Literary Analysis Of Loss Of Passage By Sharon Olds

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Loss of Innocence The loss of innocence is necessary when transitioning from boyhood to manhood. In the poem, “Rite of Passage,” the author, Sharon Olds uses imagery, irony and similes when writing about a mother’s interpretation of her six year old son’s identity. Olds carefully uses literary devices as she conveys the message that a boys’ loss of his youthful innocence is an important part in the shaping of his adult identity and sense of self. The author uses words and phrases to create a mental image for her readers. Being able to visualize what the author is writing allows the reader to directly identify with the mother in the poem. The author uses visual imagery to describe the image of a bunch of first graders staring each other in the eye, asking for a fight. “They eye…show more content…
Irony is a style of writing in which there is a noticeable difference between what is being said and the intended meaning. Irony is first introduced in the title of the poem; “Rite of Passage.” The title is ironic because the poem is only about a six year olds birthday and a young boy’s birthday is not usually considered a “Rite of Passage.” A Sweet Sixteen birthday, a Quinceañeras , or a Bar Mitzvahs are considered rites of passage because they celebrate a child’s transition from adolescence into adulthood. The mother also uses irony when referring to the guests of the party as “short men, men in first grade . . .” (3-4) The mother using the word “men” when referring her son’s friends is ironic because boys in first grade usually have carefree lives which is completely different from the pressures adults have to deal with. Another example of irony can be found in lines. (9-10) “They eye each other, seeing themselves/tiny in the other’s pupils.” The boys feel as though they are all grown up, but when their look into the eyes of their peers, they actually see themselves as young and
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