Comparing Lisel Mueller's Happy And Unhappy Families

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Lisel Mueller’s Happy and Unhappy Families The English language is a varied and beautiful language. It has a wide variety of words and a nearly infinite number of ways in which these words can be combined. These combinations of words can then take on a more impactful meaning in the form of stories. The most common ways for this to occur is through short stories or novels, but the most lyrical way that a writer can imbue meaning into writing is through poetry, one example of this in the poem “Happy and Unhappy Families” by Lisel Mueller. The poem compares the lives of unhappy and happy families and wraps the comparisons in a rhythmic manner. This paper will be an attempt to show that “Happy and Unhappy Families” sends a message that could only be told through poetry. Poetry is one of the best ways to put complex ideas into writing. Consider the article “Introduction: The Power of Poetry in the Modern World” by Nancy Hargrove “Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power. Poetry is …show more content…
She writes about the duality of unhappiness, and happiness. This duality is highlighted by the method of writing she chose. The line “The house crackles with secrets” (Mueller 17). There are several layers of duality here. First, there is the nature of the writing. It seems simple, straightforward, but when one takes into the account the figurative language being used, one realizes that it is actually and complex, and profound statement. The duality is not limited to the mechanics of the words, but the very words themselves. There is an inherent contradiction in the line. Secrets are something that is supposed to be quiet, but the word used to describe them is the onomatopoetic “crackle” which suggests noise. These ideas contradict each other and are yet another example of duality. This device is best used in poem, which is another reason that a poem was the only medium for this piece of