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The Use of Imagery in Refugee Mother and Child by Chinua Achebe

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Length: 847 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)
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The Use of Imagery in Refugee Mother and Child by Chinua Achebe

Question - In ‘Refugee Mother and Child”, imagery is used to arouse
response from the reader. Discuss use of imagery and what effects it
helps to achieve.

Refugee Mother and Child is a poem that seems to be written to arouse
response from the reader. The pitiful image of a mother holding the
corpse of her son is not only sourcing empathy from the reader but
also helps the reader reflect on their own fortunate lives. In fact,
Chinua Achebe is a leading writer for African causes, especially for
the injustices in the world.

The first stanza seems to be written as an introduction to the
following stanza. The poet begins by allowing the reader to visualize
the –

“Picture of a mother’s tenderness

for a son she soon would have to forget.”

This immediately conveys the theme of ‘death of a child’ and also
helps set the ‘sorrowful’ mood of the poem. The short introduction
allows the reader to settle them down and focus more on the tragic
scene, thus maximizing the response from the reader.

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