Summary Of The White Judges By Marilyn Dumont

analytical Essay
960 words
960 words

In the poem “The White Judges” by Marilyn Dumont, the speaker is aware of how her and her Indigenous family are constantly being judged by white society. The poem juxtaposes the family with the encircling colonialists who wait to demean and assimilate the group. The family internalizes a sense of shame and guilt while being surrounded by the primarily white population. Consequently, the family faces the pressures of being judged for their cultural practices. Dumont’s use of prose and lyrical voice distinctly highlights the theme of being judged by white society. Her integration of figurative language enhances the Indigenous tradition and cultural practices throughout the poem. As well as her use of anaphora and musicality which amplifies the …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how marilyn dumont's poem "the white judges" juxtaposes the speaker and her indigenous family with the encircling colonialists who wait to demean and assimilate the group.
  • Analyzes how dumont writes in two types of structures, prose and lyrical, that contribute to the theme of confining to white culture, which limits the indigenous household.
  • Analyzes how dumont's structure choice helps the reader identify the period when the family begins to experience shame and guilt as a result of judgement.
  • Analyzes how dumont incorporates figurative language into the lyrical section of the poem to emphasize her indigenous culture and tradition.
  • Analyzes how dumont uses figurative language to emphasize the marginalization the indigenous family experiences. the poem provides a sense of family bonding and cultural togetherness.
  • Analyzes how dumont's use of sound and musicality in the lyrical portion of the poem strengthens and builds the feeling of being watched and judged.
  • Analyzes how dumont's use of shifting structure, anaphora, and figurative language proves the oppressed nature and condemnation of the speaker and her family experience.

She elaborates on the traditional act of hunting through a simile: “my mother would lift and lay it in place / like a dead relative” (40-41). The relation to a dead relative shows reverence and respect for the animal. The white judges also observe the practice of “praying, coaxing, and thanking” (42), the dead animal as the speaker describes her mother performing the cultural practice of preparing the meat. Dumont’s use of description adds imagery to the poem as she states, “until we had become it and it had become us” (20), further noting the cultural and spiritual connection with animals. Overall, this incorporation provides the reader with information about the Indigenous culture and …show more content…

The repetition of the words “waited” (13), and “watched” (14), throughout the stanzas adds anaphora and mystery to the vivid disapproval surrounding the family. Moreover, the use of repetition deepens the focus on the shame and guilt the young girl and her family are experiencing. The anaphora used throughout the poem intends that there is something being waited for. Therefore, the colonialist settlers are continuously waiting and watching for something to happen. In the last stanza Dumont states, “Or wait until a fight broke out” (55), suggesting that this is the action being waited for. As a result, the negative action causes the family to feel shame and regret. Overall, the use of musicality and anaphora successfully allows the reader to experience the pressure of

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