Racism Exposed In Sharon Olds On The Subway

552 Words3 Pages
The poem “On the Subway” by Sharon Olds is about a very delicate subject. It is about discrimination and devices such as imagery, symbolism, and first person point of view give the reader that immersion they need to capture the main point of the story. The first device that is used to display this racism in the poem is Imagery. The author tries to make this the most obvious device by basically making the whole poem a big description of the other person on the subway. She uses the imagery to make the other character look bad for example, “I look at his raw face.” Raw face is meant to represent a face in which there is no filter or safeguard. She also says, “Black sneakers laced with white in a complex pattern like a set of intentional scars.” Here she is mentioning the sneakers that people of color wear and how the pattern the shoes look like self-harm scars. All in all, phrases like, “Couple of molecules stuck in a rod of light” show how the author was trying to use…show more content…
With so much Imagery you would expect some symbols to come from it. Since it is a poem talking about skin color there is a few. “He is wearing red,” the author points out that he is wearing red because that is the color of a notorious gang in many cities. Another thing that she points out is, “He is black and I am white.” This is an important quote from the story because it is where the author makes it clear and it all starts to make sense. This is symbolic because in the lines after this the author starts naming stuff she can do and the other man cannot. Being black means that you cannot do various things that white people do. Although you are supposed to feel for the white person in danger you still have sympathy for the black person. An example of this is “Eating the steak he does not eat”. This shows the class difference between the two because of skin color. This is the symbol that is mainly trying to be portrayed in the

More about Racism Exposed In Sharon Olds On The Subway

Open Document