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What major internal and external conflicts does the protagonist face - Essay Example

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Internal and external conflicts challenged by the protagonist in the poem “The Writer” by Richard Wilbur, are like alternative beats of the same heart. In other words, the external conflicts are the manifestation of his internal conflicts. This is a complex poem with a…
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What major internal and external conflicts does the protagonist face
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Essay, English: “The by Richard Wilbur Topic: What major internal and external conflicts does the protagonist face?
Introduction
Internal and external conflicts challenged by the protagonist in the poem “The Writer” by Richard Wilbur, are like alternative beats of the same heart. In other words, the external conflicts are the manifestation of his internal conflicts. This is a complex poem with a figurative meaning denoting to life. The issues relate to the growth of his daughter which are a matter of deep concern to the protagonist, who is her father. He reflects as he listens to the sound of the keys of the typewriter and he realizes that she is on the creativity-spree, wants to intervene to help and guide her (symbolically he wants to guide her throughout her life) and at the same time realization dawns on upon him that she has to charter her own course in life. She is the articulator of her destiny. Richard Wilbur compares the writing process to a ship at sail on a body of water by using the rhetorical device of diction. His diction is the pointer to the imagery of a ship to imply that his daughter’s story writing is more than an activity of language: that exercise is like a journey at sea; and his house, the ship and he watching with concern the process of her creating the charter for her life.
The protagonist, as the father, wants to give his best to his daughter, but he aware of his limitations. “My daughter is writing a story,” (l.3) he asserts, and the profound turmoil in his inner world can be gauged by his concern that his daughter is creating a path for herself. The time of trials and tribulations in life has arrived in her life and the father is worried whether she will be able to tackle them effectively. He wants to be with her at every step, offer his helping hand, but he realizes he cannot do that. He chooses the next option, to present before her his own life experiences so that she can pick up some hard lessons from it. The speaker writes: “It is always a matter, my darling, / Of life or death, as I had forgotten.”(l, 31-32) Mapping out one’s own life is the toughest option for an individual. He is happy that he has taught her to be an independent thinker, but he desires to make her stronger mentally and infuse confidence in her to face life of her own. Wilbur has used writing as a discipline to challenge life. The lesson ingrained in the poem, and the message that he wants to give to is daughter is, as the wise saying goes, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” The noise of the keyboard relates to the process of struggle the daughter is undergoing and he watches that activity with concern and apprehension. His daughter is shut in her room and all outsiders can hear is the noise of the keyboards. This entrapment imagery brings the somber picture of his daughter’s struggle in life.
Why this answer is relevant to our greater understanding of the work.
The poem explains the dilemma of the parents and at times, they are unable to decide about the timing to intervene into a child’s life, and that figurative barrier turns out to the source of constant concern for them. The father hears her stop and start and stop and start. This shows his deep concern about the possible problems she might be facing, when the keys of the typewriter fall silent. Has she hit the wall to run out of ideas? Is she frustrated about the stoppage? Is she panicking? What is the issue that makes her stop the typewriter every now and then? But when the keys of the typewriter click again, he becomes happy that she is passionate and continues with her efforts. “In her room at the prow of the house,” (l, 1) indicates the she is the center of her father’s (protagonist) life. “A commotion of type-writer keys” (l, 5) is pointer to the relentless struggle of his daughter. Later he says, “I wish her a lucky passage,” (l, 9) it indicates his hearty wish, concern and deep love as she commences and progresses on the voyage of her life.
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Wilbur, Richard. The Writer Read More
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