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Paper Topic:

Literary Analysis Essay

Monologue for an Onion ' by Suji Kwock Kim

Poetry is a wonderful vehicle for layering meaning through metaphor Kim , in Monologue for an Onion ' uses the simple action of peeling onion as a metaphor for complex and hurtful relationships between people . She artfully weaves images and meaning between the action and the relationship it stands for

Generally , a metaphor is a comparison between two unlike things . In this poem , the speaker is represented as an onion , which represents a person who is being victimized by the one who is cutting up the

onion the peeler . This is the basic metaphor , but the levels go even deeper The metaphor is the action of peeling the onion by , presumably , another person . This other person is the one with whom onion is in a relationship . The action of the poem depicts the final confrontation in the relationship which ends in the tragic destruction of the onion . It is as if the peeler , one person , actually consumes the other

First , the onion itself represents a person who is being torn apart or torn down . The first person point of view is that of the onion . On the surface , the onion is apologizing for making the peeler cry . Most people will tear up when peeling an onion from the acid it emits However , in this case , the onion is making an apology to the peeler for causing this reaction , though it can be interpreted as less than sincere

Like the onion , this first person speaker has several layers of herself that remain , for the most part and by her own choice , hidden from others ' view . Only those that get close to the onion can get to know her innermost layers . However , in this poem , the person whom the onion represents is being made to forcibly reveal her innermost layers to the peeler before she is ready . She accuses the peeler from .peeling away my body , layer by layer (line 3 . The relationship between these two individuals is of utmost importance when analyzing the poem 's presentation of the metaphor

According to the speaker , the peeler is intent on reaching the innermost part of her being . Onions are composed of many layers and anyone who has peeled them apart layer by layer knows what a lengthy task that is The speaker knows what it is that the peeler seeks Poor deluded human : you seek my heart (line 6 . The speaker is clearly not ready to reveal her secret core ' which she claims to be a pure union of outside and in (line 5-6 . It should be noted that union and onion differ by only one letter , possible indicating that the speaker feels at one with herself and her being and that the peeler is seeking a union or oneness , with her by force . Most people understand the love and pure , truthful emotions is not something that can be forced . This insistence by the peeler , and the references to blades and cutting actions reflect their violent...

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