Hanging Fire Analysis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By audrelorde
Words 368
Pages 2
"Hanging Fire" is a brief poem written by Audre Lorde that expresses the feelings of teenagers in a simple and direct context. The title "hanging fire" refers to a firearm that has been pulled its trigger, but is delayed in igniting. In this case, it represents the girl being hesitant and insecure about her future, therefore is neglected in going on, as in the bullet that is supposed to fire in “hanging fire”.
Right in the beginning, Lorde is straightforward to us in her subject with the sentence, "I am fourteen"(line 1), and we therefore becomes aware of the fact that this poem is about a teenager. Right away it is followed by a personification, "my skin has betrayed me"(line 2).Of course, this cannot be taken literally as it really means who she is in another’s eyes is not who she is deep down. In using the word “betrayed”, Lorde now creates a sense that this teenage girl has no control over her actions and is debilitated by outside powers. This idea can also be seen throughout the context. In the lines “There is nothing I want to do/and too much/that has to be done” (lines 19-21), we may recognize that the unavoidable pressures teenagers receive, whether they are from their peers or parents. The effects from peer pressure can also be seen in the line, “I have to learn how to dance/in time for the next party”.
When Lorde uses, "the boy I cannot live without"(line 3), readers perceive this naive fairytale-like dream of the-prince-on-a-white-horse and the child-like longing for romance tales when we first read the Anderson Fairytales despite the “hardships” she has in life and her disappointment over the fact that her true love still has not shown up yet expressed in, “still sucks his thumb/in secret”(lines 4&5)
The girl apparently has not yet matured and whine about her looks: “how come my knees are always so ashy”(lines 6-7) and “why do I have to be/the…...

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