Poem Analysis Class Prep/Homework Choice #1

Poem Analysis Class Prep/Homework Choice #1

Name______Level ______

Poem Analysis Class Prep/Homework Choice #1

Part I. Class Preparation. Read the poem below at least twice OUT LOUD. Glance at the questions below for discussion tomorrow.

The Victims

By Sharon Olds

When Mother divorced you, we were glad. She took it and

took it, in silence, all those years and then

kicked you out, suddenly, and her

kids loved it. Then you were fired, and we

grinned inside, the way people grinned when5

Nixon’s helicopter lifted off the South

lawn for the last time. We were tickled

to think of your offices taken away,

your secretaries taken away,

your luncheons with three double bourbons,10

your pencils, your reams of paper. Would they take your

suits back, too, those dark

carcasses hung in your closet, and the black

noses of your shoes with their large pores?

She had taught us to take it, to hate you and take it15

until we pricked with her for your

annihilation, Father. Now I

pass the bums in the doorways, the white

slugs of their bodies gleaming through the slits in their

suits of compressed silt, the stained 20

flippers of their hands, the underwater

fire of their eyes, ships gone down with the

lanterns lit, and I wonder who took it and

took it from them in silence until they had

given it all away and had nothing 25

left but this.

Part II. Homework Choice #1 (OPTIONAL)

Use Complete Sentences and answer all parts of the question!

Level 2 students complete all questions.

Level 3 Students may omit 1 question from 1-5. Added credit for added work.

Level 4 Students may omit 2 question from 1-5. Added credit for added work.

  1. Knowing that the author is a separate being than the speaker, who is the speaker in this poem? Support your guess with evidence from the poem.
  1. What is the occasion in the poem? In other words, what is the poem literally about? Refer to lines in the poem to support your answer.
  1. What is your primary reaction to this poem? How do you feel after reading it? Which lines in particular had a bigger effect on you?
  1. What do you think was the author’s purpose in writing this poem?
  1. Considering your feelings about the poem above, did the author achieve her purpose? Why or why not?

All Students Complete

  1. Pull out at least three different devices that are working towards, what you think, is the author’s purpose for the poem.

Device 1______(lines )

Explain connection to purpose:

Device 2______(lines )

Explain connection to purpose:

Device 3______(lines )

Explain connection to purpose: