What Do We Learn Essay

Submitted By swilen
Words: 521
Pages: 3

Sarah Wilen
Pd. 10-11

How many times does an average high school student pick up a book just to read? The answer is not as often as they should. The educational system teaches kids to analyze and over think simple literature. The educational system also teaches students to connect literature to their own life experiences. However, this can create different understandings of a simple literature piece. By using diction, similes and metaphors, Billy Collins tries to convey the fact that people over think literature and try to find the distinct “meaning” whereas Thomas Lux tries to convey the fact that people connect to literature differently based on specific life experiences they have had.
Through the use of metaphors, Lux connects his ideas to a universal concept. His poem is trying to convey that people’s personal experiences effect how they react to literature. The way Lux proved his point was through a single word. In this poem, Lux uses barn. One word that is so simple can bring out different reactions from different people. For instance, if a child grew up on a farm, the word would bring back good memories and make them happy. However, if a person grew up with a bad home situation and always dreamed of living a happy life on a farm, the child may get sad when the child hears the word barn. Billy Collins uses metaphors in a completely different context. He uses metaphors to convey that students and people in general over think literature too much and don’t just sit back and enjoy it. One example of this is when Collins compares reading a poem to listening to a beehive. You shouldn’t just run up to the hive and stick your hand in it, you should approach it slowly and quietly, then gently put you ear against the hive, if at all. Collins tries to convey that people don’t enjoy literature anymore and are set to finding the exact meaning through metaphors.…