Sentimental Education Essay

Mary Ruefle
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Hart has degrees in literature and creative writing. In this essay, she examines Ruefle’s poem to discover the underlying tone, dissecting the phrases to find the hidden emotions that are reflected in the images.

Ruefle’s poem “Sentimental Education” is filled with a variety of emotions, from empathy to despair. Unlike the suggestion in the title, these emotions are not overly romanticized as the word “sentimental” suggests but rather are often understated. The success of this poem, which at first appears to be a random collection of childlike observations, is that the feelings are expressed almost as if the narrator is not even aware that she is exposing them. By using concrete nouns, such as the first and last names for the subjects of the narrator’s observations, readers are led to believe that the poem makes literal sense...

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This section contains 1,889 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sentimental Education Study Guide
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