In the poem “On The Subway” by Sharon Olds, the author implements multiple literary devices to get her message across. Her use of metaphors, similes, and symbolism are perceived in such fashions that the reader can feel the tension experienced first hand by the characters sitting on that subway directly in front of each other. The use of metaphors throughout the poem gives the reader a source of comparison when describing the situation the characters are found in. She is illustrating how she feels in those moments while traveling underground with strangers when she mentions: “... a couple of molecules stuck on a rod of light rapidly moving through darkness.”
Sharon Olds in the poem, “On the Subway,” reveals the encounter of a black boy and a white lady as they travel on a train. Olds was able to establish the contrast of the two people with different races by the use of imagery, tone, and poetic devices. Olds was able to use imagery to enhance her writing and to contrast the difference between the black boy and the white woman. “His feet are huge, in black sneakers laced with white in a complex pattern like a set of intentional scars.” In this image Olds describes the boy who is separated from her by using a simile to compare the complex pattern to the intentional scars.
In our society we are taught to differentiate ourselves from others. Whether it be economical or the color of our skin, we are sectioned off into specific categories. In her poem “On the Subway”, Sharon Olds uses different literary devices such as imagery, allusions, and symbolism to contrast two different characters. Old implements imagery as the main literary device to contrast her two characters, more specifically black and white, darkness and light.
In the story “On the Subway” the author is showing the two different lifestyles and life struggles from each person. There first appears to be a man, of lower class, and a woman, of higher class. The woman uses hyperboles and metaphors when explaining the drastic differences in lifestyles that they live. The man is described as poor and scary looking.
In “On The Subway,” Sharon Olds depicts an affluent white narrator’s initial description of the blatant differences between her and a poor black boy seated on the opposite side of the subway car. The narrator’s external observation then shifts into an introspection of the subtle similarities shared between the two individuals despite their socioeconomic differences. Through juxtapositioning the physical differences between the narrator and the boy, allusions and comparisons of the boy to slavery, Olds asserts that white individuals achieve false superiority through their racist act of discrimination and oppression of the not-so-different African Americans. Old’s repeated allusions to slavery and racism demonstrates that even in modern day,
Sharon Olds shares an experience of different colors and what they meant to her. She narrates the opposites of two colors in particular and the ways they’re distinguished. Her and a boy are wearing two different clothing, one black and the other white, and she had come to realize the many differences in them just from glancing at him. She described the patterns complexities and how molecules work with black and white. From the beginning of the poem, we begin to see what characteristics are shown from what they’re wearing.
In “On the Subway” by Sharon Olds, the speaker is on a train and finds herself across a man, she describes has “the casual cold look of a mugger.” It is not clear as to why she sees him as a mugger, but he is larger than her. As the poem unfolds, we get a better look at her thinking process and the differences between the speaker and the man. “He is wearing red, like the inside of the body exposed” is a simile the poet used to express how simple and open the man looked; by comparing him to an open body. On the other hand, she is in a fur coat.
Love and lust can go in different directions. Sometimes love can be mistaken when lust is actually taking place. This situation normally happens when there is sexual activity taking place when it’s just for pleasure, and not for bringing two people closer together. “Last Night” by Sharon Olds gives a good example in this kind of situation. The imagery in this poem sets a bold meaning of this poem.
Get on the bus and join the movement towards appreciating poetry. Join author of Poetry Should Ride the Bus, Ruth Forman in making poetry an everyday thing. Poetry should be familiar to everyone and looked at as a mundane concept. Society should be able to use poetry as a benefit to their lives on a regular basis. Unfortunately, poetry isn’t appreciated as much as it should be.
In the poem, "The Race", written by Sharon Olds eminantes a breathless and desperate situation of a daughter who might not be able to be with her father in his last moments, if she does not make the other plane in seven minutes. Olds begins the poem with tense atmosphere as the daughter begins her journey with news that she may not reach her father in time due to an unexpected cancelled flight. Olds wrote, "...the flight was cancelled...young man...told me... another airline had...nonstop leaving in seven minutes..."