Comparison/Analysis of How I Got That Name and The Death of Marilyn Monroe Poems

Poetry is vital in the world we live today as it helps individuals to have a better understanding and appreciation of their surroundings. Poetry can shed extensive light on the world, hence making the truth to thrive in the lives of the target audience. Many individuals learn how to live and associate well with others through poetry, as it bears open the vulnerabilities of humankind. Through its immediacy, poetry can provide individuals with course to emphasize and understand each other. The poems How I Got That Name and The Death of Marilyn Monroe have diverse styles, metaphors, and subject matters, all which bear theoretical perspectives of cultural and feminist theories.

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How I Got That Name by Marilyn Chin is a poem carrying defined poetic terminologies reflecting the feminist and cultural theories. At the first instances of the poem, the composers begin by the use of the words “I am” which to some point sound sarcastic (Chin 1). The initial statements sound to draw that an individual’s identity is not static. The cultural theory exists in the sixth to twelfth line whereby the speaker informs the audience of her name change by her father as a place between Angel Island and the Sea, whereby and the Angel Island, in this case, means immigration station in California.

The speaker further develops the poem by outlining his arrival in America which was a core contributor towards the change of her name to Marylin. Different cultures in society have different ways of naming their people, and so the author of this poem was not an exemption. The speaker’s father who was much obsessed with the name Marilyn Monroe changed Mei Ling to Marilyn, hence making the cultural theory to take its course in such a case. Further, the speaker has brought along descriptions of her father as a paperson, a term employed among the Chinese men who got into the United States using illegal documents.

The way the author sums up the lines bring up the assimilation concept, further outlining how her father changed the name to Marylin as per the American culture. In this case, the speaker describes the magnitude on which the father needed assimilation into a new culture- the American culture- which he has found himself in. Hence, the sixth to twelfth sentences have some excellent drawings whereby cultural theory stands out. Additionally, the speaker terms Marylin Monroe as a “tragic white woman/ swollen with gin and Nembutal” thus making the aspects of culture to root itself more.

Referring to Monroe as a “white woman” brings along another issue of close relation- race, though the speaker of the poem is not white. She is Chinese, hence an indication of how different she is in the new American culture. Metaphor also exists in the poem in the case where the speaker refers to her father as a tomcat (Chin 1). This is a description of her father based on being a male cat, somehow wild as well as roving. Further, alteration also thrives in the whole poem, whereby there is the repetition of the word “T” in words “a tomcat in Hongkong trash” (Chin 1). Hence, the poem has many detailed occurrences linked to the cultural theory as per the drawings of the speaker.

On the other hand, the poem The Death of Marylin Monroe by Sharon is rich in items of its own association to feminist theory. As the title goes, this is a poem portraying a sense of loss and to several techniques including imagery, themes, as well as sentence structure. The first verse paragraph is a descriptive one, using visual imagery and tactile in depicting the physical relation of Monroe’s body and the ambulance men (Olds 1). There is a conveyance of her body by the manipulation magnitude of the men, closing her eyes and tying her arms. The way the men handle her depict a transforming phase of death, as with time she is not able any longer to feel. The way the men treat her is a sign of feminism theory, making her unable to fight for herself while in the arms of men.

From the third stanza, despite rooting on how the lives of the men were taking a different shape, Monroe exists as a symbol of sex icon. The men were impotent, and the death of such beauty makes the men unable to perform their operations as the people in charge of the ambulance (Olds 1). Imagery also exists in the poem where the poet highlights Monroe’s susceptibility and qualities identical to those of a child, hence emphasizing on the aspect of loss. As the poem points out in the third stanza, it outlines men who are not the same but instead men who are impotent, depressed, and diverse attitudes on what life offers.

In conclusion, the poem plays a central role in the lives of almost every individual. Through poems, there is a display of what takes place in defined cultures and the perceptions of people on others. This is evident in the cases of How I Got That Name and The Death of Marilyn Monroe poems, whereby the former displays the cultural theory while the latter displays the feminism theory on different grounds as developed by the authors. Thus, the poems How I Got That Name, and The Death of Marilyn Monroe have diverse styles, metaphors, and subject matters, all which bear theoretical perspectives of cultural and feminist theories.


Works Cited

Chin, Marilyn. How I Got That Name. Cengage Learning, 1994.

Olds, Sharon. The Death of Marilyn Monroe . 2015.