Assisi Essay Research Paper Critical EvaluationAssisi

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Assisi Essay, Research Paper Critical Evaluation-Assisi A poem that I have been studying recently is Assisi by Norman McCaig, which I found very interesting to read because it made a statement which relates to our world today even though the poem was wrote about thirty or forty years ago. The poem has lots of ideas including effective figures of speech, good choice of words, important images and irony. The statement that McCaig makes is, where ever there is great wealth it always exists along side great poverty. The poem is set in Assisi in Italy around the 1970’s were all the rich tourists are coming in hundreds from all different countries far and wide to see the frescoes painted by Giotto in Assisi’s huge cathedral. McCaig mainly focuses on the dwarf outside of the

three-tier cathedral built in honour of St. Francis. McCaig then proceeds to the priest guiding the tourists around the cathedral telling them the history of Giotto’s frescoes and how they individually teach people the goodness of God and the suffering of his son. McCaig uses effective littery techniques to describe the tourists and to describe the dwarf. He then goes on to explain that the tourists are not studying the frescoes and are just there to boast about being there. Then he goes on to tell of the dwarfs voice when he says “Grazie” for the money one of the tourists have given to him outside the cathedral. McCaig uses juxtaposition by situating the dwarf outside of the huge three tier cathedral. McCaig also refers to the dwarf as a “ruined temple”. By saying this

he creates a huge contrast between the dwarf and the cathedral, he also uses irony to compare the dwarf to St. Francis were he says: “Outside the three tiers of churches built in honour of St. Francis, brother of the poor, talker with birds, over whom he had the advantage of not being dead yet.” This is saying that the dwarf had an advantage over one group of people, the dead. I think that it was a good idea to situate the dwarf outside the huge cathedral and create the image of a great, strong, beautifully designed building standing over a small, weak, deformed person. McCaig gives the reader a graphic description of the dwarf in both stanzas 1 and 3 where he uses many littery techniques to describe the dwarf. In stanza 1 he uses alliteration, simile and metaphor to give the

reader a graphic view of the dwarfs deformed body: “The dwarf with his hands on backwards sat, slumped like a half-filled sack on tiny twisted legs from which sawdust might run.” He uses alliteration to say things like, “sat slumped” and “tiny twisted”, these two pieces of text give a good view of the dwarfs way of sitting and his little weak legs. The simile used is, “Slumped like a half-filled sack.” This tells me that the dwarf had no strength to keep himself up straight and every time he sat down his back got closer to the ground. McCaig also uses a metaphor to tell you of the dwarfs legs, “Tiny twisted legs from which sawdust might run.” Here he is speaking about the dwarf as if he was an old teddy bear, he is saying that his legs are so worn out that

sawdust might run from them, this is what happened to the teddy bears in the late 19th centaury, they were filled with sawdust and if they wore away the sawdust would run out. In stanza 3 McCaig called the dwarf “a ruined temple.”, this gives the image of the dwarf who is battered and bruised and over the years he has begun to rot since no one has been looking after him. McCaig says this because the dwarf has been living around the huge cathedral for many years and is now wearing away. McCaig goes on to give more details of the dwarfs appearance: “whose eyes, wept pus, whose back was higher than his head, whose lopsided mouth” All of these properties of the dwarf are very brutal, McCaig says this to make the reader feel pity for the dwarf but surprisingly McCaig goes on