Why Does Theodore Roethke Use Ambiguous Language

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In “My Papa’s Waltz,” poet Theodore Roethke uses sensory details and ambiguous language to persuade both the boy and the reader that the boy still loves his father, despite him being an alcoholic. On the third sentence of the first stanza, Roethke uses ambiguous language by stating: “But I hung on like death. Such waltzing was not easy.” Although this plainly means that the boy was holding onto his father without ease, it can be interpreted in another way; the boy still loves his father, even though it is hard to love him with his alcoholism at times, and the boy still loves his father very much. The boy is reflecting on this idea while waltzing with his

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