A Story By Li-Young Lee

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In “A Story” by Li-Young Lee, the complex relationship between the father and the son is heightened due to the use of diction, oscillating points of views between the father and the son, and the use of time in structuring the poem. Lee uses these literary devices to reflect on the father’s worry that he will disappoint his son, which contributes to the theme that parents’ love can be shown with silence. Lee starts the poem with a somber two sentence stanza which takes on an observational point of view and establishes the setting of the poem. The poem begins with the word “Sad,” which personifies the man as being sad and emphasizes the sadness the man felt. This importance on the word “sad” sets up the tone of the poem, as the poem becomes quite morose later on. Lee also sets up the setting of the poem, which is the son asking his father for a story in the present. The present time later contrasts with the future thoughts by the father.…show more content…
Lee uses imagery when describing the son waiting in the father’s lap, as the reader can imagine that. The next sentence is italicized, which is a deviation from the norm of normal formatting Lee used in the previous three lines. The italicization signifies a shift from the observational point of view to the point of view of the son as he asks his father for a new story. The son’s words also reflect another important piece of background information; the father has told the son many stories before but wants a new one. One that the father is unable to provide but wants to as demonstrated by his actions, “The man rubs his chin, scratches his ear.” The father is clearly being thoughtful about what to tell his son, and it leaves the reader wondering what is preventing the father from thinking of a

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