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Transcript of Poetry Analysis
Advertisement by Wislawa Szymborska 1996 Analysis
Stanzas 1 and 2
The first stanza uses personification, attributing human characteristics to an inanimate object, to help accentuate the irony, enticement and harm of prescription drugs. By giving the drug human qualities, it helps the reader in understanding the power and influence of drugs. The first line ‘I am a tranquilizer’ could possibly suggest that the person has become the drug or the drug has taken over. Throughout the first stanza, there is a constant re-used of the word ‘I’ as repetition to emphasize the drug. ‘I carefully mend broken crockery’ in stanza one as much importance and symbolism to this poem. I think that Szymborska was making the drugs refer to glue. The drugs are the glue that hold people together and without the drugs people would be broken, smashed into pieces.
The second stanza is a series of persuasive lines informing the ways drugs help heal, forget and cope with life while using a bit of irony. These lines also list the reasons why people take drugs in the first place but in the point of view of the drug. The line ‘make up for the absence of God’ illustrates the effectiveness of personifying the drug by going as fas as saying the drugs are so powerful that they can replace supreme being, such as God.
The three stanza includes the drug trying to sell itself it us. Szymborska uses influential language telling the reader something they want it hear and making them question their own conscience.
Szymborska goes on in the last stanzas to explain the interpretation of the drug that will fill the hole of emptiness inside you ‘Hand your abyss over to me.’ By first impression, it seems the Szymborska is showing that drugs help reduce pain. By personifying the drug near the end of the poem, however, it helps give power to the drug and showing the incredibly large effect of temptation it has on people. In the last stanza the line ‘Sell me your soul’ is no longer an ask, it is a directory in which the drug is forcing you. It is also showing how in reality drugs can steal a person’s sense of being. ‘There’s no other devil left' is the last line of the poem justifying that drugs are the only thing the person has left. By delivering a object like persona to the drug and giving the observation of it, it makes the intention of this poem evident. That drugs are harmful and addictive.
Go ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks 1971 pg 108
Oh, to be stoned, to have someone tie me off and give me a shot of anything. I've heard paregoric is great. Oh hell, I wish I had enough anything to end the whole shitty mess. I've been asleep and I don't know if it's the same day or week or year, but who the hell cares anyway?
The goddamned rain is even worse than yesterday. It's like the whole sky is pissing on us. I tried to go out once, but my cold is so bad I was chilled to my ass before I'd even gotten to the goddamned corner, so I came back and went to bed with my clothes on, trying to curl up enough so my body heat would at least keep me from dying. I guess I've got a high fever, because I keep drifting off—that's the only bejesus thing that keeps me from croaking.
Oh, I need a fix so bad! I want to scream and pound my head against the wall and climb the damned dusty, faded stringy curtains. I've got to get out of here. I've got to get the hell out of here before I really blow my cool all the way. I'm scared and lonely and I'm sick. I'm as sick as I've ever been in my life
Compare and Contrast
The main contrast between ‘Go Ask Alice’ and ‘Advertisement’ would be the values of the two pieces. While Spark's book looks into the thoughts and feelings of a teenager being hooked to drugs, Szymborska, gives an ironic view stating good reasons to do drugs. The similarities, however, support this difference in the sense that they both give the impression that drugs are harmful in a quiet and non-obvious way.
Another similarity is that both texts suggest the thrill and excitement of drugs and also why people take them. The difference to that is the way the writers interporate it. In ‘Go ask Alice’ Beatrice Sparks captures the enthusiasm towards drugs from the characters perspective. In Advertisement Wislawa Szymborska, as the drug is given a human trait, the poem is written in the drugs perspective persuading people to have it.
Compare and Contrast
A device that is used in both texts is the point of view. ‘Go ask Alice’ and ‘Advertisement’ are pieces that are written in first person meaning the speaker (Alice and the drugs) are in the story and poem and it is in their perspective.
Overall these two authors, Beatrice Sparks and Wislawa Szymborska capture their audience and themes by helping the reader understand the power and influence of drugs through personification and journal writing. ‘Go ask Alice’ clearly connects with ‘Advertisement’ as they both try to tell the readers that in reality drugs do ease pain temporarily, but eventually they are addictive, harmful and not worth it.