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"The Child Dancing" by Gwendolyn MacEwen is an interior monologue about artist's role in society.

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Christina Taryoto 10Q The Child Dancing "The Child Dancing" by Gwendolyn MacEwen is an interior monologue about artist's role in society. The argument of the poem is that there are subjects that are just too painful to put into poetry. MacEwen expresses this by describing an attempt to write about the horrors of a "child dancing" lifelessly on the streets of the Warsaw ghetto, would be "slandering" him. Nevertheless, in the end-the poem is written. "The Child Dancing" is written as a transcription of someone's thoughts rather than the usual formal way poetry is presented. To assist in this style of writing; MacEwen abandons the use of proper grammar, capitalization in new sentences, and punctuation such as periods. Instead, the uses of contractions help to convey the appearance of slang and above all, the simplicity of the language and the content as well. This adds to the idea of 'thoughts', because thinking is in an informal act. If you read it out loud, it would not make sense or produce a natural feel of speech and the speaker would sound absurd. Since the content of "The Child Dancing" is quite deep and perceptions of readers would be highly varied, therefore the poem can only be appreciated fully if the reader recognizes that the poem is based on someone's thoughts. ...read more.


In fact in the second stanza, "the child i will not write about", is repetition. She is very forceful and determined to convince herself that she is doing the right thing, to not write about this "Child". Through MacEwen's choice of words "there were only two corpses...that day", gives the impression that she was there that day and she is recollecting the time she witnessed the "Child Dancing". What really disturbed me about this line is that she uses the word "only" which produces a very casual tone even though she is describing something very horrific. The most worth-mentioning and crucial quote from the poem, "I don't feel like slandering them with poetry." MacEwen sounds as if she is trying to make this distance from the subject because this isn't easy for her to write about. Therefore she adapts to this casual, yet detached tone to disguise the struggle she is having whether to write or not to write. It is her job to write about what she observes, in fact I think deep down she really wants to write about the "Child". Her problem is that she is at loss for the words to describe what this "Child" is experiencing because a "Child Dancing" in the Warsaw ghetto is the worst image of war. ...read more.


As MacEwen continues to write about the "Child Dancing", she exposes that the "Child" danced for "the people who stayed to watch him". Some of them do not even notice that his boy is begging for some for food, shelter, and attention. They sound like they are more amused to see this "Child Dancing". On the other hand, there are some who realize what the "Child" needs but they just can't help, because they must take care of themselves. In the seventh stanza, "his feet wrapped in the newspapers", is very symbolic, because newspapers are linked to reporters and this child can not even get attention from them. This is something that would be shocking today; in fact all over the headlines, but in the Warsaw ghetto many children were hopeless and abandoned to die, so to them it is not even news worthy. As you read the closing line, "of another ordinary day" your blood just freezes over. It's very straightforward, you know that he will do this every day and become more and more psychologically damaged until some body put him out of his misery. In conclusion, Gwendolyn MacEwen, reveals through her choice of words and techniques her true perspective of how artist's should be cautious about what they choose to write about because it might be consequently immoral as a human being. ...read more.

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