Pass/Fail Poem Analysis

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Roughly “15% of life is spent at school” in the United States (“What percentage of”). Humans are in school during the early years of development, thus the education system impacts their thoughts, choices, and overall wellbeing. It promotes discovery, but still confides the students to certain rules. This concept is explored throughout many poems including “Pass/Fail,” “Trouble with Math in a One-Room Country School,” “Zimmer’s Head Thudding against the Blackboard,” “The School Room on the Second Floor of the Knitting Mill,” and “Fork.” An overall negative attitude emerges from the themes that discusses how education and schooling impact you, for better or for worse. In the poem “Pass/Fail,” by Linda Pastan, the idea that dreams of taking…show more content…
Her teach mistakes her asking classmate for help with a math problem for insubordinate behavior. The main symbol is the “monumental desk” of the teacher (Kenyon, 9). It gives the image of a throne as if it the divine right of a teacher to have absolute authority over classroom. The education system control our childhood starts to emerge as the underlying theme. The author remembers the image of the “furnace closet” where only the worst boys were put and how “the warmth, the gloom, the smell/of sweeping compound clinging to the broom/soothed” (Kenyon, 13, 16-18). She invokes the five sense to give the readers an idea of what the closest was like. It adds to her stance of how the situation leaves her “blinking/ and changed” because it provides the reader with details about the closest (Kenyon, 24-25). This adds the the overall theme that school impacts ones childhood. It tell students how to act and if one does not follow directions one gets punished. This changes children for better or for worse. Again, a positive and negative attitude
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