Summary Of Hanging Fire By Audre Lorde

975 Words4 Pages

In “Hanging Fire” by Audre Lorde the meaning of the poem focuses on the narrator’s youth. The narrator believes that she cannot grow up and separate herself from the child she needs to leave behind. Additionally, she feels that she does not have enough support from her mother to cope with the issues that she is facing. It can also be inferred that the narrator longs for a paternal figure in her life. Lorde uses repetition in the piece to elucidate the meaning of the meaning of the poem. The message that the poem conveys is that the girl is having difficulty with the process of growing up, the narrator constantly alludes to a longing to be young saying “The boy I cannot live without / still sucks his thumb / in secret” (3-5). The boy who the …show more content…

The narrator is going through the confusing stage of puberty and her mother has the “door closed” meaning she is shut out from her life both literally and figuratively. Consequently, the boy is unable to deal with his confusion in a healthy way and as a result is left lost and confused. In Writing About Literature Roberts advises one to raise the question “Who is speaking” (102). When applying this question to “Hanging Fire” it is observed that a fourteen year old child is the speaker, this is a stereotypically confusing age for most children as their bodies and the world around them are going through many changes. If one did not have a strong support system they would be extremely disoriented on how to navigate through these changes. Her mother stays “in the bedroom” this makes her absent from the narrator’s life, therefore she is unable to support him in his time of …show more content…

She describes him as the “boy [she] cannot live without” (3). This shows that she is longing for a male figure in her life, as a way to cope with the passing of her father she attempts to replace him with this boy, However, since he “sucks his thumb / in secret”(4-5. He is not mature enough to replace her father, furthermore, the author puts “in secret” on a separate line, this secretiveness is similar to her mother who the narrator harbours resentment towards for not being there for her and staying in “the bedroom” (10, 22, 34). The narrator is disappointed in the boy she cannot live without because he cannot fill the void that her father’s death left and because he is secretive and absent like her

Open Document