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Symbolism and Imagery of Where There's a Wall by Joy Kogawa

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Lucas Godkin

on 9 October 2015

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Transcript of Symbolism and Imagery of Where There's a Wall by Joy Kogawa

Lucas Godkin
Joy Kogawa utilizes symbolism and imagery a lot in her poem, “Where There’s a Wall.” In the first stanza, the wall she describes is symbolic of a problem. She is on one side of the wall and feels trapped, this is what the picture of the Berlin wall represents. On her side of the wall she stares at the top, and feels lost. To overcome this problem there are two different options. The first being words and the second being weapons. She paints two very clear, but different images in the reader's head. You can go “around or over”(3) with a ladder, gate, or find a door. This option does not involve violence. The picture of the wall with a ladder leaning on it, as well as the people taking around the table are representative of this. The other option is to go through the wall with “helicopters, rockets, bombs, (and) bettering rams”(15-16), which is the violent, forceful option. The picture of the war field is depicting this image.
Symbolism and Imagery of "Where There's a Wall"
by Joy Kogawa

where there's a wall
there's a way

there's a gate
maybe a ladder
a door

whose all at once blast
shatters the foundations

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