A Song in the Front Yard by Gwendolyn Brooks Essay example

A Song in the Front Yard by Gwendolyn Brooks Essay example

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“A Song in the Front Yard”, by Gwendolyn Brooks, illustrates the desire people develop to experience new things and live life according to their own rules. In the first stanza, Brooks uses diction of propriety and unfamiliarity to emphasize the author’s desire to change her life. In the first line, the author establishes that she is only familiar with one way of life since she has “stayed in the front yard all [her] life.” The author “stayed” in the front yard suggesting that she was able to leave the yard and experience new things, but she just was not ready. She was raised in the “front yard,” highlighting the idea that the “front” is the proper way for her to live her life. In the second line, the author realizes there is much more to experience in life and she “[wants] a peek at the back.” At this point in her life, she is not ready to abandon the only life she knows, but she wants to look at the other side of things and all of the different experiences she can have. In the third line, the back yard is described as being, “rough and untended and hungry weed grows,” again representing how Brooks is only used to one place. In the front yard, everything is neat, properly tended, and no weeds grow. After seeing this, she realizes that life is not always as perfect as she was raised to believe, so she wants a taste of something new. In the fourth line, the author says, “a girl gets sick of a rose,” showing how Brooks has had enough of the front yard life and needs to experience new things. The “rose” is used to represent life in the front yard. A “rose” is usually associated with perfection and beauty, reflecting the author’s life in the “front yard.”
In the second stanza, the author uses repetition and diction of change to highli...


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...t she has put on a new “costume” and is now a completely different person. The stockings are “night-black” representing the backyard and its negative connotation. In line twenty, the author writes that she wants to “strut down the streets with paint on [her] face,” again emphasizing Brooks’ new rebellious nature since crossing over into the backyard. The “paint” suggests that her rebellion is just and act, and as soon as she removes the paint, she can return to the front yard if she pleases. The repetition of “and” at the beginning of the last three lines illustrates Brooks’ desire to completely rebel against her mother and the front yard life since it shows how she wants to rebel in so many ways. The main theme of the poem highlights the desire people have to experience what they do not have and live life on their own terms.



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A Song in the Front Yard

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