Describe the speaker of the poem "Solace" by Dorothy Parker.Solace: There was a rose that faded young; I saw its shattered beauty hung Upon a broken stem. I heard them say, "What need to care...

Describe the speaker of the poem "Solace" by Dorothy Parker.

Solace:

There was a rose that faded young;
I saw its shattered beauty hung
Upon a broken stem.
I heard them say, "What need to care
With roses budding everywhere?"
I did not answer them.

There was a bird brought down to die;
They said, "A hundred fill the sky--
What reason to be sad?"
There was a girl whose love fled;
I did not wait the while they said,
"There's many another lad."

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

Posted on

The speaker is someone who possesses insight about the world around them.  Presumably someone like Parker itself, I think that the speaker clearly understands that there is a condition of being in the world that dismisses individual uniqueness and beauty for social expectation and conformity.  The individual beauty intrinsic to the rose and the flight of the bird are both examples of how the world eliminates and moves past unique beauty.  Rather, both are set aside for what social expectations are and the predominance of the social experience.  This is where the speaker of the poem holds perceptive awareness.  The speaker of the poem is one who understands this condition very well.  It is for this reason that the speaker grasps the need to "escape" from such a condition of being.  The speaker does not wish this predicament to be visited upon herself.  It is for this reason that the speaker decides to not "wait" to stay in such a situation.  The speaker understands that her own unique individual experience is not something that will be subject to social conformity, like the beauty of the rose and the flight of the bird.  This is where the speaker's insight becomes profound and very compelling against a world that seeks more in line of conformity and control.

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