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"Living in Sin" and "Sears Life" poems (Essay Sample)

<p>An analysis of the poems \"Living in Sin\" and \"Sears Life\" with reference to diction and choice of words. 3 sources.</p> source..
Read "Living in Sin" and "Sears Life," Compare the speakers’ levels of diction and choice of words. What does their language say about their lives?NameCourseDate
Diction and choice of words in "Living in Sin" and "Seers Life”
The choice of words and diction often has a bearing on the speaker’s character and feeling. The choice of words not only elucidates the subject matter of the poem, but also sheds light on the themes, tone and mood of the speaker. This evident in the poems, Living in Sin by Adrienne Rich and Seers Life by Wanda Coleman, in which the choice of words and diction clearly differentiates the two poets. The speakers’ level of diction and the choice of words reflect their different lives. The choice of words in Living in Sin reflects the disappointment and disillusionment that the woman suffers when she moves in with her artist boyfriend. In Sears Life, diction reveals the suffering of the speaker in a racist environment.
The poem Living in Sin by Adrienne Rich describes the life of an unmarried couple living together in an American city (Adrienne Rich Notes, 2012). The poet presents the situation in the poem from the woman’s point of view. The woman has walked into this arrangement under the false illusion of gaining a happy and idyllic life with her boyfriend. She had imagined living in a cozy house with "a plate of pears/ a piano with a Persian shawl, a cat/ stalking the picturesque amusing mouse”. However, the actual situation in the man’s house is heart-wrenching: "… at five each separate stair would writhe”, "…three sepulchral bottles”. This is a house in disarray and disrepair.
In Seers Life by Wanda Coleman, the persona decries the racial subjugation that she undergoes in a multi-racial community. She finds it uncomfortable to visit a store due to the stigma associated with being black in a white majority society. Her fears are not unfounded, for when she visits the store and leaves, a security guard comes running after her with the intention of searching her purse. This is clearly meant to humiliate her since she has already left the store.
In Living in Sin, the poet uses diction and deliberate choice of words to show her disapproval of the idea of cohabiting. A woman moves in with a man, and despite the frustrations and disappointments, she decides to stick with him. The two are living together despite not being officially married, and, in fact, they have no plans of marriage yet. The poem is; thus, titled "living in sin”. The poet, therefore, considers this kind of arrangement morally and ethically wrong.
The poet also uses particular words to bring out the mess in the studio house where the woman has settled with her man. The woman would have wished that the taps were "less vocal" (line 3) and that the window panes were "relieved of grime" (line 4). This means that the taps in the house are too noisy and the window panes too dirty to be ignored. This house is clearly unfit for human habitation. The woman cannot handle it, only to fall in love with the man again in the evening. This relationship is primarily hinged on sex, and since they are not married, they are living in sin.
The woman is also "jeered by minor demons" (line 19). Why are the demons referred to as "minor”? They are probably the voices that the woman disregarded before cohabiting with the man. This clearly shows that the poet does not approve of cohabitation or sex outside wedlock.
The poet’s use of the words "heresy" and "sepulchral" in the poem Living in Sin is also significant (Poetry Explication Worksheet, n.d.). Heresy points out the false illusion the lady is living in. she had expected that the house would be grand, not a dilapidated ramshackle of a studio. "Sepulchral" refers to a place for the dead. The love and affection between the lady and the man is long dead. The two relate mechanically and there is nothing more between them.
The speaker in Seers Life, on the other hand, seeks justice and equality in society (, 2013). This is quite evident through the choice of words in the poem. The speaker is nervous about going to the store because she is not sure if "I’m going to come out" (line 2, 3). She is not sure she can bear the racial and sexual harassment at the store. The speaker is, therefore, asking for justice from such forms of oppression....
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