To a Sad Daughter Historical Context

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Time and place are not essential in Michael Ondaatje's "To a Sad Daughter." The message, or the advice, passed down from father to daughter is the central issue, and it could occur anywhere at any time. It is unlikely, however, that a man would offer such liberal advice to his little girl in years prior to the second half of the twentieth century, and so we may assume the time frame is "contemporary." The only confirmation of that in the poem is the reference to items and events that were not prevalent or not available earlier, tracksuits and the National Hockey League, for instance. We also know that the poem takes place when color motion pictures have been common for many years since the 16-year-old feels "superior" to black and white movies. As for place, we may assume that the father and daughter live somewhere in the "north...

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This section contains 854 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the To a Sad Daughter Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
To a Sad Daughter from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.