Go Back to May 1937 by Sharon Olds Essay

Go Back to May 1937 by Sharon Olds Essay

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No matter how bad the situations seem they all happen for a reason. Sharon Olds had to realize this through her own pain and suffering. She portrays herself as the speaker who goes back to May of 1937, and sees her parents. In “I Go Back to May 1937” she tells a story of when her parents were still just dating. They were just about to graduate and get married. Instead of feeling joyful or smiling at the sight of them she had a completely different reaction. She wanted to go up to them and stop them. Maybe they looked innocent then, but she knew that they would not remain that way for long. By telling the story of her parent’s ignorance, betrayal, and the difficult decisions that soon follow, Sharon Olds shows that the will to live helps people make life’s difficult decisions, in “I Go Back to May 1937.”
After seeing her parents walk out of their colleges, she describes them as being innocent kids who were ignorant to the real world and what their future would hold. She says that, “They are just kids, they are dumb. All they know is they are / innocent, they would never hurt anyone.” (Olds 848, 10-12). This quote shows that they used to be innocent kids. She calls them dumb. They are dumb because they don’t know what she knows. They don’t see that one day they will no longer be those innocent kids. Their innocents as kids led them to not have much power which they always secretly wanted. For them having children let them finally have the power they wanted but they took advantage of it and used it in the wrong ways. Sharon saw this and finally understood that it was not her fault, and this realization made her stronger and helped her
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will to live shine through. She knew that her parents would one day graduate, get married,...


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...ll to live helped her push through this difficult decision and realize that she wanted to live.
In “I Go Back to May 1937” Sharon shows that the will to live helps people make life’s difficult decisions. She demonstrates this by telling the story of her parent’s ignorance, their betrayal, and her own difficult decision. Sharon had to go through a rough childhood but when given the chance to end it all she decided to live through it and be able to tell her story. In the final line of the poem she says, “Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it” (Olds 848, 30). She made her difficult decision using her will to live. She knew that she would have to suffer and that her parents would do bad things and say bad things to her. She knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but she also knew that she would make it through and one day be able to tell her story to the world.

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