Anne Sexton Writing Styles in Courage

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"Courage" is comprised largely of a list of metaphors and symbolic metaphors. Symbols are images or actions that can stand for something else, often an idea or a related set of ideas. Metaphors are figures of speech that make associations and find similarities between two dissimilar things. Symbolic metaphors make associations between dissimilar things as well, but they do it in such a way that the vehicle of the metaphor represents something symbolically. The vehicle of a metaphor is that part that stands for something else. For example, in the last stanza, Sexton writes: "each spring will be a sword you'll sharpen." A sword is the image that represents spring. But a sword is also something associated with war, violence, and death—ideas not usually connected to spring. In this way the sword represents more than just spring; it represents a range of emotions and ideas.

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This section contains 147 words
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Buy the Courage Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Courage from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.