Snapping Beans
Linh HaHUM 300Due Date: 4/6/16Writing Assignment #1Imagine oneself engaged in a conversation with their beloved family after a long absence from home happily talking, sharing stories about things that occur far from home. Suddenly, one is confronted with a question that provoked thoughts, facts that one wishes to hide from their family. Katharyn Howd Machan’s “Snapping Beans” is a poem of a young girl who decided to hide her school life from her grandma on her visit home. In this essay, the grandma’s world is explored upon its difference to the young girl’s world. In order to explore the grandma’s world, we must first dwell into the young girl’s world.“Snapping Beans” title derived from the simple of snapping beans that the grandma and the young girl were doing. The young girl is the speaker where she retold the conversation she had with her grandma. According to how the speaker set the scene, she and her grandma were enjoying their time together on the porch snapping beans on a summer’s day. The poem experienced a swift shift in tone as the peaceful scenery was disrupted by a stream of negative thoughts. Reader could identify the mutuality between the speaker and her grandma since they felt comfortable even though there was no conversing, “We didn’t speak until the sun overcame” (Line 10). Upon realizing this compatibility, reader is astonished at the speaker’s inability to share her stories of college. The aforementioned landscaped scenery was abruptly shattered as the speaker pauses, and struggles to find the right answer to her grandma’s simple question, “How’s school a-goin’? (15)  Since the speaker’s grandma is religious, most of the speaker’s inner thoughts referred to religious images and most of her restrained thoughts dealt with religion. The speaker wanted to tell her grandma that through all the lectures, she had trouble comprehending and a lot of time, the lectures were simply “shouts of faith” (18), where she understood little but still had to believe in them. When the speaker’s grandma caressed her chin, she got emotional and thought of the nights she teared up, reminiscing of her home whilst staring at the quilt, a keepsake that her grandma made for her, the only thing home-like to her in college, “about the nights I cried… home on the evening star” (26-28) Wanting to tell her grandma about her friends, she refrained from disclosing the various anti-religious activities that her friends indulged in, “wore noserings and wrote poetry… about Buddha” (31-32) She wanted her grandma to know how agonizing it is to speak in a different accent, to feel like an alien, to be the abnormal in a sea of the ordinary, “my stomach burned… speaking out of turn” (33-35) The speaker’s world is an ominous one, gives the reader feelings of heart wrench and depressed. Yet, the speaker is extremely sympathetic as she connects with countless reader that work or go to school far from home. Despite it all, the speaker calmly told her grandma, “school’s fine” (39)

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Grandma’S World And Religious Images. (May 31, 2021). Retrieved from