Most people have good lives, good homes, and end up living their “happily ever after” with the people they love. Others aren’t as lucky, people sometimes see into the lives of others and see that it’s not good at all, it’s actually really bad, but they don’t realize just how bad it is unless they’ve experienced it first hand. They can sympathize with the person with a troubled life but they can’t empathize because they haven’t been there themselves. That’s where writing and figurative language comes in. Writing and figurative language gives people an indepth look into the lives of others.
Metaphors help people see what the writer is trying to express.In “Forgiving My Father” by Lucille Clifton, people can tell the poem has a lot of emotion within it. In it the daughter is paying for her father’s sins. He is believed to have cheated on his wife, as the daughter calls him a lecher which is a womanizer, a man who will have multiple affairs, which may be what sent his wife to commit suicide as seen when the daughter says, “My mother’s hand opens in her early grave and I hold it out like a good daughter.” It seems the father also had a severe gambling problem. As she says, “You are the pocket that was going to open and come up empty any friday” it shows he has an addiction to wasting all of his money. Then he died, and left her with all the debt he couldn’t pay off. When she says, “Old dead man what am I doing here collecting? You lie side by side in debtor’s boxes and no accounting will open them up.” He was an abusive father even in death driving her mother to suicide by cheating, gambling all their money away, and leaving his daughter to pay off his debt.
Symbols show how the writer feels by using images within the writing in a way that it’s almost as if the person reading is in the place of the author. “Those Winter Sundays” written by Robert Hayden is a great example of symbolism. The way he speaks of the cold. How his father had, “cracked hands from labor in the weekday weather.” How he hear the cold and how it woke him up, when the house got warm he got out of bed, almost like clockwork. He, “feared the chronic angers of that house.” It seems as though one wrong move would send his father into a furious rage. The author talked to his father in indifference as if he had no emotions even after his father had, “driven out the cold and polished my (his) good shoes well.” The author seems to not know of love, or much of being alone either. The father seems very strict and he has a routine that must be followed or his anger will spark. It the signs of a controlling and abusive father.