Presentation on theme: "“Icarus”: The poet is telling us that not ever striving for greatness is a greater tragedy than trying and failing. The allusion to the Greek myth of Icarus."— Presentation transcript:
“Icarus”: The poet is telling us that not ever striving for greatness is a greater tragedy than trying and failing. The allusion to the Greek myth of Icarus is an obvious sign that the poet is portraying a message regarding greatness and failure. However, the Icarus that has been placed in the middle of a modern day suburbia is different than the great Icarus of Greece. This Icarus is filled with regret and instead of dreaming about achieving greatness, he limits himself by just trying to fit in and not disturb his neighbors’ “neat front yards” (16). At night Icarus works on building wings similar to the wings that he flew in the myth. However the wings that he builds are too small to use, symbolizing how his dreams aren’t big enough. He cannot use his wings to fly, just like how his desire to be great is not strong enough to propel him to fame. Everytime Icarus tries to fly, he fails because of the ceiling in his house. The poet uses the ceiling to symbolize how Icarus does not allow himself to take risks, and instead sets limits for himself. And as long as he has the ceiling over his head, Icarus will never be able to achieve greatness. The depressing life depicted by the poet portrays how the new life Icarus has is not worth living because he doesn’t try to achieve greatness and escape.
“Hanging Fire”: In the poem Hanging Fire the poet, Audre Lorde, who happens to be a gay African American, use’s repetition and intensifying words to show that parents should do their best to help out their children in life. Even if a parents life is bad, they should do their best to make their kids life be better, because they have a long life ahead of them. We see an example of what not to do to your kid when Audre Lorde says, “and momma’s in the bedroom with the door closed.” this shows that her mom is doing nothing to help her with school, dating, or life.
“Icarus”: The greatest tragedy is not failing to be great, but failing to try to be great. The speaker in the poem, Icarus, struggles to understand that his failures are not his greatest tragedy. Icarus “constructs small wings and tries to fly” to the ceiling with the curtains drawn carefully and he “fails every time and hates himself for trying” (23). He is afraid of being overly ambitious, which keeps him stuck in an unhappy place and held back from his potential greatness. Icarus constructs “small wings” to try to reach the light fixture, in contrast to large wings, which puts a limit on how high he can fly (23). Icarus tries not to fail because he sees the possibility of being great, but he cannot go too far because a hero’s greatness is usually their downfall. Icarus seems to believe by limiting his abilities and being cautious he will achieve more, but truly he is not trying hard enough to be truly great.
“Hanging Fire”: Many things can be wrong with one’s life, but the problem that worsens all the little things is attention and care from the ones you love most. Audre Lorde uses symbolism to portray her feelings towards her life, as well as her death. At the end of every stanza, she repeats herself, stating that “momma’s in the bedroom with the door closed.” (10-11, 22-23, 34-35) As the speaker complains about things that seem petty, and compares them to death, none of it really seems to matter to her, because her “momma’s in the bedroom with the door closed.” That symbolizes her mom not being there for her, because her mom is not giving her attention, love, or care. The fact that her moms’ door is closed, rather than open, symbolizes that her mom is ignoring her, and is closing herself off from her daughter. Because of the lack of care she recieves from her mom, the speaker cannot differenciate small problems, such as skin, with larger issues, like her death.