The Bean Eaters Analysis

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It is natural to want the best in life, to live in bliss and to never experience pain or suffering. Still, no matter how tempting that life would be, can one really call it living never to experience pain or sorrow along with joy and bliss? When the time of the ending of our life’s story comes, it is common to reflect on our past and to take in all of the good and bad that we have encountered. Gwendolyn Brooks’ calm poem, “The Bean Eaters,” displays the life of an elderly couple reflecting on the bittersweetness of their lives. While their pasts were not perfect, the poem captures the harmony of the events that took place throughout their lives and the peace they are left with as a result. In her poem, Brooks uses the literary technique of …show more content…

While the poem may come across as boring during the first read, once the words are understood along with their associated meanings, the real message comes to light. This poem echos an elderly pair who find themselves continuing in their daily routines and reflecting upon their younger lives. Despite not living a “flawless” life, the old couple seems content with their situation, both past and present. For example, the third paragraph states, “And remembering… Remembering, with twinklings and twinges…” (468). The words “twinklings and twinges” refer to the good and bad they’ve encountered and endured. Following the theme of the poem, neither of them is extreme, and they almost cancel each other out. Additionally, in the quote: “that is full of beads and receipts and dolls and cloths, tobacco crumbs, vases and fringes” (468), each item is a symbol for past experiences. The way the phrase is written, with multiple “ands” scattered throughout, creates almost the same tempo as the thought process of the elderly pair. It creates the image of them looking from item to item, remembering the events that took place with them, almost like a timeline that leads right into the present. After reading the poem, one gets the sense that this old pair lived a satisfying life. Whilst it may not have always been easy or preferable, it was still a life that was worth living. To be able to look

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