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College Entrance Essay

In: People

Submitted By croman122
Words 623
Pages 3
Chris Roman
Mr. Krause/ Hr.2
AP Literature
2 April 2014
In the poem, Facing It, written by Yusef Komunyakka, he expresses his emotions as he walked around the Vietnam Veteran Memorial in Washington D.C. The reader is able to encounter how much of an emotional experience it was for him. Throughout the poem; he uses many different rhetorical strategies to help the reader understand the exact way he was feeling. Strategies that are present throughout the poem are personification, comparing and contrasting, and multiple examples of imagery. Without the variety of rhetorical strategies, the readers would not be able to completely understand how much of an emotional rollercoaster Yusef went through while he was walking through the memorial. The museum had a much deeper meaning to him rather than if it was just a person with no ties to the war walking around and that is because the museum was a healing factor of his war-time experience. One of the first examples of personification is found in line nine. Yusef states, “-the stone lets me go.” Within this line he is trying to give the stone the ability to take him back to the war. He is giving the stone a human like quality. This allows the reader to understand that once he saw the stone with all the names engraved in it, it took him straight back to the past and his mind started racing with thoughts. He became consumed within his thoughts as he was staring at the stone. Yusef referred to the stones as a mirror; “they have a mirror like quality”, this is an example of imagery. The stones had much more meaning to them, they were not just something that showed his reflection, they allowed Yusef to experience self-effacement, self-awareness, the illusion of having been transformed, and identification with the memorialized veterans. Another example of imagery is the poem itself; the element of imagery that is conveyed is transformation and duality. What Yusef went through while he was in the war was life changing. This caused his life to transform but seeing the memorial allowed him to think about old memories. His life changing experience causes the duality because he is living in the present but is still experiencing the past within his thoughts. There were many times that emotions were compared and contrasted within the poem, the ones that were used were past and present, light and dark, illusion and reality, and fusion and separation. This is a main reason how the reader can fully understand what Yusef went through going as he walked through the memorial. Comparing and contrasting different emotions, allows both the reader and Yusef to understand the experiences he went through is deeper context. Sentimental reminiscence is what is felt throughout the poem. As the readers, we are able to understand that Yusef is attempting to resist emotion but also has a sense of oneness with the memorial. In lines twenty-nine through thirty-one, Yusef conveys that he has a desire to recapture innocence. Seeing the names on the granite walls helped him realize how permanent the fate of the names engraved on the walls are.
The emotions and rhetorical strategies throughout the poem gave the reader a chance to understand what his thought and feelings were as he walked through the memorial. It also helps the reader interpret the fact that he felt like he was a part of the memorial. No one will truly understand the emotions Yusef encountered, but with the use of personification, comparing and contrasting, and imagery, the readers are able to get a better understanding. They help pull the poem together with an emotional connection between Yusef and the memorial.…...

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