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Analysis of “Meeting the British” by Paul Muldoon
“Meeting the British” recounts the experience the Indians had when meeting the British in the 18th century. The events of the poem recount the event where a group of British commanders met an Ottawan tribe and handed blankets infected with smallpox to them. The horrendous deeds of the American colonization are recounted through the eyes of one of the natives and his relation with the British. What makes this poem, so grand is the resonance that Muldoon provided the poem with. He gave it the tone of a person who lived and died in that era, a person who knew Englishmen and was able to communicate with them. However, in the poem the barriers between the Native Americans and the Englishmen are well-known since they do not even communicate well. They resort to broken French to be able to communicate, which makes the differences between both, greater. Muldoon uses traditional verses, as well as traditional forms of narrative, such as sonnets; ballads, and dramatic monologs. However, he alters them, turning ancient forms of poetry, into contemporary pieces.
In this essay, we shall do an analysis of the poem, and focusing on three subjects: theme; diction and imagery. That way, we aim to gain a thorough understanding of the poem, and the historical situation surrounding it. However, our focus is going to be on providing a general approach that leads to g…
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