Sentimental Education Essay

Mary Ruefle
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Perkins is a professor of twentieth-century American and English literature and film. In this essay, she examines the theme of injustice and the interplay of the imagination.

Several critics have noted that readers often find Mary Ruefle’s poetry inaccessible due to the seemingly irreconcilable images it contains. Much of the language of her poems is ambiguous, frustrating the search for meaning. Mark Halliday, in his review of Post Meridian, insists that when “confronting a poem, we often have to work hard to decide whether its oddity or difficulty comes from a wonderfully forgivable, or from a repulsive arrogance.” Ruefle’s “Sentimental Education” falls decidedly in the former category. Each of the stanzas contains separate statements that the reader must interpret. The reflective reader can find that under careful consideration, Ruefle’s strikingly fresh and sometimes unnerving images come together...

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This section contains 1,222 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sentimental Education Study Guide
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