A Triumphent Withdrawal Term paper

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A Triumphent Withdrawal I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain-and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light. Acquainted with the night, by Robert Frost Anthology of American Literature (1010) Edward A. Robinson was the first most important poet of the Twentieth Century. He is a "peoples poet" his poems' characters often provide "physiological portraits" of fictional and historical characters suffering an isolation of some sort (990). Robinson is considered a transitional figure ;he is the precursor of Modernist poetry. He uses the older traditional influences of form and rhyme and his poems are often simple and neat. However, in juxtaposition of these old and highly stylistic forms, he uses personal subject matter in the make-up of his characters. The use of these very personal experiences is what contributes to the intrigue that most readers feel when reading his poems. The imagery of these characters' problems and the traditional form which feels like poetry to the average reader, is what creates Robinson's style. In addition, even though most of his poems are about country men or women who are limited in terms of education and world knowledge, they are representative of the human experience. This helps to prevent Robinson, who is from New England, from being pegged as a regionalist writer. The theme of this poem is very much in keeping with Robinson's style of writing. He introduces the reader to the deep and darker side of the characters, thereby giving us a view of their humanness. Then, in true modernist fashion we are left to resolve the conundrums these views present to us, on our own. Mr. Floods Party is a perfect example of this type of work. Eben Flood is a character whose memories ebb and flow just like the tide, a loner who is content with the fact that his memories are his most cherished friends. A man who likes his own company better than the company of others., he likes himself as he has developed through the years. The company of strangers or his remaining peers do not compare to the ones of the days of old. Eben can contemplate his life, his contemporaries, and have a few drinks without listening to what others have to say. I believe he is alone because he wants to be alone. His "scarred hopes out worn",(18) he has chosen to stand in the "middle of the road" of life deciding not to go further(19). He has made a choice to remain solitary and has become alienated with his "jug" as his only friend (14). Mr. Flood climbs to the top of the hill to sit with this companion and physiologically he has alienated himself from the town and what friends it may contain. He sits and talks to his drink as if the drink was a long lost friend, telling it his woes and complaining to this silent and non-condemning listener. Mr. Flood appears to be a solitary, crotchety man of advanced age who is alone, and perhaps an imbiber of drink by nature. A man who is closer to the end than the beginning of his life, Eben sits alone upon the hill, reflecting upon and celebrating the past years of his life, and accepting the fact that he "may not have many more"(10). To me this is a poem more about acceptance rather than loss and sorrow or bitterness. Through the use of the drink Mr. Flood is not forsaken, he is in the past with "friends of other days", and these friends seem to be all the company he needs at the moment (22). Perhaps he is dying and reminiscing that he is old and all his friends have passed away before him. Depending on the reader's age and station in life, this poem could be interpreted in many ways. As young college students, the poem could appear as a morose and melancholy piece of work. Mr. Flood is alone, apparently without family or friends. As young students this might seem depressing. They have their whole lives before them, they have many dreams and aspirations that have yet to be explored. They could not possibly understand the contentment Eben Flood would
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