Theme Of Death In Poetry Essay

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The poem “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks and “Hanging Fire” by Audre Lorde both deal with the topic of death as a theme. Although both authors speak about death in their poems they use very different writing styles. Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas in 1917 but raised in Chicago, where she began her poetry journey at age seven. (Mays 726) She wrote mainly about the “ordinary aspects of black life during the mid-1960’s”. (Mays 726) Brooks died of cancer in 2003 at the age of 33. (Gwendolyn Brooks Biography) Audre Lorde also wrote about African Americans injustices. She was born in New York City in 1934. Lorde describes herself as a “black, lesbian, mother, warrior poet” and is sure to express this through her writing. She also, died of cancer, in 1992. (Audre Lorde - Poetry) Brooks and Lorde wrote from personal experiences and the society around them as they grew up. While both authors use the common theme of death, both approach the subject differently to accommodate with the protagonists.
Although it’s clear that they both share the subject of death as a theme each uses their own personal writing style. According to Joe Sarnowski, Brooks
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The seven boys in “We Real Cool” are defiant and complacent attitudes seem quite pathetic”(Brooks WE REAL COOL) when it comes to the subject of death according to Gary Smith’s article. The boys is a unit and easily influence one another. This can be referred to the “we” that is constantly stated through the poem.They sacrificed their individuality leading them to lose their ability to think and save himself. In Lorde’s case, her protagonist is isolated and although her mother is in the other room she feels alone.It’s clear that the fourteen is greatly affected by this because she mentions “and momma’s in the bedroom/ with the door closed”in every stanza.(Hanging Fire) Death seem to be a very appealing escape to the girl from her loneliness and Lorde promptly expresses
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