How can I analze the poem "Breaking Silence" by Janice Mirikitani?please help me with this poem. "Breaking Silence"

1 Answer | Add Yours

lynnebh's profile pic

lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

This poem is by a Japanese-American poet, Janice Mirikitani. The poem is about three generations of women and the similarities and differences of their lives and their worlds. The speaker is the woman in the middle - a woman who has a daughter and a mother. The speaker begins with her daughter and indicates how the daughter does not understand her, because the daughter is living in her modern world. Then she describes her own world, and her mother's world. Each of the three worlds has different imagery - so you should go through the poem and identify the images that apply to the speaker, her daughter and her mother. This will help you understand the things that are different and the same in each of their lives.

Finally, what is the theme of the poem? Consider the lines"My daughter denies she is like me" (which appears twice) and the line "I deny I am like my mother" which appears once. The speaker admits that she denies she is like HER mother -- she "wants to break tradition" - but is this not the same thing that HER daughter is wanting to do? Think about it.

Good luck with the rest! You can figure it out.

We’ve answered 317,457 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question