Ann Sexton, "The Fury of Overshoes" What's about?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In Anne Sexton's poem "The Fury of the Overshoes" she is expressing the turbulent world of the child growing up. The child, young (perhaps 4-6 given the reference to kindergarten), is looking at the world from, none other, than the perspective that a child would.

The poem is meant to explain how a child looks at the world. Always feeling too little, too weak, too fearful. It examines the fears, the successes, and the disappointments a child recognizes in their lives.

Perhaps what Sexton is trying to do in the poem is provide adults with a common point-of-view which they have obviously forgotten based upon their own

giant steps
all day,
each day
and thinking
nothing of it.

Children, instead, contemplate things that adults typically ignore. Her desire is for adults to put on the overshoes of children so that they can "walk a mile in their shoes."