Essay: “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke

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Essay: “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke

Sample Essay

In his poem “My Papa’s Waltz”, Theodore Roethke shows how there can be a conflict of interest between a mother and a father. The narrator, who is the son, in the poem would make the listener tend to think that his father is against him in the first instance but in the end, we learn that his father loves him. The fact the father of the boy is drunk does not imply that his father hates the boy. The father of the boy does not express the love of his son not unless he is drunk.

The boy’s mother would always stand aside and watch as his son was been “forced to waltz” by his father since there was nothing she could do about it. To make matters worse the father waltz with his son the kitchen until they would hit the utensils rack leading to some utensils falling and breaking. Of importance to note is the fact that the family of the boy has never lacked in anything since the father does provide them for everything.

The main point about the poem is childhood memories, which are very hard to forget since the narrator tells the audience what he used to experience at the hands of his father. The audience may look at the father as an irresponsible person but in truth, he does care for his family. Though the mother of the boy is not amused by the behavior of his husband, the boy knows that his father does care for him.

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