Essay on Symbolism Those Winters Sunday by Robert Hyden

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617 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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The word "offices" implies a service done for another. It implies that the father's committed to serving and providing for his father. It also signifies a religious rite or ceremony ("office"). This ties in with the religious elements of the poem in that the father was participating in the parental ritual of sacrificing one's happiness for that of one's child. Sundays too my father got up early'' and put his clothes on in the blue-black cold. These words "blue-black," symbolize the low economic status of his father. "The reader also gets a sense of the lowly economic status of the household from words like "labor" and "weekday weather." one then with cracked hands that ached

From labor in the weekday weather can infer that the father has a low-paying blue-collar job and that he works with his hands doing manual labor outside in the biting cold. The "offices" in the final word of the poem symbolizes functions dutifully performed by his father without expectation of appreciation or thanks.


The persona uses the word Those " to show that it a memory of one typical Sunday during the persona's childhood. The persona speaks to us from the present perspective about his or her past which was cold, "Sundays, too, my father got up early." Based on the speakers description; we imagine him and his family living in a big, drafty, ramshackle-y old house, with a fireplace air is cold, his relationship with his father is cold, and we can almost see the frost forming on their windows.


The theme of the poem is about deep and abiding love, a fathers love for his son. Rhythm has been achieved in the poem through the use of consonance. Listen to the K sounds: blue-black, cracked, ached, weekday, banked, thanked, wake, breaking, call, chronic. That percussive, consonant-cooked vocabulary is like a melodic map into how to read the poem, linking the fire, the season, the father, and his son. The repetition of letter B in "blue-black" and "banked fires blaze," the poem repeats the first words B the beginning of the poem sounds super severe, and one can almost feel self out there in the cold with the speakers father


Repetition in the fourth line of the third stanza what did I know, what did I know.' in Line 13. This repetition expresses a terrible sense of sadness and regrets the persona now feels. In the next four lines, the persona uses alliteration and the dissonance of cacophony to intimate the fathers pain and the difficulty of his life: and put his clothes on in the blue-black cold.''

The use of harsh in words "cold," "cracked," and "ached" to evokes the harshness of his father's life and pain. The sense of a lowly economic class and status of the household is brought by words like reader "blue-black," "labor" and "weekday weather." One can infer that the father has a low-paying blue-collar job and that he works with his hands doing manual labor outside in the biting cold. On the fourth line, the father's strength is established through words like "banked fires" and makes them "blaze" showing that the father struggled to create a comfortable life for his son. The persona ends the first stanza with "No one ever thanked him" showing that he regrets being ungrateful to his father when was a child.


In the title of the poem, Those Winters Sunday the word winter characterizes those Sundays as to be cold opposed to warm, sunny summer ones. During winter, everything normally fresh, beautiful and alive is dead and covered with snow, connotes both coldness and gloominess. These connotations reflect the boys distant relationship with his father and his coldness toward him.

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