The Cossacks Summary & Study Guide

Linda Pastan
This Study Guide consists of approximately 22 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Cossacks.
This section contains 790 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Lines 1-5

“The Cossacks” is composed of five five-line stanzas (cinquains) written in free verse, or verse without a set rhyme pattern or meter. The first stanza opens with the statement that to Jews, hostility and danger are always around the corner. The speaker asserts that “the Cossacks are always coming,” referring to the mercenary group that massacred Russian Jews in the nineteenth century. She generalizes her own fear and pessimism by claiming that her mind-set is common among Jews. Because of that tendency to assume the worst, she assumes that a spot on her arm is cancer. Also because of that tendency, she spends the last evening before the new year listing everyone who has died in that year, rather than reflecting on the promise and excitement of what is ahead of her. This first stanza introduces the themes of pessimism and death. The speaker's backward thinking...

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This section contains 790 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Cossacks Study Guide
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The Cossacks from BookRags. (c)2016 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
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