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Refugee Mother and Child

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Literary Commentary Refugee Mother and Child A narrative and descriptive poem "Refugee Mother and Child," by Chinua Achebe, illustrates a tragic imagery of a mother who has to watch her son dying. The poet uses simple and strong words, which reinforces the sentimental mood created by the sensitive descriptions of the helpless boy. Also, Achebe uses comparisons to highlight the tragedy and the sadness. Throughout the poem, the theme of death is predominant. However, the mother's character conveys another major theme of love. Although the first stanza consists of only 3 lines, this stanza not only sets the mood and atmosphere, but also introduces the theme of a young child's approaching death. ...read more.


In the last line of the stanza, sibilance has been used when Achebe indirectly tells the readers that the son will be dead soon; "A son she soon would have to forget." The repeating s sounds effectively highlights the weakness of the boy and gives an introduction to the theme of death, which gets developed in the later lines. Furthermore, the sibilance in the third line foreshadows the approaching death of the child Unlike the first one, the second stanza has more vivid images, described with strong and simple words, which makes the image more believable and direct. In the first five lines of the second stanza, the mood and atmosphere successfully enables the readers to have empathy toward the helpless boy; imagery creates tragic atmosphere by the use of words ...read more.


"She held a ghost smile between her teeth" in line 11 suggests that the mother used have happiness, but the term "ghost" indirectly highlights that the happiness only existed in the past. In comparison a shocking image of the mother combing her child, "as putting flowers in a tiny grave", suggests that the mother is preparing for the funeral. Also, "before breakfast and school" informs the reader that the protagonists had normal life with food, and a child going to his school. The poem centers on the death of the boy, and Achebe uses sensitive details that reinforce the tragic mood and atmosphere. However, the poet gives a message to a reader to thank the present life, and realize how important person a mother could be in a reader's own life ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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