Poem Essay

Submitted By poopypuncher
Words: 734
Pages: 3

Sehjveer Singh
Mrs. Hunsaker
AP Literature
13 February 2015
Curiosity Analysis
In his poem, “Curiosity,” Reid uses juxtaposition to compare the two extremes presented in the poem, drastic shift in tone, and a paradox describing true living to demonstrate that life shouldn’t be wasted being conservative, but rather spent being open to new and untested undertakings. Reid uses juxtaposition to compare the two extremes presented in the poem. The rivalry between the cat and the dog is as old as time, and is used as a way to support his argument. Reid describes dogs as belonging to circles “where well-smelt baskets, suitable wives, [and] good lunches are the order of things, and where prevails much wagging of incurious heads and tails” (Reid 12-14). Dogs represent the monotonous group of people that have unfulfilling jobs, get married, and settle down. On the other hand, cats are described as creatures that “love too much, are irresponsible, are changeable, marry too many wives, desert their children, [and] chill all dinner tables with tales of their nine lives” (27-30). The cat and dog are described as extreme opposites. For this reason, the reader can easily understand the juxtaposition of the different types of people portrayed in the poem. The cat is someone that does not settle down, does not have a family or kids, changes lifestyles with a spur of the moment, lives recklessly, and explores everything the world has to offer. The dog is the complete opposite. Dogs live the lives of boring people, while cats live the lives of people with interesting stories to tell at dinner tables. Through this juxtaposition, we see that the experiences of the cat are what Reid associates with truly enjoying the experiences of life, while the dog is someone that lives a “dead” life. Next, Reid uses a paradox to describe that true living is only experienced through the ways a cat would live its life. In the end of the poem, Reid says “that dying is what the living do, that dying is what the loving do, and that dead dogs are those who do not know that dying is what, to live, each has to do” (41-44). Although what Reid is saying here may be confusing at first, the meaning is actually quite simple. Throughout the poem, Reid attempts to stress the idea that consequences do not result from taking risks or exploring new things. It is more likely that the consequence resulted from being unlucky than being curious. In the paradox, dying is seen as something everyone goes through at the end of the journey. However, Reid says that if one lives like the dog rather then the cat, one is truly not living life. In this case, it is like comparing a fulfilled life with uphill battles versus a life in which one moved through with stability. A stable life is stable and nothing