My son, my executioner Essay

My son, my executioner Essay

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From a global viewpoint, the passing of generations of the human race is a smooth and natural cycle, one generation bringing another generation into this world, as they themselves begin to leave it. From the perspective of the individual, however, this cycle can bring about a mixture of feelings, from pride to depression, as they watch their own lives fall second to that of their children. Donald Hall’s “My son, my executioner” and Rita Dove’s “Daystar” describe how the birth and growth of a child is a massive turning point in a person’s life and can be looked at as either the continuance of one’s legacy or the withering of one’s own life, depending on the viewpoint.
Donald Hall’s “My son, my executioner” describes the speaker’s acknowledgement that the arrival of the speaker’s son signals the beginning of the speaker’s own coming death, but muses that the child will carry on their legacy. The speaker holds the child “in [their] arms” (line 4) and reflects upon the situation. The speaker refers to the son as their “instrument of immortality” (line 6), its “cries and hunger” (line ...

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