Literary Analysis Of I Go Back To May 1937

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An Open Gate to Life The poem “I Go Back to May 1937” written in 1987 by poet and writer Sharon Olds, is based on a child’s perspective on her parent’s marriage that is destined to fail and the child’s wishes to go back and stop them from making the mistake of marriage. The poem is told from the perspective of the couple’s future child, who ultimately goes back in time to try and convince them that their marriage would be a mistake. Although this creates conflict, as by preventing the couple from marriage would ultimately lead to the end of her own existence. Olds uses imagery, conflict and symbolism to show the differences between the couple and their child’s emotions and feelings about their ill-fated marriage. Imagery is a key part of any poem or literary piece and creates an illustration in the mind of the reader by using descriptive and vivid language. Olds creates a vibrant mental picture of the couple’s surroundings, “the red tiles glinting like bent plates of blood/ the …show more content…

By doing this, the child would save her parent’s from years of heartache and regret but would ultimately lead to the end of her own existence. Although if she chooses not to tell her parent’s the whole family will face inevitable sadness, hatred and despair. One example of conflict shows the thought process and the strain the child is experiencing, “I want to go up to them and say Stop…but I don’t do it. I want to live.” (Olds). This is a strong example of internal conflict, which is described as “the psychological struggle within the mind of a literary or dramatic character, the resolution of which creates the plot 's suspense” ("Internal Conflict"). The poet chose to use internal conflict to show and emphasize the emotional distress and emotional fight she is experiencing with deciding her parent’s and her own

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