Do you think "The Prodigal" by Elizabeth Bishop has a positive ending?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The poem does have a positive ending with the individual suffering from alcoholism trying to make things right.

But it took him a long time
finally to make up his mind to go home.

The poem by Bishop told a story about an individual who was suffering from alcoholism. The person lived a wretched life but insisted on keeping up the alcoholic lifestyle. He always woke up feeling guilty and realizing that he was alone in his predicament. He had no home and at times woke up in the pig sty where he worked during the day. He was employed probably as a farm hand by a farmer and his work saw him tend to the cows and horses. While attending to his work he reflected upon his life and the poem suggests that after a long fight with alcoholism, he finally came to himself to quit the destructive habit.

The poem's conclusion offers hope for his future in his battle with alcoholism.