"That Woman on the Lawn" by Ray Bradbury

Essay by DeniL814High School, 12th grade April 2006

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In the poem "That Woman on the Lawn" by Ray Bradbury, the speaker experiences many different emotions throughout. His emotions seem to change from happy, sad, angry, or sometimes he is alright with the situation. You'd think that a person would be emotional when they see the ghost of their dead mother, and the author portrays his feelings throughout. Bradbury uses many key words and syntax to make these emotions come alive through the whole poem, and it seems to liven up the poem and let us into to the real meaning of what the speaker is feeling, which in the end, he really doesn't mind all of what his mother is doing.

At the beginning the reader begins to get a feel for what's going on. The speaker seems to be seeing his dead mother out on the lawn. The emotion that he has at first appears to be happiness because the author lets us know that in all the darkness she was the "only light".

He then weeps either because he's sad or a mixture of anger and sadness. Since Bradbury goes on to explain the speakers feelings using "unrelated", "evanescent", "free", the reader assumes that the speaker is angry at his mother for being a "maid" again. Then the phrase "it frightened me" implies that he is scarred altogether of this experience. Moving on, the repetitive phrases "how dare she" moves the speakers feelings to angriness or kind of a disloyalty feeling from his mother. He's angry and shocked at how free spirited she can be. The syntax at the end of that line using a question mark and an exclamation point adds to the anger that he's feeling. He goes on and seems to be making fun of his mother saying "paying no mind" like she is being careless, and some "bold strange man to rise up like the sun" appear to have an ironic tone to them. Then again he begins to weep but this time he calls out to her to let her know that he is okay with what she's doing and he doesn't "mind".

In conclusion, Bradbury uses diction and syntax to emphasize the speaker's emotions in the poem. He changes the speakers emotions throughout, making the reader be on his or her toes. It seems that without this change of emotions, the poem wouldn't be the same. The speaker is going through some kind of crisis--seeing the ghost of his mom, and Bradbury lets the reader in to his thoughts subtlety.