Free «Symbolism, Gender and Culture» Essay Sample

As a matter of fact, symbolism, gender and culture contribute so much to the making of poems. From a general standpoint, symbolism is widely used in the context of poems more than in any other form of literature. Though not limited to poetry, its contribution cannot be understated. So to speak, when the word symbolism is mentioned in this context, several meanings may be implied. However, of importance to note is the fact that symbolism is one of the figurative languages that is used to bring meaning in poems (Finnegan 114). 

In actual sense, symbolism in poetry plays the role of inferring a meaning that is indirectly expressed. This is to suggest that ideas are in most part expressed indirectly without really pointing to the meaning at an instant. From a general point of view, when literature is termed as poetic it implies that ideas are not directly expressed. Therefore, as a reader, one ought to be acquainted with the use of symbolism. Taking the example of the word winter when used in poems brings the meaning of aging.

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Along with this , sunrise mean the dawn of a new day while on the other hand it can be used to mean new beginnings. In essence, symbolism is used to enable a writer to be in a position on the other hand to convey images directly to the mind of the reader (Finnegan 127).  Basically, it serves to emotionally affect the reader. In this sense, symbolism conveys mood and performs tricks of images in the mind of the reader.

 As a result, symbolism may serve to bring out the meaning of something in reality or in literal terms as it makes the reader to conceive the images in mind.  Needless to say, symbolism employs the use of evocative power of words to express the feelings, sensations and states of mind that lie beyond everyday awareness (Finnegan 274).Principally, the poet makes use of symbols that in actual sense can represent some meaning beyond the tangible object.

On the other hand, gender when used in any context brings about the existence of a male and female or rather a man and a woman based on sexual differences and roles. Therefore, gender has a great role to play in poems. In particular, gender role provides a foundation for development of themes in poems. One may question the kind of role and contribution it may have in Poems. However, it has in fact a big role to play. For instance, gender can be used to provide the content of a poem. This is implying that a poem written by women can be easily identified as well as one written by a man. So to articulate, poems have been written by women who may feel oppressed by their male counterparts and so as to address this point, gender may be employed in order to bring about the remedy to the particular sexual category of those oppressed (Finnegan 198).

Essentially, gender determines which issues the poem may address. As a consequence, there are poems that are entirely dedicated to motherhood, fatherhood and the way the society treats both men and women. Other issues that are based on gender may be the way the girl child and the boy children are treated. At the same time, gender contributes to the development of the theme of the poem. Owing to the role that gender plays in a society, poems may be drawn from their basics.

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 Following this point, a poem will be constructed based on the role that female and male play in the society. Just as it has been highlighted earlier, gender roles include issues to do with mothering, fathering and bringing up a family among others (Papke 199). From this perspective, these roles can be used to develop poetic themes. In addition, men act as the heads of the homes; this is to suggest that such poems which recognize the headship of men may be developed. Therefore, gender roles provide good ground for the development of themes in poems and thus literature used to address issues in the society.

Accordingly, culture role in poems cannot be underrated. In this sense, culture defines the way of life of a particular group of people. In simpler terms, culture describes how a group lives and behaves in its ways of life. Therefore, culture determines the line through which someone may think through. This is to suggest that culture determines which kind of a poem one will write. This will affect the choice of words made due to the influence of language, behavior and values.

A culture of any group defines the activities carried out by the particular people concerned. This is to mean that a people whose culture is dedicated towards agriculture and livestock farming among others would be inclining to these economic activities. Remarkably, they will make poems that address agriculture rearing of animals and to others they will incorporate hunting.

Notably, human beings are so much attached to what they see, hear and practice from the larger point of view. In line with this, their thoughts are eventually affected and therefore, the ideas they develop are greatly shaped by culture. For instance, living in culture that alienates women, can easily translate to one writing poems that address oppression seeking for relief. Again in this context, the figurative language used to form the poems will employ the objects of culture and the value that is placed on such objects. This is given to the reason that cultures vary and therefore, poems from different groups of people address different issues that are deep rooted in the values of culture (Papke 19).

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 Taking the example of types of poems; there are those that are purely educative on certain matters in the society like the respect that women ought to have towards their husbands. The poem may be aimed at educating the audience on hardwork in farming if this is their value. Others may address issues of hunting, making love and the maintaining cultural identity among others. Fundamentally, culture contributes so much to the making of poems in that it influences the thoughts of the writer whose poem is a reflection or rather as a result of his or her thoughts that have been shaped by culture.

The writer in addition, should seek to address the audience having studied and known their values and what really the culture is. This will make it possible for the writer to capture the mind of the reader and in this case, his or her poems will gain popularity once one understands the culture of the readers the poem is directed to. Generally, culture affects our thoughts and since Poems are as a result of thought, it plays the role of making the poems, developing the theme of the poems, word choice employed and the language used (Papke 198).

Besides symbolism, gender, and culture roles contribution to poems, storytelling plays a part in the making of poems. Before exploring to its effect on the interpretation of poems, it is important at this point to bring into view its meaning. By definition, storytelling is the art of conveying of events in words, images and sound by adornment. A great role is played in most of the world’s culture by the word of storytelling. In actual sense, it is a way of entertainment, education, instillation of moral values and more so preservation of culture identity (Finnegan 246). These roles however are not excluded when storytelling is employed in poems. This is to suggest that storytelling in poems is a possible adventure as it would serve the same purpose served by poems that are not written in the storytelling style. Inexhaustibly, it is the source of fine story-telling material that is found in the narrative poetry (Olcott 1).  

As a matter of fact, narrative poetry helps in developing and feeding the poetic instinct to children. This is for the reason that children love listening to stories while they are being told. In line with this, storytelling might not change the reader’s interpretation of a narrative poem. This is because storytelling in poem does not change the theme or content but rather it is only put in the form that it appears as a narrative poem. Accordingly, narrative poetry can be defined as a poetry that has a plot (Olcott 1).  

 Along with this point, the poem may be long or short relating to a complex or short story. Generally, the narrative poetry is non-dramatic. It actually has an objective regular scheme and meter. In addition, narrative poetry may assume the form of a novel in verse (Olcott 1). Nonetheless, it remains to be written in verse just as normal poetry is written. From a broader point of view, storytelling in poems might not necessarily change the reader’s interpretation as the only thing that is added is the use of plot in the poems. Nevertheless, the other characteristics of poems remain constant although it has to assume the form of narrative poetry (Finnegan 246).  

In summation, symbolism, gender and culture roles contribute so much in the development of poems. Without these factors as highlighted earlier, poems and generally poetry would lose its meaning. Again in this context, storytelling in poems might not change the reader’s interpretation as this falls in the category of narrative poetry which is written with the only difference being that it has a plot.

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