Rita Dove Crab-Soil

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Rita Dove’s “Crab-Boil” takes place in the South. It portrays two characters on the beach boiling crabs and exchanging dialogues. The persona of this poem is a young girl who is skeptic about her surroundings and therefore questions her aunt Helen who is an old woman. Dove uses the conversational method because the little girl asks questions about certain things that aunt Helen is doing with the crabs. Thus, to answer her questions, aunt Helen replies back with answers. This is done so that the reader can better understand the viewpoint of each character. There is a teacher and student relationship between aunt Helen and the little girl, therefore the little girl is learning from her aunt because she's in authority. For example, when a student walks into a class on the first day of school, he or she doesn't know what they will learn, its the authority that determines which in this poem is the aunt Helen. Aunt Helen takes the young girl to the other side of the beach for the first time as Dove mentioned, “Why do I remember the sky of the forbidden beach (1)” shows that the aunt and the young girl are from the south because the “forbidden beach”…show more content…
The young girl was skeptic about why aunt Helen is boiling the crabs alive. From a reader's point of view, the girl was probably thinking that aunt Helen should have first killed the crabs and then boiled them like in the case of most animals. Thus, the young girl asks her aunt as Dove mentioned, “When do we kill them? (16)” shows that the girl is curious and is waiting for the aunt to kill the crabs. The answer aunt Helen gave was as dove mentioned, “"Kill 'em? Hell, the water does that. They don't feel a thing...no nervous system (17-18)” meaning that the water will kill them since it’s boiling. In fact, it can be said that the girl is experiencing the environment that she's in with her aunt for the first time because of the questions she's asking about her

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