William Carlos Williams

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What is the chief figure of speech in Williams’s "The Yachts," and what does it seem to say about Williams’s subject?

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In addition to sharp imagery that conjures nightmarish visions at the conclusion of the poem, "The Yachts" uses an extended metaphor to convey Williams's thoughts about the potentially devastating effects that wealth and power have on the less fortunate.

In the beginning, the yachts (like wealth and power) are seen only as a positive image. They are "scintillant in the minute/brilliance of cloudless days" and "appear youthful, rare/as the light of a happy eye, live with the grace/of all that in the mind is fleckless, free and/naturally to be desired."

Here Williams presents the image: Wealth and those who have it equate to a life of ease. Additionally, wealth is a natural desire that men strive for. It's beautiful and produces feelings of contentment.

However, this metaphor finds new meaning as the tone shifts at the end. Once the race starts, waves (a metaphor for difficulties) strike at the boats. This can't slow them down, for they are "too/Well made." After...

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