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Robert Duncan Writing Styles in An African Elegy

This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of An African Elegy.
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Style

Symbol

"An African Elegy" uses symbolic imagery to carry the emotional weight of the poem. Some of Duncan's primary symbols include the Congo, Africa and African nature, African Negroes, blood, and dogs. These images represent a complex of ideas including the unconscious elements of human desire, the ubiquity and reality of death, and the tenuousness of human identity and of life. In the West, Africa has often been used by writers as a symbol of human beings' baser instincts and desires. Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness, which presents the Congo as a place of violence, ignorance, and barbarity, is one such example. Many of Duncan's images, however, are obscure and sometimes inaccessible to beginning readers of poetry. He attempts to use them as pointers to a deeper, more complex reality than that which human beings experience. That reality can only be expressed in images.

Diction/Tone

Although the...

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This section contains 246 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our An African Elegy Study Guide
Copyrights
An African Elegy from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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