Love and Sacrifice in Those Winter Sundays Poem

Published: 2021-09-11 01:15:09
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Category: Poems

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Those Winter Sundays
As a parent, everyone wants the best for their children. Just because the parent did not get everything that they wanted as a child, they try to put in full effort so their kids would not have to msuffer. Some parents even sacrifice everything, even if it costs them to suffer to make sure that their offspring are good. This is the case with the father in Robert Hayden’s poem, “Those Winter Sundays.” The father in this poem did everything that he could to make sure his entire family did not have any worries at all. For instance, the father was the working man of the house, so he would be the first one to get up in the mornings. However, this poem takes place in the winter, so that means when the father gets up the entire house is cold. With this being so, the father takes the initiative by waking up every morning and preparing a fire for everyone else to wake up to a warm house while he is gone. When the son grows into a young man, he finally realizes how much his father had really done and sacrificed for his family. This is where Robert Hayden uses the literary device of imagery to show the adherence of the father, versus how unappreciative that the son was.
Everyone is familiar with stereotypes. A father Is usually stereotyped as a caring person that does whatever to make sure that their family is safe. This is the same way with the father in “Those Winter Sundays.” At the very first beginning of the poem, any reader can see how caring he was as a father. Evidence of Hayden using imagery to show how caring the father was can be found in just about every stanza, especially the first one. For example, the son says, “Sundays too my father got up early/ and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, / then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made/ banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.” (I. 1-5). This whole first stanza shows how the father already had to work long and hard hours, but he still maintained to get up bright and early to make sure the house was warm, even while withstanding the physical pain from work. Also, the last line of the first stanza shows how ungrateful the son and everyone else in the family was of what the father did for them. It is easily to tell that the father loved his family, because he would not even allow his family to come into any place of the house until the room was warm enough for them come in, while he was sitting in the cold for hours. Also, the son says, “who had driven out the cold/ and polished my good shoes as well.” (III. 11-12). The father even polished his son’s shoes. Most fathers are very devoted to their family, but the one in Hayden’s poem truly loved his family because there are still some that won’t polish their children’s shoes. The father did not have to do these things, but he did it out of love.Just how Robert Hayden used imagery to show caring the father was, he also used it to display how ungracious that the son is. When people feel like they are giving their all to someone and they are not getting the same in return, this then makes a person agitated and angry, which is how the father had felt. When the son says, “fearing the chronic angers of that house,” (II. 9) this refers to how mad the father was from everyone in the house being ungrateful of him. When the speaker says, “Speaking indifferently to him,” (III. 10) it shows how the father and son wanted a strong relationship with each other, but they really could not tell each other how they felt about each other, which is why the son would say mean things to his father without really meaning it, because he felt unloved. Both felt the same about each other, but they did not know how to express it. Towards the end of the poem, the son had finally matured and realized all the things that the father had sacrificed for his family. He realized how ungrateful he was of his father, but it was a little too late for that.
With all being said, Robert Hayden used the characters of the son and father through imagery for readers to understand the true meaning of the poem. He used the father to show the love and sacrifice that a father does for their family, and the son was used to show how unappreciative people can be at times, and they don’t realize what they had until it is gone. If it wasn’t for the imagery that Hayden used, the poem would not have been as emotional or appealing to readers, because this literary device gives readers a better understanding of the true meaning behind the poem.

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