The Two Brothers by Judith Beveridge.

Essay by spiketwo03High School, 11th gradeB+, December 2007

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How is the concept of power and powerlessness depicted in this text? "The Two Brothers" by Judith Beveridge portrays the perspective of a young girl forced to witness the horrific torture of animals by two brothers. The concept of power and powerlessness is presented in the poem. There are many techniques which assist in conveying this idea some include euphemism, simile, contrast and metaphor. Through these techniques readers gain a deeper sense into the power and powerlessness presented in the poem.

The use of euphemism enhances the idea of power and powerlessness in the poem. The persona recounts an event where the two brothers "Showed me themselves". This implies the brothers exposed themselves showing her their bodies, tormenting her. She is powerless to the sexual abuse committed by the brothers. The brothers dominate the power as they have a choice of either sexually abusing her or not.

As they have the choice, they obtain the power. The power of the brothers is also due to their sexuality, they are male, generally the more dominate sex. Through the use euphemism, the idea of power and powerlessness is conveyed.

Simile is yet another technique used to express the idea of power and powerlessness. "We watched the snail boil and froth like illicit stills". This shows the individual powerlessness of the snail. Even with the protection of their shell, they are still vulnerable to the torture inflicted by the brothers. As they boil and froth they are unable to do anything about it, unable to prevent or save themselves from the torture, powerless. The simile also shows the power of the two brothers. The boys obtain their power as they have choices. They could easily exercise their power, torturing the animals or leave them alone as they have this...