Obedience Or The Dying Tale Analysis

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Obedience, or the Lying Tale by Jennifer Chang Obedience, or the Lying Tale, one of the poems from The History of Anonymity. The poem was written by Jennifer Chang, a rising voice in the American poetry scene, who is an assistant professor of english in George Washington University. Jennifer Chang’s lyrical poems often explore the shifting boundaries between the outer world and the self. Chang’s use of allusion and imagery influence and create atmosphere and theme of the poem. In Obedience, or the Lying Tale, there are several phrases that allude to Greek mythology and fairy tales. “I will wait for the ferryman to motion me through.” (Line 25) The ferryman alludes to Greek and Roman mythology — to the ferryman Charon, who carries souls across the rivers Styx and Acheron in the Underworld. Chang also unintentionally took inspirations from the famous fairy tale of Grimm brother—Little Red Riding Hood. For…show more content…
Obedience, or the Lying Tale is filled with imagery drawn from Jennifer Chang’s imagination and personal expression. Chang is able to make strong pictures of places by her pure imagination. Take the forest scene in the poem as an example. “Into the forest’s thick, where the trees meet the dark, though I have known misgivings of light as a hot hand that flickers against my neck.” (Line 20) Chang said she had no inspiration for it, instead, she just imagine all of it. However, she did put her personal experience and emotion to it. She writes the poem based on her old working place. It was a bark- covered cottage surrounded by woods. One of the reasons she wrote the poem is because she wanted to return back to the place she found tranquility and peacefulness. Chang had connected the word “obedience” to the confinement of her new apartment in San Francisco, and the word “lying” to the freedom she felt from where she worked before. Chang uses rich imagery and allusion to create strong mood and theme to her
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