Backdrop Addresses Cowboy Analyses Essay Sample

The male hero could be said to be portrayed in Atwood’s verse form “Backdrop references cowboy” by the cowpuncher. The cowpuncher is a cliched symbol of maleness made celebrated by the Western movie industry of America. One can instantly raise him up. square-jawed and handsomely rugged in Stetson and spurred boots. galloping around on his trustworthy steed delivering demoiselles in hurt with whom he intends on siting off romantically into the sundown with. This is nevertheless non the cowpuncher that we are confronted with in the verse form.

In the first stanza he is described as “starspangled” and “porcelain” which are both footings for ornament or decoration. That his smile is porcelain in line 4 shows fixedness. like a doll with a forever empty smile. This fakeness of his smiling is encouraged by the vowel rhyme in “porcelain” and “grin” which seems to do the statement sound dry which in bend makes the reader uncertainty the cogency of that smiling. This sarcasm is enforced in the whole first stanza with the repeat of the “s” sound which begins with the initial rhyme on the words starspangled. strolling. silly and continues with the words west. porcelain. cactus. wheels and twine. It besides brings to mind a child’s plaything or games. doing the cowpuncher seem infantile. the antonym of manly which is what one would anticipate a hero to be. The reader is made cognizant that he is non a existent cowpuncher by the rubric as a background is a bogus background for usage in films and theater. Further theatre or film appliances are mentioned such as “papier-mache cactus” in line 5 and “cardboard storefront” in line 21 which could be stage props. If his universe is a phase so his being excessively is fictional.

However he. or the thought of him. no affair how superficial. still seems unsafe and wildly violent. Lines 7 and 8 base on their ain and are rather different from the childly image of the cosmetic cowpuncher who tows his sham cactus behind him on a twine in stanza one. Here he is described “as inexperienced person as a bathtub full of bullets” the word inexperienced person looking to go on the childlike metaphor of stanza one paradoxically run intoing up a really unchildlike image of a bathtub full of slugs. It draws your attending to Poetry the thought that all is non as it seems. while he seems bogus it is possibly this that is unsafe. This thought could besides be said to be suggested in the beginning of the verse form when the West is described as a hyphenated “almost-” with “silly” go oning on the following line. This reaffirms the word. that it is “almost” but still non rather wholly cockamamie and to believe so may be a error. The signifier of the diction here seems to make a intermission. about like a warning to believe twice.

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Irony is present in the above mentioned paradox every bit good as in the paradox in lines 14 and 15 “heroic trail of desolation” The words heroic and devastation do non suit together as a hero is meant to make merely good things while devastation and is a really negative word. the intensions of which would be devastation or ruin. Line 13 is besides self-contradictory as the words “blossom” and “targets” do non belong together. The word flower brings to mind pretty flowering things while marks implies hiting and killing. The full verse form itself is a paradox as it shows the cowpuncher. supposed hero. in a negative visible radiation.

To back up this negative portraiture is the motive of force in the verse form. In stanza 3 line 10 he is described as holding “laconic trigger-fingers” the repeat on the “gg” sound looking to do the sound of rapid gunshot which could confirm the word laconic. He is ready to hit at anything he deems. or merely chooses. necessary. peopling the streets with scoundrels ( line 11 ) Further illustrations of words which are intensions of force and devastation are “desolation” . “slaughtered” and “skulls” in stanza 4. “shooting” in stanza 5. and “invasions” . “empty shells” . “bones” and “desecrate” in stanzas 9 and 10.

The first half of the verse form addresses the cowpuncher which we can state by the words of reference “you” and “your” while the 2nd half while still turn toing the cowpuncher is contemplating the talker. the metaphorical backdrop’s place in relation to the cowpuncher. The background could be a metaphor for the remainder of us. the apparently unimportant 1s. the background upon which the cowpuncher plays his life. The background is cognizant of the cowboy’s existent nature and is naming the cowpuncher on it. Alternatively of “watching… when the hiting starts… I am elsewhere” ( line 24 ) This could be said to minimize the cowpuncher. that alternatively of “hands clasped in admiration” at his public presentation of force which the cowpuncher may believe heroic. the “I” has better things to make. In the rubric the background is besides given a capital while the word cowpuncher is non. doing him seem inferior when normally a background would be what is unimportant in comparing to an histrion.

The “I” of the verse form is besides described as something the cowpuncher wants but can non hold “confronting you on that boundary line you are seeking to cross” in lines 27 and 28 and “the thing you can ne’er lasso” in line 30. This shows that the cowpuncher is non infallible and one time once more puts the background in a superior place to the cowpuncher. The talker is besides portrayed as something sacred ; something the cowpuncher “desecrates” ( line 36 ) as he passes through. The talker is clearly something good in comparing to the cowpuncher. who merely casually passes through unaware or uncaring of the harm he leaves in the aftermath of his sloppiness: “scattered with your tincans. castanetss. empty shells. the litter of your invasions”

Through the diction. signifier and assorted poetic techniques mentioned and many more present in the verse form Atwood has turned the thought of the cowpuncher on its caput. The reader no longer sees the cowpuncher they had in head before they read the verse form and would be given to instead impart their understandings to the talker as the talker seems to be a victim. If the cowpuncher were a hero. there would non be a victim by his ain manus. The normally humble background is besides given a superior position to the “heroic” cowpuncher. The thought of the male hero is reversed in the verse form. demoing him instead as the wrong-doer and inferior. thereby overthrowing him and by extension the thought of the male hero.


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