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Character Analysis in Parties: A Hymn of Hate

Speaker: The speaker in “Parties” is impatient, sarcastic, and utilizes humor that is sometimes morbid. These characteristics become apparent through her brusque responses to the other party-goer’s phrases, all emphasizing her second line of the poem, “they bring out the worst in me.”

Character Analysis Examples in Parties: A Hymn of Hate:

Parties: A Hymn of Hate

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"They find out the next day..."   (Parties: A Hymn of Hate)

The speaker is imagining each of the participants becoming infected with poison ivy as a result of their adventures in the park. This seems like a part of the speaker’s imagination, or hopes, since this section of the poem continues to focus on the events of the party. This fantasy reflects the speaker’s disdain for the people she is surrounded by and dark inner thoughts about them.

"one word frequently leads to another..."   (Parties: A Hymn of Hate)

This line means that the speaker and her partner get into an argument. Notice that the speaker’s tone in this line is dismissive. The adverb “frequently” and the mundane progression of events portrayed in the line suggests that the speaker is just as bored by this fight as she is by the entire card game event.

"And everyone exclaims over how beautiful the lights of the city look—..."   (Parties: A Hymn of Hate)

Parker employs a loose, unmetered free-verse style with a conversational tone. The line lengths are determined by the phrases and sentences, so there is a lot of line variation and no enjambment. Parker uses differences in line length for tonal effect. For example, this line about the “light of the city” is, at 19 syllables, the longest of the poem. The very next line, the 4-syllable “I’ll say they do,” is the shortest. The long, flowing nature of the first line captures the rapture of the other party-goers. The terse “I’ll say they do” conveys the contrasting impatience of the speaker.

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