The Whipping

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The Whipping By Robert Hayden In the short poem ?The Whipping? by Robert Hayden, a little boy was being whipped with a stick by an old woman who was mentally disturbed and who needs a lot of emotional guidance. The old woman whipped the boy until she believed that she had purged herself of the anger she had years ago when she was whipped as a child. On the other side of the road a stranger watches the punishment as he recalls the time in his past when he received a similar punishment, knowing that, he will never experience a whip again. As this happens, it becomes apparent that some people can deal with painful and abusive memories better than others can.

Whenever the painful memories return to the old woman, she lashes out her anger to the little boy, trying to ease the pain in her past. For instance, whenever the memories of being whipped come back to the old woman, she punishes the boy once again (292).

Believing that, by whipping the boy it will rid her of her anger that she had accumulated through her life as an abused child. No matter how many times she whips the boy, she never seen to forget the past that haunts her so greatly. In addition to whipping the boy, she yells her goodness to the neighbors, as she also yells the boys wrong doings (292). No matter how much she abuses the boy she never forgets the people that abused her and the anger she feeling towards them. Abusing the boy was her way of dealing with her a pain of guilt, which she carries with her every day. The guilt in her encourages her to abuse someone else so that she doesn?t feel that she is the only...