Essay Example on My Son Blazes Within Me: Exploring Family, Spirituality & More

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1464 Words
Date:  2022-12-29


My son blazes within me: so many contradictions, so little time is a poetic piece done by Danny Shaw under the inspiration by his son called Ernesto Rafael alias "Chichi." The book is major focused on themes such as family, spirituality, colonial resistance, addition, general trauma, and father-son relationships. The author gives a glimpse of the subject matter through the description of the various characters in the poetic piece. This paper will focus on highlighting discussing and analyzing the content of the book with a special alignment to the themes, stylistic devices and the influence of the book to the current worldview.

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The author uses a number of characters to make sure that the themes in the book are brought out clearly. The characters include his son Ernesto, his friends Lawrence, Jay, and John, his sisters Ellen and Jenifer, his mother Karen Mahoney, father and his grandfathers. Through the various characters, the author is able to develop the themes of the book more specifically the family and it's functioning, resistance, morals and spirituality, and colonial resistance among others. It is also clear that some of the author's other poems such as "Shedding that which is not us," "365 days of resistance" and "The saints of Santo Domingo" is also centered on colonial resistance and fight for independence.

Stylistic Devices

The author utilizes some of the major stylistic devices that enhance the presentation of the poem in that they keep the reader glued and makes the reader identify and relate to the occurrences of the poem. Some of the stylistic devices employed by the author include imagery. For instance, the author stresses the connectedness between him and the son Ernesto by noting that their dreams "dreams exchange hands conversing (Shaw 12)." This makes the reader understand and pictures how close the author and the son is so that they can share dreams. Other imagery used includes, "winter closed in" and "flames grow emboldened and spit back (15)."

The author also uses metaphors in the poetic piece. For instance, the author notes that James Skinny's sins had the "quietude of the mountains and seas." This makes the reader relate the sins to the vast nature of the mountain and the sea. Therefore, the reader will denote that skinny is very sinful. Another device that is employed is flashbacks. For instance, Shaw`s mother imagines that she takes her time back and imagines if she could be her own mother. Through the imaginations, the reader is able to understand the things she considers great for a family. She talks about holding her kids together and always appreciating them. This promotes the theme of family existence and brings it into perspective.


Through the book, the author is set out to express the ideas of family life. The author uses other characters especially the family members such as the grandparents, father, mother, sisters, and son. The author stresses the importance of the family in a number of ways. Though his son, the author challenges the audience that parents can also learn from their children. The author notes that his son has been helpful to him and has taught him more about life and being a man. This to the contemporary worldview may seem impossible. Otherwise, the love between the son and the author makes it real and comes out clearly in the text. The author also stresses the importance of love and sacrifice for the family through his sisters Jenifer and Ellen. The author relates the success of his journey in life to their love and support. Moreover, a family is supposed to be based on belief, mentorship, and confidence in one another like the mother (Karen Mahoney) does to the author.

The theme of colonial resistance and general colonial powers is evident in the poetic piece. The author paints the colonial powers as being inhuman, selfish and scavengers (16). Thee colonial powers came to disrupt the peace and systems of the inhabitant. The coming of the colonial powers is equated to the return of the wolves (28). They are inhuman to the extent that they draw canes to order the old slaves to obey them (15). The harshness of the colonialists prompts resistance from the inhabitants including the author and his son to subscribe to the resistance movement and oppose the colonial power. For instance, the author reminds his son that they have specialized in opposing the images of the mirrors that project the hate which has been produced by hate (15).

The theme of contradictions is also vivid in the poetic piece. There are numerous contradictions that the author brings forth. The contradictions are meant to let the reader make the comparisons between the subjects in the literature. Some of the contradictions in the poem include the fact that unlike the contemporary worldview, where people believe that soldiers and especially men should not cry, the author encourages his son to cry, make mistakes and live free. Moreover, the author's father is unappreciative to his son like the author is appreciative to Ernesto. This seems to be contradictory to the fact that the contemporary world thinks that children should emulate all the things their parents have done to them. Furthermore, unlike the author's father who did not participate in the battlefield in the crave for independence, but chose to involve himself with the discernment of stones from gravel, the author and his son choose to fight for the independence of their country from colonial powers. Finally, the author uses the Iraqi as a contradiction of other colonial powers. He exonerates the Iraqi from the ills done to the slaves by the colonial powers such as making them lose direction and purpose, reduced their worthiness, denied them the freedom to expression, deliberate introduction of asthma on children, and robbed them off their legitimacy and history (87). This is the direct opposite of what the colonial powers did to the slaves including whipping, exposing them to trafficking, belittling them and extortion.

Inspiring Text and Worldview

In the text, the author claims that gangs, addictions, sexual violence, and social problems are systematic. The author attributes the social problems to the failure of the social institutions in training the children and one another. For instance, he advocates for proper parenting by portraying his family as a yardstick of responsible parenting styles. For instance, by constantly appreciating and positively regarding his son, the son is portrayed as morally upright, unlike the unappreciative parents. His mother yearns for the life she could have lived and channels the same in raising her own children Shaw, Ellen, and Jenifer. This means that if society trains the children from engaging in antisocial behaviors by responsible parenting, then the rate of gangs, sexual violence, and addictions can be minimized.

The book is an important piece written by an author who is dedicated to addressing social problems such as gangs, sexual violence, addictions, and greed. It offers numerous teachings besides being entirely educative on the aspects of family, father-son relationships, and colonialism. The book challenges the student's worldview to get out of the contradictions whereby the world thinks that learning in a family is a unilateral process. From the book, it is evident that parents and children should learn to understand one another. Furthermore, it is also evident that different from the general world view that soldiers are strong, emotionless and usually do not cry, the author encourages his son to cry. He acknowledges that pain is essential for growth, just as tears are important for freedom (29). This fact urges people not to yield to pressure from the outside world to succeed while forgetting their internal aspirations. To stamp out the social problems the author advocates that the solution lies with the raising of children in the society. The author places the family at the center of every social problem. Through a strong well-knit family, he and his son are in the process of combating colonialism which is a social problem. He admits that he cast his love-life to curve the sword and shape a rock into becoming a diamond. This shows how family love is important in enhancing motivations (16). Furthermore, through proper parenting, the author is able to mold his son into joining a worthwhile force in fighting for freedom instead of joining gangs which most children would do.


In conclusion, the book is very vital for reading to everyone who is in need of evidencing the role of the family and kin relationships in enhancing motivations and behavioral development. From the discussion, it is clear that the ideas of family, colonialism, and contradictions come out strongly. By reading the book, one is convinced to change the contemporary world view which is premised on guesses and pride.

Works Cited

Shaw, Danny. My Son Blazes within Me: So Many Contradictions, So Little Time. 2018.

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Essay Example on My Son Blazes Within Me: Exploring Family, Spirituality & More. (2022, Dec 29). Retrieved from

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