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Introduction & Overview of The Boy by Marilyn Hacker

This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Boy.
This section contains 220 words
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The Boy Summary & Study Guide Description

The Boy Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on The Boy by Marilyn Hacker.

Introduction

Marilyn Hacker's poem "The Boy" first appeared in the Breadloaf Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry in 1999 and is the opening poem in her 2000 collection, Squares and Courtyards. Written in eight rhyming stanzas, the poem explores the roles of gender, race, and writing in shaping identity. Hacker is known for her new formalist meditations on history, womanhood, and the "stuff" of everyday life. This poem addresses all three. As the narrator imagines herself as a boy completing a school assignment, the poet muses on the boy's life, his way of looking at the world, his relationship to gender, and his own identity as a Jew. Part fantasy, part character study, "The Boy" investigates the fluidity of human identity, pokes at the boundaries that separate one person's life from another's, and interrogates the ways in which human beings are called on to be one thing or another.

Hacker wrote the poem in response to a book review by Robyn Selman in the Village Voice of poem collections by Rafael Campo and Rachel Weztsteon. In the review, Selman describes the position of the young male poet as someone who sits at a window and looks out at the world and the position of the young female poet as someone who examines the room in which she sits—the room of the self.

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This section contains 220 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Boy Study Guide
Copyrights
The Boy from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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