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An Exposition on "Kindness": A Movement Within Concentric Circles.

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Peng Suqing EC2101E 11th September 2004 An Exposition on "Kindness": A Movement Within Concentric Circles Kindness presents a poetic narrator's tussling conundrum between motherhood and death. She fluxes in coexistence between her personal conquest for death and her required responsibilities1 as a mother. Her restrained mockery of everyday ordinances stresses her disdain yet necessity for mediocrity as she falls within the constrictions and restrictions of motherhood. This disdain typifies her longing for death: which she sees as a gateway of release, but this true want has to be forced into suppression2 and coexistence with the false but necessary self of motherhood. Notably, the poetic narrator is very passive to her surroundings while she goes through this inner turmoil. ...read more.


She takes Kindness' belief that "Sugar can cure everything" with detectable scorn in her own reiteration: "so Kindness says". Sugar cannot cure anything to the narrator's wretched state of mind. Such a sweeping assumption made comes across as thick ignorance to the poetic narrator, and is hence treated with irritated sarcasm. "O kindness kindness/ Sweetly picking up pieces!" Like how she passively watches Kindness pick pieces of sugar into a teacup, Kindness' symbolic attempts to "pick up" pieces of her life can never be so. Kindness, alluded to sugar, is all but "a cup of tea". It's small, negligible flippancy can never grasp nor hold the depth, breadth or scope of the poetic narrator's conflicting pain. There is acknowledgement that sugar is "a little poultice", just like how Kindness with her presence "is so nice!", but that is as far a purpose as it will serve. ...read more.


With this, there is no sense of real progression away from the poetic narrator's dilemma. Rather, there is more rhetoric and motion within concentric circles of thought. The poetic narrator knows the root of her problem, but she cannot make a decision. Just like how Kindness itself does not take a constant form, but keeps changing it's states from "smoke" to "fluid" to "crystals" to "liquid" to "gas" to "blood [liquid]". This constant flux lends explanation and dimension to the combative struggles of the poetic narrator's inner-conscience. There is a cyclical motion towards the primal concentric circle3: "There is no stopping it./ You had me two children, two roses." These last two lines come in direct loggerheads with each other, each carrying the full embodiment of one of the two conflicting selves within her single being. ...read more.

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