Notes on the Assemblage Themes & Motifs

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Revolution / Struggles for Freedom

Whether direct or indirect, whether illuminated by contrast or portrayed in sharply detailed imagery, each poem makes a claim that in an environment of pervasive, systematic discrimination defined primarily by race (such as those portrayed throughout the collection), individuals and communities who find themselves and their well-being at risk as a result of that discrimination have a responsibility to themselves and their community to fight for freedom and respect. The collection’s over-arching, and unifying, central argument is made in forms ranging from outright calls to action, through evocations of the longed-for peace and respect at the heart of most calls for revolution, to elegiac portraits of those whose actions, contemplations, or artistic creations have provided inspiration for past revolutions.

Some poems submerge their evocations of this theme into metaphor or implication. “The Soldier in the Empty Room,” for example, speaks of the...

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This section contains 1,812 words
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Buy the Notes on the Assemblage Study Guide
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