Personification In Those Winter Sundays

1384 Words6 Pages
According to traditional gender roles, the father is the provider for the family. He is expected to work hard to support and provide for his family’s essential needs: food, shelter, and clothing. Burdened with the responsibility of ensuring the security of the other members of his family, he is sometimes perceived as a distant and detached figure, in contrast with the stereotypical warm and nurturing image of the mother. The father 's burden is further compounded by a socially-perceived expectation that males have to be less emotional as a sign of strength of character. Robert Hayden’s sonnet “Those Winter Sundays” explores some of these dynamics by examining the emotional distance between a father and the son for whom he provides. In “Those…show more content…
The second stanza ends with personification: “the chronic angers of that house” (9). By personifying the house, Hayden suggests that the entire house is filled with anger, deepening the reader’s understanding of the relationship between father and son. The line, however, has some ambiguity. The speaker could mean the physical defects of the house cause the anger, referring to creaking beams or rumbling pipes, and the additional labor these flaws require from an already overworked father. The “chronic angers” could also reference the clearly difficult relationship between the two characters in the poem. Regardless, the anger is “chronic,” suggesting that it is persistent, and the son “slowly” (8) begins his day, “fearing” those “chronic angers” (9). From the son’s fear, the reader can infer that the son connects the house’s anger to his father, regardless of the anger’s cause. Through his use of imagery and personification in the second stanza, Hayden firmly establishes the idea that the relationship between the father and his son
Open Document