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The Nature of Ghosts in The Woman Warrior

The Nature of Ghosts in The Woman Warrior

“Ghost.” What images does this word conjure up in the average American mind? Perhaps you think of little kids draped in white sheets begging for candy on Halloween. Perhaps you imagine transparent versions of dead people wandering the earth for eternity. Perhaps you are reminded of a person who just saw something especially scary; they are “pale as a ghost”.

So the word “ghost” – a word with many meanings – calls forth these images. What do they have in common? There’s the idea of paleness – when was the last time you ever saw a black ghost? Silence – ghosts don’t say much, except maybe they go “Boo!” once in a while. And, just maybe, there’s a hint of unfamiliarity in the idea – it’s always a stranger’s soul wandering the earth, not someone you know, and somehow – maybe with a white sheet – the ghost’s identity is hidden from the world.

Perhaps these have something in common with the “Chinese” idea of the ghost as it is played out in Kingston’s The Woman Warrior. I have placed “Chinese” in quotes to acknowled…

The White Doe by Francesco Petrarch

Title- I believe that the title, “The White Doe” will perhaps have something to do with animals because the only way I have ever heard the word doe used is in the context of a female deer. Perhaps the poem will touch on the innocence of an animal or situation because of the word “white” which symbolizes innocence and cleanliness.

Paraphrase- In the poem, “The White Doe,” the author is speaking of an encounter with a female deer. The encounter takes place in a glade, which is an opening in the forest. It is a cold morning when the author first spots the deer under the shade of a tree in between two streams. The author raves at the site of the magnificent animal. Intrigued by the deer, he follows it throughout the morning like a greedy person searches for treasure. After following the animal, the author realizes that the deer does not want to be touched because a higher authority wishes it to remain undisturbed. Noontime soon came, and satisfaction did not come to the author’s tired eyes. The author falls into a stream at the end, and the beautiful white doe disappears.

Connotation- The first glance at the poem, “The White Doe” leads the reader to believe that it is strictly about an encounter with a white doe, but it actually is a love poem. The white doe represents the woman the author loves. This poem’s rhyme scheme varies from stanza to stanza. The first stanza has a rhyme scheme of ABAB, the second ABBA, the third ABA, and the fourth stanza has no rhyme scheme. The deterioration of the rhyme steady serves as a tool to exemplify how the speaker becomes lost in following the animal/woman. The entire poem is an example of personification because the white doe represents the woman whom the author loves. White symbolizes the…

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…to deer, the author created more of a feminine sounding title, which in turn implies that white doe represents a woman.

Theme- The author is trying to say that everyone should come out of the forest into the glade because one might find something magnificent. In other words, for someone to not find his or herself caught up in the clutter or everyday life and thinking only of oneself. The author is trying to send the message for people to look up out of the thicket and see life because a beautiful white doe-pure innocent young woman-may be waiting to meet oneself. Yet, in the end the author wants to get away from his escape, so the author is also saying that one should not become fixated upon one moment. Therefore, the author is sending the message that one should look up and smell the roses, yet know where one is and still have his or her priorities in order.

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