Literary Analysis Essay on Margaret Atwood's "You Fit Into Me" and Sharon Olds' "Rite of Passage"

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  897 Words
Date:  2022-06-23


Postmodernism entails philosophical approaches that represent objectivity, in reality, skepticism, Ideologies, and irony. In literature, postmodernism helps make literary criticism of thinkers' works to understand the subjectivism, moral relativism, knowledge, discourse culture, and value systems. This paper will discuss the poems, "You Fit Into Me" by Margaret Atwood, and "Rite of Passage" by Sharon Olds using a postmodernism approach in analyzing the punctuation, length, and open ending styles. Although the two poems have a difference in theme and tone techniques, the adoption of other stylistic approaches and literary devices will help position the texts in the postmodernist school of thought.

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Initially, the two poems are gratuitously short but carry very strong subjectivism. For instance, Atwood's "You fit into Me" comprises two stanzas each with two lines through the poems have a very strong message to the audience. The first line of the poem is a positive acceptance of the connection with another when She says "You fit into me" (1:1). The length of the poem demonstrates that the artistic piecework fits into postmodernism definition because it evades unnecessary information to give critical understanding and reveal the intimacy of the characters presented. The second line of the poem "like a hook into an eye" confronts the relationship between the two parties using simile expression to give a contrasting comparison to show the endangerment that threatens the relationship between the two people. While the third line gives an image representation of the danger that encompasses the relationship; and lastly the last line "an open eye" is a symbolic representation of vulnerability attesting to violence and restlessness. The length of this four lined poem is unnecessarily short but helps to position Atwood's work in the postmodernism era that shows that artistic representation of moral reality and subjectivity does not necessarily require lengthy prose but can be presented in short but in textual meaning artistic or philosophical works (Torres, 2016).

In the use of punctuation to position the artistic works in the postmodernism literature, Sharon Old's poem "Rite of Passage" using different punctuation styles makes the work present a romanticism meaning on the presentation of text. For instance, Sharon Olds uses punctuation marks and hyphens to give her text in-depth and contextual meanings. In the first line "As the guests arrive at our son's party" the use of the possessive punctuation marks introduces the reader into the idea that she is writing about an event held for her son. Later at the end of the second line, Sharon uses a hyphen to give an explanation of her preceding sentence. Throughout the entire poem, Sharon tactfully uses punctuations to communicate with her reader in a more elaborate way to ensure they have a mutual understanding of the issues she is addressing. Again, through proper punctuation, Sharon Olds is able to grab the attention of her audience in a humorous way to communicate irony and sarcasm. On the other hand, the poem "You Fit Into Me" by Margate Atwood ignore the use of punctuation altogether throughout the poem to give it an artistic style that communicates deliberately to her audience. Atwood does not punctuate her work because of either of the length of the artwork or because of the distinctness of her intentions to her audience. The artistic presentation of the two poems layout classifies them into postmodernism literature because of the elaboration of in-text meaning using punctuation or ignoring punctuation altogether to give a symbolic representation of postmodern literature in reality and value systems.

Lastly, both poems lack closure in their endings. Sharon Olds ends with mixed feelings without clearly telling the audience whether the entire affair was on the conflict or the celebration of the birthday. Olds makes a sudden open ending leaving her audience to draw open conclusions of the unfolding events. She deliberately avoids necessary details to jog her readers' imaginations on the proceeding events that follow the threatened fight (Huang, 2013). Again, she fails to tell the audience on the flow of events following the purpose of the event that she introduced in her first line. Although Olds brings the events that surround her characters she does not make a conclusion to the happenings but leaves her audience's imagination to wonder whether the birthday party took place, whether the boys ganged up against the two-year-old, or whether they personally engaged in a fight. On the other hand, Atwood's poem starts with uncertainty and ends without clearing the air for the reader to understand the contextual interpretation of the author's mind. She leaves her open ending to the open understanding of the readers to make conclusions of what she is talking about. She does not make her intentions known to her audience and gives her work deeper meaning that can attract wild interpretation from her audience. This ways of ending the works help the two authors position their works into postmodernism where they give the reader the liberty to dig into the moral reality of the artwork without influential direction from the author.

Works Cited

Atwood, Margaret Power Politics, 1971

Huang, Claudia Rite of Passage Poet Sharon Olds Gist: At a birthday party, 2013

Sharon Olds, "Rite of Passage" In Alfred A. Knopf. Strike Sparks: Selected Poems 1980-2002. Random House LLC: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2004.

Torres, Gelsey "You Fit into Me" by Margaret Atwood, 2016. Retrieved on 19th June 2018 from

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Literary Analysis Essay on Margaret Atwood's "You Fit Into Me" and Sharon Olds' "Rite of Passage". (2022, Jun 23). Retrieved from

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