Analysis of Gwendolyn Brooks’ a Song From The Front Yard

Ahhhh… An analysis without the using the symbolism of racial prejudice. Pretty original, I guess.

Extract

Analysis

I’ve Stayed in the front yard all my life.

I want a peek at the back

Where it’s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.

A girl gets sick of a rose.

In a song in the front yard, Gwendolyn Brooks utilizes situational irony, symbolism, and imagery in order to convey her belief of the naivety of children. Starting with the first line of this extract, the simplicity of the speaker’s tone makes itself obvious to the reader. The syntax and word choice of the speaker is spartan and direct, which gives the impression that the speaker is a child who is ignorant of the world. For instance, the use of the word “peek” almost certainly assures the identity of the speaker as somebody who is immature, as few adults would use such a word. This child is identified as a girl in the last line, and she can be interpreted as a rebel. Her rebellious attitude can be seen starting with the first line: “I’ve stayed in the front yard all my life.” Obviously, one cannot stay in the front yard all their life, so this must be symbolism. The front yard may be interpreted as an environment in which everything is very orderly and nice, as most front yards ted to show the better aspects of a home. The next 2 lines show a very stark contrast to this pleasurable view of the world, while showing situational irony. In the extract, the backyard is described as “where it’s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.” This gives off an intensely powerful negative visual image, particularly after reading about the front yard. The situational irony exists here because the girl wishes to go against the normal concept of improvement, and instead wants an opportunity to degrade her living conditions. The next line finishes this extract with another instance of symbolism in the use of “a rose.” A rose typically represents loveliness and beauty, and is usually a flower which people enjoy looking at. Seeing as the girl wants to abandon something good and lovely (the rose) for the backyard (something undesirable), this can be used to further the point of the innocence and naivety of children. Therefore, through the use of situational irony, symbolism, and imagery, Gwendolyn Brooks communicates her belief of the innocence and naivety of children, and that their innocence shields them from the awful truths of our world.

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