"On The Subway" by Sharon Olds Analytical Essay by The Research Group

"On The Subway" by Sharon Olds
An analysis of the poem's portrait of society in microcosm on a subway car.
# 15075 | 675 words | 1 source | 2000 | US
Published on Feb 06, 2003 in Literature (American) , Literature (Poetry) , English (Analysis)


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From the Paper:

"The poem "On the Subway" by Sharon Olds plays off its title to convey a sense of uncertainty, dread, fear, and urban tension. The poem itself details the feelings experienced by the speaker as she sits on the subway, though the subway itself is not mentioned in the poem itself. The situation is set by the title, and this makes all that follows clear as far as its meaning is concerned. The poet creates a dramatic situation through the eyes of one participant, and while nothing really happens beyond two people observing one another, the poem says much about urban life, racial relations, and accompanying fears.


The first line delineates the situation clearly: "The young man and I face each other" (1). This remains the situation throughout the poem--neither leaves, neither moves, neither approaches the other. We know this is taking place on a subway..."

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"On The Subway" by Sharon Olds (2003, February 06) Retrieved April 19, 2014, from http://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/on-the-subway-by-sharon-olds-15075/

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