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Prompt: Read the poem Gretel in Darkness, by Louise Glck and write

an essay in which you describe the devices found in the poem in order
to convey the theme and the meaning of the title.

Samantha Trujillo
Gretel in Darkness
After a person goes through a dramatic event, they are often left with
remorse or psychological repercussions for the actions that they committed.
Once a person experiences trauma their insecurities and deep fears come out.
(STRENGTH: THE OPENING) A victim doesnt believe that the threats are all gone
and they are always on the tip of their toes waiting for predators to come out.
The innocence the person once had is vanished within a blink of an eye and they
are left with an overwhelming fear of the unknown. Within the poem, entitled,
Gretel in Darkness, the speakers paranoid tone is conveyed through point of
view, imagery, and repetition; in order to convey the speakers loss of innocence.
The poem is told through first point of view. The audience at first does not
know who is speaking. The author allows the audience to see and hear
whats going on in the story until the narrator directly speaks to her brother. It is
reveled in the third stanza that Gretel is the narrator. Gretel states no one
remembers. Even you, my brother, the audience now knows whose point of
view the poem is being told by. Through first person point of view the audience is
able to sympathize more with the character. Gretel tells the poem through flash
backs but its the deep emotion in which she talks to her brother that the
audience can see her turmoil and fears. Gretel says to her brother you look at
me as though you meant to leave, and right there the audience can infer that
Gretel is the only one experiencing the dramatic effects of what she went
through. She feels as though she is alone and not even her brother is there to
comfort her. Instead she is left in the dust. She has lost that innocence she once
had, but her brother is still innocent. He is unware of the situation Gretel and him
both went through. The readers learn that her brother meant to leave, and
chose to remember as though it never happened, and this leaves Gretel in the
darkness. She is left to remember the events that took place and the fears that
overwhelm her every day. This connects to the title of the poem because her
brother, for whom she committed the murder, goes on with his life but Gretel
cannot seem to go on with life.(WEAKNESS: DID NOT INCLUDE EVIDENCE) Gretel
is left in the darkness just like the poem is entitled Gretel in the Darkness.
The speaker weaves imagery through the poem in order to grab the
readers attention. The readers get to hear the thoughts of the narrator and see
what she went through, through her eyes. She is clearly dealing with some inner

conflicts. Gretel and her brother went through a dramatic event and now they
are living in a safe environment. Although Gretel and her brother currently live a
life of safety, Gretel can still hear the witchs cries and see the witchs tongue
shrivel into gas. Gretel is constantly having flashbacks of what she went
through. These vivid images seem to never go away for Gretel and she voices it
to the audience that her father bars the doors and bars harm from this
house, however, years have passed she is the only one who still remembers
what had happened. She doesnt feel safe and will probably never feel safe. The
imagery incorporated in the poem creates the innocence Gretel lost. Through
imagery the tone is created to be depressing because the readers learn that
Gretel can never be truly happy. She is left to remember and She is always
anticipated the worst to come.
The repetition in the poem is used to convey Gretels persistent mental
return to the event she went through. Gretel frequently ask questions in her
poem. Why do I not forget? Am I alone? These are the questions she asked
and the audience can tell that she is aware that she is dealing with her worries
alone. By asking questions, it shows she is reluctant to believe that she is in a
safe place. The repetition of the word real conveys a message to the audience
and her brother. The repetition emphasizes Gretels obsession with the past. By
Gretel repeating real she is telling herself and her brother that what they went
through was real and that they should not forget. The repetition emphasizes
Gretels obsession with the past. She writes of her memory of the fire in the
black forest, which she states that its is real, real.
Overall in Gretel in Darkness, the speakers paranoid tone is conveyed
through point of view, imagery, and repetition; in order to convey the speakers
loss of innocence. Through the authors thoughts and emotions; the readers are
able to see how a tragic event can leave a detrimental scar imprinted on a
person. The poem can connect to an overall theme that a person may look fine
on the outside but they are really crying for help on the inside.(WEAKNESS: