In The Orchard

This essay has a total of 1259 words and 6 pages.

In The Orchard

An Interpretation of "In the Orchard"

For any educator that is searching for a poem to arouse the interest of students enlisted
in upper level literature classes, the poem "In the Orchard" by Muriel Stuart, written in
the early twentieth century, conveys the ageless theme of unrequited love. The poem has
all the elements of making students understand how far back the feeling of unrequited love
has been around. We can understand these elements better through the rhetorical
strategies.

A rhetorical strategy that this poem has is dialogue. The whole poem contains dialogue
between the boy and girl who plan to meet each other in the orchard to be alone.


"But I gave you everything."
"Well, you shouldn't have done it. You know what a fellow thinks
when a girl does that." "Yes, he talks of her over his drinks
And calls her a ______."

The issue that the boy and girl are discussing is still very much a part of today's
society, unreturned love. This dialogue, or conversation, could be happening right now at
the end of the twentieth century.

Another rhetorical strategy incorporated in the poem is imagery. There are many types of
images that are in this poem. For example, the story that the young girl shares with the
boy about drowning the cat is full of images for the reader to see:


I've seen boys stone a blackbird, and watched them drown
A kitten…it clawed at the reeds, and they pushed it down
Into the pool while it screamed. Is that fun, too?

The image of the cat clawing at the reeds stands out the most. A person reading this poem
can envision the cat clawing the reeds and screaming as the young boys hold it under the
water bringing the cat closer and closer to death with each passing moment. The purpose
that the young girl tries to explain is that she understands the way young boys are and
that they do not love anything.

Another rhetorical strategy that Muriel Stuart uses in her poem is projection. The girl
seems really upset about finding out that the boy really does not have feeling for her.
The girl says, "I thought you loved me." The boy answers her by saying, "No, it was only
fun." She tries to find someway to see this boy again. Maybe she wants to see him again to
find out if he does have feeling for her. When they are getting ready to part ways she
quickly tries to find something to say to him to see if she will get any reaction of any
kind of feeling from him. She half asks, half states that she will see him at the dance
next week:


Yes, it's late. There's thunder about, a drop of rain
Fell on my hand in the dark. I'll see you again
At the dance next week. You're sure that everything's right?

The boy simply replies that he will see her there. They then go their separate ways.
Good news and bad news is another rhetorical strategy used throughout the entire poem. The
poem starts out with bad news. The girl first realizes that the boy may not have the same
feelings that she has:


"I loved you. I thought you knew
I wouldn't have danced like that with any but you."
"I didn't know. I thought you knew it was fun."
"I thought it was love you meant."

But she's not quite sure why her feelings are not returned. She begins to feel somewhat
better when the boy begins to explain why he decided to have sex with her:

Continues for 3 more pages >>




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