Walking Around Pablo Neruda Spanish Analysis Essay

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Walking Around Analysis

Author:Poetry of Pablo NerudaType:PoetryViews: 2698

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Neruda & Vallejo: Selected Poems1971It so happens I am sick of being a man.

And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and moviehouses

dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt

steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarsesobs.

The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.

The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,

no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.It so happens that I am sick of my feet and my nails

and my hair and my shadow.

It so happens I am sick of being a man.Still it would be marvelous

to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily,

or kill a nun with a blow on the ear.

It would be great

to go through the streets with a green knife

letting out yells until I died of the cold.I don't want to go on being a root in the dark,

insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,

going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,

taking in and thinking, eating every day.I don't want so much misery.

I don't want to go on as a root and a tomb,

alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses,

half frozen, dying of grief.That's why Monday, when it sees me coming

with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline,

and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,

and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward thenight.And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moisthouses,

into hospitals where the bones fly out the window,

into shoeshops that smell like vinegar,

and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines

hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,

and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,

there are mirrors

that ought to have wept from shame and terror,

there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilicalcords.I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,

my rage, forgetting everything,

I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedicshops,

and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:

underwear, towels and shirts from which slow

dirty tears are falling.


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Pablo Neruda’s poem “Walking Around” displays an abhorrent perspective at society from a struggling class side in a communist/socialist (not entirely sure) light. In lines 1-4, the Pablo is saying that he is tired of his world-weary body. Repetition helps create a dark feeling inside the speaker’s head, similar to the constant depressing lines present throughput the poem. The speaker feels sickened by the human race’s destruction of the world and morality. He feels that the government has destined his life to be their pawn and his desire not to be pulls him through each day. Thoughts of overcoming these obstacles are tightly pressed for he sees himself as just one man. Neruda concludes his character trudging on in reality; with hope that one day he will be more than just one man and they can overcome barriers created by their government.

From Pablo Neruda, the speaker tries to be a “man” but remembers how difficult his past has been. “It so happens I am sick of being a man.” In the poem currently the speaker takes a walk through the city while observing his surroundings and compares it with the life of a woman, but in general reflects about society’s way of living. The poem clearly stresses that the speaker is tired of living in the world around him. However, the poem begins with several examples of why and what stresses the man of being a “man.” For example, “The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse sobs,” which portrays why he is sick of being a man.

The second stanza holds a better view of how Neruda’s poem represents intense emotions against government power and the state of humanity. He is tired of the human condition. He is tired of all the grooming. He wants no longer to be walking around in the town; he wants the home of stone and wool that comforts him.

I personally admire the amount of obnoxiousness that was put in this piece. Lines 12-17, might make some soft-hearted people uncomfortable but on the contrary, my heart throbs in the presence of psychopathic content. He is pondering the doing of unkind things to the townsfolk, nuns and notaries. He is thinking how fun it would be to mess with their heads, to scare them to death. He is saying that he is going to go down with a bang and take a few people with him on the way. Neruda concludes in a short stanza, “It would be beautiful/ to go through the streets with a green knife/ shouting until I died of cold”. Green is the color of jealousy and envy, a root of his rage and the knife is also an example of extreme anger. He is saying he wants to put up a fight.

In lines 18-21, he is describing himself as a root in the dark. He is saying that he is so tired of his routine he could die and he would be happier. The imagery here is dirt and darkness. In lines 22-25, the tone of the poem turns even darker. The imagery is of death, tombs and corpses. He is saying he hates what he is inheriting, what being is passed down to him from his generation; he feels that humanity is headed in the wrong direction.

In lines 26-29, he says that “Monday burns like oil.” He wears his prison face. He is jailed by his humanity, trapped in the monotony of his routine. In lines 30-39, the poet is saying that this routine, this rut, has pushed him into corners of his mind where he does not want to be. The character in the poem seems to be literally, physically going to different parts of the town as part of the daily routine, to places that are dark and make him unhappy. It gets him to thinking about hell and doom. There is very bad energy coming from the houses. Bad things happened there, walking around 50 bad people lived here. The imagery of these lines is hellish and dark. The grotesque imagery of hell is amplified by Neruda’s use of hate in this stanza. In lines 7 and 8 Neruda writes, “There are mirrors/ which should have wept with shame and horror.” This describes the vision of the speaker in other men that make him hate things about himself. Line refers to “poisons,” which are involved with the above-mentioned pits of despair. The speaker feels incredibly strong about his place in the system, as is abundantly apparent in this poem. He speaks of bones coming out of windows, of intensities hanging on doors, dentures in the coffee pot, and the mirrors weeping from shame and fright over what they have seen. He feels tainted by the people and their icky energy, and their body parts just everywhere.

Lines 40-45 offer a description of the poet just walking around in his town. He notices the objects of the world, characterizing them with “slow dirty tears.” They cry at the outrage of human existence, that it has allowed itself to become so close to destruction. The speaker is depressed by the world and continues to attempt a rise above it. He sees all the fodder of this humanity and internally his mental battle rages, but he is wearing his happy face and to look at him you would never know it.

The ever-recurring conflicts present throughout this piece was man vs. self and man vs. society/government. The speaker feels suppressed by the control his government reigns over him and fears he will not be able to rise up from his unrecognized redundant job. He battles with himself on whether or not he can overcome such a great obstacles, especially when he sees his own characteristics in the men around him, which he hates. Neruda represents the agony of the world’s existence, the upgrades that will lead to its downfall.




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