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Critical Analysis Of Yusef Komunyakaa's "Thanks."

911 words - 4 pages

On the outside of Yusef Komunyakaa's "Thanks" is a very hopeless type of story about a young man in the Vietnam War who recounts events in which could have been his last. He gives thanks to certain objects, as if they were the reason that he did not in fact get shot, or that he didn't trip over a landmine. The thanks he is giving could be interrupted as thanks to God for these objects, or a downright statement of a lack of god in his life or this war. Komunyakaa is making a statement about the war, and about his beliefs, though it is only with further dissection that the reader can begin to see which side Komunyakaa is coming from; the religious side or an almost denouncement of religion and ...view middle of the document...

The narrator was close to death in this scene. He was back at home, with the woman he might have loved, until it was "shattered by daylight" when the branch was pulled away from his face. When he is giving thanks later into the poem, he begins to state that he does not know who to thank."What made me spot the monarch writhing on a single thread tied to a farmer's gate, holding the day together like an unfingered guitar string, is beyond me."The narrator states that it was beyond him who or what brought that butterfly to rest on that trip-wire. He could also literally mean beyond him in the spiritual sense of the word as well. It's still unclear because the reader does get an overwhelming sense of nature intervening in these potentially life-threatening events.Finally the reader gets personal feelings about the situation from the narrator."Thanks for the vague white flower that pointed to the gleaming metal reflecting how it is to be broken like mist over the grass, as we played some deadly game for blind gods."He is giving thanks for the flower giving away the position of some kind of anti-personnel mine, but he describes the war as a game for "blind gods." With the lack of religious evidence and the sincerity for the thanks to be religious, the reader may assume that the thanks is directed...

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