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How does Ratsushinskaya depict her suffering? Discuss with reference to two poems.

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Introduction

How does Ratsushinskaya depict her suffering? Discuss with reference to two poems. Irina Ratsushinkaya was born in Ukrainian on the 4th March 1954. She grew up in Soviet Russia and from an early age rebelled against the strict regime unable to adopt to lack of freedom. In Russia freedom of speech was also forbidden, as there was a great threat to the Russian Soviet if people started expressing political heresies. This was hard for Ratushinskaya as she was a poet, influenced by the fact that she loved literature and art. However, she believed in having the right to speak her own mind and her poetry played a big part in her life. Ratushinskaya was eventually arrested for writing poetry, as she still persisted in fighting the strict regime. In the Soviet hard labour camp where she was imprisoned Ratsushinskaya suffered beatings, force-feeding and solitary confinement in brutal freezing conditions and became so gravely ill that many feared that she would not survive her sentence. She once said, "The calling of a poet is to speak the truth, even though it may be a subjective truth." Which shows her determination to survive the regime, and how it would never make her stop writing her poetry. ...read more.

Middle

On the other hand Irina Ratushinskaya shows how she is questioning if she will survive the regime and also questioning what is going to help her live whilst in the camp. It shows doubt in her mind although it suggests she is trying to think positive. Although Ratushinskaya often displays her suffering in a physical way though this is seen mostly in the poem 'I will Live and Survive'. She also portrays her distress in an emotional way, which can be seen in the poem 'I will Travel through the Land'. She writes, 'I will study the eyes of human suffering, I will see what no one has seen-' One interpretation might be that Ratushinskaya is able to recognise the human suffering, as she herself has had to suffer in the prison camp. She says she will see 'what no one else has seen' this could suggest that only somebody who has experienced the suffering can truly know. This shows the reader that Ratushinskaya's experience and distress is like none we've seen before. At the same time she uses the word 'eyes', there are lots of connotations with this word. A popular phase is 'the eyes are the windows to the soul'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The line in which it says, '...is only needed once,' shows us that she only needed to see the window once to keep her going, as the beauty of the window will stay strong in her mind, just as much as she was to remain determined. Overall, Irina Ratushinskaya depicts her suffering in the hard labour camp very sincerely. She uses both physical conditions and emotional heartache to display to the reader the true extent of her suffering. Ratushinskaya uses different subjects such as family and friendships to show her determination and the strong perseverance, which she holds. Although the two poems are different they both use descriptive verbs and show how Ratushinskaya tried to convince herself that the prison did not affect her. However in certain places in her poetry it can be seen that she is missing her family and that she is being haunted by old memories she doesn't want to get caught up in. She uses poetic devices such as caesura, enjambment and a semantic field of war to demonstrate her emotions, without actually telling the reader how she is feeling. Irina Ratushinskaya can be quite informative about her ordeal, giving the reader detailed events, in which she went through. In conclusion Ratushinskaya's suffering is depicted in both poems in an effective way, allowing the reader to relate to what she is going through. 5 1 ...read more.

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