Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

Spoon River Anthology book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is the irony in the poem "Julia Miller" from Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters?

Expert Answers info

Lawrence Rodman eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write51 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

Spoon River Anthology is a suite of poems in the voices of the deceased residents of a small town, each speaker recounting the circumstances of their lives and deaths. The experience for the reader is akin to visiting each one’s grave marker and providing final witness as the townspeople make their posthumous confessions. As such, the individual poems are generally downbeat; a recurring theme involves the remorses, unfinished relationships, and responsibilities of lives interrupted.

Of the many poems anthologized, Julia Miller’s is bracketed by two other poems—Flossie Cabanis’s and Johnnie Sayre’s—of those who met with violent ends. Hers was an apparent suicide by drug overdose. When we unpack the poem, we see that Julia Miller was betrayed, shamed, and treated somewhere along the spectrum of "misunderstood"...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 430 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

emilyknight7 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write235 answers

starTop subject is Literature

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial