In the poems “Autowreck” by Karl Shapiro and “The Boyracers Epiphany” by Owen Sheers the writer uses symbolism to develop an important idea. In the poem “Autowreck” the writer uses a symbol for life and also uses a symbol for injury, death and despair to convey the idea that boy racers aren’t invincible and do have accidents. In the poem “The Boyracers Epiphany” the writer gives us a symbol for courageousness and he also gives us the symbol of punishment and sorrow to help elucidate the idea that he is a hero but as the night comes to an end his fun finishes which is like a punishment for him.
The writer in “Autowreck” gives us the symbol of life and also injury, death and despair. For example in the first stanza it begins with the ambulance arriving and bringing life and hope, “like an artery” is a symbol of life and also a symbol of hope. Another symbol of life in the first stanza is “The ambulance at top speed floating down” which means like an angel which represents life and hope. The writer portrays the idea of life and hope in the first stanza by using symbolism and symbolising the like of angels and artery’s which both are a symbol of life.
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In the second and third stanzas of “Autowreck” the ambulance has left which shifts the focus to the people who are left to deal with the aftermath of the crash and the writer gives the symbol of injury, death and despair. For example “ponds of blood” is a symbol of injury and possible death, it is also a hyperbole as it is over exaggerated to make it seem like the crash scene is very gory and bloody. This example of injury is very effective as it really gives the reader a strong symbol of injury and death and it is used in conjunction with a hyperbole to exaggerate the point.
Another example is “Our throats were tight as tourniquets,” which is a very strong symbol of injury and emotional damage because a tourniquet is what is used to stop bleeding by wrapping it tight around a major ligament. This gives us the symbol of injury and is also a pun because it gives us the meaning of the watchers throats being tight like a tourniquet would be and the tourniquet could also be in use on the victim of the crash as he is in a serious state and is bleeding vigorously.
The writer in “The Boyracers Epiphany” uses the symbol for courageousness and also for punishment and sorrow. For example, “like furies at the hips of a hero” this gives the symbol that the boyracer is courageous and that he thinks nothing can stop him. The writer conveys the symbol of courageousness by showing that he thinks he is a hero and that nothing can stop him. Owen Sheers also uses the symbol for punishment and sorrow. For example, “seeing as he does the infinite sorrow” this shows us that he does not want the night to end and he feels sorrow as dawn starts to arrive.
The symbol for punishment is when the poet writes “the love of his burning red tail lights” This means that it is like a punishment and he doesnts want the night to end. The poet uses the symbol for punishment and sorrow by giving us examples where he feels sorrow and feels like it is a punishment that the night is ending and dawn is arriving. In the poem “autowreck” the writer uses a symbol for life and also uses the symbol for injury, death and despair. The writer portrays these symbols by using examples of things that bring life and save life like an ambulance and also makes it angelic by persofying it to be seen as “floating down”.
The writer also uses the symbol for injury, death and despair by shifting the focus to the aftermath of the crash and the people are left to deal with the “pools of blood” and makes the readers feels what the people at the crash scene are feeling. In the poem “The boyracers epiphany” the writer uses the symbol for courageousness and also for punishment and sorrow. The symbol for courageousness is shown by the boyracer thinking nothing can stop him, the symbol for punishment and sorrow is shown when he doesn’t want the night to end and it feels like a punishment for him when dawn comes.