Portrait of a Couple at Century's End Summary & Study Guide

Sherod Santos
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 Portrait of a Couple at Century's End.
This section contains 1,229 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
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Lines 1-5

The first stanza of “Portrait of a Couple at Century's End” establishes a commuter traffic scene. The poem starts out on a note of discomfort, beginning with the word “Impatient.” The drivers of the cars are looking forward to their homes, where, presumably, they will be comfortable and feel safe from the hassles of their day. Santos compares the sound of cars on a wet street to the sound made by construction paper when it is torn. The tearing of construction paper foreshadows domestic strife.

This stanza ends with what seems like a redundancy. The sheets of paper in the audio image are said to be torn not only “their length” but also “through.” This image makes more sense when “through” is joined to the following stanza, to make “through / the walls,” which is where the sound can be heard.

Lines 6-10

With the second stanza...

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This section contains 1,229 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Portrait of a Couple at Century's End Study Guide
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