Throughout life human beings usually find messages underneath the surface, which cannot be seen by the naked eye. In literature this is sometimes done through the use of metaphors by using specific words when relating two inanimate objects. A writer might use metaphors in order to hide these messages and not be completely obvious. In the poem "America", by Tony Hoagland, specific diction is used in metaphors in order to expose corruption in American society.
The poem begins with a " student" (1) symbolizing the innocence of the person being corrupted such as our youth. By using the word "student" the writer may want to express the feeling that this corruption is due to the fact that one is still learning and one shall learn to not be corrupt. This choice of wording could also be used in order the show the point that one is corrupted through influences like a "student" learns and is influence by his teachers. Then the author goes on to describe the "student" as one with "blue hair" (1) which could have been used in the place of red in order to not express that this corruption lead to anger but remain s to be calm. Then the description of a "tongue stud" represents more of a sexual corruption. Although this contradicts the use of the word "student" due to the innocence surrounding the word it assists in the corruption through influence because sex is greatly influenced by others including teachers.
The speaker goes on to tell you how the "student" feels as if he is being "buried alive" by being "captured and suffocated in the folds/ of the thick satin quilt of America" (9, 10). This is claiming that corruption in America is a "satin quilt". It is like satin because it is soft on the outside and then itchy and scratchy on the inside and does not prevent cold from coming in or in other words permits evil to come in. Then you have the word quilt used which usually represents love and care and when one uses a quilt it is put on top of everything else so it is...
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