How does Ezekiel attempt to capture the rural lifestyle of people with their beleifs and superstitions?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that this is what makes Ezekiel's poem so powerful.  He is wrestling with a couple of major issues that are difficult to answer, if not downright impossible.  The issue of death, the viewing of death through a child's eyes, and the battle between Western empiricism and indigenous approaches to consciousness are all powerfully compelling, but also impossible to really broach in any authentic manner.  Ezekiel needs a vehicle that will bring all three concepts into full view.  Something has to allow each item to emerge, being brought out to the surface and assessed through application and thought.  No answers could be definitively derived because these topics are larger than one specific or arbitrary answer.  Yet, the vehicle that allows each to emerge is critical.  Ezekiel uses the sting of the scorpion and its impact on the woman for the 20 hours after the initial sting as the vehicle where all of these issues can be brought out.  The helplessness felt by the husband and his beliefs in Western medicine are contrasted to the fatalistic view of the villagers in the face of death.  All of this plays out the inevitable condition of death that makes everyone a bystander, most of all children.  It is through the sting of the scorpion where all of this is possible.

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