The Colonel Poem Analysis

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Currently in the United States, many of us are afraid of the future. There have been many recent events that have stirred up fear in this country, especially tensions regarding human rights. In Carolyn Forché’s “The Colonel,” the speaker tells us her story of when she had to deal with the mistreatment of others. The speaker is telling us her story of meeting the colonel to show us the horrible things that have happened in the fight for justice and to encourage us to speak up. She tells us this story because she does not want others to end up the way that the ears did. The speaker wants us to stay strong and fight for justice when we begin to live in a state of constant fear. This poem tells us about someone who is fearful in her situation.…show more content…
This is evident through the symbolism of the ears at the end of the poem. Once he rudely tells the speaker that he will not help her people at all, the speaker tells us that “some of the ears on the floor caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the ears on the floor were pressed to the ground.” The ears are divided into two different types: the ones that hear the colonel and the ones that do not. All of the ears are said to be on the floor because they represent the people in the worst living conditions who are living below everyone else. Each of these types also represents a portion of the struggling population when a problem arises. Some of the population hears what is going on and reacts to the issue, and the rest of the population turns away and ignores the problem. Furthermore, it is evident that the speaker wants us to speak out because she is doing it herself. The poem begins with “what you have heard is true” because the speaker wants her audience to know that the rumor that brewed from her story is true. The poem then goes into detail about what happened, and the speaker wants us to be disgusted by what has happened so that we act to help her. The speaker wants us to be the ears that hear her. The poem is a call to action for all of the people in El Salvador in that time

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