Project #80758 - Journal writing 4

Read the poem below.  As you reflect on the poem and literary elements, respond to the following statements and questions in a journal writing consisting of 250 - 300 words.  Use details from the text (poem) to support your responses.  1) Identify themes in the poem. 2) Highlight the point at which the speaker’s tone changes.  Explain why the tone changes. 3) Who are the victims? 4) What does the word “this” mean in “given it all away and had nothing / left but this”? (Lines 25 and 26).

“The Victims” by Sharon Olds


When Mother divorced you, we were glad.  She took it and


took it, in silence, all those years and then


kicked you out, suddenly, and her


kids loved it.  Then you were fired, and we


5              grinned inside, the way people grinned when


Nixon’s helicopter lifted off the South


Lawn for the last time.8  We were tickled


to think of your office taken away,


your secretaries taken away,


10           your lunches with three double bourbons,


your pencils, your reams of paper.  Would they take your


suits back, too, those dark


carcasses hung in your closet, and the black


noses of your shoes with their large pores?


15           She had taught us to take it, to hate you and take it


until we pricked with her for your


annihilation, Father.  Now I


pass the bums in doorways, the white


slugs of their bodies gleaming through slits in their


20           suits of compressed silt, the stained


flippers of their hands, the underwater


fire of their eyes, ships gone down with the


lanterns lit, and I wonder who took it and


took it from them in silence until they had


25           given it all away and had nothing


left but this.                                                                                           1984




When Richard Nixon resigned the U.S. presidency on August 8, 1974, his exit from the White House (by helicopter from the lawn) was televised live.


Olds, Sharon.  “The Victims.”  The Norton Introduction to Literature.  Shorter Tenth Edition. 


        Ed. Allison Booth and Kelly J. Mays.  New York: Norton, 2010.  810.


Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 09/07/2015 12:00 am
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