Analysis Of Who Will Know Us? By Gary Soto

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“Who Will Know Us?,” by Gary Soto is a deep and meaningful poem. The poem hits on a lot of literary topics we discussed in class. The poem keeps the reader’s constantly questioning the meaning behind the poem as the voice is riding past his country, peering out the window of the train. The author uses simile, alliteration and metaphors to convey the dark theme of death that is constantly featured in this poem. “Who Will Know Us?,” is not considered a standard English verse poem because it does not contain 5 feet syllables. This poem is a contemporary poem, or free verse. There is four stanzas in this poem, the first three contains 10 or more lines, while the last stanza only has three. The reason why the last stanza is so short is because…show more content…
However, after further analyzing the poem one might be extremely intrigued by the message the speaker conveyed. The audience gets a sense of the setting being in a cold, dark, brooding place. The orator uses language such as, cold, bitter, snow, icy, and white. There is a play on words in the first stanza, eighth line, using the words “coal” and “cold”. Instead of saying “icy cold,” the orator states “icy coal.” At first glance the audience may feel as though someone is in dying in this poem. Comparing this to similar scenarios in films, where a lead beloved character experiences cold shivers as they get ready to pass to the great beyond. The title “Who Will Know Us?,” catches the reader 's attention because as humans, we wander the legacy and effect we will leave behind. It causes the reader to contemplate what happens after death, when the world you left behind ceases to remember you exist. The readers are left with the question of is there a really a “life after death.” There is also use of similes such as, “it is cold, bitter as a penny...with his loose buttons like heads of crucifies saints”(Soto). Nostalgia, a word some readers may not be familiar with is featured in this poem. Nostalgia is a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. Personification plays an integral part on the voice in…show more content…
“Who Will Know Us?,” contains a brooding voice behind the poem. It creates a dark mood by discussing death. The orator is traveling on a train trying to visit a cemetery. The train is a symbol of death and moving towards death. The description of the train and its conductor is spooky and frightening. “With his loose buttons like heads or crucified saints,/ his made puncher biting zeros through tickets”(Soto). The imagery that one can get from this is that the speaker is on a train full of dead people as he heads towards hell, the pits of Hades. One can say he is on a train going to visit a relative or that he is dying himself. The true destination of where the train is heading is unknown. The narrator is looking outside of the train window, looking at their hometown as he or she passes by. He is describing the farm houses, cows, and wagons. The country can be seen as the deep south, where most people make a living by farming. The time aspect also can be indicated in this stanza. The narrator states that they see a wagon with a horse carrying it. A reader can infer the poem is taken place in the past, during the 1700’s, where people had to ride a horses and buggies because the car was not yet invented. The description the n goes on and tells how even the outside is cold and icy. This signifies that death is around

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