Analysis Pages

Syntax in Solitude

Syntax Examples in Solitude:

Text of the Poem

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"you..."   (Text of the Poem)

Wilcox constructs much of this poem with imperative statements—such as “laugh,” “weep,” “sing”—and addresses the audience as an ambiguous “you.” Imperatives are commands, which could mean that Wilcox’s speaker is stating what “you” should do and then following these commands with the consequences of fulfilling or denying them. However, since imperatives are commands, they do not allow for deviations or nuanced actions. So, this presents the speaker’s claims as broad platitudes.

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