The Whipping is a poem by Robert Hayden. The poem tells the story of a boy who is whipped by his mother. The boy’s mother is angry at him for playing with a white girl. The boy’s father tries to stop the whipping, but the mother continues. The boy’s mother eventually stops and the boy runs away.
The poem ends with the boy’s mother asking God to forgive her. The poem is about racism and violence. The poem is important because it speaks to the experiences of black people in America. The poem is also important because it highlights the importance of family. The poem is moving and powerful.
Poems have the ability to pluck at one’s heartstrings and expose deep sentiments. In The Whipping, the reader gets a sense of what it’s like to be a young boy. “The old woman across the street / is whipping the kid again… (Hayden 1).”) This poem will be evaluated based on its structure as well as its hints of foreshadowing.
The poem The Whipping is about a boy who is being beaten by an old woman. The poem is written in first person point of view, which allows the reader to feel as if they are the boy who is being whipped. The poem is also written in free verse, which gives it a more natural rhythm. The use of enjambment helps to create a sense of suspense and foreshadows the ending of the poem.
The poem begins with the speaker describing the scene: “The old woman across the way / is whipping the boy again” (Hayden 1). The speaker uses short, simple sentences to describe the event. This allows the reader to focus on the actions taking place, rather than getting caught up in the language. The speaker also uses concrete images, which help the reader to visualize the scene.
The poem continues with the speaker describing the boy’s reaction to the whipping: “He tries to keep silent / but his body betrays him” (Hayden 2). The boy is trying to be brave, but his body is betraying him. The reader can feel the boy’s pain and fear through the use of sensory images. The speaker also uses sad diction, which creates a sympathetic tone.
The poem ends with the speaker revealing the reason for the whipping: “She beats him because he is black / and she is white” (Hayden 3). The speaker uses harsh diction to reveal the racism that is at the root of the whipping. The poem ends on a powerful note, which leaves the reader feeling angry and frustrated.
The Whipping’s opening section, “The Proclamation,” is a poem about death. The boy in this poem suffers at the hands of a terrifying, insane woman. Their connection is unknown. This poem has six stanzas, three of which seem to occur in current time and from a third-person perspective. The boy is beaten and terrified by this woman. “His tears are rain-like memories (Hayden 11).”
The form of The Whipping poem is significant because it allows readers to see how the boy feels during this painful event. The Whipping is not just a story about abuse, but also a story about race relations in America. The whipping of the black boy by the white woman is a metaphor for the way African Americans were treated during slavery and even after slavery was abolished.
The poem shows how even though slavery has ended, the African Americans are still being treated unfairly and with violence. The poem ends on a note of hope, with the boy vowing to never let anyone whip him again. This poem is important because it brings to light the issue of racism in America and how even though slavery has ended, African Americans are still being treated unfairly.
“The old woman across the way is whipping the boy again” (Hayden 1). The word ‘again’ implies that this is not the first time that the boy has been whipped. This line is significant, although it isn’t as important as foreshadowing. Later in the poem, the foreshadowing kicks in. The reader may hear what the young boy is thinking, since he says directly to him , “Well, it’s over now; it’s all over [… ] The pain don’t last” (Hayden 8-9). The boy thinks that the pain doesn’t last, but he is wrong. The physical pain might go away, but the emotional scars will stay with him forever.
The boy is going to get whipped again. The poem closes with the line, “The old woman across the way is whipping the boy again” (Hayden 29). The cycle has not been broken. The beatings will continue. The poem is significant because it gives a voice to those who are often voiceless. The young boy in the poem does not have a say in whether or not he gets beaten. He is powerless. The poem speaks to the power dynamics that exist within society. It also serves as a reminder that abuse happens behind closed doors. It is not always visible to the outside world.
The poem’s title is derived from the first line, which begins with “The old woman across the way / Is whipping the kid again” (1-2). These lines establish a backdrop for the characters’ introduction and ongoing action. The reader feels that this whipping isn’t unusual; it’s happening again, and whatever narrator there is isn’t startled or concerned about it.
The following lines “She must do it with a switch/ or rope or something” (3-4). The reader gets a sense of foreboding, because the child is being whipped with an object that can inflict pain, whether it be a thin flexible branch, or a thicker rope. The poem continues with the next stanza where the woman justifies her actions to someone, possibly the child’s father. The mother states that she is only doing what is necessary to ensure that the boy behaves and does not end up like his father, who was “bad enough” (5).
The mother wants to break the cycle of violence and behavior that she perceives in the father. The next two stanzas are from the perspective of the boy who is being whipped. The reader gets a sense of the pain that the child is in, not just from the physical pain of the whipping, but also from the emotional pain of knowing that his mother hates him and is doing this to him. The final stanza is from the perspective of the woman, who is again justifying her actions.
She states that she is only doing what she has to do to ensure that her son does not grow up to be like his father. The poem ends with the woman saying “I love him though I beat him” (16). This final line shows the conflict that the woman is feeling. She loves her son, but she feels that she has to beat him in order to change his behavior. The poem ends on a note of ambiguity, which leaves the reader wondering what will happen to the boy.
The Whipping is a poem about violence and abuse, but it is also about love and family. The poem shows the conflict that many parents feel when they are trying to discipline their children. They want to do what is best for their children, but they also know that violence is not the answer. The poem leaves the reader with a lot to think about and it is up to the reader to decide what will happen to the boy in the end.