Application to the real world: How does our examination of Tess Gallagher's Poem, "The Hug" apply to our lives outside the classroom? 2 quotes.

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Michael Ugulini eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An examination of Tess Gallagher's poem, "The Hug" applies to individuals' everyday lives outside the classroom in the sense that we all encounter others at some point in time in life who are in need of a human connection-  who desire a way to relate to others and feel valued and loved and cared for by others.

This is the essence of Tess Gallagher's poem "The Hug". Two people who love each other notice that a certain woman stops to listen to another woman who is reading a poem in the street...therefore...

     We stop too,

     with our arms around each other.

These two people already have a loving relationship, which they enjoy, and it makes them feel connected intimately to one another. The woman feels a strong impulse to give her lover a big hug - so she does - a plain unadulterated expression of her feelings for her partner.

The poem progresses and involves the needs of another man (a bystander) who desires the same human connection and expression of love that the woman has given to her partner. He is a man who is somewhat destitute and defeated by life...

     He looks homeless because of how

     he needs.

This man's need for love is quite apparent to even a casual observer. He directly asks for a hug. Consequently, the poem relates "The Hug" that this man does receive from the woman; it's a hug that most of us have the ability to give to others, if and when they ask - or even, in the right and proper circumstances, if they do not directly ask for it.

Therefore, as relates to life outside the classroom, many of us can give this love to others; love that is so desperately needed in this fast-paced and seemingly more impersonal digital society.We often give love and affection to those of our immediate circle - family, relatives, close friends. We do not always give it to those on the fringe, who need it more than we may know or perceive.


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