Our Side Themes

Carol Muske-Dukes
This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Our Side.
This section contains 904 words
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Longing

The word “longing” occurs only once in “Our Side,” and the word is associated with the newly dead, not with the speaker. However, even in the one instance, in the first line of stanza 2—“tenderness and longing lose direction”—the reader can feel the ache of loneliness that longing produces in the speaker. The speaker is calling out to the subject of the poem, the newly dead, and waiting for a response. She realizes that she is calling into a void, and therefore she says that the longing has lost direction. In other words, the longing is not reciprocal. The newly dead person no longer is craving. It is only on “our side,” the side of the living, that the longing still exists.

Although “longing” does not appear elsewhere in the poem, the theme continues to be represented. There is “endless calling,” which would be done by people...

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This section contains 904 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Our Side Study Guide
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