with their fathers, a maternal conflict, and their relationship with their father.
Roethke’s My Papas Waltz Many literary scholars, researchers and readers in general, driven by intrigue, have tried to dissect, analyze, and interpret the ambiguous meaning of Theodore Roethke’s poem, “My Papa’s Waltz.” Their explications however, result in ambivalent, and sometimes controversial views. Some critics argue that “My Papas Waltz,” portrays the physical violence inflicted by a father to his child.
The poems “ My Papa’s waltz and “Those Winter Sundays” make readers understand the relationship of a father and son and proves that both of the speakers love their father but never got a chance to actually express their feeling for them and now, realizing their mistakes, they made in the past and regretting it. They both are very talented writers who knows the best way to communicate the meaning of their feeling in the poems and have control over
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.
“Artworks have ‘aboutness’ and demand interpretation” (Barrett 71). This statement creates a foundation for writing, specifically about dance, as each dance piece is always about something, no matter how simple it appears to be. As I began to write about dance I knew not only to provide a description of the piece, but utilize the description as evidence as I develop a possible meaning. Additionally he explains, “There can be different, competing, and contradictory interpretations of the same artwork” (Barrett 73). When I would begin to develop an explanation from the description I provided, I had to remind myself that my interpretation was only one view of the dance and I should not try to provide one comprehensive interpretation for the
In the story My Papa’s Waltz, the narrator has described the relationship with the father without actually saying it. The meaning of the story is hidden within the words that is about an abusive father. Without any negative signs of abuse that is not stated in the words, but the meaning is all about abuse. The narrator disguised the meaning by going with music and having a rhyme poem. Abuse was never stated to have a more meaning why the narrator never thought it was abuse.
Although one may misinterpret the first paragraph, “the whiskey on your breath, could make a small boy dizzy; but I hung on like death: such waltzing was not easy” (Line 1- 4), it means that, despite the fact that the father was slightly drunk, he was capable of waltzing with his son, albeit clumsily. He was excitedly frolicking with his son and certainly not pummeling him as some readers may think. Lines in the second stanza, “we romped until the pans, slid from the kitchen shelf; my mother’s countenance, could not unfrown itself” (Line 5-8), suggests that the child was clearly enthusiastic about the waltz only to the penitence of his concerned mother. To further suggest that the poem is written as a warm nostalgic memory, the author employs a waltzing tune and
Also it is depicted how the father is cruel and at the same time gentle. Booby Fang , a literary analyst, showed how this poem can have mixed feelings of interpretation. He mentions how the poem is like a seesaw where the elements of joy, which Fang notes as the figure of the waltz and the rhythm it has, balances with elements of fear which he mentions happens through the effects of diction used in the novel such as the words like romped, scraped, beat, and whiskey. The narrator in the poem is remembering an incident in his childhood which shows that thet there were qualities in his father that were good and bad. He mentions that the achievement of this poem is that it permits readers to access such powerful memories in their own lives in ways consistent with the words and construction of the