Essay Preview: The Suicide
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Write a study about a poem based on death and describe the hints within the poem the poet gives to the cause of death. Comment also on any lines in the poem in which the internal characters miss the point the poet is trying to get through.
The poem “The Suicide” by Louis MacNeice is a mind-expanding and touching poem based around the poets work experiences and sequentially describes the aftermath of the death of his former office colleague, who met his fate by suicide. I feel melancholied having read this poem and it leaves in the mind blanks for the reader to answer.
For my first point of view I am going to show an example of the many humorous lines in the poem in which is made humorous by the internal characters missing the main point:
” And this, ladies and gentlemen, whom I am not in fact
Conducting, was his office all those minutes ago”
These lines are the introduction to the poem and gives a mental vision of a Holiday rep showing holiday makers a landmark of interest or a game show host introducing a new competitor into a show and in both these cases they are using the dead colleagues body as there example which furthermore gives the impression that the holiday makers are not really interested in the dead body as such but are using it to their enjoyment rather than feeling sorry for the dead man which then suggests them missing the point. The lines are said in a sarcastic tone as it is supposed to be a sorrowful few lines but the poet instead makes them into a comical few lines. It is also worth mentioning that we as readers are also just as bad as the holiday makers gawping at the dead body because only now is he worthy of chat and interest whereas in the past he may have been rejected or disliked which is again is an example of us using the dead person as social chat or to make us more popular by talking about it in public.
My next point I am going to arise is the first of my found causes of death within the poem:
” In the intray, the ash in the ashtray ”
This is an example of word choice used by the poet to create word impact on the reader and suggests the man committed suicide because he had a life-threatening disease, for example Lung Cancer, which caused by smoking and didnt want to live through the pain of a slow death so he took his own life to prevent this. The lines also suggest his life is in ashes-burnt out. This is symbolic as the dead colleague could be ashes soon if he were to be cremated.
Moving on, my third point again goes back to the idea of a life-threatening disease and suggests that the man who committed suicide had tried to decipher what was wrong with himself and so done a doodle:
” With his last doodle which might be his own digestive tract”
The above poem lines give the impression that the man had sketched out what looked like to the holidaymakers, a digestive system. This gives the reader hints that he had done this subconsciously, perhaps in a last bid to figure out what was wrong with himself. I also get the idea that he had scribbled these lines simply in order to pass the time and pick the right moment to take his life which I feel is the more convincing of the two above ideas it is unlikely a randomly scribbled mess would