An Obstacle: The Poetry Analysis

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Poetry is always influenced by society, but society is not always influenced by poetry. Even if a poet is not writing about their life or their experiences, there is always something in life that caused them to write their poems. Anything in their day-to-day life can inspire them to write poetry. It gives them what they need. A poet can create a poem that’s purpose is to reach others, but a poem can not always impact a personś life. Some people can have a strong connection to a poem while others do not. That is why poetry is always influenced by society.

In the poem, ̈An Obstacle ̈ by Charlotte Gilman, the poet expresses her emotions in unique ways. She writes about crossing paths with Prejudice. Throughout the poem, she describes the different attempts she takes to get past ¨ him ¨. The way men treated women made her feel the need to write An Obstacle. This endeavor was because of how society impacted her. She describes Prejudice in a way that they come off stubborn and negative. This is purposefully thought of to depict her emotions of society.

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An obstacle was written due to Women’s Suffrage. Women were diminished which caused her to right it. For instance, the poem was written in 1884, and in the informative box above the poem, it states ¨Gilman was a feminist during a time when it was not socially acceptable to be one.¨ This shows that Gilman felt the need to write An Obstacle due to women being oppressed by men. The poem was her way of letting out her emotions. It let her show what she was going through. This was her way of voicing her opinion.

Because of the way the poet writes about Prejudice, she could be using Prejudice to symbolize the government or society during her time. For instance, in the fourth stanza, Gilman wrote “Then I flew into a passion, and I danced and howled and swore. I pelted and belabored him till I was stiff and sore; he got as mad as I did —but he sat there as before.” This represents the fact that no matter how loud or how much women demanded their rights to be given to them, society and the government would not listen. So, the way Gilman feels about Prejudice is instead of how she felt about society. It was not only socially unacceptable to be a woman, but it was also not socially acceptable to speak for your rights to be given to them. Subtlety writing about the Prejudice to symbolize the government gave her the freedom to write as she pleased.

Another example of how society impacts poetry is in the poem The Melting Pot by Bryan Oden. For instance, Oden writes about the freedom and diversity immigrating to America gives a person. Furthermore, in the first and second lines of the poem it states,¨American immigration is a very great thing: New life, new job, new hope waiting.¨ This is not always the same experience for everyone who immigrates to America. He goes on to say,¨“What does my future bring? Good? Bad? Evil? Love? Pain? Gain? ”These questions must go through their brains.

Will life be okay? Will I succeed? ”In America, the answer is “yes.” “Yes, I can succeed. Yes, I can start a new life.” For some, it is hard to move to a new country and get a good job that pays well. So, this is written from personal experience or the experiences of the people in his life.

In conclusion, no matter what a poet writes about, they were influenced by society and the people around them. Poetry is from their perspective and it’s how they feel about the subject. Every poet has a reason for writing the poems they write. Whether it’s their family, friends, their struggles or their country. No one has the same opinion. No one can have the same feeling or experience in poetry because society affects everyone differently. Society is where their inspiration comes from, it’s what helps them come up with new and raw poetry.  

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